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Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – 17

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「バレンタインはチョコの日よ」 (Barentain wa Choko no hi yo)
“Valentine’s is a Day for Chocolate”

Valentine’s Day is always certain to bring major developments, and this one certainly did. The surprise was in how subtly it effected the main love triangle, while wrecking balls were reserved for one of the secondary ships.

Rita’s Pursuit & Dragon’s Denial

Truly, Ryuunosuke must be crazy. I think I speak for most male viewers when I say that if a busty, blonde-haired British beauty were pursuing me that aggressively, she would win. I would fold like Americans think the French surrender (that is, the Americans who don’t remember Napoleon, all those conquered colonies, or the brutal shit the Franks got up to…history slam!), and reap the glorious dividends that particular “loss” would entail. Locking myself in a bathroom? That’d be the farthest thing from my mind.

The thing is, Ryuunosuke was quite cruel. Rita came all the way to Japan just for him, and he couldn’t even talk to her? I’ll admit, it was a bit unfair of Rita to do it this way – Ryuunosuke doesn’t strike me as one who would react well to a sudden visitor. Yet even so, once he realized how important this was to her – and I think he did – he should have talked to her. Now all that remains is for him to make up for this transgression. And he must, to get that Happy Endo we all so desire.

Final point: it was total bullshit that Ryuunosuke sent that Christmas Eve email out of respect. Sitting alone in that hotel room while everyone else was in lovey-dovey mode, I bet ‘ol Dragon was feeling a little bit lonely himself, and his thoughts turned to Rita… There’s a happy ending there still to come, you better believe it.

Aoyama’s Crisis

TIL that you should always get to an interview waaaay ahead of time, in case the trains stop running. Naw, just kidding, ’cause I learned that years ago. Seriously though, it’s just a good idea, lest you end up in an Aoyama-level panic like this episode. Not that that wasn’t cute in its own way.

I have to laugh at Miyahara a bit, even though I hate myself for doing so. I thought he was going to go total beta and give up his bike to Sorata, but him telling Sorata to jump on as he speeds out of there carrying both of them was a better result. Not for Nanami, mind you – about the only thing that changed for her was that Sorata was slightly less tired when he got there, though that probably benefited Mashiro more, considering he only barely made it back to the school. No, Miyahara’s ride was for him. Frustrated that he could do nothing for the girl he loved, and that it wasn’t him that she called in her hour of need, I think he wanted to burn off all his frustration and helplessness by doing just a little something for her. He couldn’t be the hero, but to accept this unequivocal signal of his loss, he needed to be bone tired, lest his feelings turn to anger. Or maybe I’m thinking too much into this…but damn if being tired isn’t great for blocking out those nasty feelings, believe you me.

Points do go to Sorata for being determined and assertive when it really mattered. The wisdom of riding a bike on the roads they took aside – seriously people, riding on a road on a lane next to oncoming traffic? Not smart – this was the moment when Nanami really needed him, and he was there…just as I’m sure he would have been there for Mashiro, or Misaki, or even Jin or Ryuunosuke at that. That wasn’t the best part though. The part that really got to me, that made my heart skip and my breath choke off in my throat was when she wrapped her arms around him and told him she loved him. Where before their practice before didn’t faze me (save to make me laugh), this time I fell for it just as certainly as Sorata did. And you know what? I think she was telling the truth, even if she tried to laugh it off after the fact. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether she’ll get to say it without the “psych!” on the end.

Mashiro – Just a Normal Girl

Mashiro and Sorata’s conversation on the rooftop was quite an interesting one, and did immeasurable good for their potential future relationship. One of the essential things for a healthy romantic relationship, at least in my eyes, is equality. If the two people are not equals, how can they be truly happy? That’s not to say that relationships between non-equals can’t work – hell, most of human history has consisted of those – but I don’t think they’re the path to a healthier, more complete happiness, that between equal partners. And for the longest time, while Sorata and Nanami were certainly equals, Sorata and Mashiro were not.

Long have we dwelt on the pain of the amateur next to the prodigy. First Sorata, then Rita showed the damage that Mashiro inadvertently did to those close to her, merely by being as good as she is (and we got a dose of it from Jin and Misaki as well). But what of the loneliness of the pro amongst amateurs? While she undoubtedly has success, what Mashiro doesn’t have is colleagues, people who understand her troubles and feel her pain and see her as an equal to work together with. Mashiro doesn’t want to be apart – she wants to be part of the group, striving together towards greater successes with Sorata and the others.

The development we got here was Sorata’s realization that he and Mashiro aren’t so different after all. She may be so far ahead that he can’t see her…but neither can she see him. More than that, when they hold hands, she gets all nervous just like he does. She may not be normal in many ways, but she’s very normal when it comes to this thing called love. Sorata realized that, and that puts them a great deal closer to becoming true equals. Keep on living your lives as hard as you can, Sorata, Mashiro!

Looking Ahead

I sense darkness ahead. The preview certainly speaks of it coming from Misaki-sempai, but where else might it come? At least in the meantime, Sorata has finally put together all the hints and realized that yes, just maybe Nanami really does love him. But as soon as he thought that, his eyes turned to Mashiro. Things are heating up, but they can only get darker before the glorious dawn can come. Get ready for it.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Dragon does wrong by Rita as Sorata bails Nanami out of her audition snafu. Always get to interviews way ahead of time, people! #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • I didn’t mention this in the post, but Jin sucked too. How could he just avoid Misaki like that? As with Ryuunosuke, I don’t see the harm in accepting her feelings on this oh-so-important day. I just don’t know what’s going on in that boy’s head. Why must most of the guys of Sakurasou take a spin on the jackass carousel this week?
  • I’m taking this out of context so hard! *tightens his goggles to dangerous levels*
  • I loved how Sorata and Nanami’s sensei was trying to sabotage her student’s choco-giving plans with her lecture. Ohhh, that bitter christmas cakii! (trope!)
  • Oi Oi, the Engrish in Rita’s letter was pretty rough. How hard can it be to find a decent spell-checker? I volunteer my services. I don’t even need to know what the character is trying to say to know how to fix that. Think about it, J.C. Staff. You have my email if you want to talk.

Full-length images: 32.

 

Preview

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   17   Preview 01
February 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm
149 comments »
  • February 4, 2013 at 9:57 pmexia

    Aoyama X Sorata all the way.

    I think she would make a great wife.

    • February 4, 2013 at 10:10 pmp41s3r

      Second that, and Mashiro is too needy and needs always someone literally help her on normal tasks, and when she has emotions the writers make it look like she is experiencing like normal anime girl would do, but given her personality i think it should be way more complicated, BUT Mashiro is one of the attraction of this anime.

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:47 amAnonymous

        It’s not like she took care of herself in this episode, right?

    • February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pmFT5Havok

      C’mon Sorata you know you like Nanami! why not go for her? I thought that Nanamin Confession was the real deal, it could have sealed the deal for her! ^,^

    • February 4, 2013 at 11:39 pmSeven

      The main reason I hate the romance genre is because the winner is always so clear cut; The girl on the cover. I can think of one; maybe two exceptions.

      We all knew from the get go Nanami would lose. Sadly because she such a better character.

      • February 5, 2013 at 12:38 amStilts

        In action stories, we all know that the good guys will win (eventually). Does that make them any worse?

        No, a good romance is created when uncertainty is created, when you logically know that the couple is going to get together…but emotionally, you’re just not sure. The writers tug and nudge and mess with your feelings so much that, no matter what you mind says, you’re not totally sure, maybe this is one of the ones that will go the other way, it’s still totally possible…and yeah, usually it doesn’t happen. But as long as they keep that uncertainty alive…

        (That, or a great romance emphasizes the feelings in the relationships once the couple gets together, or even one and then the other. There are many ways to make a rabu-rabu omelette!)

      • February 5, 2013 at 12:58 amZen

        Sadly because she such a better character.

        Interesting that you should say this. The “better” character is usually the one that people find to be more relatable- and naturally Nanami, being a decidedly average girl, is far more relatable to the vast majority of the populace compared to her genius rival in love, Mashiro.

        I would question, however, the validity of employing relatability as a determinative means of evaluating the overall quality of a character. Because it is arguable that the addition of socially and/or psychologically non-conforming (And therefore generally unrelatable) characters often adds unique and significant value to a story that would otherwise be unattainable.

        In the case of Sakurasou, the strong impact of its “chase your dreams and believe in yourself” message can be mostly attributed to the presence of Mashiro as a character. So does Mashiro’s great utility as a plot device enhance her value as a character to a level where any lack of relatability is nullified, and Nanami’s sheer relatability value is overcome? The answer to this question of weight is entirely normative and non-objective; let every man decide for himself…

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:20 amSeven

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • February 5, 2013 at 2:58 amHaro

        If the girl is in the cover or not was never important.

