「石上優は生き延びたい / 藤原千花はテストしたい / かぐや様は気づかれたい」 (Ishigami Yū wa Ikinobitai / Fujiwara Chika wa Tesuto-shitai / Kaguya-sama wa Kizukaretai)
“Yu Ishigami Wants to Live / Chika Fujiwara Wants to Test You / Kaguya Wants to Be Noticed”
I am very easily swayed. When I first started watching Kaguya-sama, I really liked the pace of the show and the narrator reminded me of a sports commentator. Around episode two or three, the premise was getting a little tedious and I wanted some variety. As in, can we get some scenes outside the student council office please? But then there was the hilarious ED with Chika and all of a sudden I found myself wanting someone like her in my life. So, week after week, I kept watching because I looked forward to seeing her on screen.
Today’s episode changed it all! Based on last week’s review, I was hoping for some new additions but this was like being thrown into a room full of your favourite foods and not knowing which to taste first. Keep in mind I haven’t read Kaguya-sama so this is like biting into a bean-filled bun without knowing the exact flavour and it turning into a firework explosion in your mouth. Can you tell I’m writing this hungry?
First, we get a solid introduction to student council treasurer Ishigami Yū. I more than welcomed him into my little heart considering I’m big on introverted and socially awkward characters but even more than that, he adds a nice touch of horror to the show. Kaguya’s internal evil just doesn’t really satisfy the palate (I’m still on theme here). His retelling of his trauma is hauntingly amusing to watch and had I been the one he confided in, I’d have reacted the same way when Kaguya entered the room. He’s included in all three chapters, which gave the jokes a little more depth and added texture to the humour.
The first two chapters had me cracking up, but the third chapter spoke to my high school self, and if you watched it, it probably spoke to yours too. Giving a compliment to someone when you’re in high school, especially to the person you have a crush on, is the most difficult thing to do. So when Chika called Ishigami creepy, I felt for him.
But even more, I felt for Kaguya. She tried something new and she wanted the attention but nothing she did in that hilarious ‘notice my nails’ scene seemed to work. She was so sad. At that age, you want someone to notice when you’re trying and give you that compliment. It helps boost confidence for one but also solidifies human connection. In the last scene when she sulked her way off of school grounds, the high school girl inside me just yelled out: “Someone please notice her nails! She’s trying so hard. Please.” I was desperate for her. And when Miyuki came riding towards her on his bike, he wasn’t giving a sliver of hope just to her but to me too. It’s one of the few scenes so far where we see both protagonists attempt to be transparent and real with one another. I like these scenes to be short and infrequent because when they do happen, that little flutter that Kaguya expresses as he rides off into the sunset is the same flutter that gurgles up inside me as I watch. I think I just have a soft spot for romcoms especially when they’re as deliciously well written as this one.
On that note, the only sour point I could think of for this episode is that it didn’t give me what I really wanted: another ED with a performing Chika…