「逆境は真実へと至る最初の道筋である。」 (Gyakkyou wa Shinjitsu e to Itaru Saisho no Michisuji de Aru.)
“Adversity Is the First Path to Truth”
While Youtjitsu may not be the most forgiving in terms of pacing or elaboration of late (intricacies of sports festival events are so last decade), it’s still a series which knows where it’s bread is buttered and wastes little time in getting to the details. Did promise Suzune and Kikyou would finally see eye to eye after all, even if the manner of the reveal was out of left field. Just slightly.
With how this arc was built up and played out, I don’t think many were taken too aback by the developments we received. Suzune for one wound up realizing and embracing her lesson on teamwork and appreciating the value of cooperation (plus some brotherly introspection to boot) all the while other characters like Kei increasingly slotted themselves in better with the other members of Class D. Taken all together just another step along the path to Class D cohesion. Oh and Kiyotaka finally outing some of his athletic prowess, cannot forget that little (yet intentional) slipup.
Outside of basic developments, however, obviously the big moves this time were with Kiyotaka and Kikyou because oh yes, you know damn well you were starting to miss that face. The big thing here too isn’t even that Kikyou was the leaker and betrayer (that much was given if you remember her anti-Suzune crusade), but rather that her and Suzune share a past and that she was fully willing to reveal herself at this time. Kikyou after all is driven entirely by revenge, but not only for the sake of revenge; she cares enough to actively want her target eliminated, but not enough to sacrifice everything for it. It’s why that alter ego is maintained and why both Kiyotaka and even Kakeru are runners up on the Kikyou hit list: the girl wants to keep her hidden side permanently hidden from everyone else for the sake of basking in victory, and that necessitates offing anyone who has seen it. Revealing it to Suzune now implies that Kikyou thought she had finally prevailed against Suzune, but as evidenced by one secretive benefactor that didn’t pan out as expected.
Pretty easy to guess why someone would provide such assistance, but who it is and their connection to Kiyotaka (because obviously) remain to be discovered. One way or another things are about to get quite spicy in Youjitsu, because if there’s one thing which can drastically harm a team it’s having a member actively working to undermine it from within.
Kiyotaka certainly has his upcoming work cut out for him.