「かぐや様は呼ばせたい / 白銀御行は負けられない / そして石上優は目を閉じた」 (Kaguya-sama wa Yobasetai / Shirogane Miyuki wa Makerarenai / Soshite Ishigami Yū wa Me o Tojita )
“Kaguya Wants Her to Say It / Miyuki Shirogane Can’t Lose / Yu Ishigami Closes His Eyes”
This time, I saw it coming.
With the exception of our new character introduction, most of the events in this week’s episode were pretty redundant. Ditsy Chika yet again steals Kaguya’s spotlight but never forgets to redeem herself (even though she’s oblivious to Kaguya’s fury). Kaguya and Shirogane continue to compete against one another. And Ishigami, well, he remains Kaguya’s tortured victim. It’s definitely repetitive but damn, the writing is good. Regardless of how many times these characters repeat the same old patterns, I can’t help but let out a genuine laugh. I know what’s coming, yet I still laugh. If that isn’t a sign of good writing, I don’t know what is.
Since there isn’t much more I want to dive into this week and the overall plot seems to be at a standstill, I’ll list a few episode highlights:
- Chika’s attempt to whistle. I hope she never succeeds.
- Not one, but two of Ishigami’s beautiful eyes.
- Narration about Chika’s naive ways.
- Shadowboxing. I have a newfound fondness for shadowboxing.
- Third chapter’s soundscape, specifically the sound of the whip.
- Bonding between Kaguya and Ishigami.
I will, however, take a moment to focus on our new Shirogane. ‘Pristine’ is the word that comes to mind when Kei (Suzushiro Sayumi), Shirogane’s little sister, makes her floral debut. What could be a fun comedic love triangle might actually evolve into a sinister sibling rivalry. Although Kei gets along well with my main girl Chika, she doesn’t seem to have an easygoing personality. I wonder how this will turn out or if it will ever develop…
Again, the recurring dynamics have their strengths, but the main story arc’s general slow pace is creating a huge void. I’m craving substance. I’m hoping this’ll rectify itself in upcoming episodes.
Shirogane’s comment about Kaguya at the end reminded me that we know so much less of the characters than they know about one another. Kaguya and Shirogane have already liked each other at the start of the series – this could make us wonder why they even like each other because we don’t actually get to see it happen. However I don’t think it’s bad in this case.
It’s quite nice to see a couple meet and watch them as they fall in love from the beginning, but (not all, but) some stories have it such that major flag events happen and they almost seem to suddenly fall in love with the other as a result. Like he saved me so I fell in love with him, etc. Here they’re already in love, but it doesn’t feel like something that happened in a moment but rather over time as they learnt about each other before the timeline of the show. Shirogane knows and respects how Kaguya does things – this must have been from prior experience over a long period of time, just as Kaguya surely knows Shirogane’s kindness and hardworkingness through their time spent together. Their feelings for each other has surely accumulated over time gradually, and we’re only privy to a few scenes/flashbacks that give us a sense of their person. But I like it that way. Rather than knowing that for example, Kaguya fell in love because Shirogane was x, y, z, it feels like they fell in love with each other’s personality as a whole rather than a single trait, and we get to see sides of their personalities revealed gradually as we watch the show. It’s great, imo.
Curious about Ishigami’s back story hmm
That would be S3 material.
You can read the manga, but if not the backstory is something like this…
Show Spoiler ▼
so kei arrived, this is good. the psycho/araara brigade teased, this is good too. they teased Maki, blessed be gods. Bakaguya arrived, fantastic.
now for not so good, the singing chapter ain’t getting animated confirmed by mangaka. for anime only peeps, remember the voleyball thing? now imagine this, but 2-3 times more fun. sad, very sad news.
Indeed a shame, but I suspect that they need to start “saving” anime chapters now. If the show is supposed to end where everyone wants it to end, several chapters need to be animated as requirements before to lay the necessary groundwork for the end run, to make it all click.
On the plus side: When S1 is over, people will have a lot of fun reading up on what they missed.
