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Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – 10

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「キライキライ、ダイスキ」 (Kiraikirai , Daisuki)
“Hate, Hate, Love”

One of the things I’ve liked about Sakurasou since the beginning is how well the whole cast is utilized. With a romcom like this, it could easily have been the Sorata-and-his-love-interests show, but it’s not. Not only Misaki and Jin, but other characters are getting good screen time and even character development now. This time it was still Rita’s turn in the spotlight – which was to be expected, this being her arc – but also Akasaka’s as well.

Though it probably reflects badly on me, I like Akasaka a lot. As I’m fond of noting, I’m a liar – as a marketer by profession and a storyteller by passion (note: there’s very little difference between the two), it comes with the territory. That said, I respect someone who can sling the unvarnished truth, provided they’re also perceptive enough to see it. In Akasaka, we have exactly that. I enjoyed it when he called Rita out on her manipulative, two-faced bullshit. He was right – it’s not that Mashiro breaks people, but that Rita was too weak. Stand near greatness, and you will either become great yourself, or be destroyed. We know what happened to Rita. Care to guess where Sorata is headed?

That said, there are risks in being truly honest. Akasaka was not wrong when he confronted Rita, but he was certainly harsh–brutally so. Everyone says that it’s better to be honest, right? Well observe the effects of pure honesty. To shade the truth, to shield the blow is to be less than honest – it’s lying by inches. Akasaka was completely right, and yet for a while there he was the villain. I think that sometimes honesty is overrated, and it’s the liar you want next to you, to gently guide you towards the truth.

As for why Rita was so twisted out of shape…communicate, people! (No, not that way…okay, that’s fine too.) Actually, let me go back – those other people at Rita’s grandfather’s atelier? They were a bit petty. If you can’t match someone, then you should try harder, and if you still can’t match them – hard work won’t give you everything, unfortunately – then go do something else! The world is vast, and there is something out there that each of us can be the best at, even if it’s not what we dreamed about doing as kids. I can understand the jealousy and the disappointment, but coming to hate what you once loved? If that’s all it took, then perhaps you didn’t really love it at all.

Rita, though, held on longer than anyone else. I understand and sympathize with how hard it can be to constantly be next to someone who is so much better than you, someone you can’t hope to match. In truth, Sorata and Jin are lucky, because while they live with insanely talented women, at least they’re focusing it towards different things – they’re not direct competitors. That said, I still find myself agreeing with Sorata once again. Good people want to work with brilliant people, on the off chance that some of that greatness rubs off (that is, they learn something). Besides, there’s nothing better than being a part – no matter how small! – of a great project. Still, at least Rita and Mashiro finally started communicating again. Bad feelings fester when communication breaks down. Hopefully they won’t let that happen again.

In the end, while the central conflict was weaker than previous ones (I prefer misunderstandings to lead to comedy, not drama), there were some warm moments in the end. I knew from early on that Rita would get recruited to help bring Nyaboron to life, but what I really enjoyed was Sorata giving a successful presentation this time. I didn’t expect it so soon, but it was nice to see him stand up and succeed where he once failed, woo!

Finally, the “villain” Akasaka got thanks for his harsh but necessary words…and a little something more. Scared Akasaka was hilarious! That’s it, I’m making it official – I am now shipping Akasaka x Rita! I mean, it works out perfectly. Every couple needs a genius (Mashiro, Misaki, Aksaka) and a struggling, unsure hard-worker (Sorata, Jin, Rita). Plus, the thought of Kawasumi Ayako pursuing Hocchan is just too good to pass up. Sorry Meido-chan, you’ve been replaced by a 3D girl. Deal with it!

Next time we get to see more of Nyaboron in action, and then this. Oh man, this is going to confuse Zephyr so much!!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Akasaka plays hardball w/ two-faced Rita, until she finally breaks. Again. Then, Sorata and Mashiro… #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • I will never be tackle-hugged by Misaki-sempai :*(
  • For a minute there, I thought Rita had lied about having quit painting when it was revealed that she was a professional painter. It makes sense, though…Mashiro only started drawing manga recently. Another sign that Rita lasted much longer than the others, and that perhaps some of that greatness rubbed off.
  • By the way, Rita’s grandfather is the real villain in all of this. Who tells someone to stop painting just because they’ll never be as good as a friggin’ genius? Much less his own granddaughter, ugh!
  • Mashiro really doesn’t have a jealous bone in her body…partly because she’s just that good, but mostly because she’s that focused. Very impressive, very sweet.
  • Why do you have a handkerchief out Nanami, it’s raining you fool!
  • I like Rita more now. Sure, she got owned big time, but when all was said in done she stuck to her guns about wanting Mashiro to go back to painting. I don’t agree, but just because she was wrong on some things doesn’t mean she has to capitulate on everything. I don’t hate that kind of stubbornness.

Full-length images: 15, Preview 01.

 

Preview

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   10   Preview 01
December 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm
101 comments »
  • December 10, 2012 at 9:35 pmZanibas

    Akasaka, a true player. Stilts, since you’ve fallen for Hideyoshi awhile back, maybe some more Akasaka will cause you to fall for the trap again? Hell, I’ve already falle–

    Uh, move along everyone, nothing to see here…^^’

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pmStilts

      Don’t worry Zani, you’re the only trap for me ; )

      • December 11, 2012 at 12:56 amAo-no-Kenshi

        za… za…ZANIBAS IS A TRAP??!!

      • December 11, 2012 at 7:04 amGenorain

        Mind = Blown

  • December 10, 2012 at 9:40 pmChaos2Frozen

    “Actually, let me go back – those other people at Rita’s grandfather’s atelier? Selfish and petty. If you can’t match someone, then you should try harder, and if you still can’t match them – hard work won’t give you everything, unfortunately – then go do something else!”

    Really? Are you planning on telling 8 years old children that they are selfish and petty and that they should give up on their dreams if they will never be as good?

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pmStilts

      No, I’m saying that they should not give up on their dreams even if they won’t be that good! Mind you, it might be wiser to redirect their skills towards something else, but that’s something that comes with age…for them, quitting just because they don’t think they can be the best (and hating what they once loved) is silly. Though, seeing as they’re kids, that is more or less par for the course…we’re all a bit stupid when we’re kids, after all :P lol

      • December 11, 2012 at 11:49 amAex

        At that age, when you have a kid painting on a level where they are more or less training to be a recognized artist, there’s a lot of their parents in the equation. There parents think they’ll be great, so they’re there, and the money being spent isn’t small. Then either the parents see how much better someone else is and decides to stop devoting the money, or the kid throws a fit and the parent pulls them to either spare their ego or not to hear the whining. At six to sixteen years old there aren’t many big choices like that made without the parents sticking their nose in.

        So yeah, unless Rita has kept close contact with every single student who quit, she really doesn’t know if Shiina broke any of them for good. More projecting.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:32 pmChaos2Frozen

      @Stilts

      Were you that mature when you were six years old, Stilts =D ?

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:35 pmStilts

        Eh, granted. I’m still right, but I didn’t remember how young some of them were at the time (though by the end, Rita should have known better…she’s only now catching up). I edited the post to soften up my language a bit~

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:46 pmChaos2Frozen

        “though by the end, Rita should have known better…”

        Erm yeah, personally though- 16 years old isn’t all that high a level for maturity if you ask me ^^; But I digress.

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:29 pmKF

      Personally I see the whole thing from an innovation vs revolution perspective. I can understand how it feels to stand in the shadows of greatness and that feeling of being broken is something that I can empathize. I disagree however with Rita’s approach of doing things.

      Suppose you are fighting a man who had train in the martial arts for years – how could you possibly beat them? The answer: use a gun. You’re facing a foe with the fastest horse in the world, how do beat them in a race? The answer: use a car.

      Rita’s problem is she had been using the same methods that Mashiro had been using – if she had think differently and approach it in a different way, the results would have been probably been different. To beat a superior foe you must approach them in a different way – if they have quantity you beat them with quality. If they have swords, you use guns. Basically, use an asymmetrical way to achieve what you want.

      TQ

  • December 10, 2012 at 9:42 pmSilivious

    So blunt, yet so effective. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get the point across.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:51 pmDualash

      Yeah, I found Akasaka to be pretty impressive, since he saw that Rita was jealous of Shina’s talent and how she failed people’s expectations, but she never really said what she wanted. This makes me feel that there will always be someone that will be talented in what you like to do, but in a way, that’s an opportunity to get better and see all kind of results that you can make just from perseverence.

  • December 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm†Croos†

    Why do I feel that Mashiro is still going back to Europe.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:33 pmhaseo0408

      I have the oppsite feeling, I think this arc will set the fundations for her feelings for Sorata.

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:00 pmraidragon

    hmm….that’s why non-talented people is sad. It’s like seeing how the basketball player from China that practice 24/7 but never will be as good as the black guy. They need to realize that they just need to pretend they have the talent like what Apple is doing. If your product is shit, just do some dubious marketing that your product is better than other and dumb customer will buy your product. Then , they can use the money from the dumb customers to make a real product. Same case with Skullcandy and Edison electricity

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:05 pmDualash

    I wonder how Akasaka would look like in a maid outfit? Hmmm…

    • December 11, 2012 at 1:19 amAo-no-Kenshi

      look at the preview photo and then imagine his face back-to-back with kinoshita hideyoshi

    • December 11, 2012 at 1:59 amDualash

      Yeah I was making a joke since Akasaka is the only one to have black long hair,but what I really wonder is in what circumstances could make him wear it?

    • December 11, 2012 at 3:13 amAo-no-Kenshi

      probably misaki-senpai

      • December 11, 2012 at 8:44 amStilts

        Shit, I’d wear a meidofuku if Misaki-sempai made me! Though unlike with Akasaka, no one should want this

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:10 pmHighway

    I actually wonder if Rita’s grandfather said something as blatant as “You should give up, you’ll never be as good as Mashiro.” As far as we know, Rita’s also a 16-17 year old girl, right? Maybe 18-19? An age where people with fragile egos are prone to misinterpret things that are said to them? Anime likes to make ogres of people, especially older people, but usually they’re not like that. I’d put the chances at better than 50% that he might have said “Mashiro is out of your reach.” But “You should never paint again”? I find that a bit unbelievable. I’m far more likely to believe that that’s what Rita’s mind heard, but not what was actually said.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:15 pmFlareKnight

      Hard to say. I mean if they were painting at Rita’s grandfathers that must mean he’s a pretty decent artist or at least very interested in it. Easily possible he was frustrated that his grandaughter wasn’t as good as Mashiro and couldn’t be the elite that he’d hoped for. Not that she couldn’t paint professionally, but maybe that wasn’t good enough for him.

