「4/40」 (4/40)

Goodbye Grand Sports Festival and hello Kouka Culture Festival! This school event is more than just your average school festival, it serves as a graduation for the second-year senpais. It’s their time to shine and showcase their hard work and talent… Until, much to their dismay, a certain centennial class decided to come along and break traditions–and let me tell you, this time Hijiri is not alone. The first-year kouhai will be given a total of fifteen minutes of spotlight in the form of a ten minute scene and a five minute choral performance. The challenge? Thee same scene they performed in Phantom’s class, and only four out of forty students will make it.

Bath time now equals a precious intimate window into the girls’ friendship. They really have something going on for them, there’s enough balance between healthy competition and friendship so they’re constantly pulling one another toward their highest potentials–even if unconsciously so. And as for Hijiri’s beauty monologue, “You can develop talent to ‘earn’ that later. But you were born pretty, and that gives you an advantage. Even if you don’t have the talent to deserve it, you’re still starting closer to the finish line than anyone else.” It kind of sucks because it still remains a hard truth when it comes to the entertainment industry. 

Back to Sarasa’s personal life, we got a nice cameo of Akiya-kun for a change, he actually gives her very good advice amidst the chaotic mess going on inside her heart. He tells her to go for the role she wants, not what others expect of her. Because the truth is, she already knows what role she wants to play. Since she stood on the receiving end of Phantom’s constructive criticism, Sarasa’s been itching her ears. And if there’s one thing our golden girl loves, it’s a real challenge! So, to everyone’s surprise except her own, she goes for the role of Tybalt. Tryouts: Juliet (Chika, Chiaki, Yamada, Ai) ; Romeo (Kaoru) ; Tybalt (Sawa, Sarasa). My guess is we’ll end up with Ai, Kaoru and Sarasa, but we’ll see, maybe we’ll be in for a surprise.

It’s one thing to want a thing and it’s a different one to actually get it. While struggling to grasp Tybalt’s character, Sarasa gets a golden nugget from Ai. In order to play someone, you have to understand what kind of person they are. What do they do in the morning? What do they think about? How do they sleep? This brought me back memories from Glass Mask, when Maya was auditioning for the role of Beth from Little Women (a character who couldn’t be any more different than her), and Tsukikage makes her live as Beth, completely immersed in character, for a whole week! I’m not as well versed in the world of theater, but I’ve heard about method acting before and it seems to be on par with that, a range of training and rehearsal techniques, as formulated by a number of different theatre practitioners, that seeks to encourage sincere and expressive performances through identifying with, understanding, and experiencing a character’s inner motivation and emotions.” 

Sarasa scavenges her memories and finds a time when she experienced jealousy and resentment, which makes it easier for her to grow closer to Tybalt. And on the other end of the spectrum, Ai struggles to understand what it means to love. Her whole cosmic voyage into the inner self was a beautiful moment to see, a true milestone in her character development. Back in episodes 1, 2 and 3 this seemed like a distant dream, yet here we are. This competition is getting on fire and I can’t believe we only have two episodes left. I really hope we get a second season!

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