        The hero always ends up with the girl he has most development and which influenced him the most. It’s always like that. Something different would not make sense, be absurd and an ass pull and it would fail at storytelling.
        Throught the whole show, it’s clear as a day that Shiina is this girl and Nanami is nothing more than a friend.

        And “better” girl???
        Typical, degrading character who is rival of your favourite. Fanbys/girls do that always. So can we plese stop with this fanboy drivel.

      • February 5, 2013 at 3:44 amergZay

        Hold on Seven I have to call you out on that one…

        No finite end to action series? What? Except the series that are made to be cash cows (bleach, naruto, dragonball, one piece) most every action series has a finite end, when they defeat the main enemy. In the reverse actually, romance series by definition have no end, except when the characters die. The romance continues on throughout their entire lives, you just usually don’t get to see that whole romance.

        Regarding the whole losing aspect. That makes romance series so much better because they hit reality much better than action series. In an action series you generally get very unrealistic with the main characters dying and resurrecting all the time. A good romance has no such luck. A good action series kills off its characters permanently as well (game of thrones comes to mind, not anime though).

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:10 amSeven

        Haro, ergZay, You both entirely missed the point.

        Haro did you even read my first post? If not you’re a moron lol, If you did you’re an even bigger one. The girl that always has those effects on the protag is the one on cover. Find me an exception, and a good number of them. I not just stop talking lol. Because you make it sound like the girl on the cover never wins. Also my opinion of her character changes nothing about he validity of my statement.

        ergZay. You are missing it. That’s reason I said you can’t really compare the two. The problem is that in a romance it’s a permanent loss in a fundamentally different way than an action series. Yes the romance goes on for the rest of their life, but even if the protag changes him mind after the underdogs first loss she will always have been his second choice. Hence a loss. In an action series a loss can be seen in many different ways, a lost battle not war; if you will.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:11 amjunglepenguin

        Could it be? The Seven who drew so much hate from sharing his opinions about AnoNatsu? Is that really you? =D

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:44 amHaru

        @Seven
        Of course the girl on the cover will always win when the story supports her like in case of Mashiro. It’s like this in every reasonable romance story. She is the maingirl after all. And the maingirl wins simply because she has the most development and inlfuence on the maincharacter. Again the maingirl wins because it’s the only thing that would make sense, expect if the author wants to troll and make and ass pull.
        To say it short: One girl wins because of the plot and not some stupid cover.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:59 amSeven

        Haru. Bro. You’re still missing it, the reason it’s bad is because of it’s predictability. Because the cover gives it away the plot plays no role at all, that’s the point. Silts got that on the first read through, and you’ve missed it both after reading it and reading his response. Just stop talking.

      • February 5, 2013 at 8:00 amTsun

        Seems to me like you can’t just enjoy the show, no offense to you but do you even enjoy watching anime at all ? Are like a critic who just needs to find something to complain about and looking at comments above I don’t think anyone can relate to you at all.

      • February 5, 2013 at 10:23 amdimasok

        Even though we know who will win at the end, I agree with Stilts that there is always some sort of uncertainty and I think Sakurasou does a good job (especially this episode) establishing that ambivalence when just for a few minutes it seems like maybe Nanami would be the winner. That alone is worth the experience for me no matter how much I feel she should be the winner at the end as well.

      • February 5, 2013 at 10:36 amSeven

        You guys realize how oxymoronic what your saying is, right?

        You know she’s going to lose but you choose to believe she might not because there is a “chance”? Even though you know full well there really is not one.

        Tsun, you’re right for the most part. I’m picky about what I watch. I dropped this like 17 minutes into episode one. But that does not make my point any less right. I also never called out this show by name, just saying. I blanketed the romance genre itself.

        And yes junglepenguin, It’s me. And I’m pretty sure you mean “facts” not “opinions”.

      • February 5, 2013 at 11:24 amStilts

        To answer your question Seven, I can think of two examples, and fairly recent ones at that. This is, of course, one helluva spoiler for the shows in question, so click at your own risk:

        Show Spoiler ▼

        I can also think of action shows where the antagonists win, though they’re admittedly more frequently confined to the horror genre.

        Another example: protagonists almost never die, but sometimes they do. Another spoiler (though if you haven’t seen this anime you should be ashamed!):

        Show Spoiler ▼

        The key, as I said, is uncertainty. We know that there’s an overwhelming chance that the main girl will win, that the protagonists will be victorious, that all the major characters will make it out of the series alive…but sometimes, they don’t. If the story can trick us into thinking that it’s one of those stories just enough, it wins.

        Now please, I’d prefer it if another one of my J.C. Staff romances doesn’t devolve into flaming. Seven’s point is valid, but it’s been stated and argued, so please don’t get worked up everyone. Insulting one another makes all of us look bad.

      • February 5, 2013 at 11:44 amSeven

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • February 5, 2013 at 4:23 pmDelwack

        Silts, I don’t like your analogy: let me explain.

        It’s not about if the good guys win or lose; we expect them to win and that’s okay. What we care about is the journey: how they won, who they met, what they did, what they had to sacrifice along the way (sometimes themselves, when they die), and why they choose that route.

        This analogy would only apply appropriate to an R/C if you are rooting for that particular pairing, in which case you expect them to get together, it’s about the journey: how they get there, what they do, who they meet, what they have to sacrifice along the way, and why they choose the route that they do.

        It falls apart if you don’t view that pairing as having the ‘protagonist’ role.

        Certainly the uncertainty of it all makes for good storytelling too, but it’s a device that is seldom used (aside from the ones you pointed out there: the only other one I can think of going years back is Show Spoiler ▼

        .), and that is not what keeps us coming back to these stories. We know the hero is going to win almost always. We know the main leads of a romcom are going to end up in love (though not necessarily always together) almost always. What matters is the journey.

        If you disagree with who the main centerpiece or protagonists should be, that is a fundamentally different, though equally valid discussion.

      • February 6, 2013 at 3:38 amAnonymous

        All these delusions for character that already lost http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/images/7/7d/Sakurasou_v8_p338_v2.jpg

        Stop comparing VN with LN. With adapting games producers have more freedom of choice, morons.

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:22 amRenneee

        Anonymous

        link Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        All these delusions for character that already lost http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/images/7/7d/Sakurasou_v8_p338_v2.jpg

        Stop comparing VN with LN. With adapting games producers have more freedom of choice, morons.

        That picture alone and the kiss will be wonderfull to see.

        The Nanami ship was never something that had a chance in the first place. Just the funny dream from many supportcharacter shippers that are still currently in denial over the fact the the have lost alread since the moment this show started.

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:36 amSeven

        I’ll take “these two can’t read” for 500, Alex.

        What we are talking about has nothing to do with it being a light novel or visual novel. But if you really want to get into. Most VNs have a main heroine which is the end game, still proving my point.

        Really though; if you can’t say anything intelligent it’s best you just don’t talk.

      • February 6, 2013 at 8:30 amGrinder

        Lol, Seven is butthurt that it’s clear that the plot doesn’t favour his favorite girl.
        Let’s say that Aoyama would be the cover girl, and she would be the female maincharacter (just like Shiina is), and the plot would be about her growing realtionship with the male maincharater.
        Would that make you happy? It would be the exact same sitation like in this anime or like in any othe fictional story, just that the roles of Shiina and your favoure girl(Aoyama) would be swapped. I guess you would not complain about it all.

      • February 6, 2013 at 8:46 amSeven

        huh? “butthurt” over what lol. I’m not even watching this show. I’ve said that already, on this page no less. I don’t care what happens to it’s characters. My argument was never even close to being about this show itself.

        I’d just be repeating myself if I tried to explain it to you at this point. I really don’t know how to phrase it any simpler for you. Just go back and actually read what I wrote.

        If you can’t; tell me your mailing address, and I’ll buy you a copy of Hooked on Phonics.

      • February 6, 2013 at 9:18 amGrinder

        Dude, it’s for 99% of the stories predigtable who will be the ending girl, even without seeing some stupid cover. And do you want to know why it is like that? Read Haru’s post, or in short “the plot”.
        And in many romance stories it’s not about the “do they get together or not”, but it’s about the “how” they get together. The journey is the reward.

        And about that you don’t care about the caracters.
        This is what you said.

        Seven
        We all knew from the get go Nanami would lose.Sadly because she such a better character.</b

        If you didn’t care you would not say something like this in the first place. And for a show you pretend you are not watching, you make really bold statements, “better character”.

        And about you being butthurt.
        You are behaving like a butthurted little kid that didn’t get what he wanted.

      • February 6, 2013 at 9:47 amSeven

        Pretend? lol so I was pretending not to watch it even before it became relevant to the argument? Okay that seems fair. I predicted you would say that in the future, that’s why I said it.

        And bro, what comes first. The cover or the plot? It’s pretty obvious which, unless you’re blind I guess.

