OP4 Sequence

OP4: 「I call your name again」 by 中津真莉子 (Mariko Nakatsu)

「イヴの窓辺とそれぞれの灯り」 (Ivu no Madobe Tosorezoreno Akari)
“Windows and Lights on Christmas Eve”

The episode starts with a mournful, almost plantive song, overlayed by the characters voicing their deepest problems, concerns…and in the process, revealing who was foremost in their minds (as if we didn’t already know). A fitting beginning for an episode where some conflicts are resolved, while others go even deeper. Well, expect for Ryuunosuke, but it’s no surprise that he didn’t even think what he was feeling. So tsundere!

Sorata’s Anger – Justifiable or Not?

There’s a Stilts Out Loud post that I need to write someday titled something like “The Burden of the Protagonist”, because that’s what I feel Sorata is under sometimes. Pardon me while I go on a very meta storytelling tangent (I know, I know, I usually wait until a paragraph or two before I go off on these; just indulge me) – sometimes Sorata’s personality is shanghaied by the plot in order to enhance the drama. “Forcing” drama is not a new thing, but when it’s done well, it’s a natural consequence of how the story or characters are set up, ala Kanna and Mio’s complicating affections in Ano Natsu de Matteru, or better yet, the original love tangle from this show’s spiritual predecessor, Toradora. Things go badly when a character acts out of character (or just stupidly) in order to advance the plot (trope!).

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Nanami’s Longshot

Sorry to break it to you, Aoyama fans – she has no shot. Okay, that’s not strictly true, but if this show was going to be a curveball – and those have happened before, and within recent memory – it’s going way too deep down the rabbit hole to give us a pretty end. Yet, it’s a testament to Nanami’s character that, though I prefer Sorata to be with Mashiro, I don’t feel good about Nanami’s increasingly bleak chances. Like Sorata himself, she is earnestly going after her dream, to the point that she feels nearly overwhelmed by the skill of the professional performers they saw that night. What’s more, though she herself sees the writing on the wall, she’s still going for it. I admire that.

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Sorata & Mashiro – A Hug Amidst the Snow

Communication. It’s oft-repeated nearly to the point of cliché, but is saved from that due to being absolutely true – the best thing for keeping relationships happy and healthy is communication. That was Sorata and Mashiro’s problem, in that Mashiro is terrible at it, and the plot was forcing Sorata to be so as well (see above). Fortunately, while Sorata’s anger felt forced, the resolution of it did not. Mashiro wandering off is completely understandable given her character, as is Sorata worrying about her – the ambulance driving past as he got the call was a nice touch. His dash to find her was the only thing I would have expected from him.

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Jin’s Decision and Misaki’s Anguish

While there were resolutions elsewhere, this is where the ones we got only brough about more drama and pain. Jin’s admission that he loved Misaki – first to the seito kaichou, then to Misaki herself – should have been uplifting, but he never seemed to feel happy about it. The reason soon became clear.

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Looking Ahead

With Chihiro-sensei going to Australia for New Year’s, it looks like Sorata will be going home…and taking three young ladies with him. Looks like we have some Yuuko time incoming, though we’ll probably get some more development from Misaki-sempai as well. See you then!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A hug amidst the snow. Some resolution for Sorata & Mashiro, lost hope for Nanami…and a bombshell for Misaki, about Jin. Ouch #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • Somehow, Misaki is the most level-headed of the bunch. Okay, so she’s still totally bonkers, but she knows what she wants and is going after it full-tilt, despite the fear she holds. I really, really respect that…even if it didn’t work out too well.
  • Who drinks dark beer out of a pilsner glass? Sensei, you fake! Plus, look at that pour…she got a ton of head on that! (Hur hur hur) Down the side of the glass until about mid-way, then pour straight to finish, that’s the way to do it. Also, look at the bottom on that thing!! It’s got so much glass on the bottom that it’s basically a regular pint that’s harder to fit in the dish washer. How dare they screw up beer drinking in my teenage romcom! …erh, wait.
  • It goes without saying (though I’m saying it anyway), but Mashiro was really beautiful in her party dress.
  • Ohhhh Chihiro-sensei, I’d take you or your moping friend. Actually, let me think about that. Stilts + Chihiro-sensei…we would rule the world with drunk and crazy and fear, BWAHAHAHA!!
  • Now this episode, the new ED really, really worked. I got chills thinking about Sorata going after his dream once again, clear of mind and free of frustrated anger. Go get em, Sorata!
  • I decided to use the post format I pioneered with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and recently revived for the second episode of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. I think it feels more organized (and less daunting), but it may encourage me to write even more than usual, which probably isn’t good for either your or my free time. Feel free to tell me what you think!

Full-length images: OP 01, 26.




  1. Feel free to write as much as you want since I doubt any of us readers will mind. Though try not to kill yourself since you’ll also probably start averaging 2k words a post soon.

    1. Since no one is “willing” to do it, let me play the Devil’s Advocate. Since you’re not never on IRC (for whatever the reason), I’ll just state it out here. Take it as constructive feedback/criticism if you will.

      Stilts, this is your post. If you want to write 5k words (and have the time to), go ahead and be my guest. If you want to write 500 words, that’s fine with me too. But every time I see you saying that you feel you write too much and then proceed to “promise” to write lesser while there isn’t any visible changes (save a couple of exceptions), then Houston, we have a problem.

      I understand that when the thoughts start to flow, it gets hard to stop typing, the words keep on coming and lo and behold, 2k words. It is up to you to decide, whether to keep the entirety of what was written or to trim away on what is deemed unnecessary. If you feel that you wrote too much, further cut down on the word count. Make a conscious effort to do so – and not attach the usual “sorry guys I wrote too much, I’ll try harder next time” while repeating the same cycle over and over again. Either do it, or don’t. On that note, I also see no point as to why you (applicable to other writers as well) spoiler tag your posts in an attempt to “make it look short-er”. Again, if you feel that a post is probably too long, use the backspace key.

      As commenters have pointed out, some/most of us have no issue with reading walls of text because..reading is a pretty fast process compared to writing. On the contrary, you should know that other people have tl;dr syndrome and walls of text do indicate that you have either way too much to say (dependent on what episode/series) or difficulties in being brief, or both (which I stress, is not inherently “bad”). Personally, I feel that brevity is a good writing skill to have – just look at the older RC posts. Longer posts have their own merits too, but you get the gist. In the end, it really boils down to an individual’s writing style, and your desire to keep your posts long/short. I’ll just repeat myself in a tl;dr way:

      It’s your post. If you want to keep it long, do it. If you want to keep it short, do it. If you want to keep a long post short, do it, or at least work on it. Don’t give us/me this weekly statement on “oh noes I write too much, people won’t like it”. If you genuinely feel bad about it, do something about it.

      PS: New format is much preferred. At least we know what you’re talking about because sometimes it is easy to lose someone when you go on a tangent.

      1. “Either do it, or don’t. On that note, I also see no point as to why you (applicable to other writers as well) spoiler tag your posts in an attempt to “make it look short-er”. Again, if you feel that a post is probably too long, use the backspace key.”

        In my opinion, he’s already doing such a great job of using the spoiler tags as an alternative to TL;DR styled posts. While the general intention of your post is to encourage him to have more confidence as a writer, as a fan, I can’t agree that he should limit his posts, most of what he says is quality reading to me at least.
        Its very easy to lose people’s attention when you simply ask them to read walls of text, but after seeing his passion for Horizon with a Nishio Ishin avatar, I really considered that to be his own personal 『style』.

      2. You have a good point, sir (both of you, in fact). I’ve always thought that blog posts are “supposed to be” shorter (which is a damned ridiculous thought now that I state it outwardly), so my proclivity towards wordiness has always worried me. Am I pushed away readers by being too verbose? Dunno, but I never liked that thought.

