「積み上げたもの」 (Tsumiageta mono)
“What’s Been Built Up”
The stakes are at an all-time-high in the sixth episode of Go-Toubun when Fuutarou is given an ultimatum from the Nakano family patriarch: Have every sister pass or send in your resignation. With the risk of immediate termination, he is in a desperate struggle to get the girls to study or else him and his sister will return to an impovershed lifestyle. But will it cost him the goodwill that he’s built up with the sisters to get more aggressively focused on their studying habits?
Although Itsuki has been hard to trust since she dabbles in both vehemently disliking him and keeping a soft spot for his sister, this episode points towards her genuinely wanting Fuutarou to focus on having them study through the goodness of his own heart. She takes any opportunity to actively avoid studying with him and expects him to show far more passion in getting her to study than she’s willing to put into it, especially for his sake. But at the same time, with how much time that they’ve spent with each other, Itsuki is still a vulnerable person who had put so much meaning to the times Fuutarou fought to support the sisters that Itsuki would read his bold refusal to teach her as a personal attack. She would be the type of person to break down in tears because she thought that she was worth more than to be treated like a meal ticket.
Fuutarou regrets lashing out because it is part of his personal flaw of having a lower threshold of tolerance for the sisters’ antics. He feels guilty that he lashed out at her just so that she doesn’t need to hear the news that he might be fired, and as a result, tries to find the time to right his wrongs and set a better example for them. His mission, at the moment, needs to show far more concern for the girls. I assumed the last episode would have helped him since he started to define his role with the sisters, but because he still defines their relationship as a professional partnership, he has been seeing them less for who they are, which not only results in Itsuki getting upset with him, but also the lack of attention he’s been giving to Miku. He wants to be upfront with them, but unfortunately, this development comes out when Nino impersonates Itsuki to pry at Fuutarou to explain why the two are at odds. This was absolutely the worst-case-scenario since Nino has been wanting to fire Fuutarou from the start, and takes delight in wanting to sabotage his life. It’s hard to imagine a point in time where Nino becomes tolerable after all of the times she’s been really dreadful, but it happens at some point in the future, so I assume that she’ll eventually come to understand where Fuutarou is coming from in the grand scheme of things. For now, Nino is looking like she’s getting ready to gleefully flunk her midterms.
At the moment, the rest of the girls are starting to take Fuutarou’s studying sessions a little more seriously by reading through their material on their own time. Miku impresses Fuutarou by devoting her own time to look over material and study her worst subject, English, by her own accord. It might be her becoming a better person, but it is hinting towards her no-so-covertly hidden feelings for Fuutarou. Because of her inability to hide said feelings, Ichika is perceptive enough to pick up on this rather quickly and devotes her late night study session to actings as a wingman for Miku to get closer to him. However, what it ends up doing is putting her in the position of gaining Fuutarou’s attention since she’s the only sister mature enough to be able to level with him about trying to reach out to Itsuki. Fuutarou inavertedly goes in for the kill by giving Ichika the exact same headpat she had him do to Miku to acknowledge her, which looks like it’ll totally start throwing things out of whack for Ichika. It’ll be interesting to see whether this means she’ll still be passionate towards being Miku’s wingman or if she’ll end up falling for him too hard to help Miku out. Regardless, it has been a pretty intense episode as the tension is high over the predicament Fuutarou is in, and the level of risk will only get higher with the episode ending on Fuutarou waking up to Miku in bed with him.