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Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – 08

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「どでかい花火をあげてみろ」 (Dodekai Hanabi Woagetemiro)
“Let’s Fire a Big Firework”

There is no earthly way I’m going to be able to say everything I want about this episode. Holy hell it was phenomonal. Let’s get into it.

The beginning of the episode holds the only part I’m really going to criticize on this episode, because over all I loved it. Starting off, while I dearly enjoyed Misaki-sempai going all lipstick yuri for megane Nanami (HNNNNGG!!), I thought it distracted from Sorata getting his results. The girls were too loud to totally focus on Sorata, but I wanted to find out if he got accepted or not, so both things suffered. I think it works better when it’s bursts of comedy around the serious stuff, rather than keeping the two overlapping. Fortunately, since this was only finding out if he passed the first round, it wasn’t that big of a deal. At the time, I assumed they would give more space to later (more dramatic) announcements. As it turns out, I was right. But more on that later.

I enjoyed Sorata prepping for the presentation, partially because it introduced yandere Meido-chan, but also because Akasaka’s advice was correct. People underestimate how useful it is to practice presentations (or interviews!) in front of others. Practice does indeed makes perfect, and seeing Sorata practice in front of the others, no matter how (rightfully) hard they were at times – wake up, Mashiro! – made me respect him more. Especially since he did it ten times. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever gone past two or three. Props, Sorata. Good training arc.

Then there’s the presentation itself. Sorata was already nervous enough as is, when suddenly he realizes that his hero Fujisawa Kazuki is there…who then blindsided him with a curveball. “What do you think you need to do to become a game designer?” Harsh. Throwing a question like that at a kid is unfair…but at the same time absolutely fair. It’s not like others are going to hold back, after all.

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But that rejection…ouch. Once again, I feel for Sorata. And here’s where the story walked a veeeery delicate line where they could have made Sorata completely unlikable, but deftly avoided it. Had Sorata wallowed in depression totally and gone full emo, he would have lost much of the good will he has as a main character. That said, depression is normal in this situation – he put himself totally out there, exposing his dream to the approval of others, and he came up lacking. That hurts! This was the first time he truly poured everything he had into something, and to fail in such a seemingly embarrassing way…that’s what nearly broke him.

Nearly. And here’s where they threaded the needle so well. His interaction with Mashiro right after he got back, when she had succeeded and he did not, were not great (that is, for him as a person), but they were both understandable and better than most could claim. The jealousy welled up, but he didn’t want to hate Mashiro, so he pushed her away, just for the time. That’s better than pure emo, but still not ideal…had they left it at that, Sorata could still have descended into severe unlikability.

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Fortunately, there was Misaki-sempai and Jin to the rescue! (Man, that was a lot of swimsuits O.O Mizugi dorobou!) While Sorata comes out looking like a badass after this episode – though really, everyone does – Misaki-sempai and Jin get a heavy dose of that too. When Mashiro can’t help and Nanami is liable to be too serious (which would have caused Sorata to wallow even more), they did the thing he needed most – something crazy to get him tsukkoiming again. But more than that, they give him an opportunity to liven up, to blow off steam, to be happy with his friends instead of wallowing in defeat.

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Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention all the fanservice. I disagree Jin, Nanami looks great! :3 As does Mashiro, and of course Misaki-sempai too. And yet it was undeniable a guy who made me enjoy a swimsuit scene the most. I never thought I would have said that, but there it is.

But it only got better from there (so, so much better!). When the security guard appeared, I was genuinely surprised – Fail-sensei always seems pretty useless, so it seemed like maybe she would give them permission, you know? But in retrospect, when it comes to her job she really is pretty responsible – she ordered the sick Nanami back to bed, if you recall. That’s why it was a (hilarious!) shock when they got yelled at, and Misaki and Jin are already half way over the fence. “Run.” HAHA!! Misaki-sempai and Jin are such good friends, truly.

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Yet even with all that I’ve gone over so far, the best parts were still to come. Can you believe that 14 paragraphs in (holy shit I need to cool it!), I’m saying that? But it’s true! The scene where Mashiro gave Sorata a new charm (easy childbirth, hah!) was great for the reaction it inspired in Sorata – for a second I thought he was going to cry, and I was damned well ready to cry with him – but that’s not even it. Nor was it shining Mashiro and her leap into the blossoming sky, though the ambiance was beautiful there.

No, it was as the ED played and everyone was running, the conversation between Sorata and Nanami. I sort of wish I had waited to write my latest SOL this week, because more than perhaps any other scene in any I’ve seen, this one resonated with me. Note: I’m not saying it was the best I’ve ever seen! Just that it resonated with me, Stilts, in particular, and it resonated hard.

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One final thing before I end this Deluxe Stilts Special™. Throughout the episode we saw Mashiro grappling with the question of “What is love?”, and by the time swimsuits were donned Nanami was thinking about it too. Then she said this:

“I love people who know what they want to do! I love people living as hard as they can!”

