「雨あがりの青」 (Ame Agarino Ao)
“The Blue After the Rain”

I’ve been pretty quick to offer praise for this series, and as I read further into my post, this isn’t going to change much. Yet going into this post, I was going to argue that Sakurasou had finally struck a chord that just annoyed me. That was the thought at the ~7 minute mark, at least. Now? I’m not so sure.

So, Nanami. The character flaw that dominated this arc was that she pushes herself so hard that she ends up collapsing from fatigue. To us, the viewers, this seems silly – it’s all well and good to want to do things yourself, but it seems silly to reject a hand outstretched in help, especially when it’s offered by good people like Sorata.

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But enough quasi-philosophical nonsense, I need to get onto the nitty-gritty, namely this scene. Oh, my gaaaaaawds!! *slaps his hands on his cheeks like a 14-year-old schoolgirl* Did you see how she clung to him? D’AAAAAAAAWWW!!

In all seriousness, that was the scene that changed my perception of Nanami firmly back to the positive, not despite her flaw, but in some ways because of it. The whole scene was touching mostly due to their physical closeness…Nanami, depressed and beaten down by failure, clinging to Sorata; Sorata with his arm around her as he shielded her from the rain. It’s a sad reflection on the state of anime male romantic / harem leads that I must give kudos to Sorata for this simple act, for holding Nanami and letting her hold onto him when she was hurting, because that’s what damn near any non-bastardly guy (not to mention nearly every woman) would do in that situation. She needed someone, and he was there. You want realism, people? Look for it in the important moments, when the comedy is stripped away and it’s just the characters hurting, changing, and growing up. Here you go.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the episode came in regards to Mashiro’s perceptiveness. There’s no denying that in certain ways, Mashiro is a little bit thick (open the cap, darling), but where originally I thought she was depressed because she was trying to stay out of Sorata’s way so he could finish his game design doc, it turns out that she was worried about Nanami but didn’t know what to do about it. (Or possibly both of those things.)

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Wait, scratch what I said before…the most surprising part of the episode was definitely the proper introduction of Torajirou!! XD This ep was pretty light in the comedy department, but hearing Nanami doing both voices, and having the Torajirou one say things like “Get him on the bed already!” was just hilaradorable!! It even topped her going super dere over Sorata’s innocent “Hai, aaa~n” and Nanami muttering about not wearing anything under, HNNNNNNNNNNN– *falls over from a massive nosebleed*

Erh, where was I? Right, one last paragraph-length thought. Dear readers, a question – do any of you know if these past two episodes covered the extent of Volume 2? I ask because considering this show’s similarities with Toradora, my main concern is that they’ll run out of time and have to cram things in at the end. At four episodes a volume we were headed for that, but if they did the second one in only two, we may have made up for most of that time! If so, it’s looking like moving Nanami’s introduction to the first arc continues to be a wonderful idea, and is exactly the kind of tweak that can make an adaption work best of all – careful, considered, deliberate changes made based on feedback and experience with the source material. I guess it pays to have good script writers on board, woo!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Thanks to Mashiro, Nanami gets to make her own mistake, & becomes closer to the #sakurasou crew. Next week, Ogura Yui loli-imouto? \o/

Random thoughts:

  • Okay, I resisted in the main post, but I have to get one quick rant off my chest – if you’re so tired that you’re falling asleep when you don’t want to, you don’t need to try harder, you need to do less. Cut away the unessentials (like Mashiro duty) and focus on what’s truly important. That’s a mistake made for admirable reasons, but a mistake nonetheless. Don’t let it happen to you!
  • Sorata walked the line with Misaki-sempai well. He couldn’t tell her about Jin, because that would break his word, and because that’s Jin’s news to tell her…yet he couldn’t leave her confused and unhappy either. Reassuring her and cheering her up with a game she loves to play was the best he could do. It’s small, but it helps.
  • Using the fleeing princess as an opportunity to grope Useless-sensei’s chest, Jin-san? Pro :3
  • Your 15 minutes of popularity with women…you don’t even realize that you’re in then already, do you, Sorata?
  • An interesting theme was introduced (well, openly stated) this episode which’ll probably pop up again – how do people like Nanami and Sorata compete with those like Misaki and Mashiro, when they’re not only insanely talented but work really hard as well? Here, let me spoil it for you: you work hard, certainly, but also find what you’re talented in and then to that. You might find that it’s not what you dreamed about, but such is life. It’s better to be doing that which you excel at than to struggle on at that which you do not. Just a little tip there from Stilts-niinii ^^
  • Next week we have an Ogura Yui loli-imouto incoming?! I’m as happy as a lolicon when an Ogura Yui loli-imouto is–wait. Bad example. I’m innocent, I swear!! >_<

Full-length images: 12.




  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Shakespeare they threw in there in the middle of the episode. It is officially the season of Shakespeare for anime, with both Zetsuen no Tempest and this show throwing out references like no tomorrow.

    The Big Guy
      1. Write as much as you want, my favorite time of the week is reading your post. Keep up the good work knowing there is people who really enjoy what you wrote and want to see more of it.