        You have yet to make a valid point lol. sure the plot can also tell you the end game, but the cover is the problem. Even if a story is predictable you should not be able to see it before you even start it.

        I have no idea what you are talk about lol. You make the most obscure connections. Past my original statement’s side note I have not even mentioned the show. I don’t want anything from the show, so it’s pretty hard to get “butthurt” over it. I’ve also done almost nothing but makes jokes since I start. What has even implied I was upset. Did I miss the part WHERE I TYPED IN ALL CAPS TO SHOW HOW MAD I WAS?

        Really bro you should just stop. Only like two people so far have responded to my actual statement; the rest are hung up on the show itself.

      • February 6, 2013 at 11:23 pmGrinder

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        Cover pics or not. I never saw one and it’s still clear who it will be. Heck, Aoyama could be the only fucking girl in this stupid cover and it would still be clear that it is a Shiina end. It even could only be his sister or only Jin or Rita in the cover and it would still be clear who it will be. And Do you know why it is like that? Because of the plot and how the story is written etc..
        You are complaining that it is predigtable. I say, “who cares”. This is not a thriller or some muystery story. It’s just a romcom with a little drama. And the point of this kind of shows is not the “which will he chose”, because it’s clear already who it will be anyway. But it’s about the “how will they get together”. That’s is how most of this kind of shows work and if you cant deal with it, you don’t need to watch them in the first place.

        How sweet, a butthurt guy denies the fact that he is butthurt.

    • February 5, 2013 at 10:57 amAnanas

      Such strong support for the underdog.

      • February 5, 2013 at 11:52 amBowiie

        Because Nanami es best girl. lol

        I can see both sides of this argument, yes an enjoyable part of the romance genre is uncertainty and getting to see how that uncertainty pulls out the best of the characters and they try their hardest; however, I can also see Seven’s point of view where too many shows flaunt the endgame before the show ever airs.

        Stilts is valid in that Show Spoiler ▼

        did a good job of throwing red herrings till the end, but that is an exception not the rule. The show that I have seen that managed to pull off neutrality to near perfection was Shuffle you never knew if one had a lead of another during that series which made it all the more enjoyable to watch the back and forth knowing it meant something. In Sakurasou’s situation yes there is that back and forth but its hard to look at it and feel that it means anything when one is being uplifted so far ahead of the others.

        TLDR: Romance genre is best with suspense but few pull it off well.

        #ravingsofnanamifan

      • February 6, 2013 at 3:43 amAnonymous

        I will be drinking their tears.

  • February 4, 2013 at 9:58 pmdimasok

    “Its beating because you’re alive”. I think that it would be more appropriate (since Sorata chose that route) to say “Its beating fast because you have tachycardia!”

  • February 4, 2013 at 10:09 pmimperfectblue

    Can’t for the inevitable confession between Sorata and Mashiro, I bet it’s going to be adorable. =3

  • February 4, 2013 at 10:09 pmEmD

    I’m starting to dislike Mahiro, and it’s not even because I just prefer Aoyama. She’s just so…yeah lol

    I liked her for like the first 12 episodes and I wanna like her again. Be a little more lively, will ya? You can only play the slow, inept card for so long before it starts getting tiring.

    • February 5, 2013 at 8:06 amSwarz

      umm….I think you posted this in the wrong page. Mahiro’s in Zetsuen no Tempedest you know.

      • February 6, 2013 at 10:23 amjunglepenguin

        What the heck is Zetsuen no Tempedest?

  • February 4, 2013 at 10:31 pmKentaiyoshimi

    “Locking myself in a bathroom? That’d be the farthest thing from my mind.”
    On the other hand, locking myself with the aforementioned busty blonde in a bathroom would be what any sane man would do.

    RitaxRyuunousuke steals the episode for me. Just noticed how both their names start with the same letter. Rita’s chocolate has the letters “R&R” on it in one frame.
    Seems like Rita’s letter was done by Google Translate. The spelling is almost perfect, but the grammar could use some work. It sounds exactly like how people first learning English would speak like.

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:39 amStilts

      Which would be fine…if she didn’t live in England, Orz

      • February 5, 2013 at 4:12 amMuttsurini

        “Locking myself in a bathroom? That’d be the farthest thing from my mind.”

        actually no, sometimes I do that when I have diarrhea. also, I bring my laptop just to watch and do stuff (if you know what i me- NOOO!! NOT LIKE THAT!)

      • February 6, 2013 at 3:10 amAniC

        It’s why I have a tablet, that’s for sure.

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:00 pmDualash

    Why didn’t Rita just use her tools again to break down that bathroom door? Men we’ve got to slap some sense into Ryuunosuke!

    • February 6, 2013 at 7:45 amYuu

      ‘couse the bathroom is sacred, com’on how many characters have you seen enter in the opposite gender’s bathroom without going red hot chilly peppers?

      And I think it’s really a Japanese thing?

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:02 pmZen

    I’m taking this out of context so hard! *tightens his goggles to dangerous levels*

    I’m assuming that most all straight male audiences did the same; not doing so would uncharacteristic of us…XP

    Frustrated that he could do nothing for the girl he loved, and that it wasn’t him that she called in her hour of need, I think he wanted to burn off all his frustration and helplessness by doing just a little something for her. He couldn’t be the hero, but to accept this unequivocal signal of his loss, he needed to be bone tired, lest his feelings turn to anger.

    Anger is the alpha response; betas would probably respond with self-pity; either way, physical exertion is an excellent remedy for any ailment of the heart. Calling it right now, Miyahara’s persistence will earn him a Faramir-ending…

    The issue if relationship equality, on the other hand, is a complex one. Whether each romantic partner sees the other as an equal depends entirely upon what each member regards to be the quintessential measurement/s of a person. What tends to be regarded as “quintessential measurements” of men in modern-day society is educational attainment and socioeconomic status (Career success is part of this).

    For the characters in Sakurasou (Except for Mashiro, whose child-like sincerety doesn’t allow for such things.) it seems like the default measuring stick of a person’s worth is socioeconomic status (With a heavy emphasis on career success). And for Sorata and Mashiro to see one another as equals and derive the maximum fulfillment form their developing relationship, these preconceptions must be eliminated. This process seems to be ongoing.

    While she undoubtedly has success, what Mashiro doesn’t have is colleagues, people who understand her troubles and feel her pain and see her as an equal to work together with. Mashiro doesn’t want to be apart – she wants to be part of the group, striving together towards greater successes with Sorata and the others.

    Genius can set one apart from the general population in way that isolates him/her socially- becoming an impediment to that person’s happiness. And the person who is able to accept and understand the genius, becoming a beacon that simultaneously illuminates the genius’s character and draws people to her that she would never have befriended otherwise is no less extraordinary. That seems to be Sorata’s role.

    Truly, Ryuunosuke must be crazy. I think I speak for most male viewers when I say that if a busty, blonde-haired British beauty were pursuing me that aggressively, she would win.

    I am probably part of the miniscule exception to your rule; having said that, there are certainly far more civil ways of turning down somebody who is romantically interested in you. General avoidance tactics such as hiding in the bathroom or retreating to hotel are indicative of poor social skills (probably endemic to computer nerds like Dragon, can’t blame him for it, I suppose)…shrewd men turn unwanted romantic attention into opportunities to earn themselves friends…

    And I think it isn’t that Dragon doesn’t have any feelings whatsoever for Rita. It’s just that he’s so socially awkward that he either literally doesn’t understand what romantic love is and/or he simply doesn’t know how to deal with it- so he would rather avoid it altogether…he’ll come around, in time…

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:44 amStilts

      I think it’s mostly that he [Dragon] doesn’t know what to do with the attention, and that his his previous prejudices are clashing with his sudden fondness for this girl. That and the fact that he’s a heavy introvert who simply doesn’t know what to do with this super outgoing and aggressive girl. That’s why I said it probably wasn’t wise for Rita to show up without warning…given time to prepare (or time to absorb the shock before she had to leave), Ryuunosuke may have been more receptive, but he just couldn’t process it all quickly enough as it was.

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:24 amZen

        What do you think about polar-opposite (personality) relationships? Do you think people should seek out romantic partners who are similar to themselves in terms of personality, or that you can’t go wrong following the old “opposites attract” adage?

        Theoretically, polar-opposite relationships should probably be okay so long as the parties do not attempt to force unwanted changes onto one another. And in the absence of tensions created by unreasonable expectations of change, real, incremental, synergistic changes can then occur, the positive attributes of each partner rubbing off onto the other, gradually nullifying his/her deficiencies.

        I would assume that these kinds of relationships demand quite a but of work; i.e. extra, extra communication. But the great potential for self-improvement arguably makes it worth all the trouble. Wonder if Dragon and Rita are up to it, lol…XP

        P.S. Oh, forgot to say- I’m glad to be back…:)

      • February 5, 2013 at 11:35 amStilts

        Indeed, welcome back, Zen!

