「スクランブルエッグ」 (Sukuranburu Eggu)
Episode 08 of Go-Toubun no Hanayome helps to condense the “Scrambled Eggs” down to its essentials as it highlights Fuutarou’s ongoing struggle to tell the sisters apart. While he struggles to not offend the sisters by recklessly winging it until their grandfather intervenes, the sisters are trying to sort out some of the budding romantic feelings they have for Fuutarou.
The “Scrambled Eggs” arc gives us a better gist of Fuutarou’s larger problem of being unconcerned and callous about the girls’ personal lives as he tutors them. Whereas he’s been able to get their grades up, he is still at a point where he couldn’t tell them apart despite learning about their differences. The anime does hinder the argument that it’d be difficult for Fuutarou to do so because their voices are so distinct. How are you going to tell me that Hanazawa, Taketatsu, and Sakura’s voices are similar enough that it wouldn’t give away Ichika, Nino, and Yotsuba respectively?
The advice he got from the Nakano sisters’ grandfather should help him out in the future, but it took upsetting Miku for him to understand what he was getting at. Beforehand, he would look insensitive in taking a wild swing at whoever the quintuplets are, which was amplified to an even worse degree when everyone dressed up to look like Itsuki. Because voices or mannerisms weren’t something he’d taken to mind, he just looks for the easiest, cheapest solution like finding a thigh bruise or seeing who uses which phrases.
It calls attention to how little he seems concerned about getting into a romantic relationship with any of these girls. Miku hones in on this quickly with how she starts crying because she’s realizing that he never really saw them as anything more than just some girls he tutors. It’s even worse knowing how rough it is for actual kids who are twins that get really hurt when people are unable to tell them apart. And here’s Fuutarou, looking at a girl who has been transparently into them since they consented to being tutored, trying to pull pranks as a way to finagle a name from them.
It’s Fuutarou’s lack of perception or interest in humoring the girls that is also causing Nino to become a runaway train ready to wreck itself. If he was appalled and confused when Nino confessed to him twice, her current plan of forcing herself on him to get the point across will only continue to backfire. But perception isn’t a Fuutarou-only issue considering that Nino is ready to publicize her plan to try to bag Fuutarou while most of her sisters are already into him. Her doing all of this while Miku’s openly fawning for him is just begging for a crapstorm like no tomorrow.
This is also the episode where Ichika tries to find some sense of direction as far as how she should express her feelings. Even if she doesn’t have the same level of cowardice as Miku, her jealousy about how open Nino is about making a move on Fuutarou left her without any confidence towards her current approach of wallowing in guilt over if she should be feeling how she does for the guy. Yotsuba gave her a pep talk, but for the most part, the main take-away she received from it was that she shouldn’t be scared of living for herself and following her heart.
It wasn’t exactly the kind of pep talk she needed, because asking Ichika to drop the weights she places on herself is angling for an antagonistic role out of her. The story toyed around with Ichika as a villain with how she spontaneously decided she’d one-up Miku on the exams to stonewall her from making a confession. But this episode all but confirms Ichika’s duplicitous past with how Yotsuba pulled out all of the instances where she used to bully people and steal friends from Yotsuba. It was also addressed that much of her true personality was inhibited when she took up the mantle of playing the older sister after feeling mournful about how harshly Itsuki took their mother’s death.
With all of the acting Ichika does as a profession, it seems that her role as older sister is a difficult act for her to tackle now that she’s struggling to hold her feelings back. She might’ve promised to help Miku get with the boy she fell for and is now helping Nino out with advice on what to do next with the boy she fell for, but the cracks in her foundation are widening with how passive she has to be to let her other sisters be happy. It’s similar to where Miku’s at, but whereas she’s able to prioritize her sisters’ happiness over her own, that’s not a balancing act that Ichika is willing to comply with if she wants to protect her own heart.