「SA・FA」 (SA / FA)
“SA / FA”
Episode at a Glance:
Arriving at school, Hikari and the others are surprised to learn that the S.A class has been abolished. Upon confronting Tadashi’s mother about this, they learn that it’s partly because of complaints from other parents, saying they’ve been given far too much freedom in terms of skipping classes till noon, drinking tea all day, arriving at school late, avoiding teachers and other students, and bringing animals to school. In light of this, Hikari feels that they’ll get the class re-established if they attend school normally. After everyone leaves, Kei asks Sumire if what she said was true, to which she admits that a small portion of it was.
In regular uniforms, the S.A members attend classes like everyone else, but Hikari has to keep everyone abiding by the rules. Aoi then meets Sumire, who says that something like this won’t break them up. Aoi suggests that she knows what Kei will do without S.A, so Sumire calls him cold like a knife, which he accepts as praise. With the greenhouse close, the S.A members are forced to have tea outside, which Hikari is fine with, but no one else is. Ryuu however claims that it’s about more than simply a greenhouse and that the S.A class is a bond that ties them together like a home. Jun then gets a call from his parents, telling him and Megumi to return home. Similarly, Akira does as well.
Outside the school director’s office, Kei approaches Aoi telling him this won’t work, but Aoi simply says that he’ll undertake any detestful role if it’s for Kei’s sake. At home, Hikari dwells on what Ryuu said and decides to clean her S.A uniform as well. At school the next day, Hikari and Ryuu learn that Jun, Megumi, and Akira have all dropped out of school, so they decide to head to their houses to check on them. In the library, Aoi asks Kei if he realizes how insignificant his friends are now, so Kei angerly tells him not to bad mouth his friends. At Akira’s place, Hikari’s asked to leave her alone, after which Tadashi comes by, informing Hikari that Ryuu’s found out that Jun and Megumi are already overseas.
After being brought to where Ryuu is, Hikari learns that Jun and Megumi were forced to drop out of school by their parents, but don’t want to return to Hakusenkan without the S.A class. Ryuu then informs Hikari that Megumi had bad experiences at school when she was younger; therefore, her parents only allowed her and Jun to attend Hakusenkan because of the S.A class. It’s also the reason Ryuu was allowed to attend, and what brought his, Akira, and Kei’s family businesses together. Because of this, the S.A class has been a home that they could feel at ease at for the past seven years. Hearing this, Hikari suspects that Akira is probably being force to drop out too, so she decides to head back to her place.
Meanwhile, Kei drops by Akira’s place first and finds out that the Takishima Group is responsible for making her drop out of Hakusenkan after blackmailing her family’s company. Feeling that Hikari is an honest and strong-willed girl that doesn’t deserve this, Akira tells Kei to not drag her into this if he really likes her. Akira’s maids then arrive and kindly ask Kei to leave so that his group doesn’t make things worse for them, which he agrees to. On his way out, he saves Hikari from a fall while she’s trying to break in and takes her away to the riverbank.
There, Hikari wonders why everyone got scattered like this simply because the S.A class is gone, prompting Kei to ask her if she likes the S.A class. After hearing that all Hikari cares about is being with her friends, Kei proposes a challenge to her—protect a bunch of flowers from him for a day and he’ll use magic to return everything to normal. Should he win though, Kei asks to have all of Hikari to himself. Kei then leaves, but not before telling Hikari to wear her S.A uniform tomorrow. Stopping by the greenhouse that night, Kei recalls one of Hikari’s very first challenges. He’s then surprised to find Hikari behind him, saying that she finally understands his feelings and offering him the flowers. Kei soon wakes up though, realizing that it was all just dream.
The next day at school, the S.A class members gather at the greenhouse and learn that Kei left for London in order to get S.A re-established. Tadashi then rushes Hikari to the airport, during which Hikari realizes that Kei never intended to compete with her to begin with. Recalling how Kei said he’d stay at Hakusenkan until he graduated, Hikari runs onto the runaway chasing after Kei’s plane in tears, asking him to explain what he’s doing; however, Kei simply looks back and says goodbye to Hikari.
「華園 光・滝島 彗」 (Hanazono Hikari / Takishima Kei)
“Hanazono Hikari / Takishima Kei”
Wow, that was an emotionally powerful episode all around, with the scene at the end where Hikari was chasing after Kei’s plane making me tear up a bit. While it may not move many other viewers, there’s something about people being self-sacrificial to help others and people chasing after airplanes on foot that I find extremely touching. In fact, this exact same thing happened in season one of Hana Yori Dango, so that’s why watching a scene like this, instantly reminded me of a similar scene.
The foreshadowing leading up to end really helped stress that scene, with Kei posing a “challenge” to Hikari so that she would be unaware of what he was going to do. The moment he proposed a contest to her, saying that if she could protect a bunch of flowers from him for a day, he would use magic to return everything back to normal, I kind of figured that Kei was going to go to London, let her win, and have Aoi allow Sumire to re-establish the S.A class. What surprised me though is that in spite of knowing what was going to happen, the same script as Hana Yori Dango tugged on my emotions again fairly easily, as did the big tease that was Kei’s dream. I have to admit I totally fell for the latter too, seeing as this is the second to last episode. However, I’m glad they didn’t have Kei and Hikari getting together there, because this episode set things up for a much much better finale.
At the beginning of the episode, I was a bit bothered by how the S.A class was so spoiled and whined about all their freedom taken away. If I had to make a comparison, it came off as a bunch of spoiled rich kids who absolutely refuse to do anything like normal people do, because they think they’re better than everyone else. Seeing as Hikari was the only one who didn’t really care for the S.A class and only cared if she could still be at school with all her friends, I saw her as the commoner’s voice (i.e. practical voice) in all of this. However, my opinion changed over time, when Ryuu explained that Megumi and Jun are only allowed to attend Hakusenkan because of the S.A class due to being bullied in the past. So while their class does break away from the equality that school uniforms are supposed to represent, I could see why the S.A class was so important to them. In short, it wasn’t about status or being above everyone else, but something more sentimental and necessary to keep them together.
The finale looks like Hikari and the others will be pursuing Kei to London where everything should wrap up nicely. The preview also included puppets of everyone this time instead of just Tadashi, so that was pretty interesting to see.
– Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
– Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
– Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
– Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
– Ogata Aoi (緒方 蒼) / Yusa Kouji (遊佐 浩二)
– Karino Sumire (狩野 菫) / Tanaka Atsuko (田中 敦子)
– Female student (女生徒) / Nabei Makiko (鍋井 まき子)
– Male student (男子生徒) / Ishigami Yuuichi (石上 裕一)
– Yoshikawa (吉川) / Matsuo Daisuke (松尾 大亮)