「さくら荘のまじめな彼女」 (Sakurasou Nomajimena Kanojo)
“The Serious Girl of Sakurasou”
Let’s talk about misunderstandings. A good old staple of the romcom (and comedy) genres, there are times when misunderstandings work, and times when they don’t – but sometimes, they work best of all. The three types of comedy that Sakurasou does best are rapid-fire escalation (when they chain jokes back-to-back in rapid succession), everyone playing the boke to Sorata’s glorious tsukkomis, and misunderstandings. Let’s talk about that third one.
Why do misunderstandings work so well here? In a word, Mashiro. Her character is built to be the perfect vessel for creating misunderstandings, just as Nanami is built to receive them. That’s why the single best scene (comedy-wise) of this episode, the one in the park, was so uproariously funny! You’ve got sleepy Mashiro generating the misunderstanding tornadoes, Nanami freaking out and amplifying them, and Sorata caught in the middle while he tsukkoms for his life, HAH! Despite my own advanced case of sleep deprivation when I watched this (I must be getting old…), I was nearly rolling out of my chair from laughing so far…which I cannot say for the you’re-after-my-body punch misunderstanding later on. It still got a chuckle, but nothing like the earlier scene. Nanami is just too sensible to create misunderstandings, even if Sorata is still great at taking the punishment, heh.
Anyway, this episode was about Nanami officially joining the Sakurasou crew. Actually, one more note on misunderstandings: I liked that she was already thinking about moving in, and the misunderstanding was just the final push. That means she probably would have decided to move in anyway, and this was just a funnier way to get her there.
Now, all I have to say here is that I’m happy Nanami moved in, and with little delay. I think that once these first few bumps in the road (hur hur hur) are ironed out, she’s going to fit in quite well. After all, just like with the ostensibly normal Sorata, Nanami is quite weird in her own way. It’s not everyone who has such an insane work ethic. Once she simmers down a bit and learns to accept other’s help, she should gel with the rest of the group just fine.
Speaking of which, accepting other’s help. Once again Sakurasou continues its trend of hitting on themes that resonate with me, though with this one I’m 100% certain it’s a coincidence; while Sorata’s worries about the future were bound to resonate with many, I think I’m fairly unique in having spent quite a lot of time recently reading and thinking about generosity. Generosity, as I’ve come to realize, is often its own reward – it’s not in the expectation of receiving a favor in return that pleasure is accrued, but in the act of being generous itself. That is to say, it feels good to help others, especially those close to us! (And yes, I know that’s nothing new, but it’s a whole other thing to think about it and decide to live it.) So when Nanami so vehemently rejected Sorata’s offer of help, I was saddened…but it makes sense.
Because of Nanami’s parents, she has had to depend totally on herself to put herself through school. That has made her strong and self-sufficient, but also brittle. She feels like accepting other’s help is an admission of weakness. That part, at least, doesn’t resonate with me, even if I privately suspect I may be taking on too much myself as of late – by the way, did I mention there’s a Stilts Out Loud coming out tomorrow? 😀 (don’t worry, it’s not that…I made Stereoman write most of it, nishishi). Still, thanks to Nanami’s greater role in the first four episodes of the anime than she had in Vol 1 of the light novels (at least according to you, my dear commenters), this trait is already well established in her personality, so it’s cool with me. I look forward to her realizing that there’s no shame in accepting other’s help, and preferably as quickly as possible. In fact…here. Listen up, Nanami. We all, each and every one of us, only get by with the help of others. If someone offers to help you of their own free will, let them. You’ll have an opportunity to return the favor later on, but only if there’s a favor there to return, if that bridge is not burned. I don’t think you need worry, though, because it really is true what they say…helping is its own reward.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Misunderstandings snowball hilariously as Nanami moves into Sakurasou…causing her brittle side to come to the fore #sakurasou
- Sorata glomping Jin…is dat some yaoi fodder there? Erh, wait…h-have my yuri goggles turned into yaoi goggles?! AHHHHH, NOOOOO, IT BUUUUURNS!!!
- Erh–now it’s Misaki-sempai who has yaoi goggles. Phew! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Wait…d’oh!
- There’s a Kanda-imouto? DO WANT!
- Those fucking 100’s -_- Apologize! APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE WHO HAS TO TRY RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!
- Seriously though, Aoyama has had it rough. Parents who think your dream is foolish…I can imagine that, but I’m happy to have not experienced it, and I hope that none of you have either. In a way, that’s one of the cruelest things in the world. Stay strong, Nanami.
- Am I the only one who heard about the ultimate melonpan and thought of something other than bread? No? Okay, just checking.
- Yup, it’s official – crazy cat boy is back in business–and wait, did he get another one? Mashiro, Nanami, beware! That’s a warning sign if I’ve ever seen one.
- Gotta be honest, I think the funniest thing about Mashiro’s Plan C wasn’t her crappy B-horror movie plan, but how much Jin was enjoying it. Dat laugh!
- Misaki-sempai is awesome. ‘Nuff said.
- A train game, Sorata? Really? Really? LAAAAAAME!
- Ahhh yes, the second Mashiro hears that she’ll get to spend more time with Sorata, she falls asleep. I don’t think it’s that Nanami is bad, per-say…it’s just that she’s not Sorata. Try as she might, he’s bound to have Mashiro Duty back inside of 4 episodes. Mark my words.
- Hey, no trying to poach Sorata’s (meager) harem, Jin! Ohandbytheway, notice how he never made any moves on Mashiro, but he at least jokes about it with Nanami? It really is just those genius girls that are his kryptonite, ufufu~
- Finally, this is perhaps the only time the lead into the ED didn’t work, since it broke into the morning silence that fit the scene so well. I really wish they’d reserve that tactic only for the episodes that need it…but still, I’ll take the rare sub-optimal episode ending for all the amazing ones this tactic provides. Bring on the next one!