「バレンタインはチョコの日よ」 (Barentain wa Choko no hi yo)
“Valentine’s is a Day for Chocolate”
Valentine’s Day is always certain to bring major developments, and this one certainly did. The surprise was in how subtly it effected the main love triangle, while wrecking balls were reserved for one of the secondary ships.
Rita’s Pursuit & Dragon’s Denial
Truly, Ryuunosuke must be crazy. I think I speak for most male viewers when I say that if a busty, blonde-haired British beauty were pursuing me that aggressively, she would win. I would fold like Americans think the French surrender (that is, the Americans who don’t remember Napoleon, all those conquered colonies, or the brutal shit the Franks got up to…history slam!), and reap the glorious dividends that particular “loss” would entail. Locking myself in a bathroom? That’d be the farthest thing from my mind.
The thing is, Ryuunosuke was quite cruel. Rita came all the way to Japan just for him, and he couldn’t even talk to her? I’ll admit, it was a bit unfair of Rita to do it this way – Ryuunosuke doesn’t strike me as one who would react well to a sudden visitor. Yet even so, once he realized how important this was to her – and I think he did – he should have talked to her. Now all that remains is for him to make up for this transgression. And he must, to get that Happy Endo we all so desire.
Final point: it was total bullshit that Ryuunosuke sent that Christmas Eve email out of respect. Sitting alone in that hotel room while everyone else was in lovey-dovey mode, I bet ‘ol Dragon was feeling a little bit lonely himself, and his thoughts turned to Rita… There’s a happy ending there still to come, you better believe it.
TIL that you should always get to an interview waaaay ahead of time, in case the trains stop running. Naw, just kidding, ’cause I learned that years ago. Seriously though, it’s just a good idea, lest you end up in an Aoyama-level panic like this episode. Not that that wasn’t cute in its own way.
I have to laugh at Miyahara a bit, even though I hate myself for doing so. I thought he was going to go total beta and give up his bike to Sorata, but him telling Sorata to jump on as he speeds out of there carrying both of them was a better result. Not for Nanami, mind you – about the only thing that changed for her was that Sorata was slightly less tired when he got there, though that probably benefited Mashiro more, considering he only barely made it back to the school. No, Miyahara’s ride was for him. Frustrated that he could do nothing for the girl he loved, and that it wasn’t him that she called in her hour of need, I think he wanted to burn off all his frustration and helplessness by doing just a little something for her. He couldn’t be the hero, but to accept this unequivocal signal of his loss, he needed to be bone tired, lest his feelings turn to anger. Or maybe I’m thinking too much into this…but damn if being tired isn’t great for blocking out those nasty feelings, believe you me.
Points do go to Sorata for being determined and assertive when it really mattered. The wisdom of riding a bike on the roads they took aside – seriously people, riding on a road on a lane next to oncoming traffic? Not smart – this was the moment when Nanami really needed him, and he was there…just as I’m sure he would have been there for Mashiro, or Misaki, or even Jin or Ryuunosuke at that. That wasn’t the best part though. The part that really got to me, that made my heart skip and my breath choke off in my throat was when she wrapped her arms around him and told him she loved him. Where before their practice before didn’t faze me (save to make me laugh), this time I fell for it just as certainly as Sorata did. And you know what? I think she was telling the truth, even if she tried to laugh it off after the fact. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether she’ll get to say it without the “psych!” on the end.
Mashiro – Just a Normal Girl
Mashiro and Sorata’s conversation on the rooftop was quite an interesting one, and did immeasurable good for their potential future relationship. One of the essential things for a healthy romantic relationship, at least in my eyes, is equality. If the two people are not equals, how can they be truly happy? That’s not to say that relationships between non-equals can’t work – hell, most of human history has consisted of those – but I don’t think they’re the path to a healthier, more complete happiness, that between equal partners. And for the longest time, while Sorata and Nanami were certainly equals, Sorata and Mashiro were not.
Long have we dwelt on the pain of the amateur next to the prodigy. First Sorata, then Rita showed the damage that Mashiro inadvertently did to those close to her, merely by being as good as she is (and we got a dose of it from Jin and Misaki as well). But what of the loneliness of the pro amongst amateurs? While she undoubtedly has success, what Mashiro doesn’t have is colleagues, people who understand her troubles and feel her pain and see her as an equal to work together with. Mashiro doesn’t want to be apart – she wants to be part of the group, striving together towards greater successes with Sorata and the others.
The development we got here was Sorata’s realization that he and Mashiro aren’t so different after all. She may be so far ahead that he can’t see her…but neither can she see him. More than that, when they hold hands, she gets all nervous just like he does. She may not be normal in many ways, but she’s very normal when it comes to this thing called love. Sorata realized that, and that puts them a great deal closer to becoming true equals. Keep on living your lives as hard as you can, Sorata, Mashiro!
I sense darkness ahead. The preview certainly speaks of it coming from Misaki-sempai, but where else might it come? At least in the meantime, Sorata has finally put together all the hints and realized that yes, just maybe Nanami really does love him. But as soon as he thought that, his eyes turned to Mashiro. Things are heating up, but they can only get darker before the glorious dawn can come. Get ready for it.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Dragon does wrong by Rita as Sorata bails Nanami out of her audition snafu. Always get to interviews way ahead of time, people! #sakurasou
- I didn’t mention this in the post, but Jin sucked too. How could he just avoid Misaki like that? As with Ryuunosuke, I don’t see the harm in accepting her feelings on this oh-so-important day. I just don’t know what’s going on in that boy’s head. Why must most of the guys of Sakurasou take a spin on the jackass carousel this week?
- I’m taking this out of context so hard! *tightens his goggles to dangerous levels*
- I loved how Sorata and Nanami’s sensei was trying to sabotage her student’s choco-giving plans with her lecture. Ohhh, that bitter christmas cakii! (trope!)
- Oi Oi, the Engrish in Rita’s letter was pretty rough. How hard can it be to find a decent spell-checker? I volunteer my services. I don’t even need to know what the character is trying to say to know how to fix that. Think about it, J.C. Staff. You have my email if you want to talk.
Full-length images: 32.