ふたりのジュリエット」 (Futari no Juliette)
The Two Juliets

There’s excitement in the air thanks to Kouka’s Grand Sports Festival, a very special event that brings together all seasonal troupes, students and the infamous Senka–a.k.a Pro Obaasan, courtesy of Sarasa. But don’t get too attached to the latter title, it’s part of the Kouka Code never to mention actresses’ ages, so we keep it amongst ourselves and away from Sawa’s ears, roger that?

With actresses using their campus to hold their meetings, we chance upon the top 4 otokoyako in one room: from the Spring Troupe, Asahina Ryuu-sama; from the Summer Troupe, Shiina Reo-sama; from the Autumn Troupe, Mitsuki Keito; and from the Winter troupe, Satomi Sei-sama! And they’re all very competitive and aesthetically vibing with their respective seasons. “Their beauty blinded me just like when Muska destroyed Laputa!” This wouldn’t be a proper Kageki Shoujo!! episode without a good anime reference, this time from Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky.

With the mood set, we turn our attention towards the sutil tension that’s been heating on the pot for a while, the twins. I can only imagine what it’s like to be an identical twin (let alone a twin), but by what we’ve seen, it looks like the girls have based their entire identities in being twins. “We do everything together,” “we like the same things,” “we dress the same,” “we’ll get into Kouka together,” “we’ll act together,” “we can always tell what the other is thinking.” But that’s not entirely correct, is it? And that was the lesson both Chika and Chiaki had to learn this episode. You can share a life with someone, but you do things separately. You can like similar things, but you can also like different things. You can share an ambition and a passion, but you walk the path as individuals. And most importantly, you can understand someone, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always know what they’re thinking, that’s why conversation is so important. That’s how they’re able to overcome their issues–not all conflicts are bad–and their relationship gets clearer, stronger, more grounded, healthier. 

*Ahem* Kaoru’s dream is to play Death in Elizabeth, can we marry already? I really appreciate the small moments we get between Sarasa and Ai, where we’re shown how the latter has become more open and empathetic, how she notices others when in the past she didn’t.

「百年に一度の秋」 (Hyakunen ni Ichido no Ak)
“A Once-in-a-Century Autumn”

Sarasa’s appointment as sub for the race twists some knickers amidst the Kouka halls–Hijiri is not happy. Her classmates’ concerns about possibly facing extra bullying from their senpais is far from unfounded. But it was actually refreshing to see Hijiri’s true colors. I’d rather she drop the sweet act and just be herself. Perhaps that’s even in store for her, I wouldn’t put past the author, she seems to really like developing her characters and it’d be pretty rad to see this care being extended towards the more ‘secondary’ characters, especially since these girls will end up together in one of the seasonal troupes.

I laughed out loud when Sarasa quoted Bruce Lee of all people! “As someone wise once said, ‘don’t think, feel’.” [Enter the Dragon]. Ai, bless her heart, tries her best to cheer up her friend and give her good advice, but we all know our golden retriever, when intuition calls, that’s when the lesson will fall (in her head).

“To compete gallantly, fairly and beautifully!” It’s the start of the sports festival and while I’m sure the 75-meter race, the line dance and the ball toss we’re fun events, it was the battle between Hijiri and Risa that left us at the edge of our seats! Risa uses compassion and reasonable thinking on Hijiri–it fails! Hijiri uses gaslighting on Risa–she’s confused. Ha ha. Together with the Senka, both first and second-years perform the school song, Amongst the Cherry Blossoms in the Wind–yes! The one Kaoru sings in her episode. Frightened like me when I see a clown, Sarasa doesn’t even play her flute. But Risa-senpai steps into her role of oneesama and pulls her ear (in all the right loving ways) so Sarasa can get her shit back together. I like Risa’s character a lot. I loved how she was harsh, but compassionate, how she spoke the truth without sugar coating it, it felt real. Sei-sama makes an entrance to add to the argument and give Sarasa a bouquet from her Red Rose Fan (cameo appearance by Kouzaburou-san).

So how to act as yourself if it’s the same as your stage self? Well, perhaps you can picture yourself as your ideal self. And what’s Sarasa’s ideal self? It’s Sarasa with an E-cup #lmao. For those who thought Sarasa’s ambition ended with Oscar-sama, you were quite mistaken. Watanabe Sarasa has always wanted to wear a tight-fitted anime battle suit, but they wouldn’t look good unless she had big boobs #sad. That’s the vision she brings to life when getting into her character. A busty Sarasa, and you know what? She succeeds and not only that, when Sei crashes into her, she remembers Ai’s advice, what does the audience want? Of course they want to see their top star shine brighter than anyone. That’s why she intensely waits for Sei to get up and help her back on her feet, both teams finish their races last whilst holding hands. And who’d thought, the Senka who gave Sarasa the opportunity to sub in the race turned out to be the actress who dazzled the little girl with her performance as Oscar-sama all those years ago.

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