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Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – 21

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「誰のせいでもなく雨は降る」 (Dare no Seide mo Naku Ame wa Furu)
“No One’s to Blame When It Rains”

I feel so burnt out, spent. I’m getting flashbacks, of my own failures, of sinking into despair, of curling up on my bed after someone or something or life in general socked me in the gut, and then didn’t stop until I was down for the count. Or did that really happen? I don’t know. Characters that I’ve come to love, all put through the ringer, one after the other and then another again…ouch. I’ve said it before, but good storytelling can hurt. I’m hurting now. Not as much as Nanami, Sorata, and Mashiro, but still.

Nanami

Though the intro was sad, with this sense of borrowed time subtly woven into every action and narration, the episode only truly started when Nanami began to cry. I’ve said it before, but here it is again – this is what happens when you bottle up your emotions instead of experiencing them when the bad news hits. Nanami should have cried deeply and openly long ago, but instead she held it in. She kept going for as long as she could, kept trying and smiling for as long as she could…until finally it as too much, and everything that had built up slammed into her all at once. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

And she thought it was all a waste. This too I have written about before, but I don’t begrudge her for feeling as she did. In that moment, when it all hit her and she thought back on all the things she sacrificed, it must have seemed like a waste indeed. But it was not. The experience will change her, and the journey has already made her into who she is today. That she can put in so much effort means that she can do it again, either for this dream or the next. It shows her youth for her to think it was a waste, but I don’t begrudge her that.

As for the setup of the whole critical scene, it was very artistic of Nanami to stand in the rain as she cried. But before you judge that scene for being cliche, have you ever tried it? Have you ever gone out to a park after your heart was broken and screamed to the heavens with all your pain and rage? I have. That second one, that is. And I have to say, it feels totally, and completely, embarrassing. Maybe I don’t have it in me to express myself that way, or in any way other than typing words on a screen. I don’t deny the desire, though. Stories influence us, enough so that when things are really crappy, some of us genuinely do go stand out in the rain and feel sad, weather permitting. And it feels kind of good, in a way. Maybe. For some people, perhaps.

Finally, Nanami calls herself a bad person for using Sakurasou’s plight to hide from her failure. Bullshit. It wasn’t particularly wise, but that doesn’t make her a bad person. It’s actions that define us, not the secret thoughts that go on in our heads, and her actions show her to be a good person. It’s as is said about courage – courage does not come from the absence of fear, but from conquering of it. Good people conquer the bad thoughts. Nanami is one of them. A good person, that is.

Sorata

Ouch. I was hoping he would get it this time, hoping it would go his way, but it was not to be. And to lose to another rhythm game, and one that didn’t sound as innovative or interesting (but is probably a whole lot cheaper to make and easier to sell, natch). That hurts. To quote Fujisawa:

“Sometimes, your future is already set, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are some things you just can’t change, no matter how hard you work. Unfair, don’t you think? It isn’t an easy fact to accept, and I’m not telling you to, but that’s just how life is. Unfair.”

That’s the story of this episode right there. Even so, I hope Sorata takes this loss to heart. Though it’s unfair, the most interesting game doesn’t always win, at least when you’re depending on other people to foot the bill (learn to program, Sorata!). He did get high praise from Fujisawa though, both as a designer and a player. That counts for a lot.

What’s more, Sorata hugged the girl! This was the kind of scene where Sorata proves himself to be a great male lead. I wish we could have this Sorata all the time. I’m reminded of a scene in Love Hina, between Keitaro and a distraught Motoko. Motoko threw herself at Keitaro, crying at the mess her life had become, and he couldn’t bring himself to hug her (though he did make her laugh, which helped). I always thought, why? Even if you don’t love her, she needs someone now! Hug the girl, dammit! Well, Sorata did. She needed someone, and he was there. He manned up when it really counted, no matter what was happening in his own life. Well done.

I must say though, Sorata had the right attitude about his failure. He was glad he tried, but pissed that he lost. It’ll take a while for him to try again, but he will. He was right – a break is exactly what both he and Nanami need right now, to recharge their creative batteries and get ready for the next attempt. After all, it’s only if they don’t try again – at this dream or another one – that all their efforts will really have been a waste.

And then the letter came.

Mashiro

Of anything else this episode, the letter at the end hurt the most. Maybe it was because I wasn’t expecting it, but when Sorata was already hurting (and hanging on admirably well), it arrived to deliver the knock out blow. All his faith in hard work, everything he believed in, torn asunder when the company he wanted to work for offered Mashiro a position instead, when she was only trying to help him out. Ouch, ouch, ouch. That really sucked.

“Because I’m here?” says Mashiro. I may have screamed aloud at this point. “Tell her that’s not the case!” I yelled. “Tell her it’s not because she’s there! Tell her it’s only right because she’s there! Dammit Sorata, TELL HER!!” I’m unsure if this signaled the return of idiot Sorata, the Sorata they always trot out when they want to amp up the drama, or whether we’ll keep the good male lead Sorata instead. He didn’t turn on her and get angry as he has in the past, so that was good. Yet he didn’t stop her either, didn’t try to assuage her feelings – but would it have worked anyway? It feels to me like Mashiro already made up her mind. Whether we have bitch Sorata or not will only become clear once we find out what he does next. Don’t screw up, shounen.

Looking Ahead

We’re in Empire Strikes Back territory here folks, at the end of Two Towers, where everything is going badly and it looks like there’s only darkness ahead, and how can this all possibly turn out alright? (For this arc, I mean.) Nanami is crushed and leaving, Sorata is broken, and Mashiro is gone in an attempt to save her beloved Sakurasou. How could there possibly be a happy ending after all of this?

Three more episodes. By then, we’ll have found out.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It does not let up. Nanami breaks down, Sorata suffers a critical blow, and Mashiro…Mashiro, NO!! #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • Nothing, nothing. There is no levity this week, not after that. There is only pain. Oh gods, I need a drink, and maybe a hug.

Full-length images: 05, 12, 30, 33.

 

Preview

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   21   Preview 01
March 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm
167 comments »
  • March 4, 2013 at 8:52 pmKuntzy

    Okada Mari in full force.

    I was literally screaming “Hug her you dumbass!” to Sorata during the scene in the rain with Nanami. The return of the Days of Dash slow instrumental was really well placed during that scene too.

    As for Sorata, can’t really blame the guy for getting pissed (Thankfully not at Mashiro this time) about the letter. It really seems like they only let him get that far so they could recruit her… though it seems he’s completely ignoring what Fujisawa told him not too long before that about it having been good but had high potential for a Kusoge if not done properly.

    • March 4, 2013 at 9:32 pmZen

      Okada the uber-empath strikes again, the intuitively skilled puppeteer, masterfully manipulating the heartstrings of legions…just how is she so damn good? Is she an emotional genius?…XP

      • March 4, 2013 at 9:44 pmSortedevaras

        Apparently yes since I have not cared about character in a show this much since Toradora.

      • March 4, 2013 at 10:21 pmStilts

        When you’re good at something, never do it for free…and do it repeatedly, until everyone remembers you and is crying from all the FEEEEEELS!!

      • March 5, 2013 at 2:13 amsands

        For whatever reason, I actually want nobody to make-up and be happy again, and I only think that because I really empathize with these characters. I want tragedy, because I honestly feel like that would be more realistic. In the end, they don’t get better, or they don’t achieve their dreams, and love is lost forever.

        Of course, this won’t end that way.

    • March 7, 2013 at 8:29 pmmalice

      Having Sakurasou and Tempest under her belt is either amazing or completely unfair.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:07 pmZephyr

    ^ Okada Mari indeed. Was ridiculous seeing Sorata just get pounded over and over this episode, ugh. Was pretty much flashing back to the old Linkin Park song the whole time:

    “I tried so hard
    And got so far
    But in the end
    It doesn’t even matter
    I had to fall
    To lose it all
    But in the end
    It doesn’t even matter”

    But yeah, I actually admittedly forgot it was Okada doing Sakurasou. After seeing what happened this episode though, it was like… THIS DRAMA, IT MUST BE OKADA! Checks* BY GODS IT IS!

    • March 4, 2013 at 9:26 pmZen

      Lol, the nostalgia, all the hours of my youth that I wasted listening to Linkin Park…no regrets…XP

      • March 5, 2013 at 9:41 amGeoff

        They had catchy songs. Why say you “wasted” time listening to them? Enjoy everything you do in your life man.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:06 pmRoguespirit

      Boy did you ever nail that one. Frankly I’m kinda ashamed of myself for not making that same connection myself since I’ve heard that song like a thousand times. Maybe it was because I was listning to the “Happy Days” theme song earlier. I think after watching this, I need to listen to it again.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pmZen

    And to lose to another rhythm game, and one that didn’t sound as innovative or interesting…

    Lol, I think Call of Duty’s proven that innovation isn’t what makes mega-blockbusters, at least as far as most genres of videogames are concerned- it might net you some decent sales and pleasant critical reviews, sure, but for massive blockbuster appeal your product needs to retain a certain level of general simplicity where just about anyone can relate to and enjoy it (But not too simple as to be brain-dead)- unless you’re “selling” something like stories (A completely different kettle of fish), where complexity that speaks to the heart of human concerns can do the trick just as well…and I suppose this would make heavily story-based games something of an exception…

    It feels to me like Mashiro already made up her mind. Whether we have bitch Sorata or not will only become clear once we find out what he does next. Don’t screw up, shounen.

    I don’t think we should be to worried about that. Looks a little too close to the end for him to be screwing things up too badly- and even if it does chances are it’ll be quickly resolved- unless we get a surprise announcement of a second season, which I wouldn’t be at all averse to…

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pmStilts

      True that on Call of Duty. That’s why I hope Sorata takes this lesson to heart. His idea was not a bad one, so he has the chops, but tricky implementation made it a harder sell.

      • March 5, 2013 at 9:46 amRaw

        He still has to learn that if you want to make something, you have to set your specific goal on it. If he wants his game to sell, then yes, he has to abide by the market & publisher rules, were good game design is scarce. If he just wants to make a game, a great one, there’s a number of other ways aside from going to publisher reviews directly. Doujin soft (which in Japan are massive), indie games, crowdfunded games, mods, etc. Even Ryuunosuke was going to do that (on the flashback it was implied they were building the game between friends only).

        I hope he learns that he doesn’t need approval of others (or COs) to achieve his dreams, he only needs to act fast before he has to pay for his rent :P

      • March 5, 2013 at 2:24 pmStilts

        Yes yes yes! That’s the thing – Sorata is seeking the approval of others. Nanami too. Mashiro did that too with her manga…but not painting. For that, she just produced her work and saw what her true audience thought.

        Personally, that’s the way I would go each and every time. Screw some “experts” approval. All that matters is the end audience…though of course, that requires you to have the skills to bring your vision to reality without (much) help. That’s easier with painting (or even manga) than it is for a video game.

