「それぞれの流儀」 (Sorezore no Ryuugi)
Too bad we were left on a cliffhanger concerning Toh’s request to poach Ikuto away from Yanagida. But this episode was padded out with delightful interactions between Ikuto and Kokoro – who haven’t really spoken to each other much, despite how often they’ve been in the same general area. While she initially appeared as an extremely stoic model who smirked when Ikuto started blushing because she was changing clothes, it turns out Kokoro is a dorky girl who’s rather self-conscious. She and Ikuto find out that they share a lot of similarities – having similar amounts of siblings, and most importantly, the shared aspiration to become a fashion designer. But there’s one stumbling block in Kokoro’s way. Even though she doesn’t really like the profession, her talent for modelling is exceptional, and she’s faced with a choice of pursuing a passion that wouldn’t necessarily guarantee success, or going after a lucrative career that she’d be miserable in.
Entering the Fashion Tournament Arc
It’s obvious that she has an insane work ethic – diligently taking notes at every opportunity, and having a bedroom filled out with fabrics that she’s practiced sewing techniques on. This spurs Ikuto to encourage her endeavours, convincing Kokoro to participate in the fashion contest. So all that remains to be seen is whether she possesses the talent or fashion sense to make the cut by proving her worth in this contest. To clarify, since the anime didn’t make it clear, Ikuto doesn’t take the money from his sister when joining the class assignment. His refusal to accept her personal savings is the reason he participated with only 5000 yen in the first place – or at least that’s how it played out in the manga. Also, Ikuto was absolutely devastated when they’re told the money is their budget for the contest – and he starts panicking over how he can even compete against everyone else with only half the budget. Which begs the question – against a bunch of university kids who have a lot more experience than him, can Ikuto overcome the financial handicap and qualify for the next round?
Further Adaptation Cuts
Also, for the first time, I find myself quite dissatisfied with the cuts. Although the episode adequately conveyed emotional dynamics in the interactions between Ikuto and Kokoro, so much stuff was cut out. We blazed through the source material. When Kokoro was getting harassed by random people in the street for being tall after missing the last train, when she was drunk at a university party while a shady guy was trying to make some moves on her, the part when Yanagida completely demolishes Kokoro’s confidence and tells her to never come back again, it was Ikuto in the manga who showed up for her time and time again. I cannot understate how much connection and rapport was lost out between the two. There’s meant to be so much more going on between them, and seeing how the date between Chiyuki and Ikuto was also skipped last episode, I honestly fear that Runway de Waratte will heavily forgo romantic aspects to focus on the fashion design journey itself – which I believe would be a huge mistake.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you next week to find out exactly what kind of design Ikuto has come up with for Sara to wear!