Eva’s First Impression
Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun is back, and it’s time to jump straight into the next game of the Offline Life. Today’s mission is to motivate their classmate Erika into being more enthusiastic about Sports Day.
This whole mission came about after the role of the girl’s team Captain for sports day fell onto Hirabayashi. A fellow classmate who was peer pressured by Erika and her friends into accepting the Captain role after Yuzu refused to do it.
The problem was that, when it came down to finding a captain for the girls’ team, no one was really interested, so nobody volunteered like Takei had for the boy’s team.
Aoi had no intention of getting involved. Yuzu was initially pressured by her
so-called friend (Erika) to be the Captain. However since Yuzu was pushed into it last year, she didn’t want to do it again. So what ends up happening is that Erika decides it should be Hirabayashi— which the poor girl ends up being pressured into because she doesn’t have the courage to stand up to her and say no– especially in front of the entire class. The whole situation was so uncomfortable, and I don’t care what Erika’s reasons are for doing this, it’s simply unacceptable to forcing a role onto another that they themselves didn’t volunteer for. And jeez, for someone who likes to boss people around and tell them do this and that, sounds like it’s more like they should be the one volunteering for the task. (Not that I’d even want that type of person to be my Captain to begin with!)
Interestingly, on the contrary of my own skepticism towards Erika’s character, Fuuka who is without a doubt the most observant one in the classroom made a point that Erika has a nice side to her. But eh, does that side of her only come out when it’s most convenient? I couldn’t say. Pardon my skepticism towards Erika’s character for the time being, as one of the few things I do vividly remember that she put a lot of pressure on Yuzu and was real nasty in the first season.
Although the teacher didn’t intervene much the first time apart from just saying flowery words of “don’t let Erika twist your arm into it”, (like hell that’s going to help with the current situation!) I am glad that she had intervened more firmly the second time so that Hirabayashi would be spared from being put on the spot by Erika— who again, is just really using her as a figurehead while she’s the one to be giving out the actual instructions. As Fuuka had mentioned, Erika doesn’t want want people to look down on her, so it’s a proxy way of ensuring the blame of whatever goes wrong, be it win or lose doesn’t fall onto her.
So when it comes down to getting Erika off Hirabayashi’s back, as Fumiya is on the boy’s team there’s little he can do to help. Which leads us back to how Aoi’s mission to motivate Erika came about.
Fumiya’s pretty motivated because since he’s on the boy’s team, and possess little to no influence in the class, there’s little he can do to help Hirabayashi out without making the situation worse. He started on gathering information, which were certainly useful: Key sport is Softball because Erika used to be on the boy’s baseball team, she’s the sort who requires a low effort but high reward to motivate her and finally simulate her desire not to be looked down upon.
He has all the key items, however the part that makes me nervous the most is what the “prized bait” of the low effort an high reward may be. From the information we’ve gathered in this episode so far, the main thing that was repeated over and over again was that Erika likes Shinji. But here’s where it gets complicated: Shinji and Yuzu are supposed to be dating now, but they are laying it low (for very obvious reasons: ie, Erika).
At the time same, while he was doing this, it also motivated Yuzu to try and help as well. Although Erika tried to pressure her into the role before, Yuzu decided the best way to help Hirabayashi would be to take over being Captain, or at least help her out with it (Co-Captain I guess?). She’s pretty motivated about it, so we’ll have to see how that will change the dynamic of things.
And finally, I think we do need to touch on Takei. I mentioned last season how I felt bad for Takei finding himself left out of the loops for things because he’s considered useless. This episode again, he was the first and only volunteer to be Captain for the boys team. He is very enthusiastic about it, but I felt a little uncomfortable seeing him being mocked for whether his leadership would lead them to victory after being called out for his team’s falling into a losing streak on his own soccer team. Nevertheless, as nobody else volunteered, he was able to keep the role. I do wonder how long he will be stuck in the role as the “class’ clown” however, and whether he really wants to carry that role. For all we know, it could be yet another mask as a means to form connections and friends so that he wouldn’t be left alone.
That’s all I got to say for this episode, I’m really excited to continue this series so I can more less guarantee I’ll be covering this one for the whole season!
Possibility of Blogging: High – More or less guaranteed