        It’s a tight line to walk, and it ends up going into, as so many things do, the “it depends” territory.

        On the one hand, there’s a great deal to be gained by being with someone with a markedly different personality type. What you’re bad at, they’ll be good at, and vice versa. Where it becomes problematic is when the two are so different that they can’t understand one another. A hyper-introvert and a hyper-extrovert might have trouble because the hyper-extrovert simply would not be able to understand why the introvert acts as they do (this has been oft documented…while introverts can step into an extrovert’s shoes, the opposite is harder). In fact, this is the trap that Ryuunosuke and Rita might be trapped in, or have to battle through.

        But a hyper-extrovert with a less extroverted (to the middle of the scale, maybe tipped slightly towards the extroverted side) person? Great. They’d understand one another while still having enough different about them to be better as a couple. Ask my brother and his wife. Seems to be working for them, lol

        On the other side of the coin, it’s nice to have someone who is really similar to you because you are liable to get along really well (unless you clash, though in that case it’s going to happen quickly and you won’t be together for long). But then your flaws are his/her flaws, and perhaps even amplified, making the couple as a whole more unbalanced, in a way. But what if neither of you have any crippling flaws? Could work out great.

        So yeah, it all boils down to “it depends”. To be honest, I can’t even tell you which I prefer! I just know that when a relationship works, it works, for whatever the reason.

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:32 pmctscloud

    Wait, where’s Aoyama chocolate? Mashiro wins on the chocolate battle and even get to hold hands? On the other hand, Aoyama “hugs” Sorata and says “I love you”. I guess in the end, the only people that didn’t gain any traction was Rita & Misaki on v-day.

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:48 pmPtolemaios00

    Misaki’s chocolate sculptures are awesome. She should have went with those directly to StuCo prez’s house.

    I wonder what Mashiro’s shobu pantsu are…

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:01 amFlanders

    I’d like to whack Ryuunosuke on the head for what he did to Rita. Nononooo. Even if you suppose that he doesn’t like Rita (which I doubt a lot – it’s quite clear that he does), he should at least be civil about it (what an awful thing to do). Well, that’s typical social awkwardness staring at the face for you.

    I’m also pretty heartbroken for Nanami. So cruel, cruel I say. I sometimes wish this would be like a VN where Sorata chooses Nanami over Mashiro. She is, dare I say, certified wife material. The kind that stays there even when romantic feelings disappear and fade away.

    • February 5, 2013 at 2:59 pmFlanders

      It’s kinda funny I get modded down. Allow me to elaborate from my point of view.

      I’m a married guy (almost a decade now) – and I realize for a relationship to work, the two personalities have to complement each other (your wife should be your best friend, confidant, and lover). Opposites may attract, but ultimately, the relationship works if both parties have personalities that help each other out.

      That is why most marriages which only focus on what they feel is gonna fail sooner or later. I like rom-com anime, but I also realize at the same time that many depict only the romance part of the equation. And yes, I know Mashiro will win, but in the real world, when you go out of that honeymoon phase, those differences will build up and make the relationship very much challenging. I tell you, for some couples, even a small thing like the way you handle toothpaste can be a source of a fight (yes, sounds silly, but I know that actually happened to someone I know).

      This is the reason why I say Aoyama’s wife material (and yes, I’m biased by experience).

      • February 5, 2013 at 3:42 pmFrog

        I’m one of the people that upvoted you. I totally agree with what you say. While I love Mashiro as a character, I would prefer Sorata and Nanami to be a couple. They support each other genuinely because of their similarities and social equality is no issue in their relationship.

        Mashiro, though… People forget that it’s not just her artistic talent that divides she and Sorata, they’re not even physical equals. He has to take care of her and do almost every practical thing for her. It’s all played for laughs in a show like this but in real life, after years of being married… yeah.

        Okay, now this will just go into pure speculation, “shipper” territory, but the way I read Sorata and Nanami’s situation is that if Sorata weren’t already so captivated by Mashiro, he might have fallen in love with Nanami after all their shared experiences. I do think he’s aware of Nanami as a girl, it’s just Mashiro inspires him like no one else. And that’s no surprise – she is a very amazing girl. Without her, Sorata would never have started to move forward.

        TLDR; While I prefer Nanami out of personal reasons, I find both girls to be good partners for Sorata. This episode was great, gave me feels for both of them.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:30 pmnagi

        You, sir, have my utmost respect. Hang in there Nanami!

      • February 6, 2013 at 10:51 pmMgMaster

        You make a very good point man.However,being thinking in such a realistic manner might cut down your enjoyment in watching it,at least this is the case for me but I sadly can’t help it.

        Being pro Nanami I’m actually waiting for the inevitable moment of Sorata rejecting her so I can stop thinking about how she’s a great wife material and enjoy everything else the show has to offer :P

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:01 amRickyMack

    Oi Oi, the Engrish in Rita’s letter was pretty rough. How hard can it be to find a decent spell-checker? I volunteer my services. I don’t even need to know what the character is trying to say to know how to fix that. Think about it, J.C. Staff. You have my email if you want to talk.

    It’s kinda like how sometimes American shows/movies would have “asian” writing and it didn’t make any sense. Of course, it’s far worse in Hollywood’s case because Asians have been in the US since the 1800s, whereas while there are native English speakers over there, they’re probably more few and far between.

    Michael Rivas though, totally living the dream.

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:25 amGiorno Giovanna

      GET CHANCE AND LUCK!

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:47 amStilts

      Oh yes, I would judge Hollywood all the more. I could find a translator for any major language if I so desires, so Hollywood gets no slack. Japan doesn’t get much more though, at least with English.

      • February 5, 2013 at 9:11 amBear

        There are even English language newspapers and broadcasts and I read an article recently that a number of Japanese companies are using English exclusively at work because the feel it will promote their international operations. Maybe they think it’s easier for Japanese to understand Engrish? ;)

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:26 amjunglepenguin

    I think I can empathize with Ryuunosuke, as absurd and probably hurtful as he was with (not) interacting with Rita. People don’t normally physically shut themselves in and away from the public for no reason. More importantly, in doing so, they also shut out human interaction, creating psychological barriers to hide behind. I couldn’t help but think that Ryuunosuke may have had a bad experience in the pass, and is afraid of being hurt again, and that would explain why he likes to seclude himself in his room, away from human interaction, and why he behaves all kuu (as in kuudere) around the people.

    And then Rita pops up, and shows genuine interest and affection for him. Before her arrival, he had probably settled comfortably in his emotional fortress, thinking he was “safe” because no one from Sakurasou really wants to know anything more about him. So imagine the shock and intimidation he would be feeling when he sees Rita pounding away at his walls, trying to pull him out of his comfort zone. Faced with the same situation, I’d react the same way he did: act on instinct. I’d run and hide behind other barriers, anything that would put something between me and the “enemy”, or possibly even lash out at this person (I’m glad Ryuunosuke was sensible enough not to scream at Rita in the same way a certain boy was screaming at a certain girl after receiving a letter).

    The fact that Ryuunosuke is reacting the way he does now shows more than anything else that he cares for Rita in some way. He isn’t doing a good job of expressing it, that’s for sure, you can’t deny that he’s trying. I’m reminded of Kotoura-san when I think of Ryuunosuke and Rita. So I really can’t feel angry towards him, and especially when I’m so eagerly looking forward to him making up for his mistakes.

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:26 amjunglepenguin

      Other thoughts:

      - Respect for Miyahara. I have to disagree with Stilts here. I thought his offer to cycle Sorata as far as he did had little, if not nothing to do with Sorata. He did it simply because he loved Aoyama. Put yourself in his shoes. The girl you love is in trouble. In the same situation, I’d have done what Miyahara did, which was to do all he could with all his strength to bring himself as close to her and to be of as much help to her as he possibly could. The power of love isn’t about beating your love rivals. It’s about the desire to think of and only of the one you love. (Lol, the whole bicycle thing reminded me of Watashitachi no Tamura-kun.)

      - The Sorata that was so obsessed with pushing Mashiro to work harder now realizes that they’ve moved so far apart. No shit, Sherlock. He had better spend the rest of his life being thankful that Mashiro still wants to be with him.

      - Lol at jelly Mashiro.

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:54 amStilts

      You misunderstand me on Miyahara. Of course what he did had nothing to do with Sorata, but if it was all for Nanami, he would have either gone himself or just given Sorata his bike. Why needlessly tire out two people when, by having to haul both his and Sorata’s asses up that hill, they probably went slower than they would have otherwise?

      No, the point was for him to do something for Nanami, even though he couldn’t be the hero. He can’t be the one to show up, so he did what he could to let Sorata get there just a little bit more rested, and also had the personal satisfaction of him having done something to help Nanami as well – of having exerted that effort for her.