        That said, you’re right – I ought to either keep them long or make them short (or at least try to make them short), but keep all the meta-writing nonsense off the word count. Self-deprecation is no fun when it becomes so common as to be tiresome…so I’ll just stop (or once again, at least try).

        As for why I spoiler tag the posts, it all has to do with getting started. Getting started is always the hardest thing, whether it be writing a post or reading it or any number of other things. If someone looks at a 2K word post and goes “hoo boy, I don’t have time for that!” then they might wander off…even though they might really have the time, they just didn’t realize it because they were daunted by the size. So if I keep writing a bunch then I may very well keep doing that, though I might also take away that crutch from myself. Whatever the case, I’ll make that decision quitely…or come bug you guys on irc : ) Which hopefully I’ll have time to do soon!

      3. On that note, I also see no point as to why you (applicable to other writers as well) spoiler tag your posts in an attempt to “make it look short-er”. Again, if you feel that a post is probably too long, use the backspace key.

        I don’t speak for anybody else that uses spoiler tags, but I do that to give people the choice of reading what they want. Some readers like reading 1000+ posts, some readers don’t. For those that don’t, they can read the “bottom line”, so to speak (especially for final impressions and/or series intros). If they actually want to read how I arrived at a certain conclusion, then they can read what’s hidden in the tags.

    1. He is well aware that he is being an idiot for feeling Jealousy of Mashiro’s talent. You just need to look at the interaction with him and Jin after he had laid into Mashiro in the hallway.

      So the question has been asked here .. is his anger unjustified. Well yes it is. However is it human? Yes it is! It’s called being flawed. He’s responded before like this and under stress and similar situations (failing with his game presentation previously, failing to be accepted in the game competition here) and again he’s responded the same way. People may cry where’s the character growth’. Well I’m sorry but in real life character growth takes time.

    1. Agreed. It really feels like that’s not how Sorata would really act, but rather maybe the source material was stretched out for a book or two longer than it should have been, leading to some story contortions to keep the drama high and the plot from progressing too quickly.

      1. I can somewhat understand Sorata. Every time he was rude to Mashiro, it happened right after he received bad news about what he loves doing. Right after, he gets to look at the super talented Mashiro who is an awesome artist and a great mangaka. That’s bound to make him feel depressed, which in turns makes him take out that anger and disappointment at her. It’s kind of like an inferiority complex. So, it’s not exactly out of character. That’s what I think, anyway.

      2. @Nobody

        It’s Inferiority complex, no one says it’s not.
        What I felt was so unlike him was the way he dealt with it, snapping at Mashiro is not something he would have done normally, avoiding her, or giving halfassed answers yes, but snapping at her, no.

        What was all the last arc about?

      3. @Yuu: That’s 99% of my problem with the last two episodes. The whole time Rita was there, Sorata was pretty supportive of Mashiro on anything she wanted, but as soon as Rita leaves, Sorata starts adopting the attitude she had when she first showed up. It was like none of Nyaboron thing ever happened, especially between Mashiro and Sorata.

      1. I’m not sure. Yes, he’s done it before, but every time he has it clashes with his character. Of course, that may just be my perception – and in fact, if it’s happened more than once then it’s almost de facto “part of his character” – but it has never seemed to gel with the rest of how he acts.

        Still, he is a high school kid, and we all do stupid shit in high school. Hell, I still do! 😀

      2. If the character seems schizophrenic, but isn’t supposed to be, then the writers did a poor job of explaining the character. If they at least somewhere said why he got those nasty tantrums, then I’d buy it.

      3. Sometimes people just have bad tempers. It’s a fault of their personality. I have one myself. It’s not caused by some trauma in my life, it’s just me. Generally I’m very easy going but every once and a while I can snap. I’m not particularly proud of it but its me.

        BTW .. wanting to have an explanation of every personality trait is just silly. Sometimes we’re just born like it.

      4. Reading through the post, I started to wonder something like this as well. There are plenty of ways people react to things, and they frequently surprise us. “I didn’t expect him to react like that” is something that we occasionally have to say. I know that I’ve given occasion for others to think that, too, when under stress. So it’s possible that while Sorata is a guy who can handle some adversity, or who is very good at being between two other people, when he’s actually the person at the center of the storm, he just might not respond well.

        It might actually be more in character than we’re giving the writers credit for, since we’ve now seen it more than once, that when Sorata faces overt rejection he does not handle Mashiro well. Her easy success with her manga being serialized while he froze up at the presentation. And now her seemingly lackadaisical attitude about getting her production finished while he flounders, taking backwards steps. And he reacts nearly the same way both times. So maybe that is his character, and while he pulls out of it fairly quickly, in that moment of truth, he’s not really able to handle his internal rejection.

  2. Damn, that fountain scene, is as good and as heartbreaking as the Toradora christmas scene where Taiga chases after Ryuji and Minori was there to watch </3. Well played JC Staff, you did it again.

    1. My thoughts immediately shifted to Toradora near the end of that fountain scene as well. It’s been a long while (for me anyways) since a Christmas scene moved me like Toradora has but this one without a doubt measures up there.

    2. I was so wrapped up in the emotion of the scene when Namani appeared in the background that it didn’t occur to me. This was almost as heartbreaking as the scene from ToraDora. I really expected her to just walk away, but she is really a fighter.

  3. Since the premiere episode, Sakurasou has had a certain way of always exceeding the bar it sets each and every week. I must admit that I had my doubts about how this episode would be handled and am surprised to admit that as per usual, Sakurasou shattered my expectations and delivered a pretty phenomenal showing.

  4. Stilts: I think you have it spot on when it comes to Sorata. It does feel like drama is being tacked onto him for drama’s sake – while I cannot really complain about how it was resolved, it did not feel like I was watching the regular Sorata for a while.

    It’s just too bad that between Mashiro and Nanami, only one of them will catch the prize. It doesn’t help that Nanami seems more level-headed, because this means that she can deal with not winning; on the other hand, Mashiro may want Sorata, but it might not be truly for the right reasons, unless she realizes it.

    1. Haven’t you ever lashed out at someone you care about when your angry at yourself? Sorata is frustrated at his inability to measure up to a standard that Mashiro has set for him (he’s done it to himself, but emotionally he sees her as doing it). He wants to be left alone to wallow in self pity and Mashiro’s attempts to be close to him just make it worse for him by rubbing salt in his self inflicted wounds. He’s a teenager which makes it all the worse.

  5. Wow. The every 4 episode cycle of something absolutely awesome happening was accelerated and we got the “OMG! This is so awesome!” in the second episode of the current cycle. Simply amazing.

    I know that it’s kinda foolish to declare a show anime of the year when it’s still just past its halfway point (and it’s January) but god damn it! I’m going to be a fool and say:

    Sakurasou: ANIME OF THE YEAR 2013!

  6. @Stilts
    You know, if you just keep focusing on the Nanami not getting Sorata thing, you really won’t be able to enjoy the rest of her character… Hell, the girl isn’t even close to feeling depression and her fans are acting like every scene with her is a funeral.

    1. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the rest of her character! That’s what makes the whole love triangle “work”, at least when one side of it has always been a mega longshot. However, her part in the love triangle is her most obvious reason for being in the story, so naturally it’s a focus. Hell, almost everyone is in the story because of one relationship or another, so she’s not even unique there.

  7. Write as much as you want Stilts, I’m sure all your readers (including me) would love that. Wonderful episode this week, finally Sorata takes a damn hint and fixes things mostly… Nanami better have an ace up her sleeve in the near future =( Jin’s rejection could be interpreted in a number of ways – I feel Jin really wants Misaki to be herself and is worried he could ‘corrupt’ her. Jin feeling inferior to her is another thing and wants Misaki to see him in a different light? I don’t know, but it’s food for thought right?