      It’s possible she misinterpreted it, but it’s possible she didn’t. We know nothing about this guy by which to make our guess. Figure we might as well take her words at face value for now.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:27 pmStilts

      Actually, that’s an interesting thought, Highway. Outright falsehoods seem less common in fiction than in real life, because if the author is just going to have all the characters lie, how the hell is the reader supposed to figure anything out? Still, it’s entirely possible. More than anything else, I just don’t think it will be a factor again…but who knows? An interesting thought, to be sure!

    • December 11, 2012 at 6:23 amCorin

      Mm. It’s possible. The actual Japanese script for it doesn’t have a particular negative connotation to it (other than the way Rita’s hurling it at the rest of them, anyway), and are words that I can easily see a grandfather saying to a grandchild who seems obsessed with trying to outdo someone she can never catch.

      Whichever way it was meant, though, the actual effect of the words is obvious from the episode. So at the very least said grandfather wasn’t very good at doing damage control. :P

      • December 11, 2012 at 7:54 ammac65

        The actual Japanese script…

        Good insight to have. I wonder if the grandfather’s real
        intent was to teach her to put herself into her work,
        not try to match/be someone else. When you’re competing,
        the one who crosses the line first (as in a race) has no
        clue who was behind him – they don’t care.

        We must not forget that Mashiro is a serialized manga artist,
        after being rejected. She isn’t perfect, and is not dissuaded
        by setbacks in her work.

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:11 pmdimasok

    If I ever needed to describe optimism to someone (without really commenting on it myself or what kind of person I am myself), I would point them to THIS episode as being the EPITOME of it.

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:12 pmFlareKnight

    Have to say I was almost cheering on Akasaka there. I mean someone had to fire off the truth. Everyone else was willing to just stand there while Mashiro got ripped into. While some might have understood the truth, no one was willing to confront an upset Rita to deliver it. Akasaka just said it straight and true. Everyone might have been upset at him for it, but it was what helped clear up things. Rita wasn’t going to look at her own weakness or see that she’d stopped thinking about what she wanted to do.

    Plus he was the one who picked up the bags that everyone had dumped in order to chase Rita down. Why I’m not sure since I can’t imagine the bags were slowing them down much. In the end throw out the old saying, truth hurts. Especially when you aren’t being honest with yourself. Glad in the end though at least Rita got where he was coming from. Though of course part of it was payback by making him extremely uncomfortable XD.

    Good that communication cleared the air. Mashiro didn’t express how happy she was having people paint with her, but doesn’t seem like anyone reached out to her either. Too consumed with her genius to remember that a person was painting the pictures.

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:16 pmChaos2Frozen

      That’s not it FlareKnight, neither Sorata nor Nanami said anything because they know what Rita is feeling as they have experienced it themselves- The ugly feeling of jealousy and failure despite the hardwork you have put in, and that you will never be as good as those with talent.

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:23 pmhaseo0408

        Maybe felt something simmilar but Rita´s jelousy was far seriuos than theirs because she was surpass with such ease in the same field, that´s why her envy was turning into hatred for friend. I pitty her but that´s not an excuse for her behavior, you think you´re good?, there is always someone better than you so it´s normal to feel envy but not to the extent to make that person your dreams for you, that´s beyond selfish. Ryounosuke really did good work in this episode, who knows how much hurt whould she had done to Mashiro otherwise.

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:29 pmChaos2Frozen

        @haseo0408

        Of course I’m not saying Rita was right, just that we should try to understand where she’s coming from.

        Don’t forget, she’s consistently reminded of her inferiority and Mashiro isn’t exactly an easy person to be friends with when you’re just six years old.

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pmhaseo0408

        I do undestand, it´s just ugly to see Rita taking out her anger in an innocent being like Mashiro, she might a little out of reality but she´s in truth very fragile emotionally as far as it´s being shown.

      • December 10, 2012 at 10:56 pmFlareKnight

        I think the problem I had was that they were too busy understanding Rita and not supporting Mashiro. The person who stepped up for both of them during their moments of crisis was getting ripped into and they just stood there. Certainly Sorata should understand the feeling of getting blindsided by something.

        Someone had to step up here. They certainly could understand Rita’s feelings, but should have also been able to understand how in the wrong Rita was.

      • December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pmChaos2Frozen

        @FlareKnight

        Personally, and this is my personal opinion, I think it’s good for Mashiro to take in all of that. As she admits herself, she never understood jealousy and how that would lead to people hating her, she just carried on in her little world of painting and not cared about the other children. It is a form of naivety and one that could get her into trouble without realizing why… Heck, it almost cost her a dear friend.

      • December 10, 2012 at 11:42 pmgoodstuffs

        hahah when it comes to boys there is a jealous bone in her body! do you not remember all the glares she gives when sorata talks about nanami

  • December 10, 2012 at 10:41 pmZen

    I think that sometimes honesty is overrated, and it’s the liar you want next to you, to gently guide you towards the truth.