      • February 5, 2013 at 5:22 amjunglepenguin

        Hmm, maybe I did misunderstand you. You spoke about frustration and helplessness, but it didn’t feel like Miyahara even had the time to consider these things. You spoke about him realizing his loss as a rival to Sorata, and about its potential to bring about resentment towards him, but the way he reacted throughout the whole scene showed something else. No offense, but when you commented about thinking too much about the event, I wanted to agree with you there.

        I honestly thought that he acted with little prejudgement; a decision made on the spur of the moment. I’d say the point was for him to do anything for Aoyama, regardless of his position. I believe there was no concrete intention for him other than to spend every ounce of energy he had on bringing Aoyama her happiness. He wasn’t thinking about being the hero or being otherwise unable to be one, about how much more energy Sorata would have had if he were to ferry him halfway to their destination (I actually think that he might have assumed the power of love would sustain him all the way) and least of all, about personal satisfaction. If he had actually considered these as his motives, then I’d withdraw some of the respect I have for him, honestly speaking. His cliched yet powerful declaration of his source of power and his summoning of hidden strength to get them up the rest of the hill would be hollow and hypocritical..

      • February 5, 2013 at 11:38 amStilts

        I was speaking to his unconscious motivations, not his overt ones. As for his active ones, he heard the girl that he loved was in trouble and he wanted to do something for her. He wanted to do something for her. So he did. The frustration, the tiring himself out to avoid anger…they may have come later, or perhaps that’s all just subtext that never occurred to him.

        Either way, don’t think less of him. Miyahara is a good guy, from everything I’ve seen.

      • February 6, 2013 at 10:44 amjunglepenguin

        Having watched the scene again, I realized what you were getting at, and I can agree with you on subconscious motivations. They were likely there, but considering the speed at which he had reacted to the information concerning Nanami, I’d say they would have had little significance in affecting the decision he made of cycling Sorata as far as he could.

        I… I couldn’t, even if I tried. He’s shown himself to be too awesome of a bro to not like.

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:56 amGoodStuffs

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • February 5, 2013 at 12:58 amGoodStuffs

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • February 6, 2013 at 2:27 pmGoodStuffs

      LOL yes hate me nanami shippers i look forward to the inevitable episode when that ship sinkkks to the bottomless depths that is friend zoned!muahahahha *pinky* muahhaha! or was the hate on the girlyboy deserves punishment part? if that then i look forward to win he admits udder defeat and face smash himself to her boooobies!

    • February 6, 2013 at 3:05 pmAnonymous

      She is not childhood friend, moron.

      • February 6, 2013 at 4:08 pmGoodStuffs

        LOL ok mr internet jocky! you feel big now? grats to you. it is common knowledge and its been put out there that since there isnt literally a childhood friend shes the closest one to it. nanami is in the friend-zone just matter time theyll show sorata turn her down! were just friendss haha… meaning your ship is on its way to the iceburrrg sooon nanami shipppers! hahha

      • February 6, 2013 at 11:35 pmGrinder

        Anon is right. She is not his childhoodfriend, not even close to it.
        Sorat knows her at most for 1-2 years since he started highschool. And she just was a classmate till she moved in Sakurasou. After that, they became friends.

      • February 7, 2013 at 9:08 pmGoodStuffs

        doenst matter if nanami is not sorata’s actual childfriend shes still getting teh same treatment he sees her as a good friend thats all. they were friends before she moved in Sakurasou. he would not have asked her to move in just because he felt sorry for a classmate he wanted to help out a good friend. having her live at Sakurasou wouldnt lower his boarding costs like having a roomate help lower rent shes not just a classmate unless you want to count the first day he her in their first year…

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:29 amAnonymous

    Aoyama is better because she is wife material? So what? Mashiro is rich, she could employ maid and butlers, and thus have more time for Sorata. Besides she’s eager to learn to be normal for Sorata.
    I don’t that attraction over generic character.

    • February 5, 2013 at 1:51 amAnonymous

      * I don’t understand that attraction over generic character.
      Damn, I wake up too soon.

    • February 5, 2013 at 5:43 amjunglepenguin

      Because a woman who behaves like a wife would likely make for a good wife?
      I guess your inability to understand stems from the difference in preferences that others have? I think I understand why people would like either Aoyama or Mashiro though, so I’m a little curious as to why you’re finding difficulty in understanding this.

      But to be clear, I don’t think either one of them is “better” than the other. Such an opinion is way too subjective to be argued seriously.

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:48 amShroompat

    Ryuunosuke no baka!!!

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:16 amKinny Riddle

    Noooo, Okada Mari, I respect you as a top-class anime writer, but why did you have to take out Rita’s surprise attack kiss on Ryuunosuke from the novel? And I was so looking forward to that scene.

    Let’s just hope she has something better in store for Rita and Dragon than the novel has arranged.

    • February 5, 2013 at 9:22 amKinny Riddle

      Again, another of those puzzling moments where I get downvoted for what?

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:20 amTingster013

    Ryuunosuke, CAN THAT BIG EGO OF YOURS! You like Rita, we all know it. You better fly to England to find her.

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:20 amjasper

    They draging this Nanami thing to much. We all know that he doesn’t return her feelings.

    Shiina and Sorata were just so cute again.The are now one step closer to the confession.

    • February 5, 2013 at 4:14 amswordhack4

      Who’s to say he won’t return her feelings? Sorata isn’t exactly elegant when it comes to people confessing, so, so far he has shown both Mashiro and Nanami a similar amount of affection. This anime just keeps you guessing, even when the pairing seems obvious, when truthfully it’s not that simple.

      At this point, it can actually go either way. I was originally all Sorata X Mashiro, now I’m also Sorata X Nanami. Its crazy

      • February 5, 2013 at 5:15 amjasper

        I make it short.
        It’s crystal clear who he loves and who he sees nothing more than a friend. In a cuple of episode he will reject tsundere girl.

      • February 5, 2013 at 5:28 amGabun

        @swordhack4
        You remind me of the people whe seriously believed that Ryuuji(Toradora) had a thing for Ami(Toradora). Nope dude, Nanami is just a friend to him and Mashiro has hisn heart.

      • February 5, 2013 at 5:48 amjunglepenguin

        I’d like to know where it was clearly implied that Sorata thinks of Nanami only as a friend and that Sorata thinks of Mashiro as a lover.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:18 amGabun

        @junglepenguin
        I’d like to know where it was clearly implied that Ryuuji thinks of Ami only as a friend and that Ryuuji thinks of Taiga as a lover.
        And jet it was clear that he never saw Ami as more than a friend and it was even more clear that Ryuuji was in love with Taiga.
        The same with Nanami and Sorata. It’s implied and demonstrated through the whole show. One must very blind or waer very big Nanami shipper glasses to not see it.

        Well, Nanami will get rejected in a couole episodes anyway and there will still be people who claim that they didn’t saw it comming, just like how it was with Toradora.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:31 amjunglepenguin

        @Gabun
        Uhh, I didn’t ask about Toradora!. Also, you didn’t answer my question.

      • February 5, 2013 at 6:50 amGabun

        I answered already. It’s the same situation like in Toradora or like in any other fictional lovestory about Teenagers. It’s imlied throught the whole show.

        I gues some shippers just tend to cling to even the last bit of hope, even when its hopeless.

      • February 5, 2013 at 7:17 amjunglepenguin

        @Gabun
        If that really was your answer to my question, then you need to brush up on your reading comprehension. I’m asking for you (or anyone else) to name specific incidents that has occurred in the anime that explicitly show that Sorata wants to be nothing more than a friend to Aoyama or that Sorata is in love with Mashiro. But I can leave this as it is if you can’t answer the question properly.

      • February 5, 2013 at 9:23 amBear

        Sorata was dense to both of their feelings.

        As far as ToraDora goes, Ryujii had no idea how Taiga felt about him until the accidental confession and didn’t really know how he felt until the Valentines Day confrontation and a push from Minorin.

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pmedo

        oh poor ami from toradora, did she end up alone in the novels too? no love for the junior idol girl?

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:00 amcaty

        @Bear
        Sorata was dense just like Ryujii was, or just like most shounen romcom male protagonists.
        From the audience point of view it’s clear how both felt.
        And guys, don’t gid yourselves with pointless false hope. That Aoyama will get rejected and that Sorat and Shiina will get together is only a matter of time.

        At the moment i only see big denial phase from many Aoyama shippers, and i find it really funny.

      • February 6, 2013 at 8:44 amBear

        @caty

        Where was Ryujii dense? Maybe that he didn’t understand how his feelings had changed towards Taiga, but she had stated she still was after Kitamura even after he had shot her down, and Taiga had pushed him towards Minorin and Minorin towards him at Christmas. The dense one was Taiga who didn’t understand her feelings even though it was obvious to Kitamura and probably everyone else. The similarity of Ryujii and Sorata is that they’re both people who feel the need to take care of someone else. Ryujii with his mom and Taiga, Sorata with his cats and Mashiro.