    1. Nah … I’m sure Stilts is right with Jin. He’s just being a dick. Its this idea that you have to be the ‘man’ in the relationship. So bloody what if you end up being a kept man whos only real role is to support your insanely talented wife. Get over it.

    2. I tried to understand Jin’s POV but he’s still just being a dick. His stance is doing more harm than good. He wants Misaki to love him for being a MAN – that’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever hear any male character say. It’s like he wants to control her feelings by controlling the reason why she love him. That makes NO sense. There are a lot of idiots on this show, but Jin is truly the biggest one by far – in a bad way.

    3. Regarding Jin, I don’t think he wanted to be the ‘man’ in the relationship(do guys actually think like that? I think it’s more of a sexist delusion females have about men) – ever heard about being in love with a idea/image of a person or just a idea, instead of the actual person himself? Jin’s dilemma is probably similar to that, which is important because if she ends up with him without knowing/understanding his full/real self, either she will be disappointed and heartbroken later or he’ll end up pretending to be someone he’s not for the rest of his life.
      Or if we consider how Misaki expresses her ‘love’ maybe his feelings run in parallel with people who complain that they’re treated merely as sex objects by their partners.

      “So bloody what if you end up being a kept man whos only real role is to support your insanely talented wife. Get over it.”

      You say that as if it’s required of him, even though it’s pretty much his choice how he wants to end up in his life.

    4. The “kept man” stuff is a bit much. Jin will never allow that. Jin mearly wants Misaki to see him for his accomplishments, after he does them. They might be childhood friends but they don’t understand each other at all. No matter how much he accomplishes, Misaki will never care about that crap over the fact that she loves him just for being him – isn’t that enough sometimes. Misaki, being the simple creature that she is, doesn’t understand that Jin wants to be more than what he is now & his so-called explanation just made her more confused.

      1. This is probably the best explanation of the situation. It’s not exactly that Jin doesn’t feel he’s worthy of Misaki, but he wants to be someone she can be proud of…but she doesn’t care about that, so they’re clashing. Megas is right – they just don’t understand each other.

        Oh, and even if he didn’t want to work and be successful and all that, that doesn’t mean he’d end up being a house husband. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but even if he made far less than his insanely talented wife (yeah, I’m looking ahead and hoping!), that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t contribute. Relationships are partnerships and all that!

      2. @Stilts
        No I don’t think “that she can be proud of” is what he is thinking. I think it’s that he wants to be “worthy of her” and that he won’t hold her back. Back in episode 3, Jin tells Sorata that the company buying Misaka’s anime wants someone to produce better scripts for her (i.e., the ones he’s been writing aren’t good enough). He really want’s to be part of her life in that way and he has to measure up for that to happen.

    1. I don’t see what’s wrong with Miyahara. He may not be part of the main cast but at leats he had the guts to confess.

      I’m a huge Nanami fan. She’s the best girl in this series. But I’d rather not her end up still having feelings for Sorata while he and Mashiro confirm their feelings for one another.

  8. I too was a little peeved about her drinking what I assumed was a stout or dark lager out of a pilsner glass. I guess growing up somewhat in Europe (and drinking quite abit…) small things like that throw you. Damn all this talk about beer glassware makes me wanna buy a few off Sahm’s website….

    1. I know, right? I mean, granted, it could have been a porter or a black IPA, but they aren’t drunk out of a pilsner glass either AHHHH!!!

      Though thinking about it more, maybe it’s a Dunkel? I looked around a bit, and Asahi makes a Munich Dunkel Lager that they apparently can, and that can be served in a pilsner glass. In which case, she only fails for the bad pour and the shitty glass with the fat bottom, heh

      Note: yeah, I’m not just nerdy about anime. Gotta be well-rounded ; )

      1. Ahaha, that’s because it is : ) It’s based on the east coast (New York, I think?), while ratebeer.com is more of a west coast thing, but both are definitely dominated by Americans. That means the reviews can be skewed towards American taste sensibilities (i.e. hoppy IPAs generally do well, while dunkels and marzens have a rougher time of it), but still some good information there about a lot of beers!

    2. I think this has something to do with the beer drinking culture in Japan, as they prefer their beer to have as much foam as possible in their glass, so it won’t matter how they pour it.

      In contrast, in the west, foam is seen as getting in the way of drinking actual beer, so they would pour their beer diagonally in order to minimize the foam in their glass.


      Kinny Riddle
      1. Just because it’s a cultural thing doesn’t mean it’s not wrong! Lol 😀 That does make it make more sense, though. This show is made for a Japanese audience, after all…those of us elsewhere are more or less incidental.

      2. You’ve obviously never been to the Netherlands, then. It’s quite normal there to get a glass that’s one third foam and two thirds beer. For some bizarre reason the Dutch describe beer with no head as “dead”, when in fact the opposite is true – the “liveliness” of beer is due to dissolved gasses that come out of solution to form the head, so if there’s no head it means the gasses are still in solution and so the beer is more “lively”.

    3. The idea that amount of foam in beer is a symbol of freshness is downright silly. It’s actually a clue to how much un-fermented hops residue is in your beer as it tends to react with the nitrogen in air more than perfectly fermented hops. It can also come about simply by just dumping it into the glass instead of the coveted ‘angled pour’. I’m not that much of a beer drinker but if I had that much foam in my lager, I’d dump that keem.

  9. I really didn’t like that it was Mashiro who apologized to Sorata first; it’s good she wanted to make up, but he was the one being a jerk so it felt wrong when he even got mad at her for that. Plus, he didn’t compliment her and she was so pretty, but he complimented Aoyama easily… I should really be used to this stuff in anime by now though, haha.

  10. My theory is that Jin is insecure about not being worthy of Misaki; not being nearly as awesome as her, and he feels he couldn’t care for her like he should because of it. I don’t think Jin’s trying to be the “man” in the relationship.

    It’s pretty much the same thing as what Sorata and Mashiro has going on. Mashiro gets things done without having to try hard like most people do, and Sorata gets irritated and annoyed about it because, no matter how hard he tries things don’t always go well. That feeling of not being nearly as good as someone else, earlier in the series Jin seemed to understand all too well and I think that’s because he’s been in love with Misaki for a long time. He knew what it felt like first hand.

    That’s my theory at least.

  11. Chihiro is usually “Fail-sensei”, but in last episode and this she shows she is Mashiro’s cousin after all, tending to her (minor) wound and standing up for her by telling Sorata to man up and make up with Mashiro.

    Just when you thought Sorata has advanced a lot by scoring a shitload of flags with Nanami these past two weeks, but it turns out for every flag he scores with Nanami, he scores two more with Mashiro. Poor Nanami just can’t win.

    Congratulations to Ryuunosuke for finally taking up the courage to send Rita his Christmas greetings. Though he has no idea what a can of worms he has just opened up, as surely he has already experienced first hand how persistent Rita can be when she has her target on sight. Maid-chan can only block Rita’s calls at best for now, but who’s to say Rita won’t resort to something else…

    Kinny Riddle
  12. It is perhaps to this series’ credit that I really find it hard to choose between Mashiro and Aoyama. They are both different but yet extremely likable in their own ways. Perhaps, I am just slightly edging for Mashiro x Sorata. But either way, I’ll definitely feel sad for the party that missed out….

    Though on a brighter note Rita x Ryuunosuke is progressing rather well. And in an amusing way too 😛

    PS: And yes Stilts… I totally agree… Mashiro looks amazing in her party dress…. And her side tail hairstyle just make her even more stunning~

  13. Hold on people we’re missing something in the whole Jin x Misaki issue. Jin bought a ring and was holding it behind him. Then the instant Misaki said “Please answer me” his grip loosens. This is implying something but I am not what sure yet.