    • March 5, 2013 at 6:45 amKuntzy

      Fujisawa mentioned the other game involved Vocaloids. You’re fighting a losing battle if you try to take on Hatsune Miku and her legions of fans. Was probably that Project Diva game no doubt.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:33 pmFlareKnight

    I can’t really blame Sorata this time. By the time Mashiro was reacting that way he was already completely burned out. I don’t think he could immediately understand the effect those words had on Mashiro. Just so frustrated at the world and he didn’t have enough time before Mashiro walked inside. Let’s face it Aoyama broke down, he got the news of his failure, Aoyama really broke down, they failed to save Sakurasou with the petition, and then he gets the low blow from that letter. He didn’t even understand how bad off Aoyama was until he got that mail. Just so mentally stressed and exhausted that he couldn’t react fast enough. I don’t think this was idiot Sorata, just exhausted Sorata.

    The main three of Aoyama, Sorata, and Mashiro all had horrible episodes. Aoyama just completely broke down this time. All the pain and frustrations from the feelings that she wasted all that time came flowing out. I’m not surprised that she first snapped in terms of crying in class before really losing it outside.

    Sorata was of course badly off as I said before. That failure really hurt especially when he lost to a similar genre. He lost because his game wasn’t the safe bet. It was a boom or bust kind of game. The safer game will never be as good, but it will sell and sadly that’s what it was about this time.

    Painful for Mashiro as well. She already felt like this was her fault and saw so much. Saw Aoyama and Sorata outside, saw that they fell short, and saw Sorata break down from that letter. I’m not surprised that she felt that the meaning of his words was really that “because she was there this was happening.” She’s become aware enough to put blame on herself when things go bad. Sadly it meant she felt it was needed to solve this problem herself.

    Just a rough episode.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pmStilts

      Yeah, I think you’re right about exhausted Sorata. Taken as a singular incident, maybe he should have reacted and stopped her, but on top of everything else that had happened that day? Eesh, it’s impressive he isn’t visually disheveled and weeping as he drags his feet home. For however long it stays as home.

      • March 4, 2013 at 11:53 pmDualash

        Considering his situation, I can’t see Sorata could have reacted in any other way as Mashiro was pretty perceptive to why Sorata was rambling about unfairness and life; in a way, Sorata couldn’t have lied to her since the Sakurasou is being demolished despite that it did bring Mashiro to experience new emotions and have new friends.(Though this is just my opinion and people make very persuasive points)

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:38 pmtotoum

    A quick reminder that this is still an adaptation and as far as I know this isn’t anime original so while I’m sure we can go “I see why Okada would be interested in adapting this” let’s not forget to credit the original novel author Hajime Kamoshida as well.

    Unless this is original,in which case,yeah,Okada!

    • March 5, 2013 at 8:51 pmKuntzy

      While you’re absolutely right about the original author deserving credit as well, I have noticed that Okada Mari has messed around with the story in favor of including angst. In the scene where Rita shows up for Valentine’s Day, she actually plants a legit kiss on him instead of not even getting to see him.

      I haven’t actually read the light novels, but this episode just completely felt like an Okada Mari work.

      • March 5, 2013 at 9:09 pmKuntzy

        By him, I meant Ryuunosuke btw. Rushing too much.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:38 pmswordhack4

    I knew it was coming, but I simply couldn’t handle Nanami this episode for one reason. Her tears are contagious :(. Just as everything was beginning to look up, it all crashes. Sorata’s game, Nanami’s voice acting dream, just all came crashing down.

    I don’t even think Nanami has had a break yet! (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I believe this is her second time failing, I don’t even think she had a chance to succeed yet in the series…

    But even through her failures-no, because of her failures, Nanami is quickly becoming my favorite. A person with a dream, and works so hard. Harder than the rest, but still fails, and can actually hold in tears like she did. She’s just too strong.

    On a side note, the voice acting here was simply incredible this week.

    But it must be hard to be around Mashiro. I saw the subtle look of gloom on Nanami’s face when Mashiro succeeded in her manga. She feels happy, but also sad. Just mixed in feelings.

    And Mashiro now….goddamn man I don’t even know anymore. Now she feels like the true cause.

    Truly a gloomy day in the world of Sakurasou this week :(.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:53 pmctscloud

    Poor Nanami =(
    Why was Sorata so wrapped up in his final review that he ignored her for a good chunk of the episode, only to have Ryuunouke wake him up?

    I had it called when we first saw the episode where they hinted at this… and behold that letter came and Sorata went nuts!

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:03 pmswordhack4

      You can’t blame him for going nuts either. Sakurasou is failing, his game failed, Nanami failed, while Mashiro is still succeeding, and even became eligible for the art work, while Sorata, who ASKED Mashiro to do the art for him, failed.

      Now when I begin to wrap my mind around all that, I really begin to get pissed off, not at any particular person, but just at how unfair life really is.

      Compared to me, Sorata is strong and stable. If that were me, I honestly would’ve became a much darker person.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:30 pmStilts

      @ ctscloud

      I’m not surprised Sorata left Nanami alone. It’s hard to force yourself to stay when someone says no, it’s okay, you can go. It takes some clever maneuvering and serious perceptive ability that I don’t think Sorata possesses. I don’t blame him…I’m not sure I possess those either.

      • March 4, 2013 at 10:49 pmctscloud

        I wasn’t surprised that he failed to notice, but its just that seemingly everyone around him (but him) knew at least something was up. In that mindset, I was surprised – not on the fact that he didn’t notice. But then again, he had his own problem to deal with right around the same time.

        With everything failing around you like swordhack4 mentioned, how do you gain the inner strength to move past things like this? It’s also interesting that we get to see the inner struggle between the theme of gifted individuals (e.g. Mashiro) and our normal type people (e.g. Sorata) resurface. I’m looking forward to what’s their answer to end the show.

      • March 5, 2013 at 2:15 amewok40k

        I am really disappointed with Sorata’s first reaction. Even someone not very well versed in human interaction, namely Ryuu-kun was clearly able to see “One doesnt cry like that if she is okay!”
        Fortunately, Sorata redeemed himself with his further actions. This hug, and later staying with Nanami until both fell asleep, gave me a huge warm feeling.
        All in all the episode does make me feel like Sorata and Nanami are much more compatible than Sorata and Mashiro. They both are dedicated hard-working types who are plagued by hostile fate. And the way they were able to support each other bodes well for any possible future together.

      • March 5, 2013 at 9:58 amMegas

        Sorata was the only one in the group working on a project that could have reshaped his future & the crap around him only hit the fan when he failed. Not only that but all of them wanted him to focus on that UNTIL they knew that he failed. What could he have done anyway, especially after he taken that hit. This is a kid, not some uber super hero that tries to save everyone. Of course, everyone else noticed Nanami. All they had to focus on was saving Sakurasou & Nanami was in the middle of it.

        Being disappointed in him only means that you expected for him to display traits outside of his character. Nanami & Sorata were both crashing hard. There was nothing that they could do for each other except to stay out of the other’s way.

      • March 5, 2013 at 1:18 pmFlareKnight

        Yeah, I’m not really surprised Sorata was slow to figure out that Nanami needed him back there. When you have a million important things racing around in your head, it’s hard to be as perceptive as you need to be. He knew the meeting that would decide his game’s future was going on during that moment and he also knew that they were in tough to save Sakurasou in a last ditch effort after school. He had a lot on his plate and then the phone rang with news of his game which left him with little time to think on Nanami’s situation.

        Even the weather was against them in this episode. It’s hard enough to get people to sign something, but when it’s raining the last thing people are going to do is stop to sign petitions. It’s just race for home time.

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:55 pmRoguespirit

    This was probably the heaviest episode of any anime I’ve ever watched. Maybe that’s not saying much for me but wow what an impact.

    Before watching this show I felt the same as Sorata did in the beginning, I didn’t think I was good enough to even try, but after seeing the journey that Sakuraso went through together I couldn’t help but feel motivated, and now when I can I write(even when I should be doing my assignments ;))

    What happened to Sorata this ep is so common in the games industry it’s not even funny, but because of that, because people wanted their unique ideas to be seen, to be played there are indie and independant developers, and these non-bluckbuster titles gave us gemes like “Journey It is the new thinkers and those who dare to innovate that make the big splashes in the long run, heck even Call of Duty was new and exciting at some point(CoD4). For more info about the games industry and publishing wath Thisvideo.

    As for Mashiro, I feel sorry for her. Her Naivety and lack of “street smarts” makes her blissfully unaware about just how to world works, or could she be this way because she knows all too well? In either case a defining moment in Shina’s character is coming up and soon a conclusion to the love Triangle as well I bet, well maybe.

    I don’t blame Sorata for not telling her it wasn’t her fault at the end, it’s possible he didn’t trust his own words. He was emotional and deeply hurt. I’ve been where he is(to a lesser extent) and I couldn’t admit it to myself that I simply wasn’t good enough for the world.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode, I hope we eventually get a nice resolution for them all.

    Thank you again STILTS for your excellent blogging and the personal touch you’ve added to this show’s reviews have made it so great.

    While I don’t exactly go out and stand in the rain I do like to just go out and take a walk, even in the worst of conditions, it clears my head.

    One last question: Is this show going into the “Popular Series” list for RC? Or is that just for “popular series”. Sorry if this seems like a stupid questions, but I really believe that this show deserves to be on that list.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:33 pmStilts

      Thank you for your kind words *bows*

      As for the popular series list, I honestly have no idea how shows get up there. So maybe? Lol. I’ll find out as soon as you do if it does!

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:56 pmHighway

    Yeah, this episode was the gut punch, and all of the characters are down. After the high of Misaki and Jin two weeks ago, just this steady decline into hopelessness and failure. And the one person who doesn’t need more successes has them keep coming.

    And ironically, it’s those successes that are causing the decline for the others. “Shiina Mahiro is wasting her talent on manga.” Even though she’s good enough as an artist *and* a writer apparently to get on the cover of the publication. And now, think of the gasping and clutching at pearls that would happen if Shiina Mashiro goes to be an artist for video games! Oh, my! I think I’m coming down with the vapors!!!

    Nanami’s been my favorite character since she moved into Sakurasou, and she just cemented that with this episode.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pmRoguespirit

      The real blow is that while everyone else is feeling down and failing, she continues to suceed. I honestly don’t think we’ve ever seen her fail(the bad ending of her manga earlier in the series doesn’t count)and while the world continues to offer everthing to Mashiro on a silver platter(that’s not really what’s happening but that’s the illusion it creates) everyone else it getting kicked to the curb.(I’m not counting the seniors), and Ryo might be affected more than any of us might believe, judging from last ep.

      • March 6, 2013 at 8:04 amStilts

        A reminder: Mashiro spent years at an atelier honing her skills. She works ridiculously hard, often passing out at her computer from working late into the night. It may seem like everything is being offered to her on a silver platter, but she’s been working for years before either Nanami or Sorata even started.

        Yes, she may be a genius. But she also works damn hard. The main thing separating them right now is all of the work and experience. They can only truly start truly talking about how unfair the world is after they’ve worked an appreciable fraction of how long and hard Mashiro has.

      • March 6, 2013 at 8:58 amJ_the_Man

        I don’t think anyone is arguing that geniuses work hard or not. It’s quite obvious Shiina puts a lot of work into what she does, otherwise she wouldn’t be the world renowned artist she is (Which said art skills I suspect greatly aided her foray into manga).