        While it’s obvious what the outcome will probably be, one can always hope for the writers to do something that is not hackneyed but makes sense for some of us. Why should the average guy get the princess? Just because that’s the fantasy of the intended audience? Honey and Clover did differently from the run of the mill story but that’s a rarity (and a different audience).

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:09 amewok40k

    Ryunosuke, you are the worst. when girl flies half the world just to meet you, there is no hiding… You got to make it up to her, somehow.
    Same with Jin, who needs to get out of his ego trap. Especially after you admitted that you love Misaki!
    Congratulations, of sorts, to all three: Mashiro,Sorata and Nanami. All of them managed to convey their feelings, and even “emotionally blind male MC” (that Sorata is portrayed as) now is aware there is something going on Nanami’s heart. The obvious problem is how to convey his feelings to Nanami?

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:10 amswordhack4

    I was Sorata X Mashiro. After this episode I also support Sorata X Nanami. Nanami was too much for my heart this episode <3 :)

    • February 5, 2013 at 6:24 amannons

      To bad she’s going to lose

      • February 5, 2013 at 10:17 amGoodStuffs

        amen. pet girlfriend show hint: nanami isnt the pet she looooses!

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:59 amJ_the_Man

    There should be a “Baka” award that goes to the most dense and stupid characters. Konda would win this award hands down. If he’s just realizing now that Nanami loves him and he has a “thing” for Mashiro… I don’t think he deserves a girl in the end.

    One of the underlying themes that I think this anime covers (And perhaps I’m stretching this) is asking the question “What exactly is love, anyway?” It’s the question Mashiro, who for most of her life has been sheltered all her life from normal society via making artwork all day and night. Now her agent is making read all these silly romance manga to give her Ideas on what love is, and she’s trying to emulate things here and there that she picks up from people like Misaki (Make a lunch for Jin, Give the guy a real look at you in a towl… or less… Give ‘em chocolate). The tragic thing is, I don’t think she gets it, yet… And She’s supposed to be Konda’s girl in the end, at least we think.

    While it’s nothing on the scale of Clannad, you still get the elements of a healthy relationship whose bonds could stand the fires of Hell and come out unscathed in Nanami and Konda’s relationship. When one falls down, the other one uses, and sometimes uses all, of his/her strength to pick them up and carry them as long as need be. You see it on a mental sort of scale with Nanami constantly encouraging Konda. And you see it best, unfortunately, in Konda (especially in this episode), when he goes out of his way to make sure Nanami is able to continue her hard work both when she was sick at the beginning of the show and today when she was in peril of missing her audition. Sadly, I’m left wondering exactly “How can he do all of this for Nanami and not expect her to love him for this?”

    If you haven’t realized it yet… I’m not a big romance guy. I can suspend my beliefs for a really good story, but I’m a big believer that love is the action of putting their life in front of yours, and not the “babumps a guy and girl get when they’re close to each other.”

  • February 5, 2013 at 5:30 amGabun

    Can’t wait till they finally confess to each other and they kiss. Shiina is just too adorable.

  • February 5, 2013 at 5:48 amDvalinn

    Regarding Ryuunosuke, I think it has to be taken into account that he probably didn’t know she was going back so soon. She surprised him, so he hid, but he probably wouldn’t have blown her off the way he did if he knew (after all, last time she ended up freeloading in his room after a few days). Because, yeah, he’s lying his ass off when he said his email was mere courtesy. He didn’t seem completely unaffected either, so it’s possibly he’ll get off his ass and do something. Then again, this is Dragon we’re talking about…as far as people skills go, he might be worse than Mashiro.

    I liked the scenes with Mashiro as well. It’s pretty obvious she’s trying to become his equal in more ways than one. The fact that she’s putting more and more work into taking care of herself and doing things of her own volition is already a sign of that, and she’s perceptive enough to know what’s holding the both of them back. Sorata, for his part, thus realized that the distance between the genius and the normal affects them both ways. And the way he’s been acting around her lately, putting all his attention on her (the fact that the was looking forward to getting chocolate from her on Valentine’s day says enough in that regard) makes it pretty clear that he’s falling for her. And she’s already in love with him, even if she’s still confused about it. Guess it’s just a matter of time at this point.

    I think I can’t really blame Sorata for being dense around Nanami for that reason either (though he seems to have gotten a clue now). With his attention focused elsewhere, he just didn’t notice. Still though, I feel it’s just as much her fault either. She keeps chickening out of every confession and opportunity she’s made so far. I wonder, if she actually passes her audition, will she tell him then? It’s kind of like an ultimatum she set for herself, but she’s just as likely to think he has his eyes set on Mashiro and just give up (kinda like with Ami in Toradora). Or maybe she’ll surprise me, dunno.

    And Jin, dammit. I’m guessing next episode will be about those two, but not even an appearance this time? You can at least take the courtesy of accepting it. You jerk.

    I knew I couldn’t be the only one that saw the yuri meter fly up with Rita’s scene either. Heh.

    Anyways, seems like we’re getting some sort of resolution next week, anyway. C’mon Sakurasou, bring the fuzzies.

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:06 amKairoru

    Did Shiina goes commando for the whole episode without anyone noticing it? If she does, she’s truly is a ninja!

    • February 5, 2013 at 6:25 amjunglepenguin

      She said she was wearing something special, if I remember correctly, and to which, Sorata requested for her not to share in detail about.

      You brought that up at a good time. I was just thinking how cute the scenes leading up to that were. She looked like she was agreeing with herself on the decision she made with her pantsu. “Yes, yellow looks good! With this, Sorata will definitely accept my chocolate! I’m ready!” When her editor called, she changed her mind. “My editor is right. I’m going to a showdown! I need to be bolder. Bolder pantsu it is! Good call there, me!”

      I risk being branded a total perv here, but I have to admit that I found that scene quite entertaining. Also, NEIKIDDO SUTAIRU.

      • February 5, 2013 at 5:43 pmTulicloure

        Am I the only one that noticed she was wearing it sideways? lol

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:13 ambaseone

    Dragon is a tsundere nuff said! and I wish there will be a spinoff of this anime where Sorata chooses Nanami(yeah I’m a dreamer)

    • February 5, 2013 at 6:28 amjunglepenguin

      Ryuunosuke’s more of a kuudere, I think.

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:14 amKiria

    Yet another fantastic episode. I can’t help but feel that Nanami seriously confessed as well, but she brushed it off as a joke because she’s a good girl. I feel she already knows she’s pretty much lost to Mashiro, and she didn’t want Sorata to be conflicted between the two of them. I think Nanami learned in the Christmas Eve episode that she’s lost, and this week, she just wanted to seriously confess and throw everything out there, just for the sake of doing it. You go, girl ;~;
    Jin really pissed me off by not showing up for Misaki, but Ryuu pissed me off most of all. I agree with everything you’ve said- That email sent out of courtesy? Yeah right! :/ Plus, just seeing Rita was wonderful, but finding out she was only staying for less than a day and only to deliver that present to him and he doesn’t even see her face? That made me upset.
    But yes, best of all was Mashiro and Sorata. They’re finally getting toward each others’ levels. The only thing is, I can easily see this show ending with nothing resolved between the main love triangle, just like a “well we’ll be together for a while longer!” and no one dates anyone kind of thing. I reaaaaaallly pray with all my heart that doesn’t happen.

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:52 amHighway

    Unfortunately, I think Nanami torpedoed her own ship this week by laughing it off after her impulsive heartfelt confession. She couldn’t take the embarrassment, but she put it out there, she should have let it stand and damn the consequences. If she’d done that, I think Sorata would have wandered back to the school thinking about her, rather than thinking about Mashiro waiting for him.

    But instead, he now thinks that she definitely doesn’t feel that way about him, even after Miyahara said that he’d lost to Sorata.

    I’m still gonna go down with the HRS Nanami, but I think this may have been the fatal blow.

    Otherwise, my eyes were damp through the entire show, but not enough to push me into overt crying. It just felt so touching throughout: Misaki’s upbeat attitude in the face of the disappointment of Jin blowing her off, Rita’s obvious pain at Ryuunosuke’s inability to deal with her, Ryuunosuke’s desperate attempts to throw up emotional barriers against something so far outside of his comfort zone, Mashiro’s attempts to merge the ‘me’ she thinks Sorata likes with the ‘me’ she thinks Sorata wants her to become.

    • February 5, 2013 at 9:31 amBear

      She laughed it off because she knows that it all rides on the audition and if she fails she will have to leave. She didn’t want to confess and then have to leave forever. If he’d returned her feelings it would have been too cruel. By laughing it off she managed to say what she felt but not have to deal with the results or at least delay them.