    Stilts you stated “I don’t know what to think about Jin. He spoke of wanting Misaki not to just love him, but see him as a person, and I’ve always taken this to mean that he feels he needs to be somehow “worthy” of her”

    I think that is the wrong way of looking at this. There is some lost in translation note here. The words here better translate as “notice.” It literally means “to turn around,” but implies that the person should notice your existence as something special. He then goes on to say that loving him is not that, which I would think says that he sees her as loving him, but loving him as an object of sorts, an object to be loved. She is too focused on her love rather than on him, in his opinion.

    Regarding his grip on the ring releasing. I really can’t dig into his thought process enough here so I can only go on my personal opinions here. When she says “answer me”, it gives you the thought that she only wants him to say “I love you” rather than actually loving him as a person and thinking of him instead of her love.

    Key points relating to the ring:
    00:46: Jin sitting in a dimly lit room with the small box.
    09:54: Jin looking at the ring in the same red box.
    13:49: Jin walking out of the store that had the ring, that was also apparently the cake shop.
    17:07: Loosening grip on the box that he was hiding behind his back. Implying he no longer plans to give it to her.

    1. Ahhh, that makes sense (or at least, gets me closer to understanding). The problem is that they’ve been together for too long. While there’s love there, Misaki loves the child he was and the boy he is, but not the man he seeks to be. It’s like she looks at him and sees all the history and the love she feels for him, but not who he is now.

      Mind you, this is still a young man’s problem – I maintain that love and the ability to get along well is pretty much all you need (at least 80%, easy). Still, it’s more understandable this way!

  14. Mashiro gonna help Sorata with his presentation by sleeping it through again!

    Meido chan is being a cock-blocker to Rita. However, justice will prevail! Ryuunosuke have already began a email, probably to Rita. You lost, Meido-chan. Of course, unless you have the ability to scan through email and prevent sending.

  15. IMHO all the characters (except for Misaki and Mashiro) need a good hard slap:

    Sorata is acting like a douche. Mashiro is all but begging him to talk to her and explain why he is so unhappy and he can’t even do that. Been a long time since I was so fustrated at an idiot main character.

    Nanami needs a slap to wake up. She has like no shot at snagging Sorata. NONE NONE NONE… She reminds me of Shina in Haruka. A really nice girl and a great anime catch for some boy but the boy she loves is already taken and very much in love with another girl (Yuuto by Haruka).

    Jin needs a slap for breaking Misaki’s heart. If there was ever a sure thing for a boy it would be Misaki. She is everything he is not (opposites attract). She is warm and funny. If he loves Misaki so much why hurt her by dating all kinds of other girls?

    Ryūnosuke is another guy that needs a wake up slap. Get a haircut and start talking to Rita. He would be much happier.

    1. If everything was that simple…

      Nanami should just give up? Would you just simply give up? She’s trying hard and it’s not the end of the line yet.

      Jin’s situation is also complicated. Humans are complex. He loves her and does not want to hurt her yet at the same time his inner conflicts makes him do things that hurt her even though that is not what he wants. Complexity.

      Ryūnosuke. How can you be sure he would be happy. You don’t even completely understand his situation. Why does he need to get a haircut. If he does, he cannot be mistaken for a girl and it won’t be fun… wait…

      Sorata. Yeah I agree but at the same time, it’s hard for him to explain to Mashiiro that he’s jealous even though he knows it’s wrong. He is mad at her for making him worried but it’s a “good” mad instead of a retarded and “bad” mad.

  16. y u no post full-length pic of Nanami with her HHHNNNNNGGGGG dress??

    Jin and Sorata sure have too much pride for themselves and dang poor Nanami seeing Sorata and Mashiro hugging.

  17. This episode had me really thinking in parallel to Toradora quite often though out. It especially got me thinking about what made me like the coupling so much more in Toradora and also what made me personally root for certain characters to be together. In Toradora I was sold on Ryuuji (believe it or not) and then later came to love the girls around him as their characters grew and allowed him to grow as well, but in Sakurasou I constantly find that my feelings are actually reversed. I can’t and Sorata sometimes while I personally love the girls…
    Ryuuji= nice LOVEABLE male lead, and the rest of the cast were all around his lvl when it came to growth of there characer/personality.
    Versus Sorata= ASS that really doesnt seem worthy (ATM) of either Minami nor Mashiro’s affections and on top of that it feels like his character/personality is far below the rest of the cast.
    Ryuuji=Nice guy
    not hard to see why I one seemed to deserve his love more than the other..

    1. Sorata has his bad side but you can’t call him an ass,not when he’s been on “mashiro duty” for 8 months now which involves cooking for her,washing her clothes etc

      I really doubt most people would be able to handle Mashiro duty for that long (me included)

    2. The thing is that Toradora had a better setup. There was something legitimate keeping the titular tora and dora apart, so that the gradual nature of the change fit. In that way, I’m reminded of the American version of The Office, where there was a very good reason for Pam and Jim to not be together for many seasons…one of them was flippin’ engaged already!

      Unfortunately, here there isn’t so good of a reason. All that stands in their way are their own feelings, which can be far more frustrating to watch when you just know they should be together.

      tl;dr Toradora was setup better, so the characters could be likable while still stretching out the drama appropriately. It’s harder to do that here.

  18. For Kanda X Aoyama fans, (Spoilers ahead! Unless you’ve read the LNs up to volume 6.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    For Kanda X Mashiro fans, (As usual spoilers ahead! Unless you’ve read the LNs up to volume 8.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. well D, sometimes a life is a b!tch. A roll of dice, if you will. A total randomness. Similar to how we came to be and everything else, for that matter! But don’t let that get in the way of wishful thinking! I do agree that one of the main jobs of fiction is to fulfill that wishful thinking side of human. And so I share your pain.

      1. hold the horses, folks. Why are you freaking out over something that would happen way down the road if (big if) the anime dutifully follows the plot? And considering there is only about 10 episodes or so left, I doubt that these later volume plots will be covered.

        I predict an anime original ending.

  19. Now this episode was a lot better than the last. Sorata still acted like an ass for most of the time for the sake of the plot, mind you, but at least he redeemed himself with that final scène (which was, admittedly, really well done). Now let’s hope it’ll last. And yeah, the plot is showing stretch marks and has lost a bit of its momentum because we’re hung up on this issue, but neither Sorata nor the plot have crossed the line into ‘frustrating’ yet for me. In a way, it reminds me of Toradora as well; I remember the arc dealing with Taiga’s father, in which Ryuuji was also acting as kind of a jerk who was as stubborn as a mule (even though he had his reasons). Personally, I was annoyed then too (because he was acting like a moron), but the show was able to redeem itself later. Kinda of expecting this show to do the same.

    Nanami…I doubt she’ll win, really. I understand her predicament, but still, she had her perfect chance to confess and she blew it. Thinking you’ll wait until you’re sure you won’t be torn apart later is fine and dandy, but not if she’s already gotten a romantic rival (and she knows it). Two months is a long time, and something could really bloom between your rival and your love interest – making sure you’ve lost before you even confessed if you wait too long. This episode sure set up heartbreak for her later. Poor girl.

    As for Jin…Misaki should’ve kicked him in the balls or something. Ahum. With that out of the way, I wonder what his reasons are for acting the way he does. Does he, perchance, hate himself? Because he sure seems self-destructive. I’m guessing the arc isn’t done with them yet either, so it’ll probably focus on them next.

    Ryuunosuke…oh, you tsundere. Damn I love that couple. They will probably never get too much screentime, being a beta couple (though I’m hoping they get at least a dedicated episode later) but I can’t help but love them when they do appear.