    It depends on the person in question, I think. If the person who happens to need a healthy dose of cold, hard truth is someone with a crummy sense of self-worth, then I would suppose that the gentle white liar would be the best option. Conversely, if he’s an arrogant douche desperately in need of some humble pie, then he might be better served by blunt honesty. Adjust accordingly along the spectrum for anyone in between…

    By the way, Rita’s grandfather is the real villain in all of this. Who tells someone to stop painting just because they’ll never be as good as a friggin’ genius? Much less his own granddaughter, ugh!

    Lamentably, adults forcing unrealistic expectations onto their progeny isn’t exactly an uncommon occurrence. I remember there being a slew of news articles about Asian tiger moms not too long ago. It tends to happen as a result of ordinary parents trying to live their own dreams through their kids, or as is the case here, over-achieving parents expecting their kids to be just as great as them, and in the same field. Often the kid is perfectly capable of attaining the level of success that the parent figure is demanding of them, just not in the field that they’re being forced into- and they end up never uncovering their true talent because they were never given the freedom to search for it in the first place…

    Stand near greatness, and you will either become great yourself, or be destroyed.

    Or, you become a house-husband (Spoiler for the Sorata’s fate at the ending, people!) jk

    • December 10, 2012 at 11:25 pmStilts

      Ah, but I said it’s the liar people would want…I never said anything about that’s what they need ; )

    • December 11, 2012 at 12:20 amIandolo

      I was thinking stay-at-home Dad or domestic engineer. Damn it, you beat me to the punchline.

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:23 amCybersteel

      Because they’re the hero people deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector.

      • December 11, 2012 at 10:58 amStilts

        Neeeeerd!!

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:01 pmSerapita

    I hope Rita will stay at Sakurasou even after the school festival, I really like her. And it’s going to be fun how she’s going to make an advance on Akasaka (or at least I hope she will).

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pmStranger

    One cannot deny that struggling and failing at everything you try can be right discouraging, though.

    I’m an all-or-nothing kinda guy- and the one thing that I’ve always thought I had an aptitude for (drawing) has fallen short. I.E. I’m 26 and it couldn’t put food on the table nor a roof above my head.

    I’m currently a carpenter, and I like my job well enough- but it is somewhat depressing to think that I maybe had potential to be great- only to ultimately be just another brick in the wall.

    One in a billion can just as easily be one of a billion.

    • December 10, 2012 at 11:28 pmStilts

      I would say – though I’m quick to note that you should think hard before taking advice from an anime blogger – that all that means is you haven’t found what you’re truly great at. What I wanted to do as a kid didn’t pan out, but that doesn’t bother me now…I have other skills and other dreams that I’m pursuing now.

      Discouraging, yes, but only if you’re striving towards the wrong thing. When you find that right thing, all the struggles and failures feel like progress, and though it’s by no means easy, the feeling that you’re getting ahead with each step drives you forward…or so it has been in my experience : )

      • December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pmgoodstuffs

        no such thing as success without failures! take this anime for example mashiro did fail her anime entries she had to try again and again before she got success!

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:17 pmBoo

    I think the rain was only a brief shower so Nanami pulling that handkerchief isn’ all that wrong.

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:23 pmWrenleos

    Dat preview trap. .______.

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm†Croos†

    Akasaka accidentally raised a flag on Rita.

    • December 11, 2012 at 8:52 amStilts

      Whoops?

  • December 10, 2012 at 11:51 pmFT5Havok

    A reverse trap maybe? Kyaaaaaaaaaaah! xD

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:23 amEntrav

    Ah, the drama.

  • December 11, 2012 at 1:03 amColentas

    “The world is vast, and there is something out there that each of us can be the best at”

    Not true. There are too many people and not enough things to be good at. Especially when it’s viewed as only beneficial to be best at the best of things. Now I get to be the brutally honest bad guy!

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:12 amStilts

      Don’t misconstrue “the best” with the “absolute unequivocal best-there-ever-was super genius greatest-in-the-world unbeatable master.” One can be the best – or among the best…often being in the top 1-5% is just as valuable as being the absolute #1, what with diminishing returns and all that – in many different fields with enough effort, and that is possible for us all.

      Sure, it might be that we can’t all excel in the field in which we’re employed in, but there are millions of endeavors humans can excel at, should we so choose. To say otherwise is a failure of imagination.

  • December 11, 2012 at 1:30 amHakumeiJin

    Honestly it felt to me like Akasaka was the only one who made sense when the argument started. Giving up something because you’re supposed to be best is a reason now? In any art field like painting, music or sculpting it’s pretty much impossible that you’ll ever be seen as better than people who lived centuries before you. Rather the reason you should be doing it is because you enjoy doing it and there are other people who enjoy seeing you do it as well. While the others provided the emotional support she needed after the break down it was pretty obvious Akasaka was the one who made her see how meaningless giving up so easily was and she’s aware of it.

    Also that whole you need a presentation thing felt needless and simply put there to make us see Sorata has grown but I’ll take that as the student council president being petty against Jin. I doubt there can actually be any school that’s going to be against professional artists making a show during their festival or a high-tech game showing much less both combined.

  • December 11, 2012 at 1:31 amAo-no-Kenshi

    why do i feel that there will be a Mikata Jin vs Setto-Kaichou arc?