    • February 5, 2013 at 9:51 amKinny Riddle

      That bicycle scene was a new anime addition. The novel spared Nanamin of torpedoing her own ship as Sorata found a taxi for her right away.

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:00 pmedo

        WTF?! so the fake confession didn’t happen in the novel? and what about miyahara helping sorata and giving up on nanami?

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:57 amLaguna

    Lol, how is it possible for her to torpedo her own ship when then guy in question has not even romantic feelings for her and loves some lese already?

    Hope we will at least come to vol.8 and see our maincharacters hook up.

    • February 5, 2013 at 7:52 amFudou

      Do you really think they’ll go that far?
      They still didn’t even finish vol.5, I’m not sure if we even see vol.7 in the anime.

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:28 amRenneee

        Well, I hope we will at least get to that part because it’s perfect for an end point for a romance story.

        I read that a lot of Nanami fans prefer an open end to the anime so they can still indulge themselves in false hope, even when it’s already decied that Sorat and … got together in the LN.

      • February 6, 2013 at 8:54 amjunglepenguin

        @Renneee
        Where did you read such things? Cite your sources?

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:37 amTsukiyo

    Even though I’m 100% Nanami Team, but I’m enjoying plenty just by watching over the passionate debate between Nanami Team and Mashiro Team here. Nanami Team getting heartbreak each week while Mashiro Team is laughing off knowing that this is their victory, but we’re still not sure whether the director will give us a BIG surprise (I hope he do), which is quite common these days.

  • February 5, 2013 at 10:05 amKinny Riddle

    Just because Sorata’s “default” choice is Mashiro doesn’t mean he won’t stop himself from helping any damsel in distress, a personality fault common in most harem leads.

    That said, though Nanami is on a losing battle, her pseudo-confession did had an impact on wavering Sorata’s subconscious resolve to be with Mashiro somewhat at the post-credits scene, when he puts two and two together and finally realizes something is up.

    And then there’s Miyahara. I think the way he offered to give Sorata a ride half-way was his way of seeking closure from his unrequited love of Nanami – giving Sorata his blessings while allowing himself to move on.

    Just my two cents.

    • February 6, 2013 at 6:10 pmStilts

      And I agree with all these cents!

  • February 5, 2013 at 11:52 am8-bitPenguin

    I think the scene at the end of the episode, where Sorata looks disappointed/shocked when Mashiro changes her mind about holding hands- tells us who he’s going to choose in the end. I like both female leads, but I like Mashiro more… Nanami is too plain. (which isn’t a bad thing or anything, but in anime, I prefer more interesting and quirky female love interests)
    Again, just my two cents. What I do know is, I CAN’T WAIT A WEEK FOR THE NEXT EPISODE. -_-

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:50 pmBear

    As far as Ryuunosuke goes, you’ve got someone who has committed to a belief system and lifestyle that is one without romantic entanglements. Suddenly he is confronted by someone who refuses to accept that and does everything to break down his resolve. He’s not going to go “Oh, this is great, let’s start dating”. He’s stubbornly trying to hold onto what he’s believed in. A few encounters with Rita aren’t going to break him down instantly. The fact that he emailed her on Christmas does show that he’s weakening, and the letter may have had an affect on him. Rita’s sadness really got to me though. I wish we could see more of her. Damn she’s rich. She could afford to fly halfway around the world for one day. I checked and it’s about $1800 round trip.

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pmFidelCashflow

    i mean, i can sympathize with shiina’s loneliness but at the same time why isn’t sorata defending himself more? him and aoyama do have this bond, one, and are both trying to find success because they don’t have it yet. why can’t sorata say to shiina that if aoyama doesn’t get this audition she’s basically going to give up her dream? why can’t he say that she’s an important friend and that she really needs his support right now? come on sorata grow a backbone bro.

    my god, especially when her response to sorata’s “it’s an important day for aoyama” was “it’s an important day for me”? psh whatever…

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:31 pmFudou

    Could anyone who is reading the novel tell in a spoiler tag what happens in vol 5.5?
    I know it’s a side-story, but how important is it? I wonder if it will be included in the anime, or not.

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:36 pmmachene

    Eu não acho que o Ryuunosuke encaixa bem com a Rita. Uma outra garota mais parecida com ele devia tomá-lo da loira, porque aí, se ela o ignorasse da mesma forma brusca com a qual ele age com as outras pessoas/garotas, aposto que ele ia sair correndo atrás. Não sei por que, mas pela minha cabeça vem logo o nome Debby. Se fosse uma estrangeira, a situação ficaria bem mais irônica e um triângulo amoroso além do principal na história deixaria as coisas mais interessantes na minha opinião. Mashiro e Sorata são um casal lindo tb! ^^

  • February 5, 2013 at 5:00 pmEntrav

    Well executed dramatic episode. Couplings aside, I feel that the part where Shiina can’t see Sorata when she looks back is a really nice touch.

  • February 5, 2013 at 5:05 pmAnanas

    “No, a good romance is created when uncertainty is created, when you logically know that the couple is going to get together…but emotionally, you’re just not sure. The writers tug and nudge and mess with your feelings so much that, no matter what you mind says, you’re not totally sure, maybe this is one of the ones that will go the other way, it’s still totally possible…and yeah, usually it doesn’t happen. But as long as they keep that uncertainty alive…”

    Aquarion EVOL is calling bullshit.

    • February 6, 2013 at 6:13 pmStilts

      Actually, EVOL proves my point. Their main mistake was in not making Mikono particularly likable. That’s a whole different kettle of fish.

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm8-bitPenguin

        While this is true Stilts, the fact that Mikono was ALSO voiced by Kiyano Ai made her just that much more lovable. (I love her though, so I might just be a tad biased…) ;)

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:06 pmGeoff

    Rita ship, ICEBERG AHEAD!

    • February 6, 2013 at 9:07 amjunglepenguin

      It takes more than an iceberg to defeat a dragon.

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:46 pmRegen

    I’ts really interesting how many Nanami shippers begin to complain and start to get butthurt. This will continue and reach the peak when he finally rejects her.
    Can’t wait to see the reaction of her fanbuys. After all, we know that Sorata and Shiina share mutual love and that Nanami’S feelings are at best just onesided.

  • February 6, 2013 at 3:59 amlegwkio

    Among the Top 3 Anime of the Winter Season.

  • February 6, 2013 at 4:05 amCaffeinatedSentryGnome

    I want to see Sorata x Mashiro because its the most interesting. if i was Sorata i would be looking at Nanami simply because looking after someone to the level that Mashiro needs would shit me to tears pretty soon. but this is just like me liking the tsundere girls in other shows (senjougahara in bakemonogatari for example). i enjoy watching them, they are great entertainment. but in real life if i went out with one she would probably send me into deep depression.

    The other side of this could be that Sorata needs to be needed and Mashiro needing him could make them the perfect match. although i don’t really see this in his personality enough for it to work.

    if you’ve ever listen to anyone who could spin a good yarn, you would also know that they never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

  • February 6, 2013 at 6:50 amHugu

    Has Aoyama still not goten the message that this guy has no feelings for her and that he is already in love with someone else? What must Sorata do so she get it? Must he run desperately to Shiina and beg her to not leave him like he did a couple of episodes ago? Or must he huge Shiina again, and again, and again? Really, it’s not so hard to see how this dense morron feels.It’s so damn obvious that one must be completely blind to not see it.
    Either way, I hope this one-sided nonses with Aoyama doesn’t get dragged on for too long.

  • February 6, 2013 at 7:09 amcaty

    I seriously don’t get this pointless shipping. Aoyama is not even in the game. She is just a friend for him, nothing more, and the one who gets together with him will be… Well it’s crystal clear wo it will be, even without me mentionen it from the Novel.

    • February 6, 2013 at 7:13 amcaty

      But because it seems that we all like pointless shipping. Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 6, 2013 at 7:25 amjunglepenguin

      If you haven’t gotten it up till now, you probably never will.

  • February 6, 2013 at 8:12 amcaty

    People ship every pairing, even when it is pointless or downright goes against what we know. In the case of this Anime, Aoyama shippers don’t even care how Sorata feels and that he and Shiina have mutual feelings for each other. It’s like Sorata is the only guy in the world and he is the ultamte prize and Aoyama has to get him by all means.

    So yeah, i will never get this absurd behavior that many shippers tend to have and I’m happy about that.

    • February 6, 2013 at 9:06 amjunglepenguin

      And in the same way, SOME Mashiro shippers are trapped in a bubble that contains nothing but Sorata, Mashiro and their interaction between each other. SOME Mashiro shippers don’t even care how Aoyama feels and that she and Sorata have forged deep friendship bonds over the years. It’s like Mashiro is the only girl in the world and she is the ultimate prize and Sorata has to get her by all means. Sounds familiar. Hmmm…

      And I believe many were happy shipping an unlikely pairing, whether or not it works out in the end. And then a bunch of “haters” came along and started “hating” on shippers, which to what end I have not a damn clue.