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The episode caps off with the revelation that Nanami actually went no pan (no pantsu, no life! XD), and that she’s starting to understand love…something that she tells to Mashiro. The gauntlet hasn’t quite been thrown down, but the battle lines are becoming clearer all the time. Fuck yes. I cannot wait!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Through the fires of failure, Sorata drags himself out of depression & learns to love losing, w/ a little help from his friends. #sakurasou

tl;dr: v2 @StiltsOutLoud – “Getting serious can be pretty crazy!” “It’s better [to be M] than normal.” “I love people living as hard as they can!” // I love this show

Random thoughts:

  • I enjoyed how Mashiro asked about love, so Sorata started talking about decorative koi pricing. Such a pro tsukkomi.
  • Oh my, when Mashiro was drawing in Sorata’s room she got a little jealous of Nanami, even though she didn’t quite understand why yet. Excellent. Also: D’AAAAWWW!
  • I gotta say, Sorata dressed to the nines and all determined was pretty awesome. I could go for more of that. Also, Mashiro looking like the wife to the husband heading off to work? More of that too, please!
  • I know this wasn’t the right scene to be thinking about this, but Nanami sure does love those shoulder-less outfits, doesn’t she? For which I am eternally thankful. *drools*
  • I love this show.
  • Misaki steals Sorata’s swim trunks, and he’s still the one that gets hit. Oh Nanamin! XD
  • When Mashiro leapt, I thought she was going to say something meaningful, and in fact she did – “Don’t stop running.” Don’t stop running towards your dream, Sorata. Oh and also, that pissed off security guard right behind you :3
  • The funny thing? This is one of my longer individual-episode posts (save for…well, you know the ones), and yet it was one of the easiest ones I’ve written in a while. Inspiration is a fickle mistress, and not to be depended on, but when the light goes on inside of you, you truly can fly. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Until next time~

Full-length images: 01, 07, 19, 21, 23, 24.

Spoiler tags inserted solely to make this look less damn long.

ED and Epilogue:

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   37 Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   38 Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   39
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   40 Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   41 Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   42

 

Preview

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   08   Preview 01
November 27, 2012 at 12:57 am
107 comments »
  • November 27, 2012 at 12:59 amI Love Kumin-Senpai

    i haven’t read it yet but STILTS that’s too many text!! oh well.. begin!!

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:02 amStilts

      Ahaha, I know, I know. I really should figure out a way to limit myself (damn lack of self control!)…though I have a feeling that, even if I did, it wouldn’t have worked on this one. Sometimes the words just flow, and it’s a damn shame to turn off the faucet when the pipes finally unfreeze.

      That metaphor made sense, right? Oh screw it, I’m going to bed…

      • November 27, 2012 at 1:23 amI Love Kumin-Senpai

        and now that im finished.. the long post was worth it!
        oh and yeah, that new charm almost made my eye faucet drip like hell

      • November 27, 2012 at 2:24 amMutare

        Never stop writing, I enjoy what you write Stilts, don’t bother controlling yourself cus I reckon it’ll never work. XD

      • November 27, 2012 at 3:17 amSerapita

        Yeah, don’t limit yourself. I enjoy your writing. Unleash your inner desire!

      • November 27, 2012 at 5:22 amKF

        Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

        TQ

  • November 27, 2012 at 1:14 amChaos2Frozen

    I guess this was why it took several hours more to post eh Stilts =p ? A bit nick-picky on the minor negatives imo but overall you captured the exact reasons why this episode was amazing with it’s balancing act of Romcom-Angst-Fanservice (fun for the whole family!).

    Next week is the appearance of Rita, and with her comes the debut of another long awaited character =D

    P.S – Remember what I’ve said about this not being a harem? Yeah, just keep that in mind for next week ^^;

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:32 amStilts

      Yeah, I was definitely being a bit nit-picky, but for some reason that one just struck me. Normally I’da probably weeded it out, but meh, I was on a roll!

      Not a harem. Gotcha! Will keep that in mind.

    • November 27, 2012 at 2:25 amVip

      What?! No harem in my anime? PREPOSTEROUS!

      And indeed, good job on the post Stilts. The wall of text is kind of intimidating at first, but quantity transfers into quality quite well in your case :)

  • November 27, 2012 at 1:43 amFortis

    why Sorata’s room always have some girl’s clothes?

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:51 amI Love Kumin-Senpai

      “mashiro duty”

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:28 amStilts

      Because Sorata loooooves girls underwear ~_^

      (That’s not true. What I Love Kumin-Senpai said is, though. Related: AWESOME name!)

  • November 27, 2012 at 1:56 amDango_Warrior

    imho…
    BEST EPISODE!!!!!!! so far.

  • November 27, 2012 at 2:10 amShinmarizu

    This was a step back in the right direction after last ep, which I considered the most uninspired episode of this series. Thank goodness for that.

    Jealous Mashiro is dawwwwwww. So is Dere-Nanami. And we should be getting a lot more of them now. Thank goodness for that.

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:07 amStilts

      I took last episode as a breather episode, safe in the assumption that episodes like this would be back before long. I think that’s the safe way to approach most of the lighter, sillier episodes, because then you can enjoy them for what they are while being confident that the truly stellar offerings are on the way…and will be fresher for not having played the drama card every single week.