        It’s kind of like sports. You’ll always have that gritty and scrappy guy who only gets a fraction of the playing time superstars get. He’ll probably put in 200% effort, but he’ll never get more playing than the superstar, who may put in less effort, simply because of raw talent and what the superstar offers you.

        Shiina works hard, but you can’t really argue that her raw talent, which is second to none, has been honed and greatly sharpened to the point where it takes little effort on her part anymore, plays a minuscule role in all of this. The real theme here is can the person who starts out with nothing and turn it into something (EX Nanami) succeed over the people born with the talent to succeed beyond your wild imagination and only has to develop that talent to the point where they can simply go through the motions, for lack of a better phrase (Shiina). I think that’s where people are getting at when some of use prefer SorataxNanami over SorataxShiina.

      • March 6, 2013 at 2:23 pmJ_the_Man

        Forgive me, but I hate leaving another good point unsaid… Another thing to consider, though I guess this applies more to Shiina related to Nanami than it does Shiina to Sorata, is that the relative short time it takes Shiina to reach her goals…

        -At age 18, she’s achieved world fame status.

        -After a couple of months of work, her manga gets published. Even though she loses the competition, her manga is serialized anyways with a small tweak. this suggests she probably would have won with a decent ending.

        -After a couple of seemingly effortless pictures drawn, she gets a job invitation with a game company: no interview required or knowledge of the field needed beforehand.

        Now, of course, Nanami hasn’t spent nearly enough time in her field of study than Shiina has, but having to start with nothing and having to support herself would give her a legitimate excuse to despair over her efforts not bearing the fruit she wanted it to. Though I can see why Sorata is being melodramatic, having only worked on computer gaming for about a year. Impressive, however to note, how he gets so far in so little time.

      • March 6, 2013 at 5:44 pmBear

        Remember Rita, who has studied art as long or longer than Mashiro, gave up because Mashiro was far ahead of her in talent, as well as the rest of the students at the atelier who quit after comparing themselves to her. She may work hard but she still is a genius.

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:00 pmZanibas

    Oh gods, I need a drink, and maybe a hug.

    I don’t have a beer, but…

    *hug*

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pmFT5Havok

      Zanibas you TRAP! :D

    • March 5, 2013 at 2:28 pmStilts

      \o/

      Zani-chan hato~! <3

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:03 pmexs1201

    So, will it be an LN “ending” (since it’s on going still…) or anime original ending? Or will there be another season?

    • March 5, 2013 at 8:34 amBenigmatica

      I think the chances are that it will have an anime-original ending. I guess it won’t be like Toradora!

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:12 pmJason Isenberg

    Was it just me or did this episode just piss you the right off? This whole episode pissed me off, so much unfairness the world can just eat you right up and spit you out.

    Doesn’t mean you should quit, because if you quit then why even bother trying for it? It kind of reminds me of Bakuman actually. Business world aspect, you keep trying and trying, hitting roadblock after roadblock and now we’re at the point where there’s hope. Guess I can say a star wars theme pretty much sums it up ‘A New Hope’.

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:35 pmZhelot

    I don’t think Sorata should have told her it’s not the case. That would have been a blatant and transparent lie. Everyone knows Sakurasou is being demolished, and even Sorata suspects Mashiro knows. It’s seems only Mashiro truly believed that they could amass all the signatures they needed. From the start Mashiro’s painting of Sakurasou (or whatever it ends up being) was the only real chance it had of not being condemned, and that’s something only Mashiro could do.

    This may be Mashiro’s first run in with failure in her life, something she’ll need to experience if she has any hope in understanding the people around her. I think Sorata’s only real recourse is to be there for her in spite of Sakurasou’s demolition.

    Really I think Sorata should tell Nanami to just stay, have a more enjoyable senior year with her friends and figure it out down the road; transferring senior year sucks. Now we get to find out if Mashiro’s painting is enough to woo the board into not demolishing Sakurasou, and if so will the residents accept her success in contrast to their failure, FIGHTO!

    • March 5, 2013 at 1:47 amGoodStuffs

      LOL you think shell know teh difference :P? even still its not completely her fault… shes kinda the victim… shes only following her heart .. the manga dream! its paid off too front cover! weener! the monsters are the chairboard or watever peoples decided to demo teh place down…

      if they go back to normal dorms he wont be able to be her personal butler anymore the dorms separate girls and boys… so … sakurasou was the only connection he had with mashiro acutally he still has his army of cats… so i guess he lives on the streets hobo life

      nanami has no more reason to stay… shell suffer for no good reason if she goes back home no more worries about board/tuition/food! it sucks but its life :)

      im sure theyll be overjoyed if she saves the day shes finally doing what she did best! paint masterpieces with ease instead of becoming accomplished manga drawerer

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:41 pmDenscafon

    Even though 95% of this episode was on Nanami, I didn’t grow tired of her at all, even though it was over dramatized I thought her scenes felt quite authentic. Mashiro on the other hand, I’ve grown tired of for 20 eps and I don’t see why Sorata only has eyes for her when he has someone else who could…well you know who i’m rooting for haha.

    • March 5, 2013 at 9:50 amRaw

      I’m on the Nanami team too. I mean, Mashiro’s character is great, but it’s hard not to root for the hardworking, honest, endearing girl. Mashiro’s still only makes awkward advances on Sorata.

  • March 4, 2013 at 10:49 pmbanzemanga

    I smell conspiracy on the game company. I get the feeling that the game copmany has been collecting data from Sorata about rhythm games. Then they made it look like they got another better one from a different source. In addition, they also wanted to take the illustration artist from Sorata which is why they asked Sorata who was the illustrator.

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:08 pmFortis

    dam that quality drop

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:11 pmBlackChaos

    I love your insightful views you make on your blogs. I’ve been seeing too many people bashing this episode, saying it was forced, as well as simply assuming sorata was lashing out on mashiro again. I think they watch this show for the wrong reasons and miss all the messages, and portrayals in this anime that you have simply captured beautifully. All I hear in forums is “there is always someone who is better than you, suck it up and keep working hard. Stop bitching” or “who stands out in the rain when they’re depressed?” Or “gosh, sorata is pissing me off for blaming Shiina again” or “aoyama was good before, when she didn’t cry. She showed strength. Now she is just annoying, throwing away whatever strength she had in the previous episode.” It’s like people can only see through a narrow tube. But, your blogs are simply amazing

    • March 5, 2013 at 3:03 amDango_Warrior

      Sadly, most (or more) people really are like that. And most of them don’t know it or just refuse to try to change.

      • March 5, 2013 at 10:02 amRaw

        My fav character is Nanami, so last episode felt forced for me. Since the game failure was forced on Sorata, I didn’t really felt it that way. I do have to admit that the author (or maybe the adaption) is digging the grave pretty deep pretty fast, which may seem like forcing drama.

      • March 5, 2013 at 10:09 amMegas

        Yeah, those goggles are pretty popular these days. It takes a really big person to take them off, let alone not put them on in the first place.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:12 amStilts

      Thank you very much, BlackChaos. I appreciate that more than I could possibly say. Comments like that vindicate my blogging philosophy in my eyes, and make all the work worth it.

      I think the key to both blogging anime well (and watching it well too!) is to come in with a bias towards enjoyment. There have certainly been shows I didn’t like, shows that disappointed me, but why go in looking for those? Optimism is a wonderful thing, because when you think positively, the world truly ends up as a less harsh place than it does for the cynics. I go into every show looking for the good, looking for what is done well, and while I mention the other, I don’t dwell. I enjoy. And I hope that comes across in my posts.

      Ohandalso, I write stories myself, so I know exactly what is going through the minds of the people churning these out (principally the source creators, but I’ve got a good idea on the script writers as well). Empathy makes it easier to enjoy life, and it’s either to have empathy when you’ve literally stood there yourself : )

      Sorry, I’ll stop indulging myself now ^^

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:13 pmdaikama

    Wow… I’m mentally stuck on that word right. This may have been the most difficult to watch episode of the series…but also easily the best IMO. In fact, one of the best anime episodes I’ve seen in a while (along with Kotoura-san EP 01). Just wow… Incredible job the director & staff. I’m not sure it could have been done any better.

    I might as well just put “second what Stilts said” because so much of his review mirrors my own thoughts. From the great artistic imagery (rain scene), to common RL situations (yeah…life can be very unfair), to just when you thought you made it through the emotional onslaught – BAM! The final blow that sends you down for the count (the letter). Oh, and just to be thorough, early on they show Mashiro making the cover of a manga volume. I felt really bad for Nanami during that scene. Talk about twisting the knife.

    Nanami: I felt sorry for Nanami before this episode, but a lot more after it. Learning that she failed the audition was a sad moment, but to see her question all the sacrifices she made the past two years – spending precious moments of her youth all for naught (at least on the surface) really drove home the pain she felt. A very heartfelt moment executed with precision. In an absolute sense, Stilts is right in that she didn’t waste the last two years. I’m sure she learned a lot about life and herself. However, in relative terms (= in comparison to taking a different path and the results therefrom), IMO that can be a much more difficult argument to make.

    Her situation is VERY real IMO. Not specifically (i.e. trying to be a seiyuu), but it’s far from uncommon for people to work hard towards whatever goal, and yet still fail. How many people try to be actor/actresses, musicians/rock stars or professional athletes, and yet despite countless hours of hard work, still don’t make it. Even if the business world, far more new businesses fail than succeed. I think it’s almost impossible to succeed greatly without hard work, but hard work in and of itself by no means guarantees success – and in that sense, life can be very unfair indeed. Questioning whether that time could have been better spent doing something else – particularly something else which gives you something tangible in return for your effort, is very normal and tough to face.

    The real consolation for Nanami IMO is that by choosing to give it her best to make her dream come true, she won’t be left wondering for the rest of her life “what if I had tried to be a seiyuu instead”. That to me is the real reason why her time and effort the past two years were not wasted. That unanswered question could very well haunt her despite finding success in another field. I still have enough faith in Nanami’s strength of character for her to pull through in the end, but it’s going to be tough viewing along the way.

    As for Sorata… while he deserved some sympathy for losing again, it’s too hard to overlook the super-sized idiot ball he carried when leaving Nanami alone because she said she’s “fine.” Note – that happened BEFORE he learned of his rejection. Miyahara deserves a LOT of credit IMO for following up on Nanami and setting Sorata straight. 100% in the Miyahara x Nanami camp. IMO, Sorata’s situation just isn’t as bad as Nanami’s. He’s been at it for what? Six months maybe and literally starting from scratch. Also, he does not need to work several jobs in addition to attending school. He still has time to hang out with friends if he wants. Furthermore, at least he’s making noticeable progress (going further each time & placing 2nd in the last contest) not to mention finding a valuable mentor in the process. There IS some easily discerned reward for his hard work.

    The letter kind of changes part of that. I mentioned before that I thought Mashiro’s designs played no small part in his success. However, that letter makes me now wonder whether his “success” this time was really in fact Mashiro’s. In other words, rather than his concept & presentation being the main reason he got to the “finals”, it was Mashiro’s impressive designs which carried him so far. At the risk of negative feedback, I consider Sorata somewhat naïve and his reaction to rejection a little overstated. Computer gaming is a very competitive field, and to literally expect to win almost right away (seems that way to me) just isn’t realistic IMO. Give it a couple of years like Nanami before cursing the world.