    • December 11, 2012 at 1:45 amMichael

      Because his half-assed character introduction was deliberate foreshadowing for the sake of the anime (not so sure about the novel, though).

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:22 amStilts

      Yeah, we’ll definitely be seeing more of Asshole-seitokaichou. I already look forward to his defeat.

  • December 11, 2012 at 1:45 amOwaranai

    Can’t quite agree with you on the honesty issue, especially when you talk about ‘gently guiding’ them. Gentle guidance is necessary, and honesty is definitely valued when people are attempting to get things done their way by lying and half-truths, but there is a time to do gentle guidance and there is a time to do brutal honesty. Ryuunosuke almost got that part right. Thing is, he does have a problem with communicating anything other than the harsh truth he sees fit. This guy’s probably never really interacted much with people other than those from Sakurasou, so the issue is probably more with his personality.

    Anyway, it was good on him to do that. Caught up in the emotional atmosphere, I had thought someone with less patience would have given Rita a slap to snap her back to her senses. Thankfully it never happened and things panned out well to a ending filled with the warmth, laughter and hope the series has made itself known for.

    Regarding Rita, I can understand how she feels. In fact, Sorata’s comparison actually showed how strong she actually is underneath before she reached her breaking point. I know how it feels like to have a talented friend who you are close to, but feel like you could never quite connect because of the gulf in talent and ability. I know how it feels like to work so very hard to catch up and do what you love but subconsciously knowing you can never catch up, and I’ve very nearly hated what I loved in the past. While others can see that, Rita has it much worse in the sense that Mashiro is a very special kind of genius that is pretty much oblivious to anything else other than her painting at that point in time. Sakurasou’s changed her though, just as it changed Rita for the better. :)

    Blaming others out of pure frustration and disappointment is understandable, but to keep harboring it and lashing out eventually is wrong. To me, Rita feels very, very real, because there are a lot of people out there in the world harboring disappointments and frustrations as well as the corpse of dead dreams in their lives because certain things happen or they couldn’t match up. The moment Ryuunosuke mentioned the fake smiles and her lashing out was the moment I started liking her character so much more.

    Anyway, for that little rant, I gotta say it was pretty nice watching Sakurasou and Rita working together for Nyanboron, and I’m hoping there can be more juicy backstory on Jin and the StuCo prez.

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:54 amStilts

      Makes sense. I think that, whereas past episodes resonated with me more (ep4, ep8), this one struck you. That’s one of the things this show seems to do well…one person’s decent arc is another’s BEST. ARC. EVAR!!

  • December 11, 2012 at 2:21 amShroompat

    A boy.. a girl…. a boy… a girl…. which one is it dammit!!!

  • December 11, 2012 at 2:46 amKen Sanders

    I guess episode 10 ends the story of Sakurasou Vol. 3

  • December 11, 2012 at 3:16 amkoranot

    Will there be a Chihiro arc?

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:17 amRandom

    http://oi45.tinypic.com/mc518x.jpg
    Nanami getting so easily moved by emotional scene is cute.

    • December 11, 2012 at 5:28 pmZhinvu

      I agree 100%.

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:42 ammac65

    and yet for a while there he [Akasaka] was the villain.

    I wondered if that’s a significant difference between Japanese culture and culture elsewhere. In some places, Akasaka
    would be the leader in the “group intervention” with the others rallying behind him in support as he challenged Rita.
    So, for my cultural background, it seemed odd that he was scolded for confronting Rita, even though the group agreed
    with what he was saying (it’s not as though he was out of character when he spoke). I also believe Rita’s motivation was/is
    much darker than simple jealousy. I think she was trying to “own” Mashiro.

    She’s only postponed her effort to take Mashiro back to England, she still sports her fake smile and hasn’t really changed.

    There’s an interesting principal explained as well — don’t let other’s hold you back. Mashiro was/is truly oblivious to her
    “high place” when she was painting. This wasn’t through conceit, though. You see, Mashiro has (at least) two gifts: her
    ability to appeal through her art, and her ability to maintain that focus through the tryings of her peers. It makes perfect
    sense
    that Mashiro didn’t know the effect she was having on Rita (and the others); but that’s not a fair thing to say, is it?

    If Mashiro, as I believe, was acting without malice, of course she wouldn’t know the trouble she was causing for the other
    losers students. Their putting their failure on Mashiro’s shoulders — would they put the responsibility of their success on Mashiro’s shoulders — NO! Peer pressure works both ways — it can lead you to do (good and bad) things and stop you
    from doing things, especially those things that are good for you.

    Hang with the wrong group of peers, and you definitely won’t realize your potential; network with peers that are where you
    want/need to be, and chances are, you’ll realize your potential (succeed).

    A good thought provoking series…

    • December 11, 2012 at 5:51 amCybersteel

      It’s Japan! where being polite and “conforming with societal norms” is a must!

      • December 11, 2012 at 9:29 amVip

        Exactly, this is the country in which it is better to just shut up and be silent than to disagree with somebody, even if the said somebody is spouting utter nonsense. Yeah, crazy, I know.

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:37 amAex

      I found it interesting how Rita blamed the way Shiina is. Shiina was happy as a clam painting along with Rita (and maybe the others), but because she doesn’t say anything or interact on a “normal” level they didn’t get her personality, so they “broke”. So, what? If Rita was the more talented one it would’ve been better because she would’ve smiled and patted everyone else on the head, even if she didn’t help them, while Shiina moving along at her own pace is bad because they felt left out? It’s not Shiina’s fault she’s a “special” kind of cute!