  • November 27, 2012 at 2:15 amVip

    NO PANTSU NO LAIFU!

    Sakurasou is seriously screwing with my expectations – I thought this was supposed to be a fanservice beach/pool episode, and yet I got both this and some serious stuff. While I can sympathise with Sorata (being asked an unexpected question during an interview can really reset your brain), it was even more heart-breaking to see how he handled Mashiro.

    Though on the other hand, it was kinda cute to see Mashiro getting all jelly about Sorata.

    And then there was the fanservice… So many bouncing thingies, and no pan Nanamin.

    Not sure if sad, cute or excited – seriously, Sakurasou, STAHP DOING DIS TO ME.

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:08 amStilts

      False. Keep doing it. It is awesome!

  • November 27, 2012 at 2:28 amMutare

    I didn’t really need the blood packs this week, but I still needed the defibrillator cus I love this show so damn much that my heart aches for it every single week. KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, MORE. MORE. I NEED MORE. AND WE’RE NOT EVEN HALFWAY THERE.

  • November 27, 2012 at 2:51 amJhacks

    It’s Always Raining During Job Hunts
    The first part cut me deeply, it reminds me of my first job interview.

    True friends stab you in the front (with a kick board)
    I guess this will be another JC Staff show about a beautiful friendship story but is also turning into a beautiful love story. xP

    A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. (This show is just awesome)

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:09 amStilts

      I guess this will be another JC Staff show about a beautiful friendship story but is also turning into a beautiful love story.

      I was waiting for later episodes to bring back my old Ano Natsu de Matteru mantra…but yeah, definitely. So d’aaaaww!!

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:02 amKarmafan

    God I love Misaki. She brings the right amount of zaniness at the right time to change the mood when bad shit happens and people are feeling down.

    • November 27, 2012 at 3:12 amKarmafan

      btw… In case anyone is wondering whats upcoming for Winter 2013 season here is a list:

      http://www.animeph.com/winter-2013-new-anime-season-preview-list

      • November 27, 2012 at 7:56 amn30nl16ht

        IS ZIS FOR REALS!? some of my really anticipated shows are on that unannounced list but damn that’s way too many to watch, maybe ill just give up my social life on 2013, wait or maybe i can make them watch it with me and share the suffering! hehe.

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:25 ambear

      She is seriously wacky. And I mean that in a good way. I wonder how she’d react if anyone responded positively to her sexual harassment.

      • November 27, 2012 at 9:11 amStilts

        Probably either surprised or ecstatic. And I’m fine with either!

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:04 amAZM

    damn. the competition is tight. i can’t tell who’s gonna win… that said, i’m a mashiro supporter though :-D.

    great review, Stilts.

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:16 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    Nanami in glasses
    Mashiro getting jealous when Sorata brought up Nanami’s name
    Mashiro becoming more independent for Sorata (She bought the charms by herself)
    Pool Episode and more Fan Service
    A short Misaki-Jin moment
    Mashiro-Sorata-Nanami in a tight spots
    No panties for Nanami
    Nanami admits that she really is in love

    Total overload. I can’t believe I’ll have to wait 1 whole week again…

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:16 amKinny Riddle

    Ponytail, tsundere, Kansai-ben, meganekko, hawt bikini, accidental exhibitionist.
    What’s there not to like about Nanamin? <3

    Poor Sorata, his nerves got the better of him. But this setback will only serve to make him stronger. And as cliched as this may look, he does have great friends around him who does the right thing at the right time for him.

    Wonder why the anime stopped short of Nanami throwing down the gauntlet, as the novel clearly had Nanami telling a surprised Mashiro "I won't lose."

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:19 amStilts

      Pacing, I suspect. With everything already laid out, they can make slight tweaks to resolve minor pacing and character development problems. Maybe it seemed too early for her to throw down the gauntlet here, so they changed it? I can only guess, but it doesn’t bother me. It does in fact seem a little soon…especially since Mashiro isn’t showing that she realizes she’s in love yet (even though that time is rapidly approaching).

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:17 amgsharp

    Lol, great review, I love the show too. I lol at Mashiro’s quote. It was straight to the point, and so funny.

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:22 amAndmeuths

    How…..

    Seriously, Sakurasou, Tonari and Sukkite are competing head to head for the best Romance Anime of the season, and they are all evenly tied. This Autumns fixtures are a massive step up from Summer’s horror-fest of rubbish (where Kokoro Connect and Love Elections and Chocolates were the only passable Romances out there).

    Indeed, I hope that JCStaff skeptics would be silence by the brilliance of Sakurasou. This anime should be scoring the BD Sales it deserves – it really is a top tier work of art, and probably one of JCStaff best shows yet.

    There was quite a long discussion on some forums on why Sakurasou ended up with top tier production values , animation and script-writers/adapters while Little Busters seems to have gotten the second stringers.