    Long post, but this episode just floored me. Maybe rather than “wow”, perhaps “almost epic” or even simply “epic” would better describe my impression. I honestly thought it was that good.

    • March 5, 2013 at 2:15 amGoodStuffs

      looks like someone took a page alongass page from someone else we know ;) *(TL;R)
      haha well this isnt exactly a fairy tale story people do end up in teh gutter jobs never to be heard of ever! its life. and stars like mashiro will still keep shining! regardless of her personal butler she can reclaim her maid now taht theyve made thier peace :)

      • March 6, 2013 at 2:50 amdiakama

        Admittedly it is tl:dr, but I’m serious when I say I was at a “loss for words” (obviously not literally LOL) on just how well I thought this episode was executed. I tend to be on the critical side, but I can’t think of one thing I’d change. That’s pretty rare for me so I guess my muse became over-excited. XD

        Still, in retrospect, probably would have been better if shorter. Something perhaps to keep in mind. If nothing else, people can always choose to ignore my post if they find it excessively long. For those who did read it, thanks for being patient. :D

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:06 amRaw

      Even if Sorata looks like an idiot some times, he’s a god amongst anime male lead characters. I’ve face palmed harder by other male leads (except from Key works), not so much by Sorata.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:30 amStilts

      I’m not going to reply to everything you said, but to cherry pick one point:

      Yes, one of the best things for Nanami about these past two years is that she won’t have to wonder, or rather, regret not trying. It truly is better to have tried and failed rather than to never know what would have been…as long as you don’t let the failure break you from ever trying anything again.

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm8-bitPenguin

    Manly tears were shed during this episode, that is all. I’m really skeptical about the ending now though, since they only have two episodes to wrap everything up. But honestly though, this episode hit way too close to home.

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:13 amGoodStuffs

      hate to break it to you men dont cry. those were girly tears :) or girly man tears :)

      • March 5, 2013 at 11:33 amHelvetica Standard

        Real men know when to cry

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:33 amStilts

      Tears are tears. There’s nothing inherently manly or womanly about them. The only thing that can be said to be embarrassing is childish tears, when one is already an adult. Past that, we all ought cry when it is necessary, and feel no shame in doing so. It’s a damn sight better than bottling it up until it all explodes, as Nanami so clearly illustrated here.

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:29 pmDualash

    I can sympathize with Nanami, like when you work so hard but in a flash it can be taken from you despite the many sacrifices and time that was taken for your goals. I don’t usually feel teary from watching sad moments but looking at how Nanami can be so relatable and how she worked hard really made me experience some rare emotions…what an interesting world we live in.

  • March 4, 2013 at 11:37 pmbaseone

    “When it rains, it really pours

    Damn that drama, my mind is shouting “they doesn’t deserve this!” It’s like they’re telling us “if you don’t have talent no matter what you do you will not make it” that’s a complete bull!

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:39 amStilts

      That remains to be seen. “The greater the pain, the greater the glory.” Though their road has been hard, their ultimate failure is not set in stone by any means. And when they get that victory – if they do, of course – it will be all the sweeter for all the trials they’ve gone through to obtain it.

  • March 5, 2013 at 12:34 amcyprinious

    damn… can I just hug everyone at Sakurasou?…. sigh. anyone else need one about now? (raises hand)

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:42 amStilts

      M-Me too! C’mere you

      *hugs erryone*

  • March 5, 2013 at 12:35 ammickbis

    If it me in sorata positions I would react the same to be honest, It just like bad think keep coming nonstop no time to break not enough time to recover.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:00 amShroompat

    This episode was one emotional rollercoaster… Life is unfair, hard work doesn’t pay off.. wow this was one hell of an episode…..

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:14 amAlec

    Really love the subtlety, like Nanami’s facial expression when she found out Mashiro’s manga was on the cover. It was sad, but it was awesome nonetheless

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:25 amCorin

    I think I have a better idea of why I like this show so much now. I don’t believe I’ve seen another show in fiction anywhere that dares to explore real failure in such a visceral and unrelenting way. The process of failure, the psychology of failure, the sheer emotional baggage of failure – right down to the effect failure has on everyone around you as well. That’s ambitious, and I’ll call it original too.

    I don’t think anything illustrates that last more than the closing scene – where Sorata lets voice to his inner bitterness after the lowest blow he’s been dealt yet, in a perfectly understandable and quite possibly needed venting… and then Mashiro speaks and he turns with a look of total horror as he remembers that she, the one person who most should not hear those words coming from him as they had once come from Rita, had been right next to him the entire time. But he can’t say anything more, because he meant it, and she knows he meant it. There are things all of us think that we would never want those closest to us to hear.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:49 amStilts

      True. Since so many anime are focused on fighting in one way or another, it’s hard to make the heroes continually lose – the potential downsides of always coming up short are much larger (up to and including death). Here, they can fail while the story still progresses. It is to the original creator’s credit that they keep doing so in order to drive the drama and explore the effects of failure itself.

      I wouldn’t call it original, but I’ll give you ambitious. Subtly, though…it sneaks up on you, it’s only this deep in, when Sorata and Nanami have both failed big twice each, that the theme truly punches with all its might. Ouch.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:39 amNaavi

    Sorata’s the reason that keeps me from watching it.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:45 amNic

    What a crushing episode… so sad… Nanami gets crushed and Sorata failed but still, he was making progress. Until the end where he realizes his success might not actually be entirely his own. That was low. Really low.

    Anyway, I think I’m gonna hope for an original since I think it would be more fitting than leaving things unfinished. There’s no guarantee there will be a sequel and they current stand in a perfect opportunity to end the series with a definitive ending.

    My personal take would be – Sakurasou is not saved but they learn to accept it. They keep in touch, continue to be good friends. Misaki and Jin get married after college. Shiina pursues her dreams and finally learns to interact emotionally in her life, keeping in touch with Sorata. Possibly challenging her family and going into direct clash with them. But Sorata and Nanami hook up. Where she fails in her dream career, she can succeed in love.

    I understand that’s very unlikely to happen considering Shiina is the female lead and it’d probably anger some people. But someone like Nanami would win in love 9 times out of 10. She’s closer to Sorata, her situation is a lot more relatable than a genius who shows little emotion like Mashiro. Someone like her is the type of crush that just fades because she can’t communicate. It’s superficial. Where as Nanami is the type where you really connect with her. I think any guy worth his manhood would have kissed her/made a move on her in this last episode.

    And sadly, I think the series will be worse off if Nanami just ends up with that random dude who likes her. Shiina can still succeed in her career in a way Nanami cannot. But I don’t have enough confidence in the writer to believe it could happen. RomCom or just Rom regularly act like main two characters are destined to be together where it’s all about a window of opportunity. If you miss it or let it slip by, they’ll move on or accept someone else’s feelings.

    • March 5, 2013 at 4:30 amAnonymous

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

      • March 6, 2013 at 3:51 amAnonymous

        And you are a pathetic trolling prick who deserves all the downvotes you get.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:52 amStilts

      @ Nic

      There’s no way I would have made a move on Nanami last episode. She’s torn up, and so (assuming I was in Sorata’s shoes) would I have been. Not a good time to start a relationship. I damn well would have hugged her though, which Sorata did, so good on him.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:49 amjunglepenguin

    The only time that Mashiro shows that she’s capable of being independent just HAD to be her decision to pack her bags and leave. While I’m saddened by her departure from Sakurasou, I can’t help but feel proud of her as well, for having gained the wisdom to see the entirety of the situation and realizing the impact of her presence on Sakurasou, for having found the resolve to bear upon herself the responsibility of saving Sakurasou and for deciding to put the desires of those at Sakurasou to save it above her own desire to stay there. Mashiro, you’re shining brighter than ever before!

    And I’m still waiting for someone to slap the childishness out of Sorata.

    • March 5, 2013 at 11:41 amHelvetica Standard

      And I’m still waiting for someone to slap the childishness out of Sorata.

      Childishness? Well…he IS a kid after all

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:49 amAegis

    man. sorata’s a brat… but if i remember right,Show Spoiler ▼

    do that mean it is still SOMEHOW following the LN?

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:10 amAnanas

    Okada in charge of teenage angst. Cancer.

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:41 amlegwkio

    We expected this… Anyone who watches this week after week expected this… But it still hurts.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:55 amStilts

      That speaks to the power of what we saw on the screen. Though we saw it coming, that only increased the dread, and did nothing to dull the blow. The characters have become too beloved, the situations too real. Just…ouch. Still ouch, even two days later.

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:49 amMutare

    This episode was so heavy, even several hours after I had watched this, there’s still this heavy, almost suffocating feeling. Manly tears were shed, but I think I might need to cry a bit more… and a hug too. :(

  • March 5, 2013 at 4:27 amqwert

    Nanami Broken: Check

    Sorata Broken: Check

    Mashiro Bronken: Uhh… Check?

    • March 5, 2013 at 5:48 amJhacks

      The only one missing is this thing.

      But seriously this episode caught me off guard, I never have imagined sakurasou can deliver this kind of heavy episode. If I would have known this was some heavy stuff, I should have not watched this unprepared, now I feel so depressed. T_T

      • March 6, 2013 at 11:57 amStilts

        All the better that you didn’t, then. Episodes like this are few and far between, and worth experiencing to their fullest respect. Let it seep into you…but maybe grab some hot chocolate or something? It helps.

  • March 5, 2013 at 6:09 amDvalinn

    Jeez, is it depressing episode week or something? The stuff I watched in the weekend, The Unlimited yesterday and now this. Guess I should buckle up.

    Everything seems to be falling apart at this point – this show really doesn’t pull any punches as far as drama goes. I really can’t blame the characters acting the way they do this time as well, as each of them has a lot on their plate and it’s no wonder they’d snap under the pressure. I mean, it was inevitable that Nanami was going to crack. She just saw her life’s dream be casually tossed aside after having her ass worked off, going against all odds, for years. They were worthwhile experiences, but having them add up to nothing just hurts. Especially because trying again is even harder this time (if it is even possible).

    And Sorata…damn. Being punted out of the race because of a shitty licensed game. Life is unfair indeed. It’s something a lot of game creators have to put up with if you hear some of their stories; there are plenty of good games that are stillborn, or canceled, or shoved aside in favour of good-selling shit games, or having their innards hacked up to appeal to some bullshit demographic that a bunch of marketeers thought up. So many studios shut down while they had so much talent left, so much games flopping just because they were up against a more popular cash-in title. The videogame-industry is a cutthroat one, and he just felt it in full force. And then having Mashiro, the girl who is already a famous artist, the girl who is a popular mangaka, also get offered a job instead of him? No wonder he snapped. He wasn’t being an idiot this time – this was a reaction to being kicked while already lying down.

    It isn’t Mashiro’s fault, of course. And it probably hurts her too, as this kind of thing has been driving people away from her her entire life (just think of Rita). Not to mention Sakurasou being shut down, which she probably blames herself for too (as it’s possible she heard them talking about the mail). So she sacrifices herself…I do hope Sorats can find a way out of this. Three more episodes left, in any case.