  2. i just realise all the people in this series is in the same industry art, voice actor, that sort of stuff. well not this series only, most of anime or manga have this kind of theme. no love for engineering?

    maybei am wrong?

    1. They say “write what you know,” and the thing that people who write anime, manga, and light novels know the most about is usually, well, writing, drawing, or animating. Not many engineers sit down and decide to write a book, and those that do rarely turn to fiction, it seems.

      They should, though. It’d be interesting to read a book about a space engineer, if you ask me.

    2. I haven’t read the LN and I don’t want to (because I really love the anime and I don’t want to be spoiled), but I think it’s going to end up with the whole Sakurasou teaming up to create one big project and make a big splash at the industry. They can literally start their own little company which would obviously grow big because they have talented people. They have Jin and Misaki for the anime, Nanami as a Voice Actress, Mashiro and Rita(she’s not from Sakurasou though) for the manga, and Sorata and Ryunosuke for the game.

      The Story You Don't Know
  3. This only concludes the first half of volume 2 of LN.
    There are still quite a few big event in the latter half.

    Since Kanda Yuuko wasn’t suppose to appear this early in the story according to LN,
    so next episode is going to be an anime original episode.

      1. Rice makes it sound like the end of this episode was the halfway point of vol2 but there’s 4 chapters and the Sorata giving food to Nanami scene is from the middle of chapter 3, so this wasn’t a simple “chapter 1 and 2” adaptation.

        Of course they might backtrack and cover earlier stuff next week,but then they’re also introducing the imouto.So I’ve got no real clue.Only sure thing is that the novel writer is the one writing next week’s episode.

  4. Those at the High End of Autistic spectrum can read emotions, but only very bluntly shown and blatant emotions. They are likely to miss the more subtle social ques however. And Nanami was quite blatantly broadcasting her emotions. Now, if Nanami was brilliant at hiding her emotions under subtle social cues, Mashiro wouldn’t have stood a chance of realizing that. I interpreted her scenes to mean that it was only ONCE Nanami broke down that Mashiro really understood what was going on.

      1. That’s what I was trying to say last week to the folks who were saying things like “life hax.” Quite the contrary; people like Mashiro pay a heavy price for their genius- their “extraordinary abilities” are often attained at the dire cost of basic human instincts that are essential to normal social function such as the simple ability to read subtle emotions. Though they certainly deserve admiration, for every bit of admiration that is given, an equal amount of compassion is required to keep things in check; there is a point where excessive admiration becomes something of a “divine awe” where the genius is dehumanized because he/she becomes more than human in our eyes. A genius is not a god; he/she is only human, and consequently should be treated as such; many geniuses have been crushed under the weight of unrealistic expectations placed upon their frail mortal shoulders by a society that deifies them.

        A genius, like any other human being, requires adequate levels of love and understanding to thrive- and when society deifies them, it inevitably ends up treating them differently from ordinary folks, (unintentionally) dehumanizing them by placing divine expectations upon mortal shoulders- expecting them to move mountains while neglecting their basic emotional needs. Even if one is indeed capable of moving mountains, a double portion of love and support is ofttimes pre-requisite to accomplishing such a gargantuan task. And if society truly values genius savants (Like Mashiro) as much as it says it does; should it not then do all that is within its power to provide these special people with what they need (emotionally) to be successful instead of callously sitting aside with subdued envy while expecting them to excel? If our civilization is poorer from fallen geniuses, we only has ourselves to blame…

      2. Addendum

        Even if one is indeed capable of moving mountains, a double portion of love and support is ofttimes pre-requisite to accomplishing such a gargantuan task.

        Due to the special needs (Caused by deficiencies such as poor emotional perception) that often come part and parcel with such extraordinary ability, of course…

  5. I really liked this episode a lot. Being able to relate that sometimes your best isn’t good enough but getting back on your feet because it won’t discourage you is always a strong feeling to go through.

    On the side note, I love how at the end Mashiro pretty much just went, “Okay, now that that’s settled good night” lol.

  6. Jin, stop being such a fool. You should know that Misaki will follow you everywhere you go. I believe you know it deep down in your heart. Now go f**k her silly when you see her depressed.

  7. Lol after watching this episode on nico and reading stuff on 2ch about it, instead of talking about the episode itself Japanese went apeshit about how Sorata cooked Samgyetang (Korean dish) for Nanami. The nationalists kicked up big fusses in all their forums and even wrote a bunch of 1-star review in Amazon for the BD vol.1

    They even made a nickname for this show to mock it: Instead of “Sakura-so no Pet na Kanojo” they call it “Samgye-so no Kimchi na Kanojo”.

    Fuck me, Japanese and their hardcore nationalism.

    1. The ironic thing those nationalists have is that they just bark like dogs than do anything extreme.

      Now on to topic, and it seems that Aoyama won’t join the likes of Yui Horie and Rie Kugimiya (she’s from Osaka BTW) if she’s doing that habit!

    2. Hearing news like that makes me incredibly sad. I have so much respect for both Korean and Japanese cultures but when there’s such a huge fuss about what is essentially chicken soup, my hope in humanity dies a little bit.