    Another amusing thing: last week, quite alot of people came down hard on Sakurasou for the Imouto episode too. (=

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:41 amStilts

      Even I will admit that it’s odd. Were I in charge of J.C. Staff, I woulda recognized the dangers (and potential benefits) of Little Busters! and amped money and staff into it all over the place. That leads me to believe that it was in some ways beyond their control…perhaps Sakurasou was put into production earlier and got their best staff before Little Busters! appeared, or they were forced by another company to push Little Busters! out now instead of waiting for a season where their top-tier talent wasn’t busy. It could even be that the Sakurasou staff just WANTED to work on this and not LB!. Perhaps we shall never know…

      But yes, this is one of J.C. Staff’s best offerings, if not of all time (I don’t purport to have seen everything they’ve done), then at least of the ones I’ve seen…and I’ve seen some damn good ones! (Ano Natsu, Toradora, this, probably others)

      • November 27, 2012 at 5:04 pmtotoum

        Just as a reminder Sakurasou is being produced by genco and LB by warner,these are the guys that have a big say in the funds and scheduling of an anime (for example it’s someone from warner,not jc staff,that told viewers there’d be more than just 2 cours).

        Here’s a list of JC staff shows produced by genco: Azumanga daioh,Honey and Clover,Zero no Tsukaima, nodame cantabile,Shigofumi,Toradora,Ano natsu de Matteru.

        That’s a pretty darn solid list.Of course there’s maybe a bit of coincidence but production companies (others include aniplex and starchild) do make big decisions like the lengh,schedule and budget of a show (of course some studios also produce themselves but that’s not really JC staff’s case)

      • November 28, 2012 at 8:49 amStilts

        About as I expected. All three of my fav J.C. Staff anime were apparently produced by genco. That’s a good track record.

    • November 27, 2012 at 3:26 pmrandom101

      If I had to pick the strongest elements in each would be(when compared to each other),
      Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo: drama,ecchi
      Sukitte Ii na yo: romance,realistic
      Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: comedy,character development

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:24 amMagoiichi

    Is it just me or does the way Rita looks reminds anybody of the aunt from Denpa Onna?

  • November 27, 2012 at 4:05 amnagi

    WHAT IS LOVE
    Baby don’t hurt me,
    don’t hurt me,
    no more…

  • November 27, 2012 at 4:26 amswordhack4

    I know this is a very weird thing, but I really hate it when they drop their papers during an intense moment. Then they have to pick it up, sweating, while the staff watch him intensely. That’s where I feel for him. That’s the part that always gets me.

    Yup. My new favorite episode that passed ep 4. I can’t name all the reasons as to why I enjoyed it…there are far too much. But everyone above me pretty much stated why I loved this episode soooo yeah. That’s why :D!

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:44 amStilts

      Ohhh man, I forgot to mention that! To be honest, that cliche kind of annoys me, though I will admit that it’s good visual shorthand for screwing up the presentation.

  • November 27, 2012 at 4:51 amZen

    Wow, look at all the “show more” tags…guess you really loved this episode, Stilts! Of course, as did I- failure is but an ingredient of success; every failure successively expands one’s knowledge and understanding of the task set before him, increasing also the probability of success concurrently- if he would only have the strength to set aside his disappointment and learn from his failure, and the tenacity to persist in his efforts, of course…

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:02 amKinji

    Im Nanami fans but recently she pissed me off. why u always prevent Mahiro n Sorata being alone, just the two of them? ufufu~~ Yes I am naughty ^^

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:14 amDvalinn

    Whoa, this ep really surprised me. I was expecting a beach episode ep for cheap fanservice, but what we got was one of the best episodes so far. This show has been exceeding my expectations at every turn – to think I was planning to drop it after the first episode. Glad I stuck with it.

    Loved your post too, though it was long, you managed to nail down everything that was good about it and made it fun to read to boot.

    • November 27, 2012 at 9:57 amStilts

      Strangely enough, my favorite beach / swimsuit episodes aren’t the mindless fanservice ones, as fun as those are. It’s always fun to subvert the “swimsuit episode” stereotype by throwing in some major plot and character development. It’s like a nice beer that makes the fanservice burger taste even better, or something like that.

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:24 amHibiki-kun

    Well now that Rita’s here…
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:29 amMegas

    Whenever they get serious in this series, it always seem so damn real. They back it up with characters that slowly self-destruct. I love it.

    I’m usually not a shipper of any characters in a series of this nature because the choice seems so bloody obvious & usually the ending forces that choice into overdrive. Nanami’s character is a fishing boat: HIGH RISK / High Reward to No Reward. While Mashiro is someone who you’ll have to save from herself for life – but I HATE tsundere with a passion (it’s a thing I have with bipolar bitches).

    As for that resentment stuff, it’s only typical selfish human nature to hate someone for their success while comparing it to your own failures & misgivings. Experiencing that is just another part of growing up, not that experiencing it as an adult makes it any easier.

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:31 amKinny Riddle

    This week’s episode is penned by Hanata Juuki, another Kyo-Ani associated writer, who is already busy as the series coordinator for the excellent Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai.

