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!).
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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!