  8. It’s not that Nanami doesn’t know that what she’s doing is wrong or that she should stop trying so hard, there are probably enough people to tell her that starting from her parents; but she still wants at least someone to acknowledge her efforts instead of dismissing them and that’s the most important thing to take away from the raining scene.

    1. Indeed indeed. What I wonder is whether she even realize that’s what she truly wanted until Sorata said it. It may very well have been that she was just trucking along, doing the best she could…and when he said that, she realized, and that’s when she broke down.

  9. This thread/blog is a lot more peaceful and soothing compared to the forums in Japan. In Japan just because the food cooked by Sorata was changed from the congee in the LN to a Korean dish (Samgyetang), the nationalists kicked up big fusses in all those forums and even wrote a bunch of 1-star review in Amazon for the BD vol.1.

    Moreover, they bad mouth the author saying stuff like: “I feel sorry for your work being ruined by Koreans”, “Your working with filthy Koreans”? etc etc… They even made a nickname for this show to mock it: Instead of “Sakura-so no Pet na Kanojo” they call it “Samgye-so no Kimchi na Kanojo”.

    I don’t know why but seeing how they went apeshit because the food was “Korean” was pretty amusing.

    1. Why did the show change the food? I can’t imagine the staff wasn’t able to predict this kind of harassment.

      That aside, those are such childish behaviors, doing those will just end up ruining your own country’s image if anything. I can’t understand what those “nationalists” think sometimes.

      1. Well by their very nature, (extreme) nationalists don’t give a rat’s ass to what the rest of the world might think about them. It’s only a matter of perspective in world view, why would you care what ants or moss would think about you ? In their context it makes sense.

    2. 2ch’s favourite past-time is Korean bashing, with China bashing is not far behind. So I’m not surprised there’s such an uproar.

      I do not believe all Japanese anime otakus are as bigoted as the inane 2ch nationalists, but there’s no denying that they still form a sizable chunk of the domestic anime market in Japan.

      This could be a marketing blunder on Dengeki/JC Staff’s part, by trying to expand their Korean market, they have inadvertedly created a dent in their domestic market, as domestic market DVD sales determines a series’ success.

      Still, I hope this is a minor storm in a teacup and the strength of the story carries it through.

      Kinny Riddle
    3. I never even contemplated that this would be a thing. Such a stupid reason to get all pissed off at an otherwise solid episode. Guh…

      And Takurannyan, though it might not make strict business sense, sometimes those kinds of people are worth pissing off.

    4. Ah, extreme nationalism. Is the extreme nationalist bigot really all that different from the Muslim extremist or, for the matter, the African tribalist? Being the proud citizens of a First-world country, these Japanese 2-channers should really know better…good thing xenophobes are a minority…or are they? Bah, globalization’ll force’em into extinction eventually…

      1. I don’t know about that. It might lessen it, but humans are enduringly stupid in some ways, and preferring our “groups” over those of others is a pretty common one. I have great faith in humans…to continue acting like humans, squishy and illogical and bigoted and everything. We as individuals just have to try to do better, fail as we might.

      2. All extremists have in common a certain, narrow worldview. But flippantly equating nationalism (tribalism, ultra-patriotism) with religious extremism is a huge anthropological no-no. They may have similar ultimate effects in sewing discord and wreaking havoc where none is warranted (by our way of thinking), but the underlying psychological and moral drive often stems from wildly different social factors.

        Blanket statements never really tell the whole story, but it’s wonderful to see someone making this sort of connection to anime at all. 🙂

      3. @Stilts
        Pretty much, I was laughing at myself for writing that globalization thing five minutes later as I left home. It’s wishful thinking…


        It may very well be an anthropological no-no. But it is not a no-no in terms of (Darwinian) evolutionary psychology- which says that tribalism, racism, extreme nationalism and intolerance in all its forms stem from the primitive human evolutionary hunter-gatherer survival instinct to band together into groups of familiar/similar individuals to defend ourselves and our interests from unfamiliar parties.

        Whereas if your perspective is defined solely by traditional models of cultural anthropology that only take into account social factors, entirely disregarding the influence of Darwinian forces on the evolution of human culture, then you would indeed find that racism, ultra-nationalism, tribalism and whatnot are caused by distinctly different social/psychological factors.

        It is only different if you choose the explanatory model that makes it different- take your pick- but bear in mind that both these theories aren’t mutually exclusive, as much as cultural anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists would like to tell you so; a hybridized point of view is equally valid…

      4. @Zen:
        Sorry, it looks like you’re just saying “because the effect is detrimental to society in its current form, it is thereby unfit and therein lies the similarity between all of these groups.”

        Yes, group-forming in its various incarnations is among the most fundamental forms of human social patterning, like you say. But this doesn’t in any way refute or contradict my assertion that equating these different groups is incorrect, as both the root causes and immediate manifestations of their “unfit” behaviors are completely different. The only element that ties groups with these particular behavioral facets together is your (and hopefully everyone’s) scorn.