    Next week is the beginning of the Rita chapter, and from the preview it sounded very much like Kawasumi Ayako would be doing Mashiro’s friend from England. Who better to do the voice of a hawt blonde (and well-endowed) English girl than someone who’s voiced the legendary King of the Britons herself? :)

    • November 27, 2012 at 10:01 amStilts

      Saybah sure has grown up… :3

      • November 28, 2012 at 1:24 amKit-A-Ron-Ron-Kat

        If you look at her at having been scaredy-cat Matsuri-chan, then her growth is even more impressive (and we can see Ana influence did wonders ^^).

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:36 amFlanders

    Oh, Nanami… I’m getting to like her more and more (super cute in glasses, why oh why you have to be so… wonderful); the inevitable showdown of Nanami and Mashiro should be one event to watch here (it’s a toss up – I am having a hard time who’s gonna win). Yes, this anime is poised to be one of the favorite rom-coms I’ve seen, and the other one is Toradora.

    And to think I was going to skip this.

  • November 27, 2012 at 6:08 amTingster013

    During the training “arc”, just as he start even thought it is toward the end of his practice presentation, I got bored already.
    Everyone have always face this kind of problem before. Prepare so much for the presentation, and all it takes is that ONE question to blow off everything. Hate it when it happens.
    Who say a wardrobe malfunction have to occur due to accidents? Sometimes, it just have to be deliberately taken off!

  • November 27, 2012 at 6:18 amKiria

    This was probably the best episode of any series all season, in my opinion (and I watch everything). It had the innocence, the apprehension, the crushing depression, the fun recovery, tons of humor and just plain-out d’aaaaaw! and then that uplifting ending that made me want to go outside at 11PM and a run ten miles!
    This show is far too underestimated and avoided. Everyone needs to watch it. Definitely in my top 3 this season!! :3

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:21 pmStilts

      Yeah, it was perhaps a mistake on my part to watch / blog this episode so late. After it was ended I was super pumped up, and that didn’t end until like 3-4am >< Work suuuuucked today!

  • November 27, 2012 at 7:03 ammac65

    I liked the beginning. I’ve been in bustling, lively, loving households (okay, I admit the yuri was a little weak in my case –
    damn my life!), but that how important news sometimes goes down. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better, funnier way.

    Akasaka is a really really fast typist!!! But when you think about it, that was very sound advice. Impression (wearing the suit)
    and delivery (practice, practice the presentation) until you own it.

    Aoyama’ll kill me if she finds you. — Sorata
    I’ll stay here, then. — Mashiro

    That’s my Mashiro — always has Sorata’s interests at heart; that’s why I love her!

    But, when it comes time to be serious, Mashiro can focus. It was so sweet that she found the good luck piece for him.
    Too, she assured him that she would be okay at her meeting – not to worry about her, but that her thoughts would be
    with him. (I also thought it was interesting that only Mashiro saw him off that morning.)

    It’s not often, matter of fact — never, that a guy’s plight would choke me up. But having been in Sorata’s shoes more than once,
    rejection, no matter how nicely it’s put to you, is a a very painful finality to the effort you put forth into your work. This was handled
    excellently and realistically in this episode.

    And you really need a super supportive family to snap you out of it, too! BTW, why do (we) guys react differently to swimsuits
    than to pantsu? Oops – little off topic here. Misaki’s “Welcome” party idea was priceless!

    I love this series – (without pejorative intention) it’s amazing that this series’ expectation level was low in the preview — and
    Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is in a very tight running for best series of the year and it ain’t over yet! You just never know
    about Anime. I know some took issue with the last episode, but to be fair, we were told that the episode was all about cliché
    (remember at the very beginning with the banana – how much more of a cliché warning can you get?)

    Poor Sorata, caught between a soft spot and another soft spot — take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the future memory.

    My only complaint is that I don’t recall seeing much in the way of gainaxing in this episode :) :)…
    …and (okay, that’s 2) he only had to turn his head a mere 90°s!! And I thought Mashiro would have been without. Man o Man!

    Stilts, I feel you pain. When you have an episode so well executed, it’s near impossible to stop writing about it!
    Can’t wait for next week!!!

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:39 ambear

      And you really need a super supportive family to snap you out of it, too! BTW, why do (we) guys react differently to swimsuits
      than to pantsu? Oops – little off topic here. Misaki’s “Welcome” party idea was priceless!

      Easy, because we’re supposed to see swimsuits and not supposed to see pantsu even if they show the same amount of skin. Funny how names can change how we see things.

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:30 pmStilts

      In my defense on the low rating, I got out-voted there >_< Though even then, I wasn't trying to rank it high...this adaptation is far more polished than the source material I read led me to believe. Yay for pleasant surprises!

      Also, there totally was some gainaxing! Mostly from Nanami. I would know, I was watching for it >:3

      As for swimsuits and underwear, personally I treat them the same. Both are equally welcome in my eyes ^^

      • November 27, 2012 at 2:35 pmmac65

        My point is that everything’s an educated guess at preview time.

        Also, I need to work on my rhetorical question delivery, it seems :) …

        Oh, andanotherthing – Stilts, your coverage of this series is amazing
        and greatly appreciated. Thank you.