    Really liked the segue into the ED as well, it’s kind of growing on me (though Days of Dash is still better). Looking forward to the next episode anyway, all three of them couped up in Sorata’s house should be interesting.

  20. maybe sorata isnt really out of character its just who he is. the guy with the chip all over the shoulders(maybe just dandruff but its not)! always insecure about himself 😛 and lashes out on the prodigy savant girl…whos fawning allovaa himmm. yesss? did his stomach fall for her yet!? mooore cake for sorata!!!(since cooking is out… oh she knows. give him cakes theyre delish who gets mad at people that give people cake?!sorata. well only at first.)! the writers are just adding realism 😛 for the sentiment that when someone is always near its hard to just walk away and pretend its nothing esp when they live with ya… maybe if its a classmate different homes then pretending nothings wrong is an option you go home its over theyre not there when youre home too. But when living together tis sooner or later youre bound to have some arguments lashing out at the people you live with ALWAYS! one exception. unless you’re like some uber monk that would never hurt even a blade of grass let alone argue with a person only then!!! sorry sorata is no uber monk just avg japnese kid with a ton of insecurities! which is most people! who doesnt get a jelllly when your hard work amounts to failure! you *glare* at the succuesssful peopleesss

  21. As pointed out before the Toradora-esk scene at the scene feels like an iceberg to Nanami’s Titanic if JC staff decides to follow their own MO.

    As far is Sorata is concerned, it’s hard to fault him for striking out when he is that frustrated, he did just get shot down while pursuing his dream; however, you can fault him when he continues to lash out to the point where it feels like he blames Mashiro for his own failure. Long story short anger because of failure is ok as long as you know when its time to let it go and move on, luckily for Sorata he had a push from the latest acceptance letter.

  22. Okay, Sorata is still an idiot, but now he’s at least a passable idiot. How much does Mashiro have to do before you stop acting like an ass? Was it really so hard to just admit that you were mad? I was thrilled when Chihiro called him a child, and how he should accept that most of the world is gray, not black and white. Mashiro was so adorable throughout the whole thing, leaving him gifts. She won’t know that her not being “serious” was part of his anger until he opens his stupid mouth. Was glad when Chihiro called Sorata out on that too. Chihiro, you earned the “Sensei” title this episode!

    AS for Jin… I just don’t friggen care anymore. No, that’s a lie, cause he keeps making Misaki cry. Can someone explain this jerk to me? He wants her to recognize him, so he repeatedly takes her for granted? He knows she loves him, so he’s putting her on hold until he gains recognition for some great act? How is that not incredibly self-gratifying and stupid? How long does he expect her to wait to get his head out of the clouds and realize she already accepts him. She’s IN LOVE with him. That’s a pretty friggen high level of acceptance, and if he wants to start from somewhere higher, then maybe Sorata isn’t the biggest child at Sakurasou after all.

    Why do I always rant about this show? Oh, right, because Mashiro, Nanami, and Misaki are LOVE!!

  23. Doesn’t anybody else feel this story would’ve worked better and slightly more realistic, had it been set in colleges (thus instantly aging all these characters by 3 years). I don’t get why every darn show is always about high school pansies. What’s so bloody magical about that? Ever since Honey & Clover (and before that), there was virtually nothing, but high school students, with an exception of Nodame Cantabile. And unlike many other shows, this show is much more suited for college drama (just change going to college in Osaka to getting a job there, for instance. Problems solved. There are already living in a dorm to be begin with). Stilts, the never-ending curse of anime highschoolers is that yes, they act immature, which can be forgiven since they are highschoolers, but they also act too mature for highschoolers, which can’t be dismissed so easily. This is why I said, it’d have worked so much better and slightly more realistic had it be collegeschoolers. But apparently nobody agrees with me on this one as there is nothing but highschoolers in Japanse anime shows.

    Ok, now that’s out of the way; I am impressed by Misaki’s way of confessing. She disrobes completely while asking for the answer. Now in a real life, that’s a gesture that bounds to be a disappointment as you’re playing on a male instinct when you’re looking for love, but nonetheless this is a fiction and I am impressed by this new method.

    I, too, am getting annoyed by this Sorata being getting dumber and shouty due to the plot device (college students are still kids, btw and that didn’t stop H&C kids to acting immature at times, which worked fine) and the fact that too many times a loser like he behaved in this ep still gets two girls hitting hard on him (the curse of Japanese anime harlem).

    But I still like Mashiro and that’s why I still am watching this show despite of all its shortcomings. Not sure why I like her character particularly since it’s like Rei Ayanami Expy ver. 32 (and I like Asuka way more to be begin with!!), but hey, I liked Kanade Tachibana and Yin, so sue me~~ 😛 Something about emotionless robot girl… It’s not something you see often in western media, that’s for sure, at least not in the same frequency as in Japanese media.

    Anybody else know how far the anime has advanced on the source novel? I did a little digging and it seems like it’s somewhere in volume 4, but it’s just a guess. I guess that means the anime won’t reach the volume 8 unless they cut a lot out and/or make an original anime ending.

    1. This is just my personal opinion, but I thinks its the events and attitude that draw studios and writers to highschool. I know nothing about Japanese colleges, but do they have the 35.2 festivals that all Japanese highschools seem to have every year? Highschool also seems to allow for a generally wackier mentality ad greater span of character growth, where college would expect people to behave more rationally and such. College is usually for seinen and serious drama, while highschool is shounen and romantic drama/fun.

      So yeah, maybe it would be better in college, but I think the characters of Mashiro, Nanami, and Misaki would lose some of their appeal in transition.

      1. well Aex, it’s possible for your reasoning about Japanese colleges, but that didn’t make Honey & Clover and Nodame Cantabile less appealing and their characters lose their appeal in transition (they act just as wacky at times as any anime highschooers). So I don’t agree with this. I think it’s more of every writers jumping on the bandwagon more than anything else. However, your reasoning seems to be what most people agree.

        But as I said, College students are just as much as kids as highschoolers. Remember it’s one measly year difference between highschool seniors and college freshmen. You magically grow out in 1 year? No. Of course not. They still are growing up, so again I beg to differ that “the characters of Mashiro, Nanami, and Misaki would lose some of their appeal in transition” and instead insist that they will actually get more appeal in transition. If anybody disagree with me, go watch H&C and Nodame Cantabile; they are just as fun & wacky and it being just a serious drama seinen bore is nonsense. I’d also argue that this show gets quite serious and angst as any drama show.

    2. This was referenced in the comments of another post (Love Live, I think?), but high school holds much the same place in the Japanese psyche that university/college does to the Western one. For an American like me, it’s college that I look back on most fondly as the pinnacle of my youth (all that freedom, doing crazy things with friends, occasionally learning, etc), whereas for the Japanese, it’s high school. That’s why so many animes end up getting based there.

      1. hmmm. Interesting, Stilts.

        Now I don’t know much about Japanese college culture or their school culture in general, so I am not going to pretend otherwise. But with my limited knowledge I have on them, I heard that the pressure of studying for the college entrance exam is like 10X more insane than taking SAT (can’t say it was with much pressure since I’ve only taken once and that was a bore alright). Then basically it’s 2 years (I presumed the senior is out due to the insane pressure of exams). Can these 2 short years really be that memorable unless the 4 year college experience (that’s twice as long, with no pressure for exam. I’ll say applying for jobs is a different animal, wouldn’t you agree?) is so miserable comparably than they cling to those 2 years?

        So I gotta ask, what do they do in colleges, then? Study+meditation? no play at all? This sounds like this college thing is very unpleasant for young Japanese folks. I’d think all the work and no play would them dull boys & gals. In any case, I did write above that this high school heavy culture didn’t prevent them from producing college gems like H&C and NC. So why not more? Say, more than 0 in the last 3 years?