        Equating everyone or everything that ultimately does harm to mankind or drives itself to extinction (which is genetically impossible for many diseases even under Hitler’s eugenics program) is an exercise in futility, for we can easily find disparate human characteristics beneficial in certain degrees, combinations, and sociocultural situations that prove monstrously deleterious in others. As a study, social Darwinism remains too simplistic to account for the causal and personal distinctions requisite to comparing the identities of social groups; as a pseudoscience created from a perversion of Darwin’s ideas, it remains a haven for the self-entitled to preach the philosophies of sociopolitical inequality, not a taxonomical tool for equating the identities of groups as disparate and ideologically distinct as the aforementioned.

        A “disregard to Darwinian social forces” has little bearing whatsoever on my assessment, but even if I weren’t to acknowledge them (or, indeed, the validity of an ideology that has little to do with Darwin or the established tenants of biological evolution, in which such notions of social evolution do not necessarily follow; see naturalistic fallacy), there is still no rhyme or reason to compare apples and oranges here, just because both happen to be delectable fruits of fancy.

      5. As a study, social Darwinism remains too simplistic to account for the causal and personal distinctions requisite to comparing the identities of social groups; as a pseudoscience created from a perversion of Darwin’s ideas, it remains a haven for the self-entitled to preach the philosophies of sociopolitical inequality, not a taxonomical tool for equating the identities of groups as disparate and ideologically distinct as the aforementioned.

        Why one would go as far as to equate my flippantly sarcastic remark about extreme nationalists with genocidal tendencies and eugenics is beyond me- it was merely meant to denigrate by associating these undesirables with destroyers of civilization. My statement was meant to be a (sarcastic) layman’s insult in the form of a rhetorical question- a scathing joke of sorts and not an intellectual equation. If I happened to include a naturalistic fallacy, it was a conscious choice- because many find such things to be amusing. I say such a thing not because I believe it to be true, but because it is socially amicable.

        But since you seemed to profess that there are no similarities whatsoever between these groups, I decided to present a field of study that might imply otherwise; that is, evolutionary psychology. Whether you (or I) believe in it personally is besides the point- which was that there are credible, modern scholars from elite universities that subscribe to these theories- none of which are numbered among the vile bigots that you seem to associate evolutionary psychology with. If you believe in evolutionary psychology, then these phenomena are similar; if you don’t then they aren’t- and if you buy into both evolutionary psychology and traditional models then I suppose your answer lies somewhere in between- the point was to highlight the fact that there are many respectable, credible people who would beg to differ, challenging readers to expand their horizons and make their own decisions about what to believe…here I am neither concerned, nor interested in which side ultimately ends up being right or wrong…

      6. But it is not a no-no in terms of (Darwinian) evolutionary psychology-

        Zen, you yourself made that mistake, or at least contributed to it by attaching Darwin’s name to evolutionary psychology. Houit is right, social Darwinism is definitely an ideology that masquerades as a science. Social Darwinists attempt to apply evolutionary theory like the “survival of the fittest” principle to sociology and politics in order to create an outcome that leads to a better society – there’s really no scientific study of any sort involved and that’s why it’s more of a political or social ideology than anything.

        On the other hand, evolutionary psychology only attempts to explain human behavior, mostly psychological traits, by theorizing how evolutionary forces may have shaped them. There is no prescription or application of evolutionary concepts to modern day psychology, sociology, or politics.

        Basically, evolutionary psychology is using Darwin’s theories to explain how evolution might have led psychological development to the present behaviors, while social Darwinism uses Darwin’s theories to mold future behaviors and societies.

      7. On the other hand, evolutionary psychology only attempts to explain human behavior, mostly psychological traits, by theorizing how evolutionary forces may have shaped them.

        Verdant, I knew exactly what I was saying when I put (Darwinism) in parentheses in front of “evolutionary psychology.” I did it to distinguish evolutionary psychology from the progression of human culture that is often also called “evolution” by traditional sociologists by emphasizing the fact that the “evolution” in evolutionary psychology refers strictly to the influence of Darwinian forces- and not the loose sociological definition of the term. If my intent was somehow unclear, I apologize- perhaps more elaboration was warranted. And never once did I refer to Social Darwinism in any of my comments…

    1. Yes, that’s what she says, “Datte, ofuro haitenai shi.” But/Because I haven’t taken a bath yet. She fears she smells bad and doesn’t want Sorata getting close enough to smell her — and added to her suggestively embarrassing ventriloquism and stomach gurgling (a very “unladylike” sound in Japanese culture), an additional odor would reduce her “appeal” even further.

      So yes, in the context of being “suggestive,” not wearing anything underneath, talking to yourself about bedding a guy, and producing a “carnal gargle of hunger” would all fit as such. But that’s simply not the theme the scene — or her character — were going for. She’s worried about coming off as unappealing in front of her romantic interest.

      Probably. 😉

  10. https://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    Makes my day everytime she smiles.

    Not only is Mashiro determined and stubborn, but she’s actually more responsible than she looks, very aware of how she’s so hopeless that she needs people to take care of her. So this is pretty much a Mashiro episode as much as a Nanami one.

    The novel had Misaki preparing a van to drive Nanami to her voice acting school. Misaki being just old enough to acquire a driving license, as well as being rich enough to buy a van (thanks to all the ad-revenue generated from her insanely hit animated video she uploaded to the video-sharing site).