      • November 27, 2012 at 2:57 pmStilts

        *bows* domo domo

    • November 27, 2012 at 8:00 pmKentaiyoshimi

      I liked how Misaki-senpai was the one who questioned the difference between pantsu and swimsuits. It’s usually the girls who make the most fuss out of it, so it’s nice to see a bit of a subversion.

      • November 28, 2012 at 11:49 pmlolicon

        now that’s anime

  • November 27, 2012 at 7:08 amCatsrofl

    Well once again I agree with this slightly longer then average post Stilts(enjoyable reading none the less).That part in the beginning was indeed to loud BUT HEY, that’s sakurasou for ya! BUT I DIGRESS. This show loves walking those fine lines as you called them(anymore and i’ll push it off, muahaha, KIDDING) but they always pull back and make awesome comebacks WOO! I don’t know what to write so i’ll just fanboy a bit. OMG AH LOVED DIS EPISODE and and like shiina constantly asking what is love always made me think of the song(mini montage in my head). This show went from awww *sad* to d’awwwww and man speaks to me and yes those final moments hit right here or over there. Point is I freakin love this show might be one of my top favs ever(hope it stays that way!)

  • November 27, 2012 at 7:08 amThundershock81

    This plus Shin Sekai…….shows of the year!!! Holy sh!t this is a good show, one of those outstandingly good shows that comes out of no where and smacks you in the head.

    Oh and whoever animated the oppai this episode, you are my hero =)

  • November 27, 2012 at 7:30 amOwaranai

    Stilts, you are awesome. Keep up the posts! Love your writings and ramblings and whatnots. :)

    If anyone’s still hesitating on following SnPnK, this episode should change their minds – The great blend of changing moods, the transitions, the characters or if not, at least for the fanservice. XD Can’t remember the last time I laughed out aloud without a care who was listening to me since Clannad and Kanon.

    Love those little moments of jealousy from Mashiro. Her interactions with Sorata never fail to get a smile or a laugh from me. In fact, I think I really like all the characters, which is often a rare thing when it comes to shows like this. There seems to be a right number, a good balance of screentime for each (except Useless sensei, so far) of the characters. We as viewers are given time to feel and to empathise for them. The mess ups with Sorata’s presentation? Been there. Aoyama’s ‘letting down’ of an entire group of friends? Done that. If anything, this has gotta be one of the shows strongest points aside from the humor and the emotional rides – Being very, very relatable.

    Still a little torn on the shipping, though. Both have their good points, both care for the protagonist (a lot) in their own ways, and that itself is interesting in what they do to help him achieve his dreams.

    Can’t wait for the next episode with Rita! =D

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:35 pmStilts

      I know what you mean! At the end of the episode I was laughing out loud without a care in the world, full and unabashed. True, I’m more prone to that than most – I’m pretty shameless >:3 – but this was a whole other level. Clannad indeed!

      • November 27, 2012 at 10:09 pmhaseo0408

        I agree with you on everything, except, the scene that really touched was when Mashiro that beautiful smile at the sight of Sorata having fun at the pool, don´t get wrong, the scenes with second amulet and the fireworks were pure gold but that one hited the right but in my overly soft heart. Go for him Mashiro!.

  • November 27, 2012 at 8:01 ambear

    It’s been a while since I’ve been this torn between the two major love interests. Regardless of who comes out on top I’m going to really be heartbroken for the loser. Threesome maybe? I’m sure Misaka would approve.

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:05 amEduardo

    Shaga, what are you doing in the preview, go back to Ben-to

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:37 pmStilts

      I laughed at this comment. XD

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:33 amYalvyn

    I hereby declare that sakurasou is now as good as Toradora.

    • November 27, 2012 at 10:26 amKingofConquerors

      Looking at its current run, it can be even better than Toradora! (and that’s saying something indeed…)

      both are still good series in their own ways, though…

    • November 27, 2012 at 11:22 ambear

      Sacrilege! Seriously, this has been great, but I haven’t seen something that reaches me the way the Christmas, field trip and valentines episodes did in Toradora!. Mind you, Misaki’s breakdown came damn close and she out genki’s Minori which I didn’t think was possible. Of course we haven’t gotten to the real romantic entanglements yet so there’s time.

    • November 27, 2012 at 12:37 pmmoridin84

      Provided Misaki doesn’t go full emorin

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:36 amLayfon

    I just noticed, the site meter is almost at 100 million. Are you going to do anything special for this milestone Stilts?

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:51 pmStilts

      Hey, that’s pretty cool! Good eye…maybe we’ll have to do a little something. Or completely forget. You know, whatever.

      • November 28, 2012 at 5:41 pmLayfon

        Lol well congratulation! It really is amazing!

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:59 amKit-A-Ron-Ron-Kat

    A Darf Fortress reference in a Sakurasou post… I laughed nearly as hard at seeing that one that at the episode proper (which was indeed excellent). Sir Stilts, you have earned my eternal respect.