      2. Search me. I suggest you either do some in depth research, find a few Japanese people to talk to, or just accept it as it is. Oh, well, wonder forever, lol. Considering how many shows are based in high school though, it makes sense to me!

  24. Fuwa fuwa episode indeed.

    No regrets picking it up. Among all of the characters in this episode, I like Misaki the most. Maybe its because I’ve been in that predicament before and also for the fact that she looks fragile in this episode

  25. With Nanami giving up her chance to get Sorata for now, she probably wasted the opportunity. Even if she does make the audition, there is no guarantee that Sorata won’t confess before that. Probably should have just been like Misaki and seized the chance.

    Speaking of Misaki, she really is bold! Although she is really a pitiful character, she can’t get the love the wants from Jin. Probably because he feels that he can’t act nasty around Misaki. But then, him being nasty is sort of his personal trait and thus if he loses this act around Misaki, she probably wouldn’t have the same feelings as before. The reason she loves him so much is because he didn’t ever confirm their feelings (she did a hundred ‘laps’ and yet didn’t get him) and because of this she wanted him very badly. Probably Jin didn’t reject her but rather didn’t want to get in bed with her too quickly.

    That aside, I felt that Sorata and Mashiro acted a bit out of character this episode. That said, their scenes, especially that last encounter near the fountain, was brilliantly written. Mashiro was afraid of making Sorata angry, because she liked him as he was before, the more cheerful and nice guy that looked out for her, just like how Sorata liked her as she was before, with determination and extremely strong passion. It shouldn’t be the case where only Sorata can be angry, when Mashiro was feeling the same. Because of this, the effect of Mashiro’s blurting is much greater.

    Also, the ED is catching up to me. Although the animation isn’t good. Hopefully the remaining arcs will maintain an extremely high standard, as what Sakurasou is supposed to be.

  26. I decided to use the post format I pioneered with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and recently revived for the second episode of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. I think it feels more organized (and less daunting), but it may encourage me to write even more than usual, which probably isn’t good for either your or my free time. Feel free to tell me what you think!

    Since I enjoy your writings, I don’t mind longer posts at all. It’s every seconds well spent for me.

    And I just knew you’re going to mention how well ED song work this episode.

  27. Ugh… I need to stop rooting for the underdog… That’s why I hate love triangles. I get burnt every time rooting for the lovable loser. At first I thought Aoyama was just an annoying throw in to make a love triangle. Then I slowly warmed up through her intro-arc, Nyaboron arc, and now to where I love her character. But that’s why The circumstances surrounding Aoyama makes the hole in my heart bigger and I do treat it like a funeral… I agree and disagree with Stilts…

    Show Spoiler ▼

  28. yeah, throughout the episode I was pretty understanding of Sorata. I mean, at that age? I’d’ve totally been awkward and scared about confronting my outburst too and I feel like the general anger towards him seems a bit unjustified. Not to mention he’s probably got pangs of envy and the whole issue of having to be friends with someone great (which, yes, was broached with Rita and no matter what he said he’s not above dealing with that kind of jealousy especially amidst failures).

    Was it frustrating to watch? Certainly, but by no means do I see it as changing his character to draw out drama.

    Jin, on the other hand, is the one I have a problem with. Can I understand him shying away from Misaki? Certainly, but his handling of the situation just irked me. Admitting his love, and then basically telling her to wait for him? Dude, how irresponsible with your friend’s emotions can you get? Especially when he supposedly cares about her immensely and comes across as having a good head on his shoulders. I can’t tell if the author is deliberately changing his character for drama or if I just hate the way he’s acting but man am I more inclined to point the accusatory drama-milking finger his way.

    The other problem? Just wasn’t a fan of the episode, it was way too cloying and vaguely depressing (especially the beginning and the pre-confession slideshow). Sakurasou has been pretty exceptional at handling the drama so far and the episode wasn’t without it’s moments (say what you will Sorata, but I am a much bigger fan of new-Shiina). She definitely owns her social problems with a lightness and humour that is both honest and self aware and incredibly mature. Seriously, this episode seemed to switch Sorata’s and Shiina’s roles.

  29. This is why I enjoy to be sailing on the Ryuunosuke ship.
    The drama icebergs the other ships are colliding on are out of the way for us. The Nanami Ship is practically already sunk, not even sure the lifeboats would make it across the finish line.

    For Ryuunosuke though, Steady as she goes captain. That girls not gonna take no for an answer. >:D

  30. – I think Sorata was acting a bit out of character as well. I didn’t really mind because it wasn’t “that bad” and we got to see an interesting side of Mashiro.

    – From my perspective, it looked like Mashiro is confessing and Sorata ignoring that and telling her how he “admires” her. That’s pretty interesting.

    – I don’t think the fountain scene is a cut and dry hole in the Nanami ship as other people seem to think it is. I’m curious of Nanami’s opinion on the scene, she took it awfully well afterall.

    – Jin/Misaki was rather baffling.

    1. What I find more interesting is that there are still some Nanami fans who kid themselves. I know that it is nothing new, but it still surpises me sometimes to see it.
      I will say that now without the intend to hurt your shipper feelings because it’S extremely obvious. You can bet your ass on it that Sorata and Shiina have mutual feelings and Nanami has not the slightest chance to change that or to even get in the game.

      1. It’s not completely impossible. It will only happen if Mashiro/Sorata doesn’t though. She will never “win” against Mashiro, this isn’t really a balanced love triangle.

      2. To say it it diffenty. Nanami is friendzoned. He just doesn’t see her like that. Nanami is just the third wheel and she doesn’t even realizes that. Even whe she confessed now, he just would reject her, not because he loves Mashiro, but because he just has no romantic feeling towards Nanami.

  31. I think Jin is getting a bad rap. He mentioned to Sorata in one of the early episodes that he’d written for Masaki’s anime but felt the writing wasn’t as good as her animation and that he was bringing her down. If his intended vocation was not related to hers it would be different, but I think he is afraid that if he has a relationship with her that she will pressure him to write for her. He thinks that her love will blind her to the affect that his poorer quality work will have on hers. It’s not about him being the “man” but about him dragging her down to his level. People have been mentioning ToraDora, and as I said in an earlier post, Jin wants to be able to stand beside Misakii as Ryuji wants to be able to stand beside Taiga. Frankly, I find their story much more compelling than Sorata and Mashiro.

    1. This is a good take on it, but my problem is the timeframe Jin is looking at. This isn’t asking out the girl you like the next time your soccer team gets a win, this is asking her out after YOU feel you’re qualified, possibly based on occupation. How do you measure that? When are you good enough? Unless Jin gets a major confidence boost, he could be running from these feelings for years, like he already has been. He won’t take Misaki’s word that he’s good enough, assuming he ever actually talks to her about this, so how does he measure “equal”? With the pedestal he’s put Misaki on, I just don’t see how he’ll ever think he’s good enough for her if his only judge is himself. This all translates to a long time of suffering for poor Misaki, as she’s the kind of girl that will wait forever for something that she can only hope will come one day. Something needs to happen here, cause these two are getting nowhere by themselves.

      1. Oh, I agree that Jin probably hasn’t thought things through enough, though I think he feels that he’d rather hurt Misaki now than have it happen later and maybe even worse. Maybe that’s why he’s chosen his college. He thinks that the professors there will convince him of whether he actually has the “stuff” to be a writer or not. Going back to ToraDora, Taiga’s actions at the end upset numerous people, but I saw it as the story coming full circle. Taiga felt she had to face her family problems by herself without Ryuji’s help so that she could deserve to walk beside him. Jin feels he has to do it on his own. If Jin can’t reach that feeling that he’s worthy of her then he’s right, he’d be no good for Misaki. It would always gnaw at him till something really bad would happen.