    Though in hindsight, it was perhaps better for the anime to opt for the far more realistic option of just calling a taxi, as the OTT drama of Misaki waltzing across town with her yet untested driving skillz takes the spotlight away from Nanami.

    Next week has Sorata’s sister Yuuko appearing much, much earlier than in the novel. She’s not supposed to appear until after Ryuunosuke (Sorata’s neighbour) shows his face. Not that I’m complaining since it’s Ogura Yui.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. Oh and there’s also the subplot regarding poor Misaki’s quest to win Jin’s heart, as he secretly decides to avoid her by going to a different college.

      Despite his frequent grievances with her eccentric antics, Sorata shows he can be Misaki’s reliable junior classman by complimenting her cuteness as she starts to get depressed and invites her to a game of Fighting Vipers on his vintage Sega Saturn to cheer her up.


      Kinny Riddle
  11. LOL. I love this episode a lot. I like how the truth hurting like hell for untalented tryhard people. I remember when I was playing basketball at uni and some 165cm-175cm asian people try to play 5 v 5 against us. They try so hard even thought they can’t win and playing rough and everything.

    1. Why the comparisons with Toradora!? People seem to be comparing the two as if one were competing to outdo the other. Any reason for that? (I’m a little out of the loop. Only started following this last week.)

      1. I see. Well, that makes the comparisons more understandable, but I can’t help but think that it’s creating some sort of divide between “fans”, inviting people to say things like that which was said by Jhacks, or like “Toradora! is classic and can never be outdone!”. I’ve been seeing such comments on multiple sites, and it was disappointing, so I was just wondering if it was a good thing to start making comparisons in the first place.

        Had to get that out.

  12. So painful to watch, this episode.

    Aoyama is such a martyr that I feel bad for her, although it’s her fault for pushing herself too hard by doing duties for Shiina because she was jelly of her.

    Seriously though, fuck Shiina.

  13. I think Aoyama’s problem was that she felt if she relaxed even a hair she wouldn’t be able to continue. I’ve had that feeling before in situations. If you even let someone else help you or take a break your carefully built armor will crack and you’ll fall apart. It’s not just that she didn’t want help, she was afraid to take it. Couple that with not wanting Sorata to get close to Mashiro…

    There is always a tendency to label things. Mashiro may be autistic, but I think she is just driven and things other than her art aren’t important to her. If people have always been willing to do those things for her why wouldn’t she act the way she does? She was quite able to have empathy for Aoyama’s desire to attend her voice school test because it’s how she would have felt.

    1. On Mashiro, it’s the seeming inability to do minor chores properly that brings up the question. She’s not like Nasahara from OniAi – who couldn’t do chores because she never had before – because the second she tried, she picked them up just fine. Mashiro seems incapable.

      As for your first point, it brings to mind an old productivity trick that I’ve made frequent use of. Don’t break the chain, keep it going, do it for as long as possible, because the second you stop…it all comes crashing down.

      A rough way to live, and I much prefer my own way of doing it, which is to have the ability to set things aside for a while, even if I never truly set them down (and always return to them). Not sure if that’s just something unique to me, though.

  14. the proper introduction of Torajirou!!

    proper introduction? does that mean they mentioned torajirou before O_o? i must have missed/forgot it… can someone point me to the episode where torajirou was first mentioned O_o???

  15. So, you’re a mountain climber now?!

    First, I gotta say the timing of just about everything in this series is spectacular. But the thing that amazes me is that
    the injection of humour does not lesson the tension that has been created by the underlying drama.
    That is very difficult to do, IMHO, and this series seamlessly pulls it off time and time again.

    Was this a chance missed…

    IMHO, no. The exposition of this particular problem is not linear, so the author showed us its climax; all Nanami
    wanted to hear (preferably from her parents) from anyone was an acknowledgement of her effort, not to be judged
    (as her parents seemed to have done) on her career choice. (On a side note, I wonder if this isn’t a real Japanese
    problem.) The change of living situation brought everything to a head; but to the point, these (real life) situations
    simmer for a long time then explode in a short burst of events, whose finality is sometimes tragic.

    Anime, probably like many other mediums, has trouble coming to terms with some of the very dark sides of
    personality disorders. Nanami, had it not been for the amazingly strong and perceptive support of her peers,
    was on the path to suicide (she was already very self-destructive). Her (apparent) utter failure at the audition may
    have been the breaking straw. I’m not suggesting that Sorata, Mashiro, Jin, or Misaki thought Nanami was suicidal.
    However, her new family provided the support and Nanami begin her healing with accepting the spoon of food
    from Sorata. Yes, she had to accept that she needed to be spoon fed, and it wasn’t because Mashiro was holding
    her hand (was she really asleep?) This arc, without mentioning the ultimate price, did a good job with this.

    Notice my liberal use of the word peer. I believe Sorata’s initial problem is that he didn’t see Mashiro (or the others)
    as his peer[sic], likewise I believe (through her broken family) Nanami doesn’t see herself as a peer and this was
    defined by her (hidden) isolation. There are other factors in this series — this episode, and it’s great to see a story
    that works so well on so many dimensions as Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.