      It also came off as a lot of pressure from parents/guardians who found it unacceptable that anyone could be better than their kids, so the kids obviously weren’t trying hard enough. Gotta love parental expectations when you’re “competing” with a possible legend-in-progress.

    • December 11, 2012 at 5:18 pmSilver

      “I know and understand but it still hurts me”
      Do you understand what I’m trying to say? This is an exception to the other children in the same class in England since they don’t understand Mashiiro. Rita on the other hand understands Mashiiro since they’re close but yet at the same time, she’s only human and she still end up getting affected by her feelings. During their reconciliations scene, you can see that Rita not only suffers from jealousy from standing next to someone like Mashiiro for so long, but she also have a major case of insecurities in which she’s afraid that Mashiiro does not even see her. That insecurity is later fixed when Mashiiro understood and told her that it’s not true that Mashiiro does not see her. So no, she wasn’t trying to own Mashiiro.

      “She’s only postponed her effort to take Mashiro back to England, she still sports her fake smile and hasn’t really changed.”
      No that’s her really smile and she has changed. It’s just she’s no longer will be forceful and that she will try but if it fails, she will fine with it. It’s different.

  • December 11, 2012 at 5:40 amCybersteel

    The only difference is painting to rich people but manga is meant to be enjoyed by many and can reach waaay many more masses.

  • December 11, 2012 at 5:41 amKiria

    Another fantastic episode! I appreciate how this show doesn’t leave us off on cliffhangers and usually resolves it’s issues within the week (although it’s nice sometimes to be left hanging, but not constantly).

    At first I was simmering and glowering at Rita the entire time- telling Mashiro she wished she never existed! I understand she was just speaking out of all that pent-up jealousy and was frustrated with her own shortcomings, but that’s never an acceptable thing to tell a person, let alone someone that close to you :’( When I saw Mashiro’s tears, I lost it and just thought “Someone had BETTER give her a hug!” And I must say I’m glad they did :3 And now I’m okay with Rita, so it’s nice not to dislike a character.

    I liked this episode’s drama as well as the character development. I loved how brutally blunt Ryuu was, Sorata’s healing words and successful presentation, and Nanami’s handkerchief (they still managed to make me laugh!)
    As always, great episode, Sakurasou! Next week should be fun as well!~

  • December 11, 2012 at 5:47 amDvalinn

    God, I loved Akasaka this episode. It’s good to have a character around who just says what needs to be said (as harsh as it is) rather than have everyone dance around the issue. That is in general why I like this show so much; the characters aren’t idiots. I was already fearing that Sorata was going to blow his earlier stance (let Mashiro do what she wants) into the wind and try to convince her to go back, but he kept his cool (“No use trying to convince me. She won’t listen to me anyway.”). Akasaka, who’s brutally honest, called out Rita on her faults and egotism. Rita herself (man her grandpa is a dick) realised she was wrong after her rant and reconciled with Mashiro. Mashiro herself realised that poor communication kills, and so on. Watching these characters interact and grow has been a truly pleasant experience so far.

    The central conflict may have been weaker, but the execution was still very well done.

    Also, Akasaka X Rita for the win!

  • December 11, 2012 at 6:03 amCorin

    Hm. I liked the episode, but the pacing felt a little fast – possibly because of compression of the source material.

    Nonetheless, this show continues to impress, and by proxy, the source material as well. The line by Mashiro about Rita’s own painting having been on display at the same exhibition was perfect.

  • December 11, 2012 at 6:12 amyumeruhime

    why do you have to be best at something? can’t you just be good? sure, some people have great talents, but it’s like saying a person who reads a top-ranking manga doesn’t read manga from lower ranks too. if you’re not talented in something, it doesn’t mean you’re not good or you shouldn’t enjoy it. just go on with what you feel good in, there are people who will surely recognise it.

  • December 11, 2012 at 6:18 amFoundman

    my god i hate rita shes by far the worst thing in this anime. here stupid self importance and blaming her friend for being herself and then doing a 180 with everybody find with that. i was practically cheering when Akasaka called her out on it.

  • December 11, 2012 at 6:22 amewok40k

    http://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    I was moved almost to tears by Mashiro and Rita crying-hugging-in-the-rain…
    Then I saw bawling Misaki next to them and giggled!
    Also I’m jumping onboard Akasaka x Rita ship, immediately!

    http://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

  • December 11, 2012 at 6:26 amewok40k

  • December 11, 2012 at 9:36 amFidelCashflow

    I think one of the main things I enjoy about the show is Stilt’s loquacious enthusiasm for it (no hidden paragraphs? for shame!). Granted it’s still a fun show that I can’t help but come back to, but I don’t think reviews have ever been such a direct part of the viewing experience…

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:02 amStilts

      *blushes* I-I’ll keep doing my best!

  • December 11, 2012 at 9:46 amVip

    Oh gawd, the devastated I-have-no-idea-why-people-hate-me Mashiro was a pain to watch. I really wanted to hug the poor thing T-T

    Damn, this series is resonating so much with me… I’m one of the people who are good at virtually everything, but excel in nothing. I took up drawing because it’s something that I’ve genuinely enjoyed since primary school, but I’ve since come to realise that I’ll probably never even reach the level of some of my friends, not to mention any professionals.