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:00 pmStilts

      The only difference is that now, Mashiro realizes that it’s happening again, and she doesn’t want it to. She’s not oblivious anymore. She’s growing up.

  • March 5, 2013 at 6:43 amSuomynona

    Poor Nanami. It was painful just seeing her breakdown. It took Sorata failing as well through no fault of his that he could finally emphasize with her, particularly as Kazuki consoles Sorata about how life was unfair, we get flashback images of Nanami working hard, and seemingly all for nothing.

    Credit to Ryunnosuke for giving Sorata a little shove via his timely text as well.

  • March 5, 2013 at 6:48 amJ_the_Man

    This dramatic and emotional heart string tug is getting…. I’m not sure how to put this. It’s both getting better and better and yet at the same time worse and worse. Take the love triangle for example. They didn’t sink Nanami’s ship. Instead, they put a friggin outboard motor with turbo on it and sent it flying. In fact, when everyone was ready to kill off Sorata X Nanami back in episode 14, it almost seems like the anime took a complete 180. It seemed every episode started placing more emphasis on the type of relationship Sorata had with the two female ends of the triangle- His husbandXwife-esque relationship with Nanami, which kept getting stronger through their experiences of working towards a goal; then you have the Shiina X Sorata ship that since episode 14 seems to have a lot more emphasis on the Father-Daughter relationship and Shiina’s almost naive attempts at trying to employ all the tactics to please Sorata and win him over (Although Sorata is touched by her efforts, and he rewards her by responding)…

    It’s Ironic. At least as it looks superficially, Nanami the hard worker whose dreams of becoming a seiyuu are shattered in one fell swoop, with all her hard work not bearing fruit, is not doing anything to win Sorata over, and yet they are the ones who are behaving like spouses. Yet, It’s Shiina, who’s the artistic genious who can do no wrong, and can succeed in just about anywhere she tries, is the one who’s having to work hard at this charade of “winning” Sorata over and yet finds herself at the sidelines as Sorata constantly comes to the aid of Nanami and vice versa. Not only that, but she also happens to be the one whose relationship with Sorata has experienced a breakdown multiple times over the anime, even though she’s trying. Nanami isn’t, and that relationship keeps getting stronger as the day goes by.

    I’m holding out for an anime-original ending. It would seem like a betrayal to everything that has transpired for Shiina to win yet again. Life sucks. You want to work hard at getting somewhere, but you experience a metric-ton of failure. It seems unfair that there are those who can seemingly put no effort into it and succeed at everything they try. It’s like they are wielding the hand of Midas. It’s how you face those tribulations and come out of it that counts, in my opinion. That’s why I like the NanamiXSorata ship; they simply are able to lift each other up when the other one needs it. Shiina doesn’t seem to understand this, because she being fed this hollywood romance crap where love is this thing where you have the babumps and exchange all these material and… ehem… the touch feely goods with your lover.

    In my opinion, the series would do itself justice if Sakurasou is demolished and Nanami “gets the guy.” It would put a great emphasis on emerging from tribulation such as having the place where you lived with your friends and grew closer demolished. It would, as Ryonuuske put it, test and confirm the bonds that have been formed in their time here. It would also put a nice touch on the theme of hard work often failing, but is never without its merits, as Nanami picks up invaluable friends, including one that could last a lifetime. And then it would bring a satisfying end to the whole theme of geniuses not being able to fail, because the genius did fail. But she learns something about relationships as she exposes herself to the world she was sheltered from.

    Heck… I’m not so sure how this all ends, but you have to think they all end up in the same business together, each performing the tasks they are good at.

    • March 5, 2013 at 7:06 amAnonymous

      She is total shit and should get the guy. Amazing.
      I just gonna laugh at your delusion.

      • March 5, 2013 at 8:37 amAnonymous

        And your post is total shit for your lack of respect for other people even if you don’t agree with what they say.

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:06 pmStilts

      @ J_the_Man

      You bring up an interesting point. The way things are going, Mashiro is cruising to win again, which would invalidate a “hard work really does pay off” aesop. The only way that really works is if the hard workers (Sorata and Nanami) win, which in this case would mean a Nanami End.

      To be honest, I think the problem is that the Nanami ship was given too much life…at least, if they decide to wrap things up now. If they keep remaining faithful to the source and hope for a second season to wrap things up, then that’s another thing – then they’ll have the time to make Sorata x Mashiro work properly (or even Sorata x Nanami, if they decide to surprise us all).

      We’ll see, we’ll see…

      • March 6, 2013 at 12:37 pmJ_the_Man

        You’re absolutely correct. As much as I’m a Nanami fan, even I realize that this ship has been given to much steam in its drive forward. It will be interesting to see how they end it, but if they were to give it the “Shiina wins” ending, which I fully expect will happen, then why bother push it forward? It’s a mystery to me, but thankfully, we won’t have to dwell on it much longer.

      • March 6, 2013 at 1:45 pmStilts

        They pushed it forward to make us uncertain. The question is why they pushed it forward too much…or rather, if they even did. In the fullness of 4 more LN’s worth of material, maybe the turnaround to the Shiina win fits quite well. No one knows though, since they haven’t all been released yet!

      • March 10, 2013 at 1:25 pmSmithCB

        (Don’t know if anyone is still reading these, Stilts, but…) I touched on it lightly before, but I agree; the second wind they’ve given Nanami puts the show in a bind, because this late in the series, for Sorata to be able to just turn his back on Nanami and choose Shiina to end the series would make his support and feelings in this episode look shallow and pointless. It’s one thing for us to support someone who tries when we know they’re not very good. We want to cheer them on simply for their effort and to make that effort seem worthwhile (it makes us feel better, too). It’s another thing to be there for someone because you KNOW they’re good, they worked hard and have every right to succeed. So which is it for Sorata? The first way allows him to walk away from Nanami feeling good that he tried to provide support; the second gives him an emotional bond that can’t be dropped for the sake of convenience. Thank goodness this is only an anime, or I’d be on my computer writing dissertations on human behavior! Whew!

      • March 10, 2013 at 1:43 pmSmithCB

        Oh, well, hit ‘submit’ rather than ‘preview’. To finish, there are a lot of things still to be decided that would just be overwhelmed if they try to do everything in the time left. A 12-13 episode second season would see Nanami gone, or coming back to school, just not trying to be a seiyuu, and possibly getting closer to ‘the other guy’, while Sorata and Shiina grow closer, and Sorata works to find a way to succeed, or at least improve. I think the ‘event’ in the original story with Rita/Dragon that was supposed to have happened before this has been postponed until the last episode of this series. OK. One more day, then I’ll probably have to re-shape everything I typed because of what the Ep 22 does, but at least the pressure in my chest has eased off a bit. I’m OK now.

  • March 5, 2013 at 7:15 amRyuuzaki21

    fail drama. okay.

  • March 5, 2013 at 7:29 amShinkirou

    is only me got the feeling that Fujisawa is the reason why Sorata keep failing in his review. as the rhythm game review with the company back few episode, Fujisawa and director keep on discussing about the game develope, who they ‘steal’ sorata idea and create another rhythm game with lower cost. it also seem that Fujisawa had lack interested Sorata passion and hinted he only interest in Mashiro’s art.

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:08 pmStilts

      I don’t think so. The other rhythm game is sufficiently different that I don’t think they pinched much from Sorata, if anything. As for Mashiro, I think Fujisawa sincerely wanted to help Sorata, and he knew that vivid images (which Mashiro could provide) would help them paint a great picture (tell the game’s story) and have a better chance of passing the review.

  • March 5, 2013 at 7:37 amNekomimimeido

    Just a prediction, but will put it in spoiler tag regardless…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:02 amCybersteel

      Not possible that sort of idea is way too sensible for Sorata.

  • March 5, 2013 at 8:09 amPolashi

    Full blown angsty there. In a good way though. This episode was all out despair (maybe a bit too harsh) but it brought about many lessons to be learnt.

    With Nanami breaking down at the start, it was too obvious that she needed Sorata to help her. So when he left her alone, I thought he was too dense. Luckily Ryuunosuke knocked him some sense. But the writers did play their cards right. For someone to understand the stress and despair that Nanami felt, they must first personally experience it. For story progression, they did it to Sorata. But of course, many of us must have experienced it, to pour in lots of effort, only to fail at the final step, while not even getting a consolation prize. It hurts really bad. But what matters is what you take away. Although it’s difficult, they can always begin again.

    About the letter at the end… I was pretty amazed that they were able to bring back the issue of talent in life. It was said that, working with talent will make you or break you. And the letter would almost break Sorata. Through that letter, he realised that he was being used, as the real motive of him being accepted was because of the artistic genius behind him. Mashiro understood his pain, and in fact chose to help him by (possibly) leaving.

    Truly, talent would beat everything in the world. Everybody wants the best, and getting the best involves talent. Mashiro understands that, and she has to bear jealousy from people who strive to reach her level of ability. However, the injustice that Sorata felt after reading the letter should be attributed to the game company, not Mashiro. Therefore, she should not need to leave in order to help Sakurasou.

    Closing out the final arc in Sakurasou, firstly by throwing punch after punch of despair into unsuspecting viewers. I really hope a bad ending won’t come (of course it won’t) but I really hope that Mashiro and Nanami both get their happy endings! =)

  • March 5, 2013 at 8:15 amEmD

    It would be perfect if it ended right here, with Shiina ending up in Texas or something.

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:17 pmStilts

      Sure, send her my way! I would totally take on Mashiro Duty for a sugar mama >:D

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:20 amJ_the_Man

    One thing that I’d like to know, is when did all the characters get foul mouthed? Ever since Jin and Sorata’s fight, it seems characters aren’t hesitating to use vulgarity way more often than before episode 16.

    • March 6, 2013 at 12:17 pmStilts

      That just means they’re growing up, heh

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:22 amT-Dog

    I agree with everything the admin had to say except for the last part, where he suggested sorata should have hugged her and said thats not the case. Put youself in sorata’s shoes for a moment, he practically gave it the project 120% only to find out his efforts were in vein once again. To top that off he gets a sucker punch in the face when all they’re interested in is the talent Mashiro possesses, it must feel like eating a mouth full of dirt. Not everyone is a saint, in fact i was almost expecting sorata to blow up at that point but he kept his cool, theres just no way he’d be able to ‘hug’ her in that situation without any feelings of resentment (not towards Mashiro as a person but her talent). I thought the scene was depicted perfectly and am thoroughly excited to see what’s in store for us next!

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:36 amRaw

    I love Nanami’s accent when she’s upset. Kinda breaks a little bit of the tension in those harsh scenes.

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:41 amBear

    The devastating thing about the way they showed Nanami crying was the otherwise stoic appearance. No movement, just tears and the “thousand yard stare”. For emotional scenes this episode ranks among some of the best. There are some that I rate higher but this certainly drove the point home. While Sorata may not think of Nanami romantically, he is about as emotionally close to her as you can get because of their shared situation and desires. The only other one at Sakarasou that could empathize as much might be Jin, though he hasn’t hit a wall yet. Sorata’s breakdown echoed his earlier mutterings when he failed the first time, repeating his frustration in front of Mashiro as if she weren’t even there. Mashiro’s lack of expression and indifference to everyday life has let Sorata come to believe she has no feelings. Having had situations where I’ve struggled to do something (and failed) while the person next to me breezes through it without breaking a sweat I can understand how Sorata feels. Especially, after watching Nanami fail and seeing his game be dropped for one of lesser quality while Mashiro gets a job offer. Mashiro has changed though she still shows little emotion most of the time. We don’t know how she feels inside and even her leaving was stoic.