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:48 pmStilts

      I knew someone would enjoy that! Nyahaha~

  • November 27, 2012 at 10:08 amAlec

    The terrible episode last week is now forgiven.

    7 excellent episodes out of 8, they’re doing pretty good so far xD

  • November 27, 2012 at 10:22 amvirox

    I just wish you would drop the emoticons and stupid memes. One can be funny or interesting in other ways, you know.

  • November 27, 2012 at 10:25 amKingofConquerors

    Stilts, your post is too long…but that just goes to show how much u love this series, or perhaps anime in general, huh….

    i immensely liked the episode..the drama was there and though the result was kinda predictable, it was still gut-punching as ever (and the scene between him and Mashiro in the evening only added salt to my wouuuunds…..but as expected of the nature of the series, which values the meaning of catharsis (through the constant use of comedy and ecchi that follows up), this time we were brought to the school’s pool where they all had fun to wash away all the pain and also to contemplate their mistakes so that they wouldn’t do it again in the future and that solution proved to work just fine for Sorata….his solution was cliched, but hey, that was the only one, right?

    and it’s clear Nanami’s love for Sorata pretty much intensified in the episode…it’s gonna be painful seeing Sorata picking Mashiro over Nanami…it’s gonna be quite bittersweet when it happens, i’m sure of it…

    btw, i know the L/N is two volumes away from ending (and i know it’s not com in’ in the 4 months left time span of the airing of this series), i wonder if they are gonna come up with an original ending or what….

    anyway, Stilts, good job!!!

  • November 27, 2012 at 10:28 amKingofConquerors

    and fuck, did i lol hard when Mashiro asked “What is Love?”, and when Sorata told him the other meaning of the word and she just accepted the explanation….^^^, good old-fashioned comedy, right there….

    • November 27, 2012 at 11:08 ambear

      Got to love a language where the words for Love and Carp sound exactly the same.

  • November 27, 2012 at 11:02 ammike

    hahaha live life to the fullest !!!

  • November 27, 2012 at 12:51 pmmoridin84

    - That super-depressed look when she turned away from Sorata after he said “This way isn’t foward” was quite interesting, surprised noone mentioned it
    - Nanami was completely useless at cheering Kanda up, or rather she almost made it worse
    - You’d think Kanda would be pretty used to underwear at this point, instead of being freaked out at (actually not) Misaki underwear
    - Mashiro is starting to be pretty forceful with holding her ground against Nanami
    - Sorata was handling his depression pretty well. Sure he was depressed but he was struggling against it
    - “Cover your breasts not my eyes” – To be honest, I think covering a guys eyes would actually be better? Breasts covered with hands are still a sight. How did the bikini fall off while tied anyway?
    - How did they managed to change so quickly in that transition, and without any boy/girl changing difficulties?
    - I thought he might have hugged her when she gave him the second charm
    - The ending with the the running and Sorata revelation was pretty moving. It’s better then being normal indeed

    And next episode is a tall, blonde, blue eyed foreigner?

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:50 pmStilts

      Viva la hand bras!

    • November 27, 2012 at 6:27 pmDorian

      There are obvious answers to the lost article of her swimsuit:
      1) It was on tighter than it needed to be to accentuate her figure. Which considering she was trying to get Kanda to look her way, that would be the most likely.

      2) The other, is that the swimsuit was too small and again trying to be used to accentuate her figure.

      3) 1 & 2 together. I like this answer the best. Hey! Its not just cause I’m a pervert! …wait, can I take that last bit back?

  • November 27, 2012 at 2:40 pmVoyager

    Stilts, you lucky b..Show Spoiler ▼

    you’ve got to review the two top shows of the season, ah ?! how did you know ? props to you for your sixth sense about anime :)

    I didn’t enjoy a comedy this much in a long time, personally this is my favourite show this season, and the reasons are all written line by line in your posts, so I’ve nothing left to add. My (close) second favourite show is Chuunisomething, with stunning artwork, animation, character design and a good story, but really, I have to admit Sakurasou is doing damn well with visuals too, drawings are never approximated, girls are so well shaped in the body traits and so hnnnnggggg with a lot of cute outfits, and the warm colors, and atmosphere … and characters I can relate to, making their experiences, developing their personalities …

    magnificent. I really think JCStaff is competing head to head with KyoAni.

    Oh, and as always, thank you kind sir for your posts that gives us a “more Sakurasou” place to hang out between the episodes. And such an high quality place.
    see read you soon :)

    • November 27, 2012 at 3:03 pmStilts

      To be honest? I have no idea how I got so lucky. I went into this season having no idea what I was going to cover and not being sure about the season (especially after my beloved Kyoukaisen last season), and somehow I came out smelling like flowers. This is like finishing Ano Natsu and Rinne no Lagrange for Div back in the winter…I have no idea how everyone else lets me get away with this!

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:50 pmRen

    I just realized that in the end credits Maid-chan’s seiyuu is credited as: ???

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:16 pmgoodstuffs

    All this and no mention of whos swim suit is the best or looks the best in the swimsuit!? mashhhirooo wins hands down!? ok all look nice tho but nanami does look plainer!