      • February 6, 2013 at 9:42 amGrinder

        Nonsense, you are twisting what I’m saying.
        Unlike this thing with Aoyama, Sorata and Shiina have mutual feelings for each other. Me and many others respect that and support it becaus it is not baseless. But Aoyama is just the third wheel, nothing more. She is not even in the game. The only thing she can do is accept reality and move on. I see no reason to support something onesided when it’s clear that the guy likes someone else already and that this girl likes him back. Heck, Sorata is not even wavering or has feeling for Aoyama in the first place.
        And about the “forged deep friendship bonds over the years”. Aoyama was, untill she moved to this strange house, not even really close with him anyway. She was just a classmate and now she became his friend.

        But ship Aoyama all you want. The outcome is clear.

      • February 6, 2013 at 10:19 amjunglepenguin

        Wait, am I supposed to be responding to you? I thought I was responding to what caty said.

        And so now I pose you a question that has yet to be answered: I’d like to know where it was clearly implied that Sorata thinks of Nanami only as a friend and that Sorata thinks of Mashiro as a lover. And it’s not like I’m sure that neither of these have been implied in the anime, but until someone shows me proof of either, I’m not even gonna consider taking anything the Mashiro fanboys say seriously.
        So I’m hoping you see my comparison. About the “he and Shiina have mutual feelings for each other.” Evidence where?

        Ya know, I thought the concept of shipping was created and shared for the fun and entertainment of all viewers. Who knew that we’d have people taking things so seriously and turning this into a professional sport. I truly liked both pairings for different reasons, but I’m finding it hard to like a pairing favoured by people so fueled with desire to sling mud at a different pairing and demoralize its supporters.

      • February 6, 2013 at 10:51 amcaty

        Fisrt:
        I didn’t notice that my older brother posts here too.

        Second:
        You are watching this show and still need evidences even when those things you demand are implied in the show countless times already? The denial mode is pretty hard on Aoyama shippers. If you still have not gotten the fact who he loves and who not, there is no helping it but for you to wait till he rejects Aoyama or you read the LN.
        I just hope that you won’t complain and act as if it came out of the blue when he rejects her and gets together with Shiina.

        Just continue your pointles ship. The outcome is clear anyway. Nuff said.

        And I could not care less about you being demoralized about something that was clear it won’t happen in the first place.

      • February 7, 2013 at 9:57 ampolygamy is a stupid nerd dream

        @caty
        I guess people like junglepenguin only are in denial because it’s too hard for them to accept the simple fact that the maincharacter preffers the other girl and he doesn’t see their favourite girl the same way they do. There are always people like that in every romance stories. Just like you said “the denial mode is pretty hard”.

  • February 6, 2013 at 1:27 pmCraig McLeod

    Rita got nowhere?

    Oh wow, that sucks, what between her being a complete jerk that story arc and buzzing around Ryuunosuke like an anoying wasp.

    Really, I can’t see why that’s a problem.

  • February 6, 2013 at 5:12 pmBanana Furikake

    Meh- not into the Nanami thing. Each of the gals has their own flaws- but I think Nanami’s flaws are a little bit too much- she exhibited the hyper control flaw early on in the season.

    This thing screams Ichika, Kanna- and it’s funny seeing the arguments mirror the arguments in that series perfectly.

  • February 6, 2013 at 5:21 pmEnd3rr

    Oh man oh man, ive never seen a love triangle so damn close. At first I was all Shinna but now its just man, I’m as confused as Sorata, how can you not love NANAMI. THIS SHOW !

    • February 6, 2013 at 8:51 pmGoodStuffs

      heres how you break it down…
      mashiro = white foreigner blonde.art prodigy.pet. winner! > namami = oldskool homie.caring.nicehousewife?.bestfriendzoned.forgetaboutit!couldendupwithalotacats.start yourlifeboats to nanami x Miyahara ship theres more hope there at least…

      sorata will always cherish nanami’s frienship shes a BFF! nanami might have had a chance if mashiro never appeared or if the show wasnt about a having a pet girlfriend.

  • February 6, 2013 at 5:38 pmrh75

    Ask 20 people what their definition of wife material is and you’ll get 20 different answers. Nanami is a nice girl and all but does Sorata really need a ‘keeper’ wife? As in a girl who cooks and cleans since he did that before she moved in. They get along good and lend support to each other, but isn’t that what friends do for each other. Close friends especially? It’s moving beyond friendship that Sorata hasn’t done with Nanami. Everything from him comes off as pure friendship to me with hints of embarassment when he notices that she is a girl. But love or attraction or even a desire to be with her, no.

    What was it that caused Sorata to break out of his comfort zone and submit a game proposal? Who was it that he desired to stand next to? Why did he not give up after his rejections?

    Mashiro is constantly on his mind, and not as her keeper. She pushes him to improve with barely having to say a word. And despite Sorata’s flaws, she still wants to be with him. Though I think he needs to make up for all the broken promises. A person can only accept so many of those.

    Dragon, love is scary. You are all comfortable behind your walls and suddenly this stranger shows up out of nowhere. She pushes and pushes until she breaks through. Suddenly all that comfort is gone and you don’t know what to do. You try to pretend that she means nothing to you, yet you know that is not true. If it wasn’t you’d never given Rita Sorata’s email since you probably knew he would give her yours. If that lively girl meant nothing to you, you’d never exchanged emails, espeically on Christmas Eve. What you did was cruel and hopefully you come to regret your words and actions. I don’t think a simple email message will be enough. Love is scary but it can be wonderful (or so I’m told).

    Jin just needs a kick to the nuts. Maybe that’ll get his brain and heart moving again.

    • February 6, 2013 at 6:18 pmStilts

      There’s something to be said for focusing on those major events, the big things that shape one’s life. All that minor bullshit we do, the cooking and the cleaning and the minor maintenance tasks? They have to be done, but they’re not important. Realizing your dreams, pushing forward, someone who drives you to be a better you? That’s on a whole other level.

      Of course, doing all of those minor maintenance tasks for the rest of your life could be annoying, haha. Just a few thoughts…

  • February 6, 2013 at 8:01 pmKingofConquerors

    The drama between Ryuunosuke and Rita was reduced by Rita’s terrible engrish on her letter….it was kinda distracting…

    still a good episode nonetheless…still pretty good seeing Shiina being more vocal and verbose about her feelings, and my heard did pulsate and skip a beat during Nanami’s confession….

    i hope they find some way to put the last two volumes into the series…..it’s gotten too good to get a cliffhanger at the end after such a good run…(it’s already exceeded Toradora in my book)

  • February 6, 2013 at 8:20 pmMeh

    Surprised no one noticed Nanami’s sudden use of the Kansai dialect. Loved that she goes into it while panicking. Thought it was really cute. “Just awful! The trains ain’t moving! They’re sayin’ there was an accident! They ain’t got no idea when they’ll be runnin’ again!” xD

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:41 amrurineko (thenewhorde)

    Ryuunosuke, I can’t really blame him cause he’s acted far better than I expected out of him. At least he’s acted 10 times better than I have ever done when in front of a girl…

    Still, in front of a beautiful, practically 2D girls like Rita, how could he say no? JUST HOW? Ahhh… I don’t blame you Ryuunosuke, but I blame you for hurting Rita’s feelings… (Wrote this after having Rita dreams…)

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:36 amkuroinu

    How funny. There are still people shipping Nanami while it’s clear that he has no feelings for her. It’s sad for her, but I’m sure that there are other guys in the world that would be willing to return her feeling, it’s just that Sorata is not one of these guys. She will accept it and move on.
    Perhaps even Nanami will get a guy at the end, how about Soratas friend? He seems to be a really nice guy.
    —————————————————————————————-

    I understand that Ryuunosuke is a shut in, but he could have ben nicer to Rita. Don’t agree with his behavior.
    —————————————————————————————-

    I still don’t like how Jin is treating Misaki. They can be together and he can still work on his dream/career. He can be lucky that this a is a romcom and that she is willing to wait for him.
    —————————————————————————————-

    Sorata and Shiina were just extremely cute like always. It’s easy to see that they really like each other. I just hope that they won’t experience too much drama till they finally get together.
    —————————————————————————————-

    This show is really good so far. There is no character that I dislike or hate and the romance between SorataXShiina and between JinXMisaki are cute and interesting.

  • February 7, 2013 at 10:03 ampolygamy is a stupid nerd dream

    I wonder how many episodes it will take to go the the glorious moment in the vol.8 in the LN…
    I want to see the kiss and the hugging animated.