    It’s a really depressing thought, one that can easily break a person’s motivation. Even if I’m above the “I can barely draw a stick man” level, being average at something that you like sucks big time.

    Luckily, shows like Bakuman and Sakurasou keep reminding me that I shouldn’t quit just because I’m not very good at it.

  • December 11, 2012 at 10:06 amSollololol

    Rooting for Akasaka X Rita
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:25 amStilts

      That…is one interesting spoiler there! O.O

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:58 amAex

      I sense an assassination attempt by Maid-chan in the future! XD

    • December 12, 2012 at 9:21 amSmithCB

      One side note, I see Rita/Ryuu and Mashiro/Sorata, but no Nanami. If this happens ‘down the line’ in the anime, then hmmmmmmm….

  • December 11, 2012 at 11:26 amAex

    I suppose I could see how standing near someone of genius could hurt if you’re the type of person that needs to be the best at everything. Then you can’t accept that they’re pulling ahead of you and throw a hissy-fit like Rita and end up projecting and being a weak, whiny person until you grow up. Fact is, no one is ever the best at anything. There’s always someone better. If not now, then in the past, or if not then, in the near future. If you can’t be happy learning and bettering yourself with the superior skill of those around you or those in the same field as you, you probably want to reevaluate your choice of career. If you think you’ve stopped improving at something and need to blame someone else for it, you aren’t trying hard enough anymore. No one effects your potential one way or another unless you let them.

    Glad Sorata got himself a bit more together. Looks like he’ll fight for Shiina to stick around now at least. Akasaka rocks out loud!!

    • December 11, 2012 at 5:27 pmSilver

      Sorata is in a different position. He’s not Shiina’s direct competitor. Rita is Shiina’s direct competitor and close friend. Another difference is that it’s not simply a small or moderate difference in skills like your deal with others in a typical high school but an enormous difference. We’re talking genius level here. The difference in skills between “you” a more normal but talented individual for your age against someone who is on that national level.

      • December 11, 2012 at 7:02 pmAex

        I understand how being next to someone that does nothing but succeed can be discouraging, but Rita was going on like Shiina was sabotaging her. Rita was still a recognized artist. Shiina was better than her, but not really in her way. That’s why I was cheering when Akasaka smacked some sense into Rita: it’s about what she wants and she can do, no one else. Granted it wasn’t fair if her grandfather actually told her to quit painting because of Shiina, but that’s a whole different type of stupidity on his part.

  • December 11, 2012 at 11:34 amKinny Riddle

    This isn’t the first time Hocchan and Kawasumi Ayako have appeared together, their most recent was in the final season of Zero no Tsukaima earlier this year, but their interchange as Akasaka and Rita has got to be the most intriguing I’ve seen as Hocchan is filling the role of the guy opposite Kawasumi rather than as her competitor for someone else’s harem (Sister Princess and ToHeart comes to mind).

    So yeah, not only am I approving Akasaka x Rita, I’m also suddenly rooting for Horie Yui x Kawasumi Ayako for no reason. XD

    Poor Mashiro, she looked quite devastated when Rita lashed out at her on an issue a genius like her would never understand. But despite Rita’s initial outburst, Mashiro shows she does value her bonds with other people, it’s just that her genius often gets in the way, but Rita was the first person to connect to her (before her grandfather interfered and meddled with Rita’s thoughts).

    I must admit, like Nanami, I cried manly tears (not as much as for Key games) when Rita made up with her.

    A major change from the novel is that the Sakurasou Cultural Festival project gets approved by the Student Council and Rita staying for the Cultural Festival next episode. The novel had Sorata’s presentation interrupted by a future dramatic event (which has also apparently been shifted to after the Cultural Festival for the anime) pissing off the Student Council President, who we’ve been introduced this episode as quite a stuck-up asshole.

    Still, not even that stopped the eccentrics of Sakurasou from deciding to go ahead with staging the Nyaboron play clandestinely beneath the Council’s noses.

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:01 pmlivevoid

    “I trust tomatoes more than anything in this world” Akasaka, you and your long hair have quickly become my favorite character.

  • December 11, 2012 at 2:15 pmWTFisThisSHIT?!

    I STILL DONT GET HOW MASHIRO’S PAINTING IS GOOD?!

    IT SUCKS COMPLETELY!

    There are TONS MORE anime paintings made by anime characters that were plain AWESOME and beats Mashiro’s painting completely!

    An Example is Kyoya from Ouran Host Club’s painting:

    http://randomc.net/image/Ouran%20High%20School%20Host%20Club/Ouran%20High%20School%20Host%20Club%20-%2024%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    CHECK IT OUT! BLOWS Mashiro’s painting SKY HIGH!

    I really really dont get inferiority complex or superiority complex, know why? CUZ NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, NO MATTER HOW TALENTED, SMART, RICH YOU ARE, THERE WILL ALWAYS ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMEONE BETTER THAN YOU ARE! IT MAY NOT BE IN THE PRESENT, BUT THERE WAS SOMEONE BETTER THAN YOU IN THE PAST OR THERE WILL BE SOMEONE BETTER THAN YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE!

