「どでかい花火をあげてみろ」 (Dodekai Hanabi Woagetemiro)
“Let’s Fire a Big Firework”
There is no earthly way I’m going to be able to say everything I want about this episode. Holy hell it was phenomonal. Let’s get into it.
The beginning of the episode holds the only part I’m really going to criticize on this episode, because over all I loved it. Starting off, while I dearly enjoyed Misaki-sempai going all lipstick yuri for megane Nanami (HNNNNGG!!), I thought it distracted from Sorata getting his results. The girls were too loud to totally focus on Sorata, but I wanted to find out if he got accepted or not, so both things suffered. I think it works better when it’s bursts of comedy around the serious stuff, rather than keeping the two overlapping. Fortunately, since this was only finding out if he passed the first round, it wasn’t that big of a deal. At the time, I assumed they would give more space to later (more dramatic) announcements. As it turns out, I was right. But more on that later.
I enjoyed Sorata prepping for the presentation, partially because it introduced yandere Meido-chan, but also because Akasaka’s advice was correct. People underestimate how useful it is to practice presentations (or interviews!) in front of others. Practice does indeed makes perfect, and seeing Sorata practice in front of the others, no matter how (rightfully) hard they were at times – wake up, Mashiro! – made me respect him more. Especially since he did it ten times. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever gone past two or three. Props, Sorata. Good training arc.
Then there’s the presentation itself. Sorata was already nervous enough as is, when suddenly he realizes that his hero Fujisawa Kazuki is there…who then blindsided him with a curveball. “What do you think you need to do to become a game designer?” Harsh. Throwing a question like that at a kid is unfair…but at the same time absolutely fair. It’s not like others are going to hold back, after all.
But that rejection…ouch. Once again, I feel for Sorata. And here’s where the story walked a veeeery delicate line where they could have made Sorata completely unlikable, but deftly avoided it. Had Sorata wallowed in depression totally and gone full emo, he would have lost much of the good will he has as a main character. That said, depression is normal in this situation – he put himself totally out there, exposing his dream to the approval of others, and he came up lacking. That hurts! This was the first time he truly poured everything he had into something, and to fail in such a seemingly embarrassing way…that’s what nearly broke him.
Nearly. And here’s where they threaded the needle so well. His interaction with Mashiro right after he got back, when she had succeeded and he did not, were not great (that is, for him as a person), but they were both understandable and better than most could claim. The jealousy welled up, but he didn’t want to hate Mashiro, so he pushed her away, just for the time. That’s better than pure emo, but still not ideal…had they left it at that, Sorata could still have descended into severe unlikability.
Fortunately, there was Misaki-sempai and Jin to the rescue! (Man, that was a lot of swimsuits O.O Mizugi dorobou!) While Sorata comes out looking like a badass after this episode – though really, everyone does – Misaki-sempai and Jin get a heavy dose of that too. When Mashiro can’t help and Nanami is liable to be too serious (which would have caused Sorata to wallow even more), they did the thing he needed most – something crazy to get him tsukkoiming again. But more than that, they give him an opportunity to liven up, to blow off steam, to be happy with his friends instead of wallowing in defeat.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention all the fanservice. I disagree Jin, Nanami looks great! :3 As does Mashiro, and of course Misaki-sempai too. And yet it was undeniable a guy who made me enjoy a swimsuit scene the most. I never thought I would have said that, but there it is.
But it only got better from there (so, so much better!). When the security guard appeared, I was genuinely surprised – Fail-sensei always seems pretty useless, so it seemed like maybe she would give them permission, you know? But in retrospect, when it comes to her job she really is pretty responsible – she ordered the sick Nanami back to bed, if you recall. That’s why it was a (hilarious!) shock when they got yelled at, and Misaki and Jin are already half way over the fence. “Run.” HAHA!! Misaki-sempai and Jin are such good friends, truly.
Yet even with all that I’ve gone over so far, the best parts were still to come. Can you believe that 14 paragraphs in (holy shit I need to cool it!), I’m saying that? But it’s true! The scene where Mashiro gave Sorata a new charm (easy childbirth, hah!) was great for the reaction it inspired in Sorata – for a second I thought he was going to cry, and I was damned well ready to cry with him – but that’s not even it. Nor was it shining Mashiro and her leap into the blossoming sky, though the ambiance was beautiful there.
No, it was as the ED played and everyone was running, the conversation between Sorata and Nanami. I sort of wish I had waited to write my latest SOL this week, because more than perhaps any other scene in any I’ve seen, this one resonated with me. Note: I’m not saying it was the best I’ve ever seen! Just that it resonated with me, Stilts, in particular, and it resonated hard.
One final thing before I end this Deluxe Stilts Special™. Throughout the episode we saw Mashiro grappling with the question of “What is love?”, and by the time swimsuits were donned Nanami was thinking about it too. Then she said this:
“I love people who know what they want to do! I love people living as hard as they can!”
The episode caps off with the revelation that Nanami actually went no pan (no pantsu, no life! XD), and that she’s starting to understand love…something that she tells to Mashiro. The gauntlet hasn’t quite been thrown down, but the battle lines are becoming clearer all the time. Fuck yes. I cannot wait!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Through the fires of failure, Sorata drags himself out of depression & learns to love losing, w/ a little help from his friends. #sakurasou
tl;dr: v2 @StiltsOutLoud – “Getting serious can be pretty crazy!” “It’s better [to be M] than normal.” “I love people living as hard as they can!” // I love this show
- I enjoyed how Mashiro asked about love, so Sorata started talking about decorative koi pricing. Such a pro tsukkomi.
- Oh my, when Mashiro was drawing in Sorata’s room she got a little jealous of Nanami, even though she didn’t quite understand why yet. Excellent. Also: D’AAAAWWW!
- I gotta say, Sorata dressed to the nines and all determined was pretty awesome. I could go for more of that. Also, Mashiro looking like the wife to the husband heading off to work? More of that too, please!
- I know this wasn’t the right scene to be thinking about this, but Nanami sure does love those shoulder-less outfits, doesn’t she? For which I am eternally thankful. *drools*
- I love this show.
- Misaki steals Sorata’s swim trunks, and he’s still the one that gets hit. Oh Nanamin! XD
- When Mashiro leapt, I thought she was going to say something meaningful, and in fact she did – “Don’t stop running.” Don’t stop running towards your dream, Sorata. Oh and also, that pissed off security guard right behind you :3
- The funny thing? This is one of my longer individual-episode posts (save for…well, you know the ones), and yet it was one of the easiest ones I’ve written in a while. Inspiration is a fickle mistress, and not to be depended on, but when the light goes on inside of you, you truly can fly. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Until next time~
Spoiler tags inserted solely to make this look less damn long.
ED and Epilogue: