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Special A – 21

「敵う・叶う」 (Kanau / Kanau)
“To Rival / To Come True”

Episode at a Glance:
On her newfound shortcut to school, Hikari comes across Ogata Aoi, secretary of the Takishima Group president (i.e. Kei’s grandfather), who’s been instructed to observe Kei’s school life at Hakusenkan. While originally thinking he’s some sort of Kei obsessed maniac, Hikari offers to help after hearing how he’ll do anything for Kei because he feels indebted to him (恩義). Carrying a Yappi doll with a hidden camera in her pocket, Hikari draws the immediate attention of Kei and Akira, but manages to cast it off as a recent fashion trend. In the greenhouse, Megumi holds a recital that’s supposed to be kept bearable by Tadashi and Jun’s new volume control invention, but it expectedly fails and traumatizes Aoi as well. During a picnic with sandwiches prepared by Akira, Kei and Hikari end up fighting for the last one, resulting in a jigsaw puzzle contest to decide who’ll get it. Despite Hikari’s feverish pace, Kei’s inhuman abilities allow him to start eating his prize before Hikari can put even put in her last piece.

After school, Hikari meets up with Aoi again, pleased by what she’s shown him, but he tells her that Kei’s going to transfer schools to London since Hakusenkan isn’t suited for him. Curious as to how one can make a decision like that without Kei’s consent, Hikari finds out that this is a decision made by his grandfather, which he can’t refuse. Hikari refuses to accept this because Kei’s her rival, so Aoi decides to show her how different their statuses are and brings her to various companies that Kei’s the president of. Catching sight of Hikari in Aoi’s car, Akira calls Kei about this, who’s surprised to hear that Aoi’s in Japan. In Aoi’s car, Hikari is shocked by Kei’s position in the Takishima Group, but isn’t intimidated by it since it only motivated her to find her own part-time job while in school, so Aoi takes her to his villa to show her Kei’s various achievements since childhood. Meanwhile, Kei drops by Aoi’s place and finds that he’s not there, so he decides to take a taxi over to Aoi’s villa. When he gets stuck in a traffic jam, Kei gives the address to the driver and tells him to come by when he can, after which he gets out of the car and runs at a superhuman speed the rest of the way.

After showing the slide show about Kei, Aoi questions Hikari exactly what Kei is to her, causing her to pause for a second, but respond that he’s a precious S.A friend and a rival that she wants to win against no matter what. Realizing that he’s not getting through to her, Aoi decides to take Hikari home, making her think that he’s given up on forcing Kei to transfer, so he tells her bluntly that Hakusenkan and the S.A class are too low class for Kei. Naturally, Hikari takes offense to this, so Aoi tells her to prove to him otherwise by landing a blow him, stipulating that if she can’t, she’s unfit to compete with Kei and claim to be his rival. Hearing this, Hikari frantically tries to land a blow but can’t and ends up being pinned against a wall, where Aoi tells her that the worlds she and Kei live in are different in terms of heredity, intelligence, and power, and that she can never hope to compete with him. After being asked to stay away from Kei so that she doesn’t suffer either, Hikari is brought to tears and starts calling out for Kei, who shows up at the door and knocks Aoi to the ground, questioning who the hell he thinks is making Hikari suffer. Relieved and in tears, Hikari hugs Kei from behind.

Kei then drops Hikari off at home and tells her that he plans to stay at Hakusenkan until he graduates, much to her relief. Seeing her response to this, Kei insists that she probably feels this way because she likes him, akin to an object of affection, but Hikari responds with a blank look, before bursting out in embarrassment that there’s no way in hell. Inside though, she wonders about the feeling in her heart while Kei walks off with an expressionless look on his face.


Next Episode:
「恋・変」 (Koi / Hen)
“Love / Weird”

Well, it definitely seems like things are picking up between Kei and Hikari now, with this episode being only the beginning of it. Given the time constraint of the series (i.e. three episodes left), I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last thing they touched upon. However, I don’t really have any complaints about the pacing thus far, and this episode in particular really helped establish some of Hikari’s feelings towards Kei, despite how much she refuses to acknowledge it. Credit goes to Aoi for being the “bad guy” here though, giving Kei an opportunity to save Hikari and make her realize a bit more about what he means to her. In comparison to Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, I find that the comedy in Special A heavily outweighs the mushy stuff, so scenes such as this are actually a welcome sight. For someone so strong-willed and resilient to criticism/adversity like Hikari, it’s nice to see that she has a soft side as well, which makes it evident that she’s still a (somewhat) fragile girl deep down inside.

Comedy-wise, I couldn’t help but laugh at the number of pieces in the jigsaw puzzles and more so when I saw Kei analyzing the pieces like some sort of android. It’s kind of disturbing to see how only Kei exhibits these inhuman levels of abilities, but at least he did break a sweat from all the running. Aoi on the other hand got a nice welcome recital from Megumi, who for some reason, doesn’t sing like she did before anymore. It’s a bit of a shame since I thought Megumi would finally impress everyone this time around, but they went back to the usual comedic gag.

Next time looks like a date between Kei and Hikari, the latter of which is looking pretty cute with her hairstyle. The preview looks pretty promising too, hinting at all sorts of emotional responses from Hikari, so hopefully we’ll see some more progress between her and Kei. Last but not least, it looks like we’ll see more of Tadashi’s mother as well.


- Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
- Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
- Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
- Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
- Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
- Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
- Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
- Ogata Aoi (緒方 蒼) / Yusa Kouji (遊佐 浩二)
- Hikari’s mother (光の母) / Nabei Makiko (鍋井 まき子)
- Taxi driver (タクシー運転手) / Hirao Kentarou (平尾 健太郎)

August 25, 2008 at 10:16 pm
  • August 25, 2008 at 10:28 pmtpsk729

    first cant wait !

  • August 25, 2008 at 10:41 pmpepper

    yay! I can’t wait for the subbed version!!!

  • August 25, 2008 at 10:41 pmMaNiaC

    Looks like an awesome episode.

    Great write-up Devine.

  • August 25, 2008 at 11:01 pmChimasternmay

    Really great episode, yup yup… about the preview yup like the new change of cute hair style… and wtf she in that car again. back to this episode ending was worth it…
    and yeah who is that guy in the Last Preview shot. i only read like 10 chapters of SA before the anime, and didnt want to spoil anime so stopped for now.

  • August 25, 2008 at 11:09 pmGStrike-

    Hikari ftw

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:24 amc_h_a_n

    weee ! this was a great epsidoe :P loved her “blank” expression

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:36 amEri

    now, why i am thinking that aoi’s more good-looking than takishima? hehehe. looking forward to this episode!

    sooooo, we only have 3 more episodes to go right? (O_o)

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:41 amMichiko


    I don’t think that’s someone new. I think it’s Tadashi’s mother again, probably with some bad news judging from the title of episode 23.

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:46 amEri

    hahahaha! aoi is really super obsessed with kei! he’s a stalker! but i’m pretty sure he’s straight. lol. http://randomc.net/image/Special%20A/Special%20A%20-%2021%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

    kei can be such a kid sometimes. http://randomc.net/image/Special%20A/Special%20A%20-%2021%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    i wouldn’t want my life to be documented like this! it’s eerie! http://randomc.net/image/Special%20A/Special%20A%20-%2021%20-%2028.jpg

    this is a cute moment! http://randomc.net/image/Special%20A/Special%20A%20-%2021%20-%2037.jpg

    hikari MUST REALIZE her FEELINGS fast! http://randomc.net/image/Special%20A/Special%20A%20-%2021%20-%2040.jpg

    anyway, she’ll probably do so in the last episode. weh.

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:57 amChimasternmay

    man when even i watch the previews i get stuck focusing on the little dude in the corner that i miss some of the shots lol

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:57 amRental

  • August 26, 2008 at 7:45 amTakanari


  • August 26, 2008 at 9:06 amhung

    I hope the sub for #21 be out soon

  • August 26, 2008 at 11:08 amcracked doll


    Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:21 pmEri

    @ cracked doll

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:52 pmsakura


  • August 26, 2008 at 12:55 pmGwen

    I’ve read a blog that had information about upcoming episodes (from a magazine?) and given that shot of bandaged Kei patting Hikari on the head, it looks like
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Am I allowed to link off-site? If so, I’d give the link to the blog.

  • August 26, 2008 at 12:58 pmdivine

    You can link off-site provided that it’s not to raws/subs/PVs or for advertisement sake. So in your case, it’s fine.

  • August 26, 2008 at 1:38 pmEri

    I don’t recognize the person at all…I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all the characters in the manga…or maybe I’m mistaken. ( O_o’)


  • August 26, 2008 at 2:42 pmJenn-Jen

    @Eri and cracked doll
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Of all the animes to shorten… *sigh* I think they could have made this one longer with all the material they were given.

  • August 26, 2008 at 3:49 pmMichiko

    @ Eri


    I still think it’s Tadashi’s mom (the director of Hakusenkan). According to Newtype, I’m guessing she’s going to show up at the end of the next episode with some bad news…

  • August 26, 2008 at 6:53 pmFireChick

  • August 27, 2008 at 12:05 amAmoeba

    LOL~ I tot SA will be better than Itazura na Kiss in the beginning of Summer season…
    SA is too much crap~
    Heh~ unsatisfied?? Bring it on! (Just kidding~ it my opinion and no offense)

    PS: I’m still watch it everyweek.. lol

  • August 27, 2008 at 12:39 amEri

    @ Jenn-Jen

    I know what you mean! I hope this anime won’t be stuck with season 1 only. There a lot of possibilities for this anime!!!

    @ Michiko

    THANKS for the info!

  • August 27, 2008 at 2:48 amVaken


    This season is far too early to end… or rather i wont allow it to! :x

  • August 27, 2008 at 6:48 amEri

    @ Vaken


  • August 27, 2008 at 7:08 amVaken

    haha sadly i dont.. =( but i will flag a S.A flag (with akira =x) in singapore to protest if it ends so fast for a season 1!! xD

  • August 27, 2008 at 12:07 pmGwen

    I so wish there would be a season 2 for SA, but how popular is it over there? Probably not like Shugo Chara at all. :( Though on the other hand, I’m actually rather glad that it’s a shorter series, so there aren’t infy filler episodes. xD

    The link to the blog I mentioned earlier:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 28, 2008 at 3:48 amAmethyst

    Wow looks fun. How many episode this anime?

  • August 28, 2008 at 5:08 amdivine

    24 episodes.

  • September 3, 2008 at 11:05 pmshuffleair

    Somehow it seems like the animation style changes every three episodes or something.

  • September 4, 2008 at 1:42 amkrista

    i know i did not just imagine it..when i watched this episode, Megumi went back to her old sketch pad..what happened to the one yahiro gave her?