    Now it’s down to just Sorata and Ryunnosuke (are there more residents in the LN?). No point to Sakurasou now and even with Mashiro returning it would just be the three of them unless they pick up a few kouhai. And where is Mashiro going? Back to England? That would serve to school board right.

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:05 amCybersteel

      That would all be according to the School Boards plan to put enough pressure on Mashiro to leave their school.

      The reason why they don’t like Mashiro there is because they thought that Mashiro stopped painting and decided to draw manga instead in fear of them being blamed for Mashiro’s actions.

      • March 5, 2013 at 1:58 pmBear

        I doubt if they wanted Mashiro to leave the school. They only wanted her to stop drawing manga and go back to painting. It would be a feather in their cap having her at their school if she had kept with her painting. Of course all she really has to do is call a press conference and tell them she’s leaving the school because they’re tearing Sakurasou down and that she intends on continuing her manga maybe even blaming her lack of painting on the school boards decision.

      • March 6, 2013 at 2:22 amCybersteel

        I thought of that too.

  • March 5, 2013 at 9:57 amCybersteel

    You won’t despair if you don’t have any goals to begin with.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:50 pmStilts

      But you’ll never truly live.

  • March 5, 2013 at 10:17 amweasl

    So Mashiro is going to paint a picture of Sakurasou and save the day?

    Here’s to hoping that the crew at Sakurasou bands together and realizes they’ve got the perfect crew to start their own video game company.

  • March 5, 2013 at 10:45 amSerapita

    Well, at least Sorata will realize his feeling toward Mashiro finally, judging from the episode preview. And I’m positive we will definitely get a happy ending for sure. The residents of Sakurasou deserve it.

  • March 5, 2013 at 11:27 amJJ

    Eh, seriously, what this series needs is for Mashiro to not win Sorata’s heart. It’s not even a Nanami thing – I would honest rather see Sorata end up with the teacher at this point. Not only would it actually give her some substance to the typical look-at-me-I’m-so-talented-I-can’t-fail, she has so little empathy and understanding that she’s quite possibly the worst main female lead I’ve seen in years. The one thing truly stopping this series from being better than a “just decent” series falls entirely on this flat, two-dimensional main we’re forced to watch week in and week out, when the rest of the Sakurasou supporting cast is far, far superior. Anyone is welcome to prove me wrong, but really, after 21 episodes of this thing, I expect more.

    • March 5, 2013 at 11:49 amHelvetica Standard

      You’re not wrong. Shiina has her charm and a rather unique way of expressing herself… buuut, she has the emotional range of a tea spoon and the personality depth of a glass of water.

    • March 5, 2013 at 1:09 pmMegas

      It’s a Shiina-fest alright. This episode put the cherry on top. Shiina’s so talented the school board would asily throw even the most talented problem student they have under the bus. Yet what have she experienced beside everyone leaving her because she’s too talented. She has no idea how to relate to the others who are CONSTANTLY having their hopes & dreams smashed to bit. Furthermore, her manga stuff seems more like a kid crying for a new toy when she already has the toy store – while the others get to play with rocks.

      It’s just too damn staged. Too much shit at one time always create drama but for all the wrong reasons. Sorata can end up with his cats for all I care. Shiina’s feelings for him just seem so damn petty compared to all the shit they have to go through for the sake of this sob story. The story is great in itself but if Shiina gets him too, then this may very well be the worst story ever told.

    • March 6, 2013 at 7:52 pmnagi

      You’ve brought an interesting point. With all this chaos, sometimes I just want to hate Shiina but I can’t, since it’s not really her fault that she’s successful.

      Now comes your point, what if she’s not one of the heroines? Why does she have to be there? Even if it has been explained on previous episodes, it didn’t made that much impact to me that I can’t remember.

  • March 5, 2013 at 11:33 amMagoiichi

    This reminds me of the second season of Cardfight Vanguard where the main character’s team took loss after loss at a tournament that was held in different countries and their team went to each country.

    They finally managed to win the very last tournament, but it was so annoying more than anything watching their loss after loss.

    This episode of course was more drama filled, but there is some bullshit to be called out on.

    There just so happened to be another Rhythm game with Vocaloid all over it? O RLY?

    And did the people in that Tamako Market even sign the petition? Are they ven able to and only students can sign it?What was the point of giving them false hope if those vendors had nothing to do with it? Wouldn’t it have been better if other students cheered them on?

  • March 5, 2013 at 12:14 pmmoridin84

    Jin? Leaving for College.
    Misaki? Leaving for College.
    Nanami? Going back home.

    If Mashiro leaves then hardly anyone will be left. What exactly is she saving?

    • March 5, 2013 at 7:01 pmGoodStuffs

      SAKURASOOOU and dignity ! also home for the army of cats!

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:44 pmJ_the_Man

    By next week, I would wager we should be able to figure out who Sorata is going to choose… Though judging by the preview and his wrestling with why he can’t use Shiina’s first name in public… Kind of predictable I suppose. Honestly, after this episode, I’d be seriously disappointed that he picks Mashiro, not because I’m a Nanami fan… Darn it, Shiina’s been been trying to “win” Sorata for as long as Sorata has been working on Video Games. It’d just seem so wrong that he’d fail and Shiina would win again at the first time she actually had to put effort into something.

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:02 pmOwaranai

    I don’t really get the flak Sakurasou is receiving for the recent drama they’ve been doing. Is it really that bad? When a show suddenly takes a dramatic turn, does it necessarily mean it automatically becomes melodramatic?

    This episode is as powerful as one comes, especially to those who have worked hard and everything is for naught. Personally, I cried when Nanami let out her frustrations, and I did it again when Sorata got all angsty about failing despite working really hard. Really, being relatable is still one of the greatest strengths of this anime. Almost makes me wonder if the author of the story has gone through such experiences too.

    The Sorata/Nanami scene almost had me jumping ship. Two similar people, in similar situations and experiences…There’s that click, that connection one can make between them. Both worked hard and failed. Both frustrated by the supposed futility of it all and are hurting of it. If not for the Trench Buddy theory in situations like this, I’d suppose they do make a very compatible pairing. It’s plainly obvious, though, that Sorata’s more interested in Mashiro in that way. The episodes before have set it up quite a bit and the next episode will probably have a greater focus on that as well.

    And Mashiro…looking shallow emotionally and personality-wise, but I think there’s more to it than that. The girl’s sharp, if anything. Can’t remember if she was told about the hacked e-mail, but if she wasn’t, that’s some incredibly good intuition. “Because I’m here?” shows that she does know what’s going on, and beneath that almost expressionless face there lies a heart beating with passion and love for Sakurasou and the people she met there.

    To answer some of you up there, being emotionless isn’t exactly the same as finding it difficult to express their emotions. Shiina expressed it in her own way, by participating in the petition, asking Sorata about it and even getting worked up when he told her it was pointless. That doesn’t sound like an emotionless or apathetic person to me.

    What I’m interested in seeing is how the story’s gonna progress further on from here, now that everything is down in the dumps as as Stilts as so aptly put, feels like we’re in Empire Strikes Back and Two Towers territory. I believe the supporting cast has an opportunity to shine here though, as does Sorata. You go, shounen!

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:54 pmStilts

      Honestly, now it’s Mashiro’s turn to shine. As so many people have been saying above, she’s been a bit lacking in the any-kind-of-serious-action area of late, so she needs to step up and prove why she’s still a contender for Sorata’s affections.

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:31 pmEntrav

    Sorata’s disappointment and anger is definitely understandable. Him trying to help Aoyama is definitely an emotional scene that is backed up by the fact that they are two very similar people in the same predicament. To add even more pain to his already broken heart, they send a letter basically restating Mashiro’s genius.

    Of course, it’s overdramatic, but does it matter? This anime is not necessarily portraying it in the most realistic way possible as much as it is trying to contrast natural talent to hard work and what people can really do about it. Then again, the whining and the constant drama may be too much for some to handle. However, I’m sure that those who have gone through times like this can find stark similarities.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:54 pmStilts

      Realism is overrated. Overdramatic? Maybe, but it was damned good, so fzck it!

      • March 7, 2013 at 4:07 pmtotoum

        “Real is good. Interesting is better.” – Stanley Kubrick

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:47 pmYuhsaku

    I remember the anime “Maison Ikkoku” where the male protagonist (where I got my name :-) ) endured a lot of failures as well. Not to mention that he was working hard to win the girl he loves.

    What moved me in this episode is Nanami’s sudden crying in the classroom. Everyone was shocked to see her like that. All those bottled up feelings just popped like champagne.

  • March 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm瑠璃猫

    I can’t find any good words to describe how I feel, or rather, I wouldn’t find to think about how I feel as I watch this episode.

    All I know now is I’ve loved Nanami as a character and girl and I wish I had her will and endurance to work as hard as she possibly can. I want to become someone like her who will really work, but I don’t know how. Faced with the situation, succeed or go home, she continued until she can’t anymore. I’m at the end of my school career, and yet I still haven’t put an ounce of effort in comparison to Nanami, I wonder what I could possibly do to train myself to be persistent like her.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:56 pmStilts

      Do it. There is no “train”, there is no “how”. Just pick what you want to put effort into, decide to do it, and then do it. Words are cheap. Action is everything. So act.

      A little free advice from an anime blogger there ; )

  • March 5, 2013 at 5:38 pmrh75

    I just couldn’t relate to Sorata or Nanami in this episode.

    By the time I was their age, I was having intimate relations with Lady Rejection and her sisters, Failure and Disappointment. From the pair’s over-reaction to their individual rejections, one has to assume they have lived charmed lives. Not once have they ever failed or known disappointment or rejection . If that is true, I would call their lives cursed. If you have never known sadness then you’ll never know true happiness. If you have never been rejected then your successes are empty. If one has never experienced a negative aspect then its postive aspect is greatly diminished.

    Nanami having a breakdown was not suprising. She is a girl who wears her emotions on her sleeve. Trying to suppress your emotions when you have never done it before only leads to a breakdown. What I don’t like is that she is not accepting the rejection and using it to improve or learn. Instead she is tossing away everything that she has struggled through for 2 years. If everything is wasted and your life is meaningless then why are you alive? If the experiences you have gone through and your very life mean so little to you just end it now.

    You will be rejected again. You will fail again. You will be disappointed again.

    That is life.

    It is unfair. For those that believe it should be fair, please point out where in the universe it is written.

    This also applies to Sorata. I really thought he had finally started maturing as a person since his last rejection. To see him regressing is frustrating. Was everything you did and said in the previous months just empty actions/words? If so I think Jin needs to deliver another beat down to your ass. Once again, Sorata is acting like a child instead of an almost-adult. He may not have taken out his frustrations on Mashiro when he received the news but he did when he read the letter to addressed to her. Just like how I didn’t think Yuuta deserved Rikka, at this time I don’t think Sorata deserves Mashiro. He needs to grow up more before even thinking about a relationship.