      2. I can’t really compare those situations. Taiga might not have consulted with Ryuuji, but there was no question about their feelings for each other and that they were together. She was always coming back, and Ryuuji had that security. Jin isn’t even giving Misaki that yet. There’s just this… thing hanging between them that Jin thinks he knows what it is, but Misaki has no idea. Like others have said, Jin doesn’t seem to understand Misaki as well as he thinks he does, and it’s really starting to show. I hope they have a serious conversation before Jin leaves without Jin playing coy and giving Misaki the hopeful brush-off again, otherwise the poor girl’s head might explode.

    2. I agree that Jin is being unfairly criticized. At least he is honest with himself (unlike other males leads) in terms of his feeling for Misaki, and isn’t afraid to bluntly state his love for her (not once but twice this EP). Jin isn’t acting “coy”, he’s doing what he feels is best for the relationship in the long run.

      Jin understands that for any relationship with Misaki to work, there must be mutual respect (i.e. to see him as “somebody” apart from an object of affection). It’s part of the “difficulties a ‘normal’ person faces when constantly in presence of a genius” theme introduced early in the show. Despite having considerable talent, Rita was unable to stand in Mashiro’s spotlight – and they were just friends. Even now Sorata is “struggling” (read passive-aggressive) with his game competition rejections in light of Mashiro’s successful manga. Jin is painfully aware of Misaki’s talents, but I don’t recall Misaki ever acknowledging Jin’s own talent.

      Even if Misaki does think Jin’s scripts are “genius”, their relationship is not in a vacuum. In Episode O3, Jin tells Sorata that an anime producer requested that Misaki’s next work be “done with a script that’s actually good.” That “Basically, the scripts I write are not on par with Misaki’s talent.” Jin is told in effect “your writing sucks” while praise is lavished upon Misaki.

      Is Misaki even aware of the pressure Jin faces working along side her? Harsh rejection is tough enough to handle once or twice (see Sorata) let alone year after year. Rita at least received positive recognition for her work. How much strain on the two would there be if anime producers later demand that either someone else write the scripts or they refuse to produce Masaki’s work?

      Rather than just assume “it’ll work out somehow” and rush into a relationship when he’s not ready, Jin not only recognized the issue, but is already taking steps to address it. I think that’s laudable, and shows some confidence as well. If he works hard at a top university, he CAN improve his skills to the point were he’s recognized in his own right rather than completely overshadowed by, or worse “holding back”, Misaki.’

      Jin isn’t without fault. He did a poor job of explaining things to Misaki, but IMO she’s equally at fault for failing to have a serious discussion with Jin rather than just repeatedly chase after him with over-the-top methods. If Jin fails to understand Misaki, then I think it’s quite fair to say the reverse is true as well. Poor communication by both is the biggest problem right now IMO.

      1. I think you make a very important point. Misaki, while highly competent technically, is basically driven by emotion and passion. Jin is someone who is driven by intellect. He’s known her for a long time and is well aware of her mercurial impulsive nature. To her work is just having fun. The fact that others love it is just a nice add on. She’s oblivious to Jin’s feelings and problems. She doesn’t seem to be able to imagine that people could view life differently from her. Since she treats their relationship in a joking manner how is he to know that her feelings are going to remain constant? How would it be for him to confess only to have her a change of heart and go off on some other tangent. Even her confession strikes the wrong tone. When I saw her naked I just rolled my eyes. It was not the worst thing she could have done but almost. She thinks that offering herself to him sexually he will more likely be swayed by it. He’s had plenty of sexual relations that probably meant little to him. He wants to know how she feels about him intellectually as well as emotionally.

  32. Hearing Days of Dash played on piano towards the end, is what made me tear up. Now i really miss Days of Dash as the ending theme. Even if the new one really got the mood in this episode.

  33. I really hate myself for feeling down watching Nanami seeing Sorata hugging Mashiro. I know that Sorata and Mashiro are the couple, but I just can’t bear seeing her suffer, she’s just too likeable. Like what Stilts said, it just feels wrong. And with that spoiler above, that’s really heartbreaking.

    She must be one of the very very few, if any, characters in anime I am rooting for to the end, despite knowing that the writing is on the wall for Nanami, from what I see. **big sigh**

  34. Mashiro really does love knives because she’s stabbing Nanami’s chances to critical levels, she’ll be sleeping good tonight.

    On the other hand these last 2 episodes had me on the edge of my seat, I can actually feel the pain of difficulty Sorata should be feeling. I’ve been on Team Mashiro since the beginning but Nanami has been driving it home these last 2 eps to the point I wanted her to have a chance of having Sorata but that got SHOT DOWN, That Hug Scene.

    As for Jin, I understand how he feels, unable to chase the love of his life until he can “Satisfy” her (not financially or sexually). Yes, she wants him now but Jin doesn’t feel like ‘the man’ he is ‘suppose to be’ for her now, he wants to be perfect by his own standards then give all of that to Masaki.

    Aquarian DragonSlayer
  35. @Stilts: FWIW, I think your approach works. By giving a brief summaries for each topic, you provide something for those who don’t want to read long, detailed reviews while the more detailed commentary in the spoilers is still there for those who want that. JMO, but seems to me there’s something for everyone in this approach.

    As for the show, Mashiro is reaching record levels of kawaii. To watch her leave baumkuchen for Sorata because that’s the only thing she could think of to do was quite touching. She even goes as far as to randomly search for him outside in the cold, wet weather. Mashiro doesn’t understand her own feelings nor the reason for Sorata’s anger, but she earnestly tries her best regardless. A very endearing character.

    Regarding Sorata, I find myself liking him less than I did early on in the show. Perhaps Stilt’s is right in that he’s hostage to the script/plot, but isn’t that true of every character? Continuing to take out his frustrations on Mashiro despite her attempts to make up was very frustrating to watch. As Stilts says, it is understandable [to some extent I would add], but not justifiable – especially when he knows his behavior is wrong. Probably in the minority view, but I wonder about Sorata’s true feelings for Mashiro.

    I’m sure Sorata does have some degree of genuine affection for Mashiro. However, he seems overly focused on her talent and previous extreme dedication to her art/manga. He “confesses” that “I’ve loved that side of you ever since… So don’t disappoint me.”. “Don’t disappoint me”? That’s a bit disturbing as a confession of love. It makes me think that Sorata “loves” Mashiro the mangaka, not Mashiro the person. I shudder to think how Sorata would react if he continues to struggle in the gaming industry, and then suddenly Mashiro decides to go back to traditional art or even do something else.

    Though short, I was very happy to see a Rita/Ryuunosuke moment. Rita arguing with “maid-chan” (cute as Santa!) was simply great. Right now, Rita/Ryuunosuke might be my favorite couple. Looking forward to seeing more of them – ideally with Rita unexpectedly showing up at Ryuunosuke’s door.

    1. Just to support the “minority” view, but I’m right there with your doubts about Sorata’s feelings. Mashiro has done all the work in building their friendship/relationship since Rita left, while Sorata has been absorbed in himself and his own ideals. His feelings for her do seem more like admiration and idol-ism than love, hence his bizarre “confession”, if that’s what it even was. I have hope that after this episode especially, he will start seeing her more as an individual and less as “the genius girl that draws manga I take care of”. Until he makes that jump, I think this cycle will just repeat as Mashiro becomes more and more interested in being with Sorata, while her manga probably stays popular, and Sorata goes through more failure. I really thought all this had been resolved in the Rita/Nyaboron arc, so Sorata acting like this has really left a bad taste in my mouth…

      1. Ironic though, seeing as Mashiro was the one who initially pushed Sorata to follow his dreams.Maybe he draws strength from her single-minded pursuit of doing what she loves, somewhat like a role-model.And when that role-model starts to have feelings for him and starts to act contrary to the things she has said and done before, he gets confused and irritated(maybe even feel betrayed?) – of course his constant failures doesn’t help either.