    • December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pmIandolo

      Whoa, easy there, son. Shonen laws of the universe dictate that if we are told that a work is good, brilliant, or some other form of praise, then we have to swallow our disbelief for the sake of the story. The same law also exists in Bakuman. Mashiro’s paintings, for a art connoisseur like yourself, may appear to be bad, but the artistic content or process is secondary to core storyline.

      • December 11, 2012 at 3:20 pmCrook

        It’s natural right? You can’t just make an artwork in an anime that’s better than you can actually manage. Seems to me that some details are meant to be overlooked.

    • December 11, 2012 at 5:41 pmStilts

      Caps lock. less. (please)

      To be honest, I think their main mistake was in showing the picture…paintings are too subjective and badly understood (by myself as well) for anything they could have done to look really good in anime-form. But seriously, chillax :P

      Ohandbytheway, the reason Kyouya’s painting was so great was that it was used as an illustrative technique for him learning to break outside of the box imposed on him and become great in his own way. The scene was phenomenal, probably my favorite one of the Ouran anime over all. The painting itself? Nice, but I wouldn’t straight throwing out the word “art” (as in the visual equivalent of “literature”) for it alone. Context matters.

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:41 pmSilver

    Everyone is on the outside so they can see what Rita is doing is wrong. Now what happen if you ARE Rita. You are no longer in the position as an observer but are in fact the “victim” of such a situation. You will no longer be sure that you are able to see how you are acting and how you are behaving. It’s similar to those who said, “if I was there, I can do it” which in fact in many cases, does not happen.

    On the other hand, I’m glad that Ryuunosuke is someone who is just blunt and honest which is just great as he just completely goes into the root of the problem, rip it out, and then shows it. We need someone like that to solve many of the world’s problem. However what he lacks is in how delivers it. Fortunately everything works out so it’s alright. Either way I’m glad that he was there.

    On Rita’s case, I could also say that Mashiiro has a fault in it. Rita have been dealing with this for over 10 years. It’s a surprise she hasn’t completely broken yet because dealing with this type of internal struggle for so long could really break someone. In that regards, Rita is actually quite a strong person and not weak as some would say she is. Why would I say Shiina is partly at fault? First she admits it that she never understood anything and was really shocked and felt bad when all the “bad” stuff was revealed. 2nd, she just does what she does and never think about what goes around her. The 2nd point is like a yin and yang. Yin in that she’s focused and knows what she wants. Yang is the ending result of that part of her which ends up hurting Rita who Shiina does treasure but yet does not understand.

    Also with Rita, of course she’s at fault so I don’t need to rehash everything that people say but one thing that I do got to say is that, he’s a lot stronger than the people I have encountered in life who lived next to genuises. They end up almost like those other friends of Rita and Shiina back in England.

    On a side note, damn it Nanami. Why are you so cute?! She’s so cute when she starts crying during Shiina and Rita’s reconciliations.

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:46 pmGeoff

    Akasaka x Rita, ALL ABOARD.
    Destination, OTP
    Tickets sold anywhere between episode 9 and 10.

    This was probably one of my favorite episodes to date, and that’s a lot of competition from previous episodes. I’m thinking this series just took Spot Number 1 for best anime of 2012

  • December 12, 2012 at 7:11 amTingster013

    Akasaka dun eavesdrop. He has eyes and ears everywhere. Nothing can escape him. He will know everything.

  • December 12, 2012 at 8:30 amraindeth

    Where is Nanami in all this :(

    • December 12, 2012 at 6:26 pmjunglepenguin

      A spectator, crying in the rain.

  • December 12, 2012 at 1:52 pmAnnyms

    Well this episode showed me not to buy into the troll cliff-hanger endings like they showed in the last episode. They completely took my expectations of what would happen this episode and threw them out the window. I am continually impressed with how well they are able to mold the story together and have each character play a significant role. I am glad that Sorata’s personality wasn’t thrown off the ship like I expected, and I guess I can only blame myself for thinking they would do so. And I think that Akasaka was right in his brutal honesty in that argument. Yeah it was harsh, but do you really expect Rita to buy into some half-assed truth from someone she knows has issue with her being around Sorata? No. He had to lay it to her straight to give her the wake-up call she needed. And TBH he wasn’t that harsh. The truth just hurt when we don’t want to hear it.

    PS Dat scene with Rita and Mashiro hugging while Nanami was getting teary-eyed in the background. Not only do you want to be in the middle of that hug, but seeing Nanami getting all emotional was too cute to handle.

  • December 12, 2012 at 6:34 pmjunglepenguin

  • December 13, 2012 at 6:10 amTopboy

    What I don’t understand is when Akasaka argue with Rita,then Rita run off,Why all of them except Akasaka follow and cheer for Rita? Don’t they understand Rita is completely wrong here,condemned her whole-best-ten-years-friend as if all of it is Shiina fault.What a friend.

  • December 18, 2012 at 5:52 pmMagoiichi

    I wanted to punch Sorata in the face.”Follow her Akasaka” Akasaka: “lol what”
    Sorata: “I hate you!, *proceeds to run off all butthurt at Akasaka*”

    I screamed shut the hell up Sorata at my laptop screen so hard i woke up the old elderly couple that live next door.

    Akasaka is becoming my fav character, putting whiny characters in their place, like a boss.