「宇宙人に初恋」 (Uchuubito ni Hatsukoi)
“Love for an Alien”
Don’t do it for anybody else. Just do what you really want to do. Sakurasou always strikes me the most when it mixes love and comedy with what it means to be an artist. That’s what we got here, with a romantic resolution (of sorts) to boot.
Jealous, Flirty Mashiro
Before I dive into the meat of the episode, jealous Mashiro sure was cute! Though I’m sure that’ll ignite a shipping flame war (seriously commenters, chill…they’re both good girls, it just comes down to who Sorata wants to be with, nothing else), I found Mashiro irresistibly cute this episode. Her pouting was great, but I nearly died from her covering her pantsu. Sorata, you’re finally manning up, well done! Ohandalso, her pushing against him and asking “Which one do you want?” *massive, crippling nosebleed* I…need…a doctor. Send…guh *dies*
Special props go to the J.C. Staff, uh, staff for this latest Plan C joke. When Mashiro cracked that one out, I jotted down a note saying that it was starting to get old…and then they immediately took it in another direction, with hilarity ensuing. Nice! If only Jin was as good of a scriptwriter as Okada Mari and co, there wouldn’t be all this drama. Speaking of…
Jin’s Promise – The Nanami Dilemma
I realized something this episode – Jin was in the same position as Nanami. For Nanami, she doesn’t want to settle things with Sorata until she finds out if she passed her audition, so she knows whether she’ll be around or not. Jin was the same. He knew that he had to clear the air between him and Misaki about his scripts (that she was never excited by them, and he always knew), but he didn’t want to do that until he felt he was on his way to becoming a better scriptwriter. It was only then that he could make his promise – that in four years, he’ll be good enough for her to be excited by his work. He got his way forward, and the promise was a sweet one. Awww!
Two things struck me deeper than this, though. The first was that Jin was still being childish about the whole thing. While Nanami is making things a bit awkward by not resolving them, Jin made everything full-on painful for Misaki and all of his friends. He could have just as easily told Misaki he needed time alone to prepare for the exam, and he would give her an answer afterwards. This was a textbook example of him holding the idiot ball (trope!) to amp up the drama, and he deserved to get slugged for it. That said, Sorata was also childish for giving it to him. It does prove a point I’ve made previously, though – Sorata rushing to Nanami’s aid last episode wasn’t anything he wouldn’t have done for any of his nakama.
The other thing was the scene that grabbed me the most, and it’s not the one you would expect (Jin and Misaki’s reconciliation). No, it was the moment when the flashbacks came to a stop, and Misaki is just sitting there, staring at an old picture. There was this feeling of such sadness, of such intense loneliness, like I was watching this great tragedy when all they needed to do was reach out their hands and…there it was. The music started up, Nanami grabbed Misaki’s hand and she shouted “Jump into outer space!” as they leaped towards the future. Simply beautiful.
Life, Philosophy, & Anime
Perhaps even more than the romance and comedy, I love Sakurasou for speaking to what it means to be an artist. Listen closely, people – even if you don’t write or draw or design video games, the lessons here are directly relevant to you. The machines are replacing all the jobs us humans used to do, which means the only thing left for us is to become artists. Accountants, scientists, retail clerks, corporate middle managers, even grocery store baggers – there is artistry in it all, if you look for it. Listen up.
The first was when Jin said this:
“So, Misaki…don’t think you have to do it for me. Just do what you really want to do.”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen someone irrevocably change their lives in order to please someone else, I would already be a wealthy man indeed. I don’t care whether it’s the book you’re writing, the project you’re doing for work, or the university you’re deciding to go to, what does it really matter what others think? Your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your fiance, your parents, your friends, your teachers, your neighbors, your colleagues, your coworkers, your bosses, your customers, your children, your constituents, the ineffable “them” who are always out there judging you…
@#$& them all! If you’re not doing what you want to do, the work that makes you proud and gets your blood boiling and makes you pumped up to do it each and every day, then what’s the point? You can only make others happy when you’re happy yourself, and contentment can only come from within. I’m not sure if Sakurasou meant to delve so deep, but I got the echoes of lessons I’ve learned from their trials here. There is depth in that old building’s walls, let me tell you.
The second was when Sorata said this:
“We can go as far as we please.”
You can classify this one under “easy to say, hard to do,” but it’s no less true for that fact. I’m always appalled by those who stunt their potential by accepting “good enough”, when they ought to reach for “stellar” and “AMAZING!!” Take a lesson from the kids of Sakurasou – surround yourself with driven people who push you to even great heights, and you’ll be surprised where you end up. The only real requirement is that you never stop trying to become the best you that you can be, little by little, week by week, until your long days run dry. Holy hell, this episode made me introspective. Let’s wrap this up.
Looking Ahead – Demolition Time
Sakurasou is to be demolished!? I don’t know if that’s the lead-in to an anime original ending or what, but I certainly can’t see our merry band of misfits letting it pass. Whatever happens, that announcement certainly gave me a start – and just when everything was going great for once, too. Dammit!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A tortured adolescence of never truly seeing eye-to-eye comes to an end…in the best of ways. Misaki, Jin! \o/ #sakurasou
- Even in failure, Yuuko is super cute!
- Jin insinuates that Sorata is bi. Mashiro does not like that. Clearly, Mashiro is Sorata-sexual.
- That old man is a great teacher. Where other people see a problem, he sees potential that he can help flourish. The world needs more teachers like him, who understand the art of being a great teacher. See what I did there? Nishishi~ ^^
- Speaking of teachers, those teachers on the roof reeeeally should have seen that coming. Or maybe not. I wouldn’t have expected a bunch of kids to have the balls for that…unless they were the “problem children” of Sakurasou. The world would be a better place if we had more problems like them…