Not gonna lie, the last few episodes of this season has been feeling a bit like a slog. I know it’s building to something, but there are just so many filler type of things that kind of leave me feeling as if they could have used this time a little more usefully. But we can’t always get what we want and I feel like I don’t remember the build up during the Culture Festival because I skipped over it in the manga. I guess it feels more like a bummer because the skits in the first few episodes always felt like they head meaning in one form or another that eventually built up to something in an episode or two. Also the humor hasn’t quite been hitting with me as hard like previous episodes have.
Though I do like that they delved into Shirogane’s past and when exactly he fell in love with Kaguya. It’s actually really sweet how he was the first one to fall for her in the first place. He looks up to her and felt as if he had to prove himself worthy to stand beside her. Considering how low of a place emotionally he was coming from believing there was a large gap between him and the higher class, it’s no wonder why he would have thought that. Not to mention he just seemed pretty depressed when he first entered the school and seeing Kaguya jump into action without hesitation was something so inspiring that allowed himself to push himself to be someone he can be more proud of. And comparing him to how he was and how he is now, I’d say he did a wonderful job in cultivating the kind of person he is. Though I do wish we got to see more of how he was in the flashback and understand why he was so down trodden at the start and what he had to do to become the person he is now.
I’m also really curious about the previous student council president. I feel like we didn’t really get a good grasp on who he was as a person and whether or not he was just feigning kindness or was actually another stuck up rich kid. It’s hard to say when the flashback was so brief. But considering he helped put Shirogane on the right path and was the only person who reached out to him, he most likely wasn’t a bad person. Hopefully. Not to mention the pink hair on the underside of his hair is very… eye-catching lol.
Every Culture Festival in anime has to have the obligatory cosplay cafe and Kaguya is no exception. Though I will say that this was probably the most bogged down part of the episode mostly because of the interaction with the two ramen critics that we met back in season 1. And while the interaction with Chika was funny in season 1, here… I wasn’t really feeling it. Especially when it just felt like it was taking time away from the plot at hand. Just the fact that Kaguya had to prove herself to these two guys she didn’t even know just felt really weird to me. Maybe it was a matter of Kaguya still choosing her pride, but it didn’t feel like it needed to happen, making the interaction more annoying than charming. Though I admit I laughed at Kaguya’s reaction upon seeing Shirogane’s dad again.
I am glad that they have officially veered away from the “whoever confesses first loses” premise as it shows personal growth for both Shirogane and Kaguya. It’s interesting how BOTH of them thought up of the plan to get the other to confess first through calculated plans. Like, they didn’t even talk about it, they just thought it up on their own and held it up as a rule of sorts for some reason. And even now, BOTH decided to be the one to confess their feelings first, completely reversing the series’ initial plot. The two are somehow just always on the same wavelength in regards to their feelings for the other somehow, which I find a lot of humor and irony from.
And then we have Ishigami who is still struggling to find the courage to confess his feelings to Tsubame. Despite being a fairly new addition, I have warmed up to Maki who is just trying her best in her given situation and I really appreciate the friendship she has developed with Ishigami and Shirogane. Coming from a friendless background and a terrible situation back in middle school, I’m glad that Ishigami is slowly gaining more supportive friends who accept him for who he is rather than judge him solely on his past. So seeing just how supportive Maki is of Ishigami and genuinely trying to help him out is actually pretty heartwarming. Especially when she doesn’t want him to end up like her. I also feel like Maki could have easily have become that petty and spurned love interest, but she legit cares about her friendship with Kashiwagi… even if she looks down on her at times. But I am glad that she’s trying her best to move past it as best she can. Though I do worry for her emotional and mental state…
Things are slowly moving forward with Ishigami asking Tsubame to join him at the festival and both Kaguya and Shirogane are trying to figure out when to confess. There were definitely good points in this episode, but the middle part was a bit of a slog and a little annoying. So hopefully things progress a little faster next episode where we can see more progression with Shirogane and Kaguya.