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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 12 (END)

「花火の音は聞こえない 後編 / かぐや様は避けたくない」 (Hanabi no Oto wa Kikoenai: Kouhen / Kaguya-sama wa Saketakunai)
“I Can`t Hear the Fireworks, Part 2 / Kaguya Doesn`t Want to Avoid Him”

I’ve been blind this whole time.

Kaguya’s actions towards Shirogane have oftentimes gone against her own intuition. As the only child of the household, her drive, competitiveness, and deceitful ways have all been inherited from the Shinomiya motto. However, one thing I’m only noticing now is how much her loyalty to her family has hindered her both emotionally and psychologically. Kaguya is only a teenager but she’s been carrying the burden and responsibility of the Shinomiya name. The pressure and the expectations have always been high and she’s managed to keep a calm and respectable composure throughout most of her childhood. Until now that is.

For the first time in her life, she’s found a place where the pressure to succeed or act according to set rules is of no concern. She’s found a place where she can learn to be her own person, make friends, and experience life as a regular high school girl. Kaguya’s presence in the student council room is so much less about the title and so much more about the friendships and bonds she’s creating with her peers.

In this episode, Kaguya’s behavior finally aligns with her feelings. When the house butler prevents her from leaving to watch the fireworks, all that built up anticipation comes crashing down and she resigns herself to missing out. But Hayasaka proudly reminds her that she’s the daughter of the Shinomiya family and isn’t in the habit of feeling sorry for herself – almost as if to say: “Fight for what you want.” And Kaguya does just that. She puts up a good fight. She swings from the mansion out onto the street like Tarzan on a vine, she meets J. Suzuki of Koenji one of the metro area big four ramen kings, and she runs through the busy streets and back alleys giving it everything she’s got. She finally reaches the pier, but unfortunately, it’s too late.

Meanwhile, we’re privy to a series of missed connections between her and Shirogane, who was prompted by a falsified tweet to chase after her. Luckily, even after this series of tumultuous events, Shirogane finds her in the darkest corner of an alley and puts on his ‘hero’ hat.

Alongside Chika and Ishigami, the now reunited student council proceed to take a cab – chauffeured by name, one of the metro area’s big four ramen kings – into the next town over to catch a different firework show. As they exit a tunnel, a huge firework display overwhelms the group of friends . . . yet Kaguya can’t seem to take her eyes off of Shirogane, who just minutes ago acted as her knight in shining armor.

This first chapter is full of tacky romantic tropes. All is forgiven though when, in the next chapter, now returned to school, the narrator calls out Shirogane for dropping a bunch of cheesy one-liners that evening. I love how self-aware this anime is, which means that it’s able to fall right back into the old familiar patterns we’re so fond of. Kaguya and Shirogane butt heads, tensions build, Chika is as dimwitted as ever, Ishigami is rejected and the chase continues. Even with all the progress, the story of this high school romance is only just ripening.

Epilogue:

Final Impressions

I honestly don’t have much to say about the show. I’ll admit to having been a little bit impatient with the series at first. I was looking for deep, meaningful, and progressive story arcs but that meant I was missing out on subtle character insights. I’m actually pretty impressed with the series. It’s managed to keep me intrigued and entertained throughout everything. I’m very much looking forward to watching more of Kaguya and Shirogane interactions, and actually, after discovering so much about Kaguya in the last few episodes, I’m very curious to find out more about Shirogane’s life. We’ve had snippets here and there as to the dynamic he has with his sister but other than him being a very hardworking fella, we don’t know much more about his background.

I still have lots of questions and I’m looking forward to what comes next. Here’s to hoping for the release of a second season and thanks for following alongside me!

March 31, 2019 at 2:38 pm
14 comments »
  • March 31, 2019 at 2:56 pmMentar

    Well, glad that you enjoyed it after all :)

    I’d still like to ask you though: In your book, does the fireworks arc not qualify as “deep, meaningful and progressive”? Don’t let the epilogue mislead you: What happened, happened, and will not be simply ignored or undone by reset button.

    Anyway, I want to thank A-1 for this fantastic conversion. It was very noticeable how much love went into it, it definitely was a labour of fans. Likewise, thanks to the VAs. Without exception, all of them did a tremendous job!

    Looking forward to S2! It’s only a matter of when, not if – the epilogue teasered several characters which will make their appearance in the near future.