    The biggest puzzle to me is Jin, not Jin and Misaki. Misaki has done everything a girl could do to put herself in Jin’s
    sights and thoughts. Jin is thoughtful, helpful, and outgoing with the others, but cleverly diverts attention away from
    explaining his reasons in regards to Misaki. This series is very tight-lipped with the details as to why Jin is like this.
    I hope that when it’s revealed, that it’s not some cheesy reason. But if this series’ showing is any indication, I’m sure
    we’ll all be laughing and crying our eyes out at the same time. Just a prediction…

    I’ve mused before that Mashiro might be somewhere on the autism spectrum…

    Mashiro’s character is the Anime exaggeration of “the something missing in all of us.” We all have some innate
    (sometimes undiscovered) ability about ourselves, and are completely out of our element in other ways. We all lie,
    especially to ourselves, to lessen those apparent liabilities around others, to save ourselves from embarrassment.
    Mashiro’s problem is her inhibition about displaying her “lack”, not autism; she’s not hung up on herself (in contrast
    to Nanami). I feel like I have to speak for/defend Mashiro because I’ve know people with her qualities, and not always
    as endearing, either. I’ve honestly asked myself how they made it so far, but they did, in spite of me…

    I feel like this series is about three love stories: Jin and Misaki; Sorata and Mashiro; and Nanami. I really hope there’s
    a Sorata × Mashiro (mainly ’cause I’m romantic at heart), but I think Nanami’s love is to learn to love herself.
    Jin and Misaki is very interesting and I have no idea how that’ll turn out.

    Stilts, your writing really makes me think about aspects of the story I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Thank you.

    1. Didnt the series touch on fact that he has a high inferiority complex? hes too ashamed and jelly that misaki and can just spit out anime hits left and right while teh scripts he tries hard to write for her sucks balls and get negative critic reviews? He has tooo much pride to be just a shadow of her shining brilliance he wants to some how earn the right to be byside her?
      so youre in the nanami just happy to be ALIVE end camp? so sad… shes forever bestfriendzoned
      well the whole series is kinda built around mashiro… so it should be only fitting its a sorata x mashiro enddd

    2. Consider what we know about Jin. Hansome, ladies man, probably never has to study and was always best in the schools he was in. Now he’s confronted by someone who is orders of magnitude better than he is. Think Sallieri confronted by Mozart. The top ranked golfers when Tiger Woods first came on the scene. To make matters worse he knows she has romantic feeings towards him and he is fighting those feeings in himself. Not only is he feeling inferior, but he’s afraid he won’t be able to keep up and/or will drag her down. What he wants is the thing that Ryujii said to Taiga in Toradora! but he doesn’t know if he can do it.

      “I’m a dragon, and you’re a tiger… Since ancient times, the dragon has been the only beast that could stand equal to the tiger. That’s why I have to become a dragon, so I can stay by your side.”

      1. Holy extremely well-placed Toradora reference, batman! Beautiful. That’s exactly the impression I’m left with regarding our troubled Jin-san.

        What’s also interesting is that Misaki directly states, “This is the last summer for Jin and I, after all.” Atashi to Jin ni totte wa saigo no natsu dakara sa. Sorata is quite taken aback by her statement as well.

      2. Agreed on the well-placed Toradora reference there. I got chills remembering that scene…

        On Jin x Misaki, yeah, they’ve brushed across his inferiority complex, though only coyly so far. It’s not that he’s jealous – though he is to a degree, for sure – but that he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her. He feels like he has to go off and earn the right to be beside her…which is, of course, stupid. But as I’m fond of noting, it’s a very human kind of stupid, and one that comes about for admirable reasons (his great faith in and respect for Misaki).

        @ mac65

        You’re right, the timing is spectacular, especially how they’re able to inject comedy without ruining the drama. I feel like I’m getting a masters class in “How To Do It Properly,” and I’m not sure I’m taking enough notes, ahh!!

        An interesting thought on Nanami vis a vi suicide. I’m not sure I agree…but neither do a disagree. I can accept that she was on a path to it, at least, but in her I feel she was more likely to totally break down, or completely falter in at least part of what she’s trying to do. Could that have led to it later on? Perhaps. I just think that woulda been a far later thing…and one that, thankfully, looks more or less averted, at least while her new family is around.

        Lastly, glad to hear that my errant ranting is of some use. I’ll keep doing my best! *fight on!*

      3. On Jin x Misaki, yeah, they’ve brushed across his inferiority complex, though only coyly so far. It’s not that he’s jealous – though he is to a degree, for sure – but that he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her. He feels like he has to go off and earn the right to be beside her…which is, of course, stupid

        Hmm I’m not sure it’s stupid. I think him wanting to be on equal footing with her before starting a relationship makes a lot of sense, otherwise he’s might end up feeling that he’s dragging her down.

        Going to a different college and getting out of ‘her shadow’ is probably a good idea. Being separated from her crush will help give Misaki some perspective too.

      4. Not at all. Him not being “good enough for her”? That’s all in his mind. There are plenty of happy couples where, for example, the woman is a powerful executive and the man works at a bike shop. And there’s nothing wrong with that! The man isn’t “lesser” for his choice of occupations or his skill level, merely different, and they contribute to the relationship in their own ways. It’s better – and I believe Misaki would agree with me on this – to actually be with your loved one rather than running off on some journey of self-discovery. And if you must do that, I’ll bet she’d like to come along with you!