    I was a Sorata/Mashiro shipper, not so much now.

    Speaking of Mashiro, I can understand why she left at the end. Everything is her fault. Or at least to her. “If I had never come here Sakurasou wouldn’t be torn down.” “If I hadn’t come, Sorata would have been happy.” “If I hadn’t come here, everyone’s lives would be better.” She is taking all the guilt onto herself and doing what she sees as the right thing. By leaving everyone’s lives, they can return to how they were before she came to Japan. Sorata’s bitch session at the unfairness of life was the last push she needed to confirm what she believed to be true. People have said both Nanami and Sorata are burned out. The same can be said of Mashiro in trying to start a relationship with Sorata. The boy she likes doesn’t get her hints or ignores them, spends more time tih other girls, takes his frustrations out on her, breaks his promises with her. Who couldn’t blame her for breaking and leaving.

    Also Sorata and the viewers have forgotten in their complaining of Mashiro’s success is that she didn’t succeed in manga from the start. It was only her third submission that landed her the serialization. Yet unlike Sorata, she didn’t allow her first to failures to rule her life. She quit what she was good at, left her home, and traveled to a foreign land. All without any assurances that she would succeed. Since that time she has grown up, opened up to various emotions, and continues to step out of her comfort zones. The art work for Sorata’s game and the culture festival are prime examples.

    • March 5, 2013 at 7:35 pmJ_the_Man

      Charmed lives? Sorata went to Suiemi University to escape from his crazy family and has had to take care of Shiina from day one. He got stuck in the loony bin for picking up a kitten (Of course, that all turned out well, but it wasn’t a good thing to start out with). Nanami didn’t even get parental approval of her goal in life. That’s hardly a charmed life. No, they haven’t met failure over and over again, but they weren’t served life on a silver platter and given everything. They’ve had to work hard at what they want to do.

      But what you seem to miss is that this isn’t melodrama at their latest failure. This is failure at the final step. This wasn’t some failure at some random point in the process. Sorata, inspired by his friends and passionate about video games, gets so close to finally achieving something. He makes it to the final stage, and then finds out he lost to someone with the same design. Then he figures Shiina carried him all the way to the finals. So not only was he 2nd place (I’m a competitor. 2nd place sucks more often than not than last place). So he finished second place and it wasn’t even by his efforts (with which he put forth a lot of effort into this product). It’s natural for any human to hate defeat. Humans, to a fault, are emotional creatures. Look at Nanami’s case. She’s had to work for her whole life to reach her goal. She had to pass on spending time with friends and work two jobs because she was on her own. The day of reckoning comes when she can finally earn her dream… And then at the last moment she fails. Failure sucks, but coming within centimeters of your goal and then not achieving victory hurts.

      I think it’s unfair you aren’t letting them be human. We overreact sometimes. But if I put as much effort into something as Nanami did, I’d be questioning what I was doing as well. Defeat sucks. You can’t let it keep you down, sure. You have to learn and grow from it. But darn it, humans hate defeat, and they aren’t going to hide it in the aftermath.

      As for Sorata regressing, I think that was covered well by the others’ comments above. I disagree that he regressed.

      As for Shiina’s failures… For all intents and purposes her losing that one manga contest was just a formality by the judges. It was published anyways because she changed the ending. Had she used the good ending before, it was likely her Manga would have won.

    • March 6, 2013 at 2:26 amMgMaster

      “Yet unlike Sorata….” Man…comparing Sorata to Mashiro is just wrong.And it doesn’t look like she’s grown like at all before coming to Sakurasou.As we all recall she was completely unable to understand others in the earlier episodes and she’s still not that good at it but that’s understandable since these things take time.

      Lashing out on her the 1st time he failed in earlier episodes was a mistake indeed but while one could say it was also mistake not telling her it’s not her fault this time,I hardly see it as something to blame him for.His actions here were neither black nor white but somewhere in the gray zone.Us humans are just like that,Mashiro’s the rare breed here.Should we also blame every1 else in the world because they’re not as forgiving & kind as Jesus?

      In the end I suppose it goes back to what each individual likes,in terms of entertainment at least:a person you can admire or one you can symphatize with,even if only a bit?

      I don’t think there’s a right answer,I just prefer the later.

      • March 6, 2013 at 4:29 pmrh75

        My complaint with Sorata is that his character development is a “1 step forward, 1 step back” type. At times, he has good development but then a couple episodes later he takes a step backward. Has he changed all that much from the first few episodes? On some things he has, on others he has made no progress. Mashiro has had more consistent character development than Sorata, and that was mostly my point of comparing the two.

        Do I expect everyone to be forgiving? No. What I expect is responsibility and ownership of screw ups.

        Is Sorata’s actions a grey area? Depends.

        What annoys me about his comments is that he automatically assumes that the only reason he got as far as he did was because of Mashiro’s drawing. What does he have to base that assumption on, a couple comments from a mentor. But he takes those comments adds his frustration about Nanami and Sakurasou, and explodes.

        A normal human reaction? Again it depends.

        He knows that he went too far, look at his face after Mashiro’s comment. And in the next episode he has to pay the devil, the first time that he has had to. But will the price be pennies or big dollars?

      • March 7, 2013 at 7:14 amJ_the_Man

        To be frank, I’m not even sure if it was legitimately true that Sorata felt that it was all Shiina’s work that got him into the finals, just speculation by the bystanders based upon that flashback. For certain, however, he felt gut punched that he put all the work into those presentations, and all Shiina had to do was draw a couple of pictures and she gets a guaranteed job offer. When you’re burnt out like Sorata was, the fact he didn’t even mention Shiina’s name tells you he was at least trying not to lash out at her. Really, her statements probably caught Sorata off guard. He wasn’t lashing out at Shiina, per se, but at the fact of how unfair life was.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:00 pmyahiko03

      So far, your post is the only one that makes sense. Im just reading and reading other posts and its all the same, they feel bad for Nanamai and Sorata, they are a better couple and have a lot in common, they need each other. I got tired of reading these posts with the same discussion. And to make it so bad, they make Mashiro look like she has an easy and carefree life and she doesnt deserve to be happy because she already has everything. Thats a load of crap. Even celebrities get lonely. Just because a person succeeds in everything they do does not make them happy, if that was the case then rich and successful people wouldnt be stressed and or kill themselves. Mashiro worked hard for what she has accomplished, she worked so hard that she never got the chance to understand how the world works until recently. She had good people in her corner. You cant blame the girl for being so talented. I love Mashiro and I dont like how people bash on her either

    • March 7, 2013 at 5:50 pmrh75

      To further expand upon my original post of not being able to relate to Sorata and Nanami because of their reactions is also that flaws in the writing lessen the impact of any emotions for me. To have a truly emotional impact, there must be nothing that can cast doubt upon the scene or bring up a ‘hold on’ comment from the viewer. Logic should not be able to pick apart emotional scenes because of previous episodes or that something contradicts what is being said

      In Sakaurasou, after a few seconds of pity at Nanami’s plight, you can pick apart the scene and start raising questions. She is distraught over having to leave Sakuarsou, school, and her friends, why? Nanami is financially independent of her parents and has been for 2 years and not passing the audition doesn’t change that. She also was not kicked out of school or Sakurasou for being unable to pay the rent and tuition. Her financial status can’t be a reason for her to return. It would be a stretch to say that she has to leave to gain family support when she has gone 2 years without it.

      Next we are told that her dream and career are over and that the 2 years were a waste of time. Huh? If she is still financially independent, Nanami can continue to take VA classes. Also is there only 1 talent agency in all of Japan or even that city? Test with other agencies in the city, surrounding regions, and even throughout the country. Take the diploma, certificate, or documentation from the VA school and apply for other schools or jobs. This should only be a minor bump in the road. The one that is making it a sinkhole is Nanami and with nothing presented to show us why she is doing it.

      Maybe in a argument with her parents she made a promise about how if after 2 years she didn’t have a voice acting job, she would give up on it and return home. Since she is a good girl, Nanami would honor that promise even if there would be no reason to. If this is what happened, I could sympathize with her. However, nothing of the sort was hinted at or flashbacked to so it is just a theory. People also assume that her parents are presssuring her because they disapprove of what she is doing. If so, show us.

      Instead we are to accept everything at face value, even if things don’t make sense. And the only reason given is “Just because” from the writer(s).

      With Sorata, it is even quicker to pick apart. We are to believe that designing games is his dream and from his reaction he has spent considerable time pursuing it. Yet we know that he has spent more time on Mashiro Duty than game design, which is less then a year. We also know that despite his talk of hard work Nanami’s hard work never inspired him to do game design before. Mashiro and wanting to get close to her level was what gave him that push. Also from the time he half-passed/failed, we really didn’t see Sorata being all that active in the meetings or outside them. Why not work hard in convincing Dragon to create a 10 minute demo that can run on his smart phone and have Mashiro draw up the characters and gaming world while picking both their brains on what he lacks.

      Like with Nanami, we are to believe that his dream is gone and that he’ll never be a game designer. Again, huh? Where Nanami’s rejection is a speedbump, Sorata’s is a piece of gravel. He’s barely even scratched the surface of getting into game design and we are to beleieve it is the end. In his final year, he needs to take some elective courses in programming, art, and business. Spend time outside of school creating a circle of potential business and professional contacts. He also needs to realize a thing called profit margin and why businesses rely on it so much, which is where the business classes come in. That was the reason his game was rejected, not because they were using him to get to Mashiro.

      To simplify things: Reason overruled emotion for me in this episode. The flaws in the writing provided too many handholds for reason to crush any emotions I felt.

      One last thing. With the abrupt shift from not-so-serious romcom to drama/angst are we heading for a anime original ending?

      • March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pmJ_the_Man

        Maybe in a argument with her parents she made a promise about how if after 2 years she didn’t have a voice acting job, she would give up on it and return home. Since she is a good girl, Nanami would honor that promise even if there would be no reason to. If this is what happened, I could sympathize with her. However, nothing of the sort was hinted at or flashbacked to so it is just a theory. People also assume that her parents are presssuring her because they disapprove of what she is doing. If so, show us.

        Your premise is entirely false. That’s exactly what her situation was. She did in fact promise her parents she would move back to Osaka if she failed the exam. Go rewatch episode 14. This has absolutely nothing to do with her being financially independent of her parents. Frankly, if you call two day jobs and spending the rest of your time “financially independent,” well… It’s more or less financially enslaved to your current circumstances. If you recall, she ran herself into the ground working so many jobs at the start of the anime.

        As for the rest of your post, frankly I don’t know what to say. It seems to me that you are unwilling to suspend your disbelief for the show’s sake and have subsequently created the obvious large sum of fridge logic you’ve perceived. Claiming Sorata spends more time on Mashiiro duty than on his video games also seems to be an act of ignorance of the law of conservation of details on your part. There are way more important details to this show than watching Sorata spend his time developing game concepts and designs, even though we’ve clearly been seeing him work on it.

