Strawberry Panic! – 17
It’s autumn, which is a time for many things, including the Étoile selection. Rumors are flying all around the three schools about who’s going to be entering. Lulim has no one, whereas Amane and Kaname are the talk of Spica. Amane still isn’t interested, so Kaname is turning out to be the front runner. At Miator, a clueless Nagisa learns about the Étoile selection from Tamao, who explains that the candidates have to pass various trials. After the two of them are passed by Shizuma and Miyuki, Nagisa catches Tamao staring at her. Tamao immediately changes the subject by asking Nagisa if she wants to go autumn-leaf viewing together. Nagisa agrees, so Tamao promises to make a boxed lunch for them. Later, they are walking back together, Chiyo starts having delusions of Nagisa asking her to be her partner for the Étoile selection. Her delusions boil over into to real life, causing Nagisa to ask what Chiyo meant by “partner.” Chiyo reveals that are actually two people who enter as a pair to become the Étoile. But then question becomes, why is Shizuma alone?
That night, Nagisa asks Tamao who the other Étoile is. Tamao simply tells her that it’s someone who died. She doesn’t reveal much more than that, so Nagisa goes to Miyuki the next day. But Miyuki isn’t willing to talk about it yet either. That night, Shizuma finds Nagisa playing the piano in the moonlight. After Shizuma sits down and the two play together, Nagisa admits that she’s been practicing. Shizuma reveals that the song they were playing was the favorite of “that girl”. Nagisa realizes that “that girl” is referring to the other Étoile. Shizuma then invites Nagisa out to go autumn-leaf viewing tomorrow, but Nagisa already has her promise to do the same with Tamao. When she asks if Tamao can come too, Shizuma refuses. Shizuma plans to take Nagisa out to her vacation home and tell her about “that girl.” Nagisa agrees, but then she returns back to her own room and has to tell Tamao the bad news. Tamao is unhappy, but she also knows how much Nagisa wants to learn everything she can about Shizuma. At that time, Shizuma went to Miyuki’s room and unbuttoned Miyuki’s shirt. As she’s doing this, Miyuki comments about how that Shizuma has changed. Beneath her shirt, Miyuki is wearing a necklace with a key attached. Shizuma takes the key and says that she’s been waiting for a long time. She thanks Miyuki for taking custody of her heart, causing Miyuki’s eyes to tear up.
The next day, Miyuki and Tamao see Shizuma and Nagisa off as they’re driven to Shizuma’s vacation home by car. Tamao insisted that Nagisa bring the boxed lunch that she had already prepared.
The start of this episode was a bit on the boring side compared to the great Carmen the girls put on last week. A lot of it felt like just rehash about who’s going to be running for the Étoile selection. Maybe Chikaru’s will surprise everyone by making a run for the Étoile position. Or maybe Kagome and Percival will… Actually, the most interesting parts of that first half were watching Percival play cards (anything with Kagome and Percival is adorable) or maybe Chiyo’s delusions of entering the Étoile selection with Nagisa. Fortunately the overall episode got more interesting with the realization that there are supposed to be two Étoiles. They do beat around the bush a bit more though, not really telling you much about the girl. There’s some grand cover-up about the other Étoile’s death that no one wants to talk about. I did enjoy the Miyuki and Shizuma scene, which really showed how close the two used to be. I imagine the key is to something related to the other Étoile and I’m hoping next week will have some good revelations. And maybe there’ll be some more yuri since it’s going to be Shizuno and Nagisa alone in a house together. :)