「七つのさよなら 第一章」 (Nanatsu no Sayonara: Daiisshou)
“Seven Goodbyes: Part 1”
Go-Toubun no Hanayome’s second season actually starts off at a nice point because this is the part of the manga where the relationship drama starts to get spicy. “Seven Goodbyes” might have an odd name because Negi started to get cheeky with arc names and the “Seven” comes from Nino (2) and Itsuki (5) coming together to fight. But it is a huge arc where Nino gets some major development as she works through her problems with her sisters and Fuutarou.
You wouldn’t really know this though with how the inciting incident explodes. At first, it’s just Nino aiming to butt heads with Miku, and actively taking measures to get under her skin. But when she continues her trend of disrespecting Fuutarou for his efforts to get them to use the study guide he exhausted himself to write, that’s when the straw broke the camel’s back.
It seems odd how disrespectful she is given how it felt like the class trip would have helped rehabilitate Fuutarou’s image in Nino’s eyes. But apparently, at some point, she ended up relapsing and started to see him as an obstacle between him and his sisters, especially with how committed her sworn rival Miku dotes on him. By currying favor with Fuutarou as her favorite tutor, now any measure to get Nino to study will be seen by her as Fuutarou trying to gang up against her.
This is all the more prevalent when Itsuki takes Fuutarou’s side by pointing out how she can’t see past her privilege to notice that he hand-wrote their notes. It made Itsuki laying the smackdown all the more satisfying. At the same time, it did cause a deeper rift among the sisters with Nino and Fuutarou trying to play mediator to get her to chill out.
The blowout between Itsuki and Nino also opened up a chance for Itsuki to get closer to Fuutarou. On top of taking refuge in his home, she was able to have a heart-to-heart with him about her childhood as she opens up about how she and her sisters used to live in poverty until a few years before when her late mother married into a wealthy family. It also lends to Itsuki’s insistence on trying to be much like her mother as the glue that holds everyone together now that she’s gone, desperate to provide the same down-to-earth approach her mom had to her sisters. It hasn’t panned out given how much of a strain is in their relationships and how much mental strain it puts Itsuki to build an entire complex around wanting to be just like her late mother. But issues relating to grieving and coping will eventually be explored as time furthers.
We also get some development on Fuutarou’s end as he runs himself ragged to get the Nakano sisters back on track. Much of the episode explores his point-of-view as he sees his efforts to reach them to be fruitless if he spends more time trying to get them to succeed in school than build a bridge between the sisters to maintain a better relationship with each other. But his efforts as a workhorse end up in his favor as his desperation to make the situation right lands him an invitation to Nino’s room.
The more expressive art style also makes it funnier when Yoshitsugu Matsuoka’s voice shifts into his Inosuke voice as Fuutarou passionately chides the sisters for their lack of effort or cheers himself on to try to get the sisters to behave. The biggest development though comes from the reunion that Fuutarou has with a girl that looks like and claims to be the same girl he met. It offers Fuutarou some inspiration to have him continue to re-evaluate his past run-in with her, and also provides him a reason to get closer with the sisters, which should help him as he finds his way to get Nino and Itsuki to make up and head back home.