      5. Firstly, your example a little different to Jin & Misaki’s situation. Jin & Misaki are in related fields, the fact that he cannot write well enough to accompany her manga is not something that is easy to ignore.

        Secondly, even though you say there are “plenty of examples” there is rarely a huge discrepancy between the jobs of couples. When present in fiction it is often a point of contention, sometimes even a motive for murder.

        Thirdly, while it is true that those kind of couples can work out it generally depends on the personality of the couples. The simple fact that Jin is having problems with Misaki’s talent means they probably can’t be that kind of couple.

    1. It hurt so much, but I pulled through >_< And I'm not surprised she managed to hail a cab...but only because she apparently got drenched in muddy water like 5 times doing it, lol. That's our Mashiro-chan for ya!

  16. Still rooting for Nanami even if the rules say she won’t win. Go for it Nanami!

    And am I the only one who played back the preview plenty of times?
    “Dadandandadan!(x2) Yuuko’s coming!”. I need a YT loop for it!
    And it’s Ogura Yui doing another loli role. My body is not ready.

  17. “An interesting theme was introduced (well, openly stated) this episode which’ll probably pop up again – how do people like Nanami and Sorata compete with those like Misaki and Mashiro, when they’re not only insanely talented but work really hard as well? Here, let me spoil it for you: you work hard, certainly, but also find what you’re talented in and then to that. You might find that it’s not what you dreamed about, but such is life. It’s better to be doing that which you excel at than to struggle on at that which you do not. Just a little tip there from Stilts-niinii ^^”

    i don’t agree, natural talent is overrated, if you want to do something your initially not good at you just try hard/practice and be good at it.believing otherwise is just putting a limitation on yourself.i had the same issue with Hyouka(which by the way i enjoyed watching) both these shows make it look like tht an average person couldn’t possibly compete at with those with natural talent.(by the way i’m also talking from personal experience, so don’t say easier said than done)

    1. Your right but only up to a point. Talent can be developed and natural talent that is unused is worthless, but there are some people with innate abilities that just can’t be developed by hard work. For example, you can develop musical talent, but if you don’t have perfect pitch you will never be able to develop it. You may come close but you can never achieve that ability. No matter how much you try you will never beat a top level sprinter if your legs are too short. That doesn’t mean you can’t be good or even top tier at something, but there just are things that you have to be born with the capability to do to reach that highest level. Even for the natural talent it must be developed to actually reach that level and it’s often squandered. I’ve known people who really wanted to do something, but no matter how hard they tried they just couldn’t because they lacked the ability. If you managed to do it by hard work you’re to be commended, but sometimes you just can’t do the impossible. That’s why they call it impossible.

      1. inability to do something isn’t the same as not being talented at it, i was talking about talent, not ability.although i agree if your simple unable to do something, tht might be difficult to get over.

    2. @ shadowalker

      I disagree…but I encourage you to continue believing that, up to a point. Wrong though it may be, it’s a useful kind of wrong, far more so than believing you can’t do anything you’re not innately talented at. Just being crazy enough to try is a large part of the recipe to success.

      Now, to my point. My point was not that you shouldn’t try hard and practice. In order to become an expert, no matter how talented you are, it still takes something like 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any one field. Working hard is essential to becoming the best of the best…this is inescapable.

      That said, if you do not have a natural aptitude towards something, it may take 100,000 hours to become an expert, or worse yet, it might be impossible. I’ll give you an example. I’m bad at math – I can do it if I must, but I just don’t grasp complex calculations very well. On the other hand, I love words. I love to write and speak and tell stories, and I believe that I’m reasonably talented at it (you’re free to disagree on that point; many do).

      So, should I attempt to become a world-class mathematician, or a writer? If the answer seems obvious, that’s because it is. In one I have some measure of talent, and in the other I have none. Sure, I could try to become the mathematician, but it would take TEN TIMES as long to become an expert, something that would take nearly FIFTY YEARS to accomplish (assuming 100,000 hrs at 40 hours a week and 52 years…you do the math, lol), rather than only five.

      Of course, for my example I pulled numbers out of my ass (except the 10,000 number…you can google that one), but then again I did say that I was bad at math, ne? ; ) Still, it bears noting…if you’re fighting against a lack of natural aptitude, it’s better to focus on something where you have some. I don’t mean something as black-and-white as needing to be over 6’7″ to play pro basketball; rather, I mean the grand, broad skills that we each use in our everyday life. Once we’re out working, that is ; )

      Damn, even in the comments I write too much…I should probably practice to get better at that, shouldn’t I? nishishi~ :3

      1. while i don’t believe i’m wrong, i also hav no issue with most of your points here, except you seem to hav missed one simple word from my post ‘want’. sure, if your talented at writing than math, and if either choice doesn’t make much difference in terms of wat you want to do, then by all means writing would be the better choice.but wat if u like/want to be a mathematician? if so wouldn’t it be worth all the extra hours?
        oh, and if it means anything, although i’m not a expert, i found your writing to be very coercive(may be it’s just me, and i certainly didn’t mean it in a negative aspect).

