「ピリピリ カツカツ」 (Piripiri Katsukatsu)
“Tingling and Scraping”

I was seriously mad at Kanechika for letting the cat out of the bag about Sou’s past. Kanechika knew that Sou didn’t want it to get out, yet he purposefully took advantage of Mitsumi’s gullibility to try to hook him into the drama club, totally disrespecting Sou. Yeah, I know Kanechika did it in the name of his drama club, but the means do not justify the ends. Thankfully, Mitsumi is starting to get a better read on people and puts two and two together that Sou’s silence about his past = “it’s a secret”.

Mitsumi gets so caught up in thinking about Sou’s child actor past, she commits what is to her, an unforgivable blunder-leaves the exam page blank, gets hit in the face with a ball. The ball to the face and bloody nose leading to a fateful infirmary encounter reminded me a little of BokuYaba a few weeks ago, but this played things out in a softer tone, with a different emphasis.

The fated encounter with Sou outside the infirmary was just what Mitsumi needed to get things off her chest. Sou is perceptive enough to know there’s something bothering her and he’s kind enough to give her the space to touch on his personal history without freaking out at her. When it comes to himself, Sou is a man of few words, preferring to instead listen to Mitsumi and her dreams.

Sou opens up a little, revealing that he acted for parental approval rather than fun. That’s pretty rough-at such a young age and in such a grueling business, to have your parent’s affection rely on your success (not that it’s uncommon, I suppose). According to Kanechika, his drama show lost in the competition against another show. Sou commented “Putting your goal out there means dealing with hopes and expectations”, admitting to Mitsumi that he couldn’t handle the pressure. You can piece together what happened from there-Sou took it to heart that the show didn’t garner the recognition his mother hoped for and caved into a feeling of failure for not living up to other people’s expectations.

Sou’s quote cut deep- it is scary having a goal and publicly taking steps towards it “This is what I want to do”. Once you do that, there’s no taking it back and that’s when the pesky “What-ifs” crowd in. The fear of humiliation if things don’t work out after all the work you’ve put in, the fear that the people who rooted so hard for you would think less of you for not living up to your and their expectations should you fail, the fear of “What do I do now, what do I have left” if the road to that goal crumbles in front of you. I’ve been in Sou’s shoes, caving in under the pressure of goals and expectations. It can destroy you, especially if all your self-worth was tied up in that one thing. However, I’ve learned the hard way that you can always start over, make a new goal, re-adjust your path, and take as many detours as needed-life doesn’t end when one particular goal does. It looks like Mitsumi might show him this lesson, that there are more dreams, more things in life he can and should aspire towards. I think he sees in her the spark he lost-their pinky promise that she’ll be there for him is certainly a small step towards regaining it.

Mitsumi’s struggles with obsessive studying hit home for me. I was the exact same way-constantly panicking that I would fail a class (even though I was one of the top students), obsessively studying 24/7. Friends like Fumi are a gem, who don’t let you drown yourself in a bog of despair and compulsive studying, who force you to come up to the surface for some air. Looking back, it was exhausting. I used those objective red grades on the tests to subjectively measure my own worth-I was worth something, I could accomplish something so long as those numbers were high. Mitsumi also seems to run on the fuel of academic success, but she at least is starting to learn that value in life cannot always be measured by grades. It’s something I wish I had learned sooner. In reflecting on “wasted moments”, she realizes that time spent with her friends and family, while time spent away from studying, is just as meaningful and not “wasted”. That’s something she’ll continue to lean into more, the more her social experiences expand in and out of school-she’s already making good progress, spending Golden Week having fun with Nao-chan, making happy memories instead of buried in her studies.

Tokio is an even more hardcore about strict self-discipline. After shadowing Tokio to learn self-discipline (“I need to get rid of the slacker within me” ROFL), Mitsumi quickly heralds Tokio as her role model, admiring the efficiency and skill with which Tokio handles everything. Tokio’s nightmares come true and she misses the bus when Mitsumi spaces out, making them late. I can totally relate to Mitsumi’s periods of serious over-achiever moments interspersed with random space cadet moments-welcome to a day in my life. I give Tokio credit for not freaking out at Mitsumi and taking it out on her (I know people who would do that), although she is inwardly seething.

I love how Mitsumi goes from missing the bus to randomly finding a cat that she befriends. Mitsumi’s openness to new experiences and the unique way in which she interacts with the world around her allows her to have a far more interesting time than the Tokio way of being on a hyper-strict schedule. If things had gone according to Tokio’s schedule, the girls would’ve missed out on making a cat-friend and not been able to help the lady find her lost cat, which turned it a memorable excursion. I’ve never found schedules to be helpful anyway. The time you spend rigidly planning out a day could’ve been spent actually doing something on that list, plus the unexpected happens and it’s almost impossible to stay exactly on schedule, which basically means more stress. I think today’s episode could be aptly summarized by the phrase “stop and smell the roses”-it’s good to take a breather and enjoy the small things, the unexpected things.


  1. As a therapist, I loved the message of this episode to be mindful and in the present moment in life. I loved the part where Mitsumi was thinking about how her moments with her family and friends were just as important as her time studying. A lot of good lessons here.

    1. Agreed! You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s good that Mitsumi realizes that now and makes the most of her time with the people close to her. It’s important to have a well-balanced life and you need that support from family or friends-plus it’s more fun to have a life outside of studying!

      Princess Usagi
  2. So in the end it was Tokio that learned a lesson about time management from Mitsumi and not the other way around. I loved the “night on the galactic busroad” sequence too.

    1. That was indeed a good sequence. Sometimes it’s the people you least expect to learn something from (scatterbrained kouhai) that you end up learning from.

      Princess Usagi
  3. It was hilarious seeing Mitsumi get lost in how to approach Sou about his acting career when he was a kid. Then realizes she is in a middle of a test and the exam concluded. Then the gag runs through two other classes and an intermission where the classmates are transferring to another period. (I say periods because here in the New England States in the US periods are classes.)
    I wonder if Mitsumi got to quickly complete the test at the