「優等生 ~You~」 (Yuutousei: You)
“You, the Honor Student”
Following up from last week’s cliffhanger, Akanesasu Shoujo aims to challenge the development that the girls have undergone now Clutters are starting to infiltrate their own fragment. As the world is placed at risk, the stakes are high as the girls are split apart with Yuu trying to go for the Hail Mary to save Asuka before she assimilates into the Twilight and the rest of the girls facing off against the Clutter version of Kitta-sensei, who is trying to convince the girls that their growth was all for naught.
While Asuka and Yuu are facing off against the Emissary of Twilight (aka Young Asuka), the rest of the Radio Club’s members are caught up in a fight against an overpowered version of Kitta-sensei. His arguments against the girls are particularly weak as he just handwaves the progress they made. It’s astounding how his shrugging worked for a split-second as his arguments boiled down to acting as if they’re dumb enough to unlearn the development they made during all these episodes.
Chloe isn’t afraid of making friends, but, “eh, I guess you still kinda like being alone”. Mila is strong, but, “eh, it’s still a man’s world”. Nana made the initiative to forgive her father and reject an arranged marriage, but, “eh, you’ll still be reliant on other men”. I get that they wanted to give them some tension or drama about their emotions possibly wavering when faced with opposition, but it was an absurd way for the villain to make the protagonists question their confidence by just reiterating what they had to face. Of course, the girls would think Clutter Kitta’s ideas were nonsense because those ideas were exactly what they fought against. It’d be like fixing your tire only for someone to come up and say, “Sure your tire is fixed, but you drove over a nail so that means you really don’t care about your tires, do you?” You did have a flat tire, but the problem has been resolved. You cared enough about your tire to get it patched up. It’s a done deal.
A similar issue comes from Asuka when her Emissary form wants her to assimilate with the Twilight. All things considered, Asuka’s bargaining attempt to join her if she stopped trying to take over the town would never work out in Asuka’s favor because the Emissary was always going to want to absorb other worlds. But that doesn’t stop Asuka from taking the bait under the assumption that the Emissary would magically be behind the idea of not getting to absorb Asuka’s home fragment. It might be something the Emissary might have to consider with this episode’s cliffhanger, but with Seriousuka wedged within the Twilight, the Emissary was never in the bargaining spirit that Asuka seemed to keep pressing her about.
The strongest aspect of this episode was how far Yuu came from her original self. While the rest of the girls had developed within fragments tailored towards their own personalities, Yuu had to confront her own feelings in the real world and address why she feels so strongly about wanting Asuka to open up to her. In the process, Ero Yuu and her recollection of her experiences with Asuka drove her to confess to Asuka and ultimately awaken her Twilight self as she saves Asuka from the Emissary. It was a pleasant surprise to see both how passionate Yuu was regarding her own feelings for Asuka as well as the reciprocation that Asuka gives towards Yuu’s emotions. The ship setting sail for Asuka and Yuu was exciting, but in the show’s goofiness, Akanesasu Shoujo is still a fun show to continue following, and it’ll be interesting to see the rest of it through to the end now that Asuka might end up joining the Emissary.