「あきらめちまえよ」 (Akirame Chimae Yo)
“Just Give Up”
Kent gets no pity. None at all.
Before people start calling the series “Rage ni Todoke,” if not already, the path to recovery for our lead couple is well on its way. Okay, maybe a little stalled due to Kent’s uncanny ability to make any situation worse, but the other characters have been making it quite obvious that our mains have effed up. Ryuu’s direct as usual, but the compounding, “you haven’t said enough Sawako” from various sources finally got through to her. Finally.
A lot of people hate Kurumi, but I don’t see how you can now. She’s shown to have respect for, at the very least, Kazehaya’s feelings, and with Sawako thrown into the picture from last season, she’s accepted hers too. As a rival, I’ve been expecting her to do something at this crucial point, but sabotaging isn’t really her way of winning anymore. Even if she were to confess to Kazehaya again now, neither character is shallow enough to just use each other (at least in this story), and it would actually be too negative for the show’s tone. Honestly, I think Kurumi’s a done deal. Perhaps the episode title, “Give Up” was more alluding to her instead. If she is over though, I’m curious to what her character can still provide to the story.
The episode itself was simply following up the tragedy that was “the different likes,” but I’m still continuously impressed how they manage to juggle comedy and drama constantly between scenes, sometimes in mere seconds. From Pin’s hilariously knowledgeable but idiotic teasing to Ayane’s veiny eyes as she seethes with rage at Kent’s poor control in knowing when to shut up, the laughs almost override the frustration. I get this mixed up “I really shouldn’t be laughing so hard because I’m supposed to be angry at the show,” and then a serious moment starts to occur and my smile drops worse than a kid at a clown convention. Messing with my emotions, man.
The backdrop of the school festival was a nice glue to tie all the events together, and it gave the feeling that the drama wasn’t the ONLY focus (even though it is, but that’s great story-telling!). Also, their classmates are incredibly nice people. Like seriously, other countries should have these kinds of school festivals to promote unity in classes. I had watched this documentary on how children are brought up in their elementary schools in American, Chinese, and Japanese cultures, and it seemed the Japanese focused more on connections between peers rather than the student teacher focus. Japanese children taught each other things, older children took care of younger ones, and when there were issues, the children were told to resolve it themselves. It’s not to say all Japanese high schools have extremely friendly people in every classroom, but it may be more prominent.
Getting back on track, the series seems to always trick you into thinking it’s going to fall into another trope, such as dragging out Sawako’s recent lack of assertiveness. But like Sawako’s fall into depression, shattered before it could even span an additional episode, the next title, “To You,” mirroring the show’s own, seems like things will be changing soon once again.