Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – 20
「この先もただいまを言うために」 (Konosaki mo Tadaima o iu Tameni)
“So We Can Keep Calling It Home”
Such is the arrogance of amateurs playing at PR. Because they’re afraid of what people might say about the school, the board decided to move up the demolition of Sakurasou from five years to immediately, all because they think Mashiro should be painting. What right do they have! But more importantly, they’re forgetting one thing – the residents of Sakurasou. They will not go quietly into that good night…
Both At Once and None At All
The choices Sorata and Ryuunosuke faced this episode were of particular interest to me. To help or not to help seems like an easy choice – it should be based off what is right and what you want to do, right? Well, as is in reality, so is in fiction, because the answer is rarely as easy as that.
For Sorata, it came down to bandwidth. Despite what some people will tell you, human beings are horrible multitaskers. Actually, that’s not the important point – it’s that we’re cognitive misers. The mind is like a muscle, in that the more you use it in a particular day, the more tired it will get. We can only make so many decisions in a day before we burn out! Therein lies the difficulty in Sorata’s decision – does he pick the game competition, saving Sakurasou, or do both and risk doing them badly?
For my money, I think Sorata made the right choice, but that’s not without caveats. Human beings can sprint for a while, but if they try to do it too long, they’ll either burn out or start doing everything badly. Trust me on this, I’ve been there myself. That said, with less than a month between now and the final review / graduation ceremony, Sorata probably has it in him to do one short, strong sprint. I sure hope he does. Also, kudos to Fujisawa for giving him the push he needed. He’s going to be a great mentor for Sorata.
As for Ryuunosuke, I’ll speak more to him in a later section, but let me say one reason why I’m glad Sorata didn’t follow his advice. He was not wrong that Sorata’s time is the most valuable of any of theirs right now, but he was absolutely wrong with the conclusion he drew from it. For Sorata to win at the competition while letting something important to him be destroyed is the same as losing. This is what I think – victory without integrity is failure. You have to win the right way, and letting the board destroy their home for such a dumb and selfish reason…nu uh, no way. That doesn’t feel right at all.
The Bitter Pill – Nanami’s Results
Oof, that hurt. I knew it was coming, the whole setup and the buildup and everything that has happened screamed that she wouldn’t make it, but damned if it didn’t hurt nonetheless. The point I want to get across is how powerful this scene was to one who has come to like Nanami so much. And that’s the key – if they hadn’t done such a good job of making her likable (to me! Down rabid shippers, down!), then it wouldn’t have hurt so much. But they did, slowly and surely, and then the scene came – the background noise died away to nothing, the sigh, the small smile that made you think hey wait, just maybe (but no, you don’t even believe that for a second, you just want to), the brittle smile of shattered dreams…oof.
Such was the overwhelming power of this scene that it dyed all of the zany Misaki antics that came after it, making them bitter and painful to watch. Once again, not painful bad – this is fiction reaching in and twisting the heart, which the highest of compliments in my storyteller eyes, even if it hurts like a bitch when they pull it off. They got Nanami into a Torajirou suit and glomped her, everyone was being silly and happy and fun…but it tasted like ash in my mouth. Even now that mood still permeates. That’s the curse (glory! power!) of Sakurasou’s Rule of Four – it was great and done very well, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t affect me, and does still. I’ll be damned if it didn’t hurt.
Ahhh Ryuunosuke. His dilemma can be summarized by a single line from Rita: “If you’re just going to be disappointed, it’s better not to try.” He was betrayed by his friends in the past (or so he felt – he probably went overboard himself), due to the curse of the genius, due to wanting to create something great and the others not being able to catch up. This was the same problem that Rita had, save that Ryuunosuke was in Mashiro’s place, and he knew it enough to hurt when they left. Now, he’s not sure if these new friends of his are about to do the same. To me, it sounded like he almost wanted Sakurasou to be demolished, just to see if they would stick with him when they weren’t around one another all the time.
The best part of this was the unexpected collaboration between Meido-chan and Rita. First of all, let me say this – if that’s the kind of AI he can create, one with depth and feelings and emotions as real as any human I’ve ever met, Ryuunosuke ought to be a very wealthy man already. But that aside, that Meido-chan would recognize the limits of her ability to help her master and instead encourage him to talk to Rita, her eternal nemesis – bravo, Meido-chan.
As for Rita herself, she was right, of course. Even if they don’t live together, these are good, solid friends who will not desert or betray him, no matter what. Not that I don’t understand – we all knows it’s wrong to not try when the odds are long, but all of us do it from time to time. But you have to. If it’s worth fighting for, if it’s worth attempting, you’ve got to try. You’ll never grow if you don’t try, never be able to go to sleep at night free of regret, and never occasionally pull off those big wins that can change your life forever.
Fortunately, Ryuunosuke made the right choice. It still didn’t quite wash away the bitter pill of Nanami’s loss, but it made me smile even so. Fight on, people of Sakurasou. Fight on!
Four more episodes. It’s clear that this adaptation won’t get through all the source material (though that’s been clear for a long time), but I still wonder where it will end. I haven’t seen the hurry up yet, but even if the demolition crisis is solved next week, where will they choose to end it!? Anime original ending, Season 2, cut off here forever – I’m filled with concern, as I always am in these situations. But I’ll force it down and wait to see.
For now, it’s mainly Mashiro’s move that worries me most. I think she heard Sorata, Ryuunosuke, and Nanami talking in the hall. She says it’s better when everyone is together, but she wants to protect Sakurasou as well. What are you going to do, Mashiron?
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Like a punch to the gut, #sakurasou’s Rule of Four comes into play again. Just cry, Nanami. Just cry.
- So the woman Fujisawa loved was lost about what to do, trying to decide whether to keep pursuing art or become an art teacher. Erh, wait a second…Chihiro-sensei!?
- Loved Ryuunosuke’s tPhone. All power to the tomatoes!
- I will never be kuma hugged by Misaki-sempai. So lucky, Nanamin! Well, except for that one thin–oof. Yeah, it still hurts.