  • November 27, 2012 at 5:26 pmSilver

    I hate this show so much. Usually it’s easy to ship one heroine with the MC over the others but in this show, the decision is just too hard. Nanamin? HNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! Mashiiro? HNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! It really sucks. Not only that, for the past few episodes, there’s just too many intense hhhhnngghhh moments shared between the two.

    Also I don’t care that people keep calling Sorata a beta. Even if he is truly a beta, I say that I respect him for the things that he have done. He’s awesome. I really love how even though he’s depressed, he can still pick up cues that Jin, Misaki, and Mashiiro is trying to cheer him up. Also how he picked up the cues that Nanamin is trying to help him by refusing her welcoming party (he is currently depressed so it would not be nice to have a welcoming party where she is going to enjoy it) in which he then say that they should do the welcoming party. He’s amazingly selfless and receptive of people’s feelings even though he’s in a bad spot. Who cares if he’s not badass. He’s very respectable. On a side note, I don’t really like the idea of alpha vs beta. It’s more about their attitudes and whether it can be respectable or not.

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:23 pmbear

      Though Sorata don’t feel as capable as Mashiro, Mashiro’s genius is in great part due to her single mindedness towards her art. She can work round the clock when she’s involved in her art, which not everyone is capable of. It can lead to a one dimensional life as we see, Sorata is connected to people (and cats) and cares about more than one thing. While he may not reach the same level, on average, he’s as good or better at life than Mashiro.

      • November 28, 2012 at 9:51 pmSijov

        Yeah, this series could be an interesting exploration of what it means to be good at life. We have someone who will excel through crippling over-specialisation (Mashiiro, though the others at the dorm also count, such as Misaki), contrasted with someone with a range of talents (Sorata, and Jin, thinking of some of their conversations), but who is merely average at all or most of them. Though I don’t know how much this series will delve into that stuff, it may aim to be more light-hearted.

  • November 27, 2012 at 6:28 pmKira526

    And here I thought this show couldn’t possibly get more inspiring! This episode had my favorite lessons to date. My whole life I’ve been telling people “I’d rather be weird than normal.” I love how this show brought that point across. Then watching Sorata actually get EXCITED over how serious he was pushed me over the edge. That’s a feeling we strive for as human beings. Failing is probably one of the worst feelings in the world, but it helps teach us what’s truly important. And I was so proud of Sorata for coming to that realization instead of just spiraling into depression. I can only hope to find that same happiness someday. I feel the exact same way as Nanami: You can’t help but love people who really know what they want.

    On another note, I actually teared up from laughing at the scene where Jun and Misaki were halfway over the fence. “Run.” And then I like how it came full circle with Mashiro’s “don’t stop running.” This show is utterly fantastic ^^

  • November 27, 2012 at 7:55 pmKentaiyoshimi

    What happens to me during class/ lectures.
    Clearly, it is a sign of a genius.

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:05 pmSuppa Tenko

    I’ve always wondered why shoulderless shirts are so popular… especially in China where little girls, 18 year olds that look like little girls, normal teenagers, young women, middle age women and old women all wear shoulderless blouses. Why?

    • November 28, 2012 at 8:53 amStilts

      Because bare shoulders are hot

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:42 pmhaseo0408

    If everything goes acording to plan that scene with Sorata and Mashiro acting as a married couple might be the end of this beautiful story Stilts. That´s what I truly hope, those two belong together.

  • November 28, 2012 at 12:07 amEntrav

    For some reason this episode, no… this anime gets me really pumped up for life. It’s really portraying it in a positive way even though it may be cliche at times. Thankfully, like you mentioned, Sorata didn’t go over the barrier and make me hate him. Probably the best episode so far. I may have to start doing my own blogging about this anime now.

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:14 amStilts

      For some reason this episode, no… this anime gets me really pumped up for life.

      Quoted for truth. I need to stop watching this at 10pm. Gets me so pumped up I can’t sleep for hours!

      • November 29, 2012 at 2:01 pmSyouke

        I watched this at 2-3am…GG. NO SLEEP!

  • November 28, 2012 at 1:08 pmraindeth

    Stilts are you done with Onii Ai?

    • November 29, 2012 at 9:47 amStilts

      Still watching it! I’m caught up to the latest episode though, if that’s what you meant.

      • November 30, 2012 at 10:08 amraindeth

        sorry I meant with blogging it!

  • November 30, 2012 at 8:53 amyumeruhime

    it isn’t too long if i can read through the whole post word for word without feeling bored! and i agree, damn, the running scene is AWESOME! i wish i found something like that; i’m waiting to plunge into that stage in my life!!!!!

  • December 7, 2012 at 3:33 pmSudachi

    Great episode (and post!) This was definitely one of my favorites so far. It’s always nice to see characters in anime actually breaking the rules for a change and the nighttime pool scene was top notch.

    Also, that scene with them running with the fireworks at the end? Sooo nice :D I mean, we’ve seen that in other series before, but this time just had a lot of heart. Totally psyched Sakurasou is running through winter 2013 too.