「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.
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!