      • March 7, 2013 at 6:53 pmJ_the_Man

        Maybe in a argument with her parents she made a promise about how if after 2 years she didn’t have a voice acting job, she would give up on it and return home. Since she is a good girl, Nanami would honor that promise even if there would be no reason to. If this is what happened, I could sympathize with her. However, nothing of the sort was hinted at or flashbacked to so it is just a theory. People also assume that her parents are presssuring her because they disapprove of what she is doing. If so, show us.

        Your premise is entirely false. That’s exactly what her situation was. She did in fact promise her parents she would move back to Osaka if she failed the exam. Go rewatch episode 14. This has absolutely nothing to do with her being financially independent of her parents. Frankly, if you call two day jobs and spending the rest of your time “financially independent,” well… It’s more or less financially enslaved to your current circumstances. If you recall, she ran herself into the ground working so many jobs at the start of the anime.

        As for the rest of your post, frankly I don’t know what to say. It seems to me that you are unwilling to suspend your disbelief for the show’s sake and have subsequently created the obvious large sum of fridge logic you’ve perceived. Claiming Sorata spends more time on Mashiiro duty than on his video games also seems to be an act of ignorance of the law of conservation of details on your part. There are way more important details to this show than watching Sorata spend his time developing game concepts and designs, even though we’ve clearly been seeing him work on it. These are hardly writing flaws. These are flaws of a viewer who’s taking things too seriously.

        These aren’t supposed to be real world situations that people commonly find themselves in, but the embodiment of the themes that his anime carries. Have you ever worked so hard that most people would feel you earned what you worked for, only to fall short? That’s what Nanami and Sorata’s situations are supposed to represent. You aren’t supposed to go “Yeah, I spent my highschool years trying to get into X agency and had to work a bunch of jobs to fund my education because my parents wouldn’t pay my way.” The writers are trying to get you to empathize with the characters on the basis of “Yeah, I’ve had times where I poured forth all my effort at something, only to fail. And I’ve wondered as well, whether I wasted that part of my life focusing so much on X. They’re absolutely right. Talent will trump hard work, because people prefer talent. Life’s not fair.”

      • March 8, 2013 at 4:12 pmrh75

        Thank you, J_the_Man for finally providing an episode number that shows that I was wrong in how I had viewed things from the show.

        As for financial independence, empathy, suspension of disbelief, how people react to various things, and other emotional issues I’ll leave it that we can’t reach a balance. Given our different lives and experiences there is no way I can convince you of my thinking and you can’t convince me of your thinking.

      • March 8, 2013 at 4:55 pmJ_the_Man

        C’est la vie.

  • March 5, 2013 at 6:45 pmMelissa

    the game changer talk this episode can apply to anime in general. the “american anime fans” always say before a new season starts how it’s the same old things again and about how they always want something new yet when “the same old things” come out they automatically dismiss it as being moe nonsense or harem with fanservice never taking into account these types of genres may surprise them or end up being spectacular because some of them think that mangaka are just catering to otaku feitishs instead of writing a engaging story. just an observation not trying to offend anyone.

  • March 5, 2013 at 10:28 pmReaper201

    Not trying to attract flak here, but I would welcome an ending where Mashiro who has never felt failure, or despair (i.e. be human)finally learns it when Sorata chooses Nanami, and grows with it becoming a better artist & person. Somehow I feel like it would be an great ending, though that’s only my opinion.

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:34 pmReaper201

      PS. At the times when I have failed or experienced personal loss, I rather cry out in my shower. It always gives me a feeling that I’m washing away my negative emotions, you know get out feeling “clean”.

    • March 6, 2013 at 1:08 amMgMaster

      I think you make an excellent point there sir.Also,an ending like that wouldn’t be out of place or anything in a show such as this.It might also make Mashiro more likeable as more people could symphathize with her.

    • March 6, 2013 at 5:50 amJ_the_Man

      Funny… I put together a bunch of paragraphs, but I couldn’t have said this any better. It would be like the writers saying “See? Even geniuses will get hit hard by life,” and that is also the hard truth. It seems like they can do no wrong, but geniuses all started out as failures. Shiina failing to get Sorata and learning what made the Nanami-Sorata pairing so strong and trying again… She’ll understand us common folks a lot better. I wonder how much of Nanami-Sorata Shiina incorporated into her own manga characters…

    • March 6, 2013 at 9:02 pmStilts

      It’d be an interesting way to take it to be sure. I feel like, with the extra 4 volumes, a Mashiro End could be made to legitimately work (that’d even be enough time for her to get rejected, only for Sorata to go for her later on!). However, for where we are in the story right now?

      Hmmmm. It’s a thought.

  • March 6, 2013 at 1:10 amBowiie

    The build up to this episode was so well done that I could only see one part of it coming. Ignoring the obvious Nanami build up so many other factors cause a swell that felt like a dam just waiting to explode out in one giant feel cascade, and when it did we received this episode.

    What I took as a generic romcom has exceeded my expectations on so many levels, and I have loved every minute of it. This episode took the classroom scene that I liked so much from Toradora and stretched it into an entire episode in a very successful way. I don’t claim to be an artist in any sense of the word,(unless coding is an art) however; I believe that anyone on a fundamental level can empathize with these characters. We all have those moments where it feels like we have given it all we’ve pushed till we can’t push anymore, and it all falls flat. All we are left with is that empty feeling of failure and possible resentment that Nanami has. The beautiful thing about Sakurasou is that with this episode I was reminded and experienced those emotions without having lost anything myself. When Nanami’s tears began to fall I instantly teared up from seeing someone that strong finally break down, and from being able to emphasize with what she is feeling. Thank you so much Sakurasou for being more than I could have expected.

    PS: Stilts onii don’t feel bad many hugs are needed after this episode we need to form a Sakurasou support group and just meet up for group hugs.

  • March 6, 2013 at 9:44 amAoihoshikage

    Whoa, Love Hina reference, sure brings back memories, haha. Though, must say, Sakurasou does borrow a few elements from Love Hina: dormitory setting, pursuing dreams, dormitory set to be torn down (sort of).

    With this episode, anyone know how much novel material is left? I’m just hoping if J.C. Staff decides to go for an Anime original ending, they follow what they did with Toradora (and not screw up like their many other novel adaptations).

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:35 amStilts

      Isn’t it great? I’m not one to go back and watch/read old stuff very often, but Love Hina is I think the only manga I’ve read through multiple times. It was the first harem story I read, the first romance manga…so good!

      We’re somewhere around LN vol 6 (of 8 published, 10 planned), so there is more material, but we’ll see where it ends.

      • March 6, 2013 at 5:07 pmAoihoshikage

        I too have read the Love Hina manga multiple times. Then again, Love Hina was the first manga I’ve ever picked up and also the first harem/romance/love comedy. I also watched the Anime back in the early 2000′s multiple times…

        Glad to see some RandomC writers reminiscing on some classics. I’m also glad to see that Sakurasou still has plenty of material left.

  • March 6, 2013 at 10:01 amSmithCB

    Someone tell an art dealer about Shiina’s work on the walls of Sakurasou. Let the word get around, turn the place into an art studio, with Shiina’s art and manga adorning the room, use the other rooms for art presentations, and buy a newer place for the students. Simple….

  • March 6, 2013 at 12:22 pmSaga Darklight

    Sorata is a dick. Sure, Nanami did her best to made across her feelings for him, but if he isn’t in love with her, that asshole needs to make clear that. Meanwhile Mashiro suffers from seeing them in those situations (cliché of course), still she seems to like him too.

    Hopefully, even if that means to take a different path from the novels, this morron will make a choise… if not, I’ll delete this series from my memory forever. Wthat a waste of time.

  • March 6, 2013 at 2:07 pmOasisDawn

    I don’t blame Sorata for being pissed. Realizing that your success was merely an illusion created by higher-ups for their own benefit is one of the worst kind of feelings. Unlike Nanami who had Sorata’s support, the kid literally had no one to take that kind of impact with (except maybe Jin). Not saying Sorata got it worse than Nanami, but their pains are now different.

  • March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pmYuhsaku

    A scary thought crossed my mind, wondering if Nanami was contemplating on suicide when she got out into the rain and seem to be looking up the tree she was standing under while Sorata was looking for her.

    • March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pmSmithCB

      Nope. It’s when the pendulum swings the other direction, and instead of tears and inactivity, there can be a sudden grim or even light-hearted determination that almost looks normal to a stranger, but given the circumstances to a close friend, say, it becomes very disturbing. That’s because a decision has been made, the pressure is off, there are no more corners to turn or boundaries, because they don’t matter any more. Why?, how come?, ‘no fair!’, etc aren’t even in the equation any more, just a determination that ‘this final decision’ won’t fail. And being in the same room with a person like that is scary, because you don’t know how far that final decision will take them. It could be dropping out of school altogether, leaving home, or worse. It’s OK to linger in grief for awhile, while your head works things out, but while a person generally comes out of something like that with a sense of not wanting to get burned again, and acts tentative as they come ‘back’, a too-quick leveling out and a calm, overly rational behavior can be a major flag. Now, we saw an attempt to be normal by Nanami, but that was before she broke down. It’s after the dam breaks, after the heart can’t handle it anymore that things can get tense. A main problem is the time element between breaking down and the decision point. The worst possible thing Sorata did was leave her alone. Nanami reached her decision point there in that room, and that decision was not to clear the deck of emotion, responsibility and grief, but to embrace it and, almost literally, wallow in it because she wants to understand, to have reasons, even based on self-blame since it’s the easiest to start with. Sorata’s showing up again helped her channel and focus that, getting it out of her system before it burned to her core and took her back to the decision point. Nanami is a fighter, and she’ll do OK. Whoa! look at me. Sorry about that… Back to our regularly scheduled discussions . . . !!!

  • March 7, 2013 at 7:31 amFaint Smile

    Nice episode!.. Two Thumbs up!.. Cant wait for the next episode..

  • March 7, 2013 at 10:09 amArashi Yamato

    Sorata’s mentor is a freaking thief! The episode where he did the presentation proves it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that mentor’s company had a hand on Sakurasou being torn down.

  • March 7, 2013 at 8:38 pmmalice

    I’m glad this is JC Staff, because they’re pretty consistent with finishing off their entire series to my knowledge. This deffo needs a seconds season.

  • March 8, 2013 at 12:15 amStranger

    This is the world that I’m familiar with. It’s not all sunshine and roses. You can work your ass off your entire life, and never reach your goals. As was said in this episode, and has been said countless times before: Life isn’t fair.

    That doesn’t mean give up- but don’t go hoping too much, either. Keep them low. It’ll hurt less when they fall.

  • March 10, 2013 at 12:15 amKarasumori

    Ugh, Sorata and Nanami are such crybabies. They each act like someone killed their families in front of them, robbed their bank accounts and burned their house’s down. Sorata can be a hot headed little prick at times. And since when does Hideo Kojima make rhythm games?

  • March 18, 2013 at 10:40 pmMagi Aladdin

    Sorata is a crap who only knows how to scream and scold people I Hate HIM!!!!!!!! He Give Me Same Feeling When I See Makato Ito From School Days I DOn’t Know WHY!!!!!!!!!!