Manabi Straight! – 08
Having just learned the news about the school festival being canceled, Manabi and company head to the teacher’s room to confront Shimojima about it. Earlier, the principal had announced that the school was administratively joining with Aikou and had told the students about the bad festival news. After talking to Takako and finding out that the Aikou chairwoman isn’t budging on the issue, Manabi rallies Mucchii and Mikan by giving a fiery speech about how they are going to oppose this decision. She gets them to start clamoring for a revolt, but Mei then comes and smacks her with a harisen. Mei has the more pragmatic approach of going to the Aikou chairwoman and suggests that they conduct a campaign to collect signatures for a petition. This seems like a good idea at first and the girls get hard at work on it, but it ends up a bust.
Upon arriving home in the rain, Manabi finds her brother’s girlfriend Kyouko visiting. When Manabi asks what Kyouko’s job is, she’s shocked to learn that Kyouko is none other than Aikou’s chairwoman. As a result, Manabi packs up and leaves home to stay over at Mikan’s place. Over dinner, Manabi’s brother Takefumi explains to Kyouko that Manabi moved around a lot when she was younger because of their parents. The places she’s been to include Lebanon, Cambodia, Malaysia, Guiana, Madagascar, Israel, Tibet, and Tonga. In any case, Takefumi feels that Manabi has the kind of personality that allows her to make friends easily, but she has to keep starting over since she changes schools so much. That’s why school is such an important place for Manabi. Meanwhile, Manabi is voicing her frustrations with her brother and Kyouko, however Mikan thinks that Takefumi and Kyouko being together is a separate issue from the school festival. Manabi isn’t happy about this, but it shuts her up and she goes to bed.
When Manabi heads out alone to Aikou the next day to see Kyouko, the chairwoman initially gets Manabi angry by fawning over how concerned Takefumi had been last night. Turning serious, Kyouko knows that Manabi is here to talk about the festival, and she feels that her decision was correct because she doesn’t hear any other students asking for the festival not to be cancelled. This causes Manabi to remember how one of the girls she had talked to had explained that there were a lot of other fun events, so the festival wasn’t something to fuss over. Kyouko thinks that those on the student council are the only ones who will do anything for the school festival and feel that it’s absolutely necessary. This keeps Manabi silent for a moment until she finally springs into action and punches towards Kyouko. Since Manabi continues to refuse to allow them to cancel the festival, Kyouko decides to give her one chance even though she feels that Manabi’s acting like an unreasonable kid. In one week’s time, the student council must get 70% of the students to sign onto a petition to revive the school festival. Kyouko wants them to prove their own strength because they are the ones who really want it. Manabi then returns to the others with this news of the 70% goal. Although she knows it will be tough, Manabi feels that the chance of success isn’t zero. And with everyone as resolute as Manabi is, the five girls head out to get some signatures with only 168 hours left until the deadline.
I found Manabi’s shocked reaction to Kyouko being her brother’s girlfriend to be pretty funny. And her running away to Mikan’s house shows that Manabi is still very much a kid in some places. Still, I’m a little surprised that Kyouko decided to give Manabi a chance after having stood by her decision the entire time. Manabi only showed her determination and didn’t really come up with a convincing argument, so maybe what Takefumi said about Manabi made Kyouko change her mind a little. Or maybe this is just the best way to give Manabi a goal to work towards so that the successful festival can mark the end of the series in four episodes.
Incidentally, I’m really glad that the first soundtrack is out now so that I don’t have to rely on episodes to enjoy the music. I’ve currently got on repeat the techno-ish song from the end of this episode (Aseri).