Midterms are over, so it’s time for Sports Day! For once, Mitsumi doesn’t seem too excited to get involved in class activities, but it’s a good thing the rest of her class is there to help. Well… Egashira has been roped in to help and honestly? I’m glad that she did.
As always the episode is broken up into two parts: training for sports day and the actual sports day. For the first half, we get to Mitsumi’s nervousness about the sports festival because (to no one’s surprise) she’s not good at sports and it would be devastating if the class officer couldn’t bring victory to her team. Her whole class seems incredibly hyped for the match, to the point where a handful of students are taken back by their enthusiasm. But, as always, I appreciate the different reactions to things that happen. Mitsumi, being the determined student that she is, decides to give it her all and do consistent practice. Mako, who is equally unskilled at sports, sticks her nose in the air to comment on how absurd the whole thing is (but will still put in the effort to practice table tennis). At the end of the day, both of them aren’t looking forward to sports because of their athletic ability. For Mitsumi specifically, Shima offers to help her train, but comes up with the great idea to get another student who has played volleyball to help out. Enter Mika Egashira, the character who has been the most antagonistic towards Mitsumi.
Now if there’s anything this anime has shown time and time again, it’s that these characters have much more depth than their typical character type. Egashira could easily just be the mean girl and we could just leave it at that, but Skip and Loafer is willing to show us what sorts of things may be influencing a character’s actions. For some, she might not become the fan favorite, but I’m glad that we get a glimpse into how she sees and interacts with the world. This week, Egashira agrees to help Mitsumi at the request of Shima and at having the opportunity to get on his good side. There’s an interesting, one-sided competition between the two which seems to initially start from Egashira’s interest in Shima. She seems to constantly be trying to one-up Mitsumi or not providing her the same happy attitude that she would do for Shima. In short, Egashira really doesn’t beat around the bush when interacting with Mitsumi. I don’t think she’s being malicious, but she isn’t making the active effort to make herself seem likable to Mitsumi. And that’s okay! At the end of the day, they are just two people who see the world very differently. Mitsumi is honest to a fault. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is easy to understand. She’s hard working and open with those that she talks to and she doesn’t completely worry about social hierarchy. If she likes hanging out with you, she’ll continue to hangout with you. Egashira on the other hand has built up a very careful persona. She’s blunt with Mitsumi, but when in the presence of everyone else, she keeps those thoughts to herself. She’s researched fashion in order to be on par with the other “attractive students” and has put a great deal of thought, effort, and care into her physical appearance. She wants to be liked and for her, that comes in the way that she looks rather than her personality. We see that when she was growing up she was ignored likely because of her size and temperament and that seems to spark the drastic change in her.
I really like how the anime portrays her jealousy. Again, she’s not vicious, but it’s very clear to her that she doesn’t have what she wants and she’s very aware that others have what she can’t. She’s constantly comparing herself to those around her. When she looks at Mitsumi, while she can make harsh comments, she also notes the differences between the two of them. She notes that she has a bitter personality, in the fact that she remembers those who wronged her, whereas Mitsumi takes the opposite approach in remembering the names of those who were kind and helped her. Multiple times she commented that Yuzuki is a natural beauty (which may or may not be true), whereas she had to put in a lot of time and effort to get to the stage she is currently at. But that also highlights Egashira’s tenacity. She’s worked hard to get where she is today, whether that’s in how she physically appears or even in her sports abilities. She wants to be liked by other people, but it’s hard to see how well you’re liked when you only see what you don’t have. She’s not perfect and she knows it. Will she improve? Maybe, but there’s still a lot of growth that she can have. But I sincerely hope that in future she will find someone who will choose her for her.
Ah! Another great episode from Skip and Loafer. I can’t wait to see how things develop next week!