    2. It’s that whole “Admiration idol” friendship thing that irks me so much in this whole love triangle. You have the girl that actually cares (Nanami), the oblivious and dense male lead who doesn’t see it and has admiration, but not affectionate love (thought it can turn into that kind of feeling) for another girl whom he is essentially a caretaker of, and the genius artist who can’t take care of herself and has never been around boys that much and falls head over heals for the first boy that’s around her, or so she thinks. I just think this will suck if everything follows script. Nanami fits Sorata a whole lot better than Shiina does because Sorata isn’t constantly the “normal guy who has to constantly stand in the presence of genius” with. Of course, you could just as easily argue because Nanami was one of the people Sorata felt he was in their shadow when it came to talent, hard work, and drive to fulfill their dreams. I don’t think Nanami’s talent is anywhere close to a Misaki or a Shiina.

      If I had my way, Aoyana ends up with Konda. They fit better as the duo who have to work their way to the their future since they aren’t geniuses… I believe Shiina’s love is just confused emotions that evolved from being around a boy regularly for the first time as well as being fueled by her agent trying to get her to experience a normal life so as to help her write manga.

  36. But when he “rejected” her (sort of, I think), he spoke of not being able to care for her as well as he should. Is he…he’s not talking about money, is he? I really hope not. Jin hasn’t always been the most admirable of characters (he’s indecisive and a (former) manwhore, after all), but that’d be straight chauvinistic.

    Indecisive he may be, but chauvinistic, he is not. To be honest Jin probably has more instinctual and extensive understanding of what “love” should be, despite his playboy tendencies. He’s actually quite a nuanced character – his admission of not being able to care for Misaki as well as he should is rooted in his psychological issues. His former romantic trysts aside, Jin’s also rocking a pretty serious inferiority complex, and that’s the primary thing standing in the way of his feelings for Misaki. Why? Because Jin knows “love” is something that should be whole-hearted and devoid of the magnitude of self-deprecation he feels; a healthy, long-lasting love is synergy, two people walking together. He recognizes he’s unable to do that, at least right this moment. It’s something he can’t be blamed for, since it highlights how much he wants it to work with Misaki – he treasures her and does love her, but he can’t be completely happy about it because of how much it’ll torment both of them.

    I think that’s just how the phrase struck me, though. Probably Jin still wants to stand as equals to the wildly talented Misaki-sempai, even if she doesn’t demand or care about that. My last comment on that: what a young man’s (boy’s) worry. Get a little older Jin, and you’ll realize that if you love each other and get along well, that’s all you need. You have that you bastard, so stop whining! *shakes fist* Damn kids and their music television…

    It’s quite easy to assume “love” will make everything work, but not only is this undermining Jin’s sense of self and his desire to stand as a person separate from someone else’s success, it’s a wildly naive and optimistic notion to apply to relationships. In most cases, love will overcome most hardships, partly because issues will be external and not at all intrinsic to a couple’s way of thinking or their personality, and because they were quite simply, “meant to be”. Not meant to be in a fatalistic sense, but “meant to be” in a sense they’re not going to be divided by issues of self-identity. This can be for a myriad of reasons – maybe they’re at the same stage in life, maybe they have similar personalities, maybe they’re both incredibly successful/unsuccessful. But the point is, people who make it work aren’t bound by the same psychological obstacles as in the case of Jin and Misaki.

    In this aspect, it’s actually quite frustrating because it’s clear that at this point in time, Jin and Misaki just aren’t meant to be. She, as sensitive and emotional as she may be, is quite terrible at just expressing her feelings. There’s always a tinge of whimsical playfulness that doesn’t strike a serious cord, not to mention she’s always pushing her feelings onto Jin without ever giving him space or really thinking about how he feels and what her advances mean to him. It’s immaturity and naive selfishness at its best – it’s certainly not a harmful thing, but it’s a strong indicator that despite the certainty of her feelings, Misaki is not ready to pursue a relationship and all the complex intricacies that come with it. With both of them so far from making a relationship work, it’s aggravating Jin and Misaki seem to be bound by some pre-ordained notion that they’re the end all be all for one another. Now that’s what you call “a young man’s worry”.

    The scope of romance Sakurasou tries to apply is often at odds with its setting, and like someone suggested above, the dramatic tension as well as some of the character motivations would be even more effective in an older setting where some of the themes the series tries to explore becomes more applicable. But limiting it strictly to Jin and Misaki, it would make more sense for them to have all this suffering when it isn’t as obvious they can move on to fall in love with different people. They’re not meant for each other, and there’s no reason to force two people who will be perfectly unhappy to be a couple simply because they’re the “other OTP”. It’s a silly concept romances should abandon, or if Jin and Misaki must absolutely be together in the end, for the series to use a time skip of sorts to show the two at a stage in life where they can be a couple, after they’ve each had time to grow and work out their issues. As it stands, if the two end up together without any sort of transitional tool, it would solely be because they had to be, a notion that just doesn’t seem natural or right at all.

    1. I’d actually be just a little happy if Jin left for college still with the assumption that him and Misaki would be together eventually, then have someone new come in and sweep her off her feet, making her doubt all this waiting for Jin, leaving Jin to ask “what just happened?!” and take some action. It won’t happen, because for all her quirks, Misaki is one of the most loyal girls I’ve ever seen in anime. If she still loved him through years of him playboying around, she’s pretty much locked on for the foreseeable future. Would be nice if something happened to shake up Jin’s romantic world though, instead of like you said, relying on the idea that even with so much drama and crossed signals, they MUST be together. What I just realized annoys me the most about him is that he has no sense of urgency that’s typical in a relationship. He can and will take his time because he knows her feelings while still being a bit ambiguous about his own, and to me that feels a bit wrong.

  37. Anyone else notice that this show is quite sexist? Notice how all the genius and successful characters are female, with whom none of the male cast are able to keep up with.I know majority of sexism complains are about discrimination against females, but it actually goes both ways.

    1. All the successful people and geniuses are girls, except for Ryuunosuke, and Kazuki Fujisawa, and Jin is considered a huge success by everyone who isn’t him… oh, and Sorata, who just hasn’t been applying himself in the past because he didn’t know what he wanted to do, but now he’s got a focus and is applying himself.

      But apart from that…

      1. Except all of them are minor side characters(excluding Jin) and even then their level of ‘genius’ pales in comparison Mashiro or Misaki – didn’t Jin himself mention that few episodes back?And Sorata… who always seem to fail, I don’t how you make a argument about him being successful or genius.

  38. I really got a lot more into the ED song when they started playing it early, and I wasn’t distracted by the (imo terrible) ED animation that doesn’t match the beat of the song at all. It’s a much better song than I gave it credit for on the first listen, because of the animation dragging it down.

  39. Well, on the points:
    Sorata’s anger – it takes the root in Sorata caring TOO MUCH for Mashiron, even if he doesnt realise it yet. I think on the other hand it is understandable given how self-destructive Mashiro can be (cut finger and walking barefoot in the snow…). Mashiron definitely isn’t an easy girl to love. But I think they will eventually straighten up their problems…
    Nanami’s longshot – well, sometimes you need to take a long shot because it is all the chance you have. It is better to miss than not shoot at all. Anyway, metaphores aside it is a time that shippers dread – a time where a need arises to hear the command “ABANDON SHIP!”
    Sorry to all Nanami shippers, your ship just hit the iceberg called Mashiron.
    Misaki x Jin conundrum – I am torn between understanding that Jin wants to become someone who can be equal to Misaki, and wanting to punch him for leaving her sobbing and not understanding.


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