    • March 31, 2019 at 3:58 pmcpn mango

      > What happened, happened
      > Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 3, 2019 at 2:51 pmMissSimplice

      Hey Mentar! When I mentioned that I was referring to my first few episode impressions. I believe I had mentioned being a little ‘bored’ or something along those lines. In fact, this episode and the previous were the juicy part of the sandwich that I was so hoping to bite into! It’s like the perfect bite. You get a bit of every ingredient + it tastes wonderful. Hope that answers your question!

  • March 31, 2019 at 3:54 pmcpn mango

    > and now you know why hayasaka needs justice. also don’t remember prez actually seeing her in manga, that was a tension moment for that part. him actually getting there only to see it’s not kaguya.
    > that moonjump dou. if you ain’t familiar, Aka-sensei based this manga on that story about moon goddess and whatnot.
    > prez doing shit kinda heroic shit for her. remember it well. Show Spoiler ▼

    .
    > also his reaction remembering the cringe. i’m well past the age where i care, yet i still sometimes remember my cringe moments and have a cold sweat. thanks, anime, for reminding me.
    > and finally the big thing. the title drop. the moment of truth. i might be in minority, absolutely am on plebbit, not so much on /a/. but that moment wasn’t as powerful in anime, as it was in manga. people do say it’s due to bias with being a manga reading and i do agree on that, but for me they missed the eyes. which anime could do if they so wished. and titledrop, which is rather hard for anime to pull.
    https://ibb.co/5x96Fkm
    see them eyes? that’s the eyes of a woman who just made Water world irl. also reminder, it’s a romcom manga. with those eyes. funny romcom manga. also notice the title drop to reiterate my point.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iFbHX32HwUg3vhQ1EN18QU0fkd0vnZaU/view

    and here’s the reaction thread on /a/ at the time. for those unfamiliar with chan culture, it was pretty much live dropping of a page per, maybe, 3-4 minutes so peeps could react. sadly the art since been lost due to 4chan being redditified.

    > also Iino, i saw you. you are a good girl, we wait for you and your bad timing with anticipation.
    > maki senpai, we love you.

    and do read manga, it’s worth it. Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 31, 2019 at 4:04 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    • March 31, 2019 at 8:12 pmMentar

      JUSTICE FOR HAYASAKA!

    • April 2, 2019 at 3:41 amHenrietta Brix

      Hayasaka needs more love

  • April 1, 2019 at 2:50 amAshScar

    I’m honestly amazed how the Reddit anime discussion thread for this finale ended up being Reddit’s most gilded thread on Mar 30 lol. Tis a testament to how beloved the series is and how A1 went beyond our expectations for this iconic episode :)

  • April 1, 2019 at 6:01 amJeffers

    when a anime just broke records in REDDIT, you should know by now, that you are 99.9% looking at the AOTS and a strong contender for AOTY.

  • April 1, 2019 at 11:32 amhjerry2000

    This was, in a word, amazing. I never would have expected that a series which was almost pure comedy only, could produce arguably one of the most well written and executed emotional sequences in anime this season. I genuinely teared up there when fireworks display ended before she got there.

    This was definitly a sleeper this season. Here’s hoping for a season 2.

    • April 1, 2019 at 7:20 pmJeffers

      there’s definitely enough material for a season 2 and heck perhaps even a bit of OVAs to wait for more materials for a season 3. the thing is i guess this anime adaptation is one of those “if you want to know what happens next, you will have to buy the source material (manga or LN) first”.

  • April 2, 2019 at 1:24 amZack

    @MISSSIMPLICE

    Falsified tweet?

    That tweet was done by Kaguya herself, no question. It was her true feeling. If you are thinking it was done by Hayasaka, keep in mind that Hayasaka paints her nails (and her nails were clearly shown in that impersonation scene) while the hand that went to move the mouse and click on the submission of the tweet was Kaguya’s with no nails done or whatever. It is also damn near impossible for Hayasaka to enter the room while Kaguya was crying away and submit the tweet.

    Just wanted to clarify that.

    Now that you are done with Fireworks being adapted for the anime, there’s this masterpiece https://streamable.com/9zef9 (/a/ reacts to chapter 45: I can’t heart the fireworks part 2)

    • April 3, 2019 at 2:54 pmMissSimplice

      No way. How did I miss that? I actually just rewatched to make sure – not that I didn’t believe you. I thought it’d been part of Hayasaka’s master plan. Kaguya’s expressing even more than I thought. Dayum.

  • April 3, 2019 at 11:53 amSlarkero

    Such a masterful adaptation!

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