  18. Maybe this speaks a lot about me and maybe it doesn’t.

    I believe that Sorata, Jin, and Nanami need to realize that not everyone is meant to be a main character in life. There is no problem striving to be a main character but then for whom are you doing it for; yourself or the person you like? And would you really be happy being a main character, could Sorata handle the pressure of being in the spotlight like Mashiro? Also there is nothing wrong with being a supporting character. You get to catch the main character when they stumble or even fall. You can point out things that they would never see because of where they are. Most important is you as the support character allow the main character to be themselves, not the person shown to the public. So push to be a main character, but if you can’t become one don’t resent those who are or think you are worthless. Just become the best support character you can be.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with being a follower or more quiet or less driven to ridiculous heights, but I’m gunna have to go with bertman4 on this one…everyone, without fail, is the main character in their own life. It’s like Negi said once upon a time…

      (Anyone who points out the arc / who he said that to gets massive Stilts Points! ;D)

      1. You’re both right, but that wasn’t what I was trying to state. It is my fault that I failed to make it clearer. Maybe I should have stated it differently.

        Sorata and Jin believe that if they are not standing next to Mahsiro/Misaki on the same level then they can’t be with them. Why? Has either girl told the boys that if they are not as successful as they are to get away from them? No, they have not but the boys think that. Misaki has made it painfully clear that she wants a normal relationship with Jin, but he blows her off because of his inferiority complex. What happens if Jin gets to Misaki’s level, gets with her, and has scripts rejected in the future? Is he going to dump Misaki because he is now ‘inferior’ to her again?

        I don’t know if Sorata has any romantic feelings for Mashiro yet, but he feels inferior to her. It seems that he feels that if he isn’t pushing to make a name for himself Mashiro won’t acknowledge him. Or perhaps that if he is a nobody he doesn’t deserve to know and interact with her. Besides an inferiority complex, Sorata also shares with Jin the annoying habit(?) of not talking to the girls about almost anything.

        So what I meant by main character is that:

        Sorata and Jin have made it clear they believe that to be with Mashiro and Misaki that they have to reach level X; example: main character in a film. Both believe that if they don’t reach that level then it is over for them concerning Mashiro and Misaki. Neither of them seem to realize that they don’t have to reach level X to be happy. Push to be on the same level as the girls, but realize that if you don’t make it it isn’t a ‘Bad Ending’ relationship-wise.

        It’s all or nothing for the guys. For Jin that attitude is definitely hurting Misaki. Not so much yet with Sorata and Mashiro.

        It’s saying “The person I like runs their own business so to be with them I have to run a business.” That is what I was trying say the first time. Hopefully, this is a little better at what I meant by main character.

  19. Great review Stilts. Aoyama breaking down at being complimented by Sorata also made me go D’AWWW. Aoyama’s faces at getting caught talking with Torajirou, her stomach growling, and getting nervous at being feed we’re also my favorite D’AWWW moments. It was also funny that between Aoyama and Torajirou, the doll is the more aggressive one.

  20. one detail seems inconsistent tho wasnt the important audition and manga release date the same day? but it seems audition was one day before the manga release? did i remember wrong?

    1. The audition and the manga release were on the same day. Once they dropped Aoyama off they went into a convenience store while waiting for her. Inside, Sorata noticed the manga and apologized to Mashiro for forgetting about the release date.

      1. oh true my bad for some reason the part where they zoomed in on the calendar just confused me cuz they just ran out of room and it looked like Aoyama was one day before youre right both were on the same day…

  21. Watched the first and second episode yesterday and I did marathon today until episode 6 and I’m definitely in love with this anime. I’m really glad I picked it up and I believe that this is the best anime for the season. All the characters are very likeable and the plot is a really good mix of comedy and drama.

    I’m really looking forward to the next episode!

    The Story You Don't Know
    1. Clearly you are a [handsome man / beautiful woman] who is [open-minded / web-footed] and [smart / smarmy], with impeccable taste in [anime / sex toys] and a refreshing [body odor / body odor].

      Pick the options that apply.

      1. “Clearly you are a [open-minded] who is [smarmy] and [handsome man], with impeccable taste in [body odor] and a refreshing [sex toys].”

        What’s my score, sensei? Did I pass?

  22. Errr, I didn’t like this episode. Too much melodrama and Aoyama’s voice actor kind of dropped the ball here, I didn’t feel bad enough about her to care. Misaki’s dilemma struck me much more. This show needs more Mashiro, but now that Show Spoiler ▼

    , there will probably be lots of retarded misunderstandings.

  23. Oh well… I’d say what Sorata and co. have done was strongly irresponsible.
    Go out with a girl so sick and feverish she collapses into unconscoiusness is risking her vey health and no school event is worth it.

    1. It was not school event, it was her future carrer in the line. I she didn´t go she will always wander what if, so this way she learned not to take everythng on herself because nobody can paly all positions at once. I´m with you, it was risky but sadly necessary.

  24. The scene at the begining when Mashiro felt sad because Sorata was not in the room with her speak volumes of what her true feelings are. You are right Stilts, just wait with patience until the sweet moment where love burst out is the right way of doing it.


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