I find it a bit confusing that you decry a “lack of substance” in an 3-chapter slice of life romcom anime format, and exactly in the very same episode which did NOT concentrate on the gags, but rather on deepening our understanding of the characters.
This is what we could take away as character insight from this chapter alone:
1) Kei as Miyuki’s imouto, who is exceedingly polite in public, yet quite harsh and rebellious towards her brother. Who gets along perfectly with Chika, okay with Yuu, and mysteriously blushy-nervous around Kaguya.
2) Miyuki harbors a bit of an inferiority complex towards Kaguya, and he reaffirms his worth by working his ass off in maintaining his lead in studying. He feels that only this way he can walk beside the girl he admires.
3) Kaguya as a naturally talented genius does not take everything too seriously (the manga says that she generally invests only around 60% of her power into anything, and still loses only rarely), but when it comes to studying, she tries her utmost to best Miyuki. The fact that she loses against him even when she tries her best truly irks her.
4) We see foreshadowing to Yuu’s past. Something ugly must have happened them, driving him to be an outcast and a “time bomb”. It’s clear that he is hurt by it. This backstory however will definitely not make it in S1.
5) Kaguya does not hesitate to risk backlash by telling off the girls over Yuu. Defending him and caring for him might in fact have cost her the top spot in the exams. No matter how much Yuu is scared of Kaguya and horrified about what she does in regards to him, she is actually genuinely trying to help.
My point is: This _is_ substance with regards to the show. Do not expect huge overarching issues, what we will get is gradual character development mixed with gags to deliver them. There _will_ be “arcs” of subsequent chapters, but they will primarily flesh out the characters and their relationships, including the gradual changes within them.
not to mention the kaguya earning for familial love bit. that’s pretty big thing they slipped there in-between funny faces.
As fond as I am about the show, keep in mind that I haven’t read the manga. As someone who enjoys lengthy story arcs, the slow reveals and bits of information are leaving me with tons of questions. I don’t know where we’re headed. I like seeing each character evolution, and actually, Kaguya’s kindness and loyalty towards Ishigami is possibly my favourite part of the episode but I still feel like I’m just tasting the outer edges of my sandwich and not really biting into the juicy bit in the middle.
To be fair though… you’re probably right in saying that I shouldn’t expect huge overarching issues to carry me through.
@cpn mango: Heck, how could I have forgotten to list that? Yes, it’s a clear indication that all is not well in the Shinomiya household.
@MissSimplice: Oh – I can see where you’re coming from here. However, my only piece of advice is “get used to foreshadowing”. The author is famous for hinting/flashing interesting tidbits about characters, only to let them simmer, add to them bit by bit, and eventually pick them up again for full revelation 20-30 chapters later, when the necessary prerequisites have been established.
Example: The Yuu’s dark past foreshadowing will be explained indepth in a later arc (chapters 85-90), while currently we’re in the middle-thirties. But we’re lacking information about several key players which have to be introduced beforehand.
You’ll have to have a bit of patience here. We _will_ get to the juicy parts eventually, but the way they’re constructed, the groundwork needs to be laid first. That’s what the author is doing right now.
It was interesting to see how Miyuki and Kagura see themselves within their performance in both the student council and exams. Where Miyuki’s main saving grace is achieving high marks on his exams to make up for feeling like he’s below Kaguya whereas Kaguya is chasing the white whale of ranking #1 in her exams to finally get the upper hand on Miyuki.
Similarly, Kaguya shares Miyuki’s idea of representing every facet of the student council, so it was fun to see how her dedication to their image is reflected in making sure that Yuu doesn’t fail his exams and disgrace the club.
Kei’s dynamic with her good friend Chika and the intimidating yet enthused Kaguya was fun to watch as well. Though the end of the first segment does make me want to see more of Chika’s sisters, especially her oldest one.
THis episode is brought to you by the Shinomiya Group xD
Show Spoiler ▼
How the “I go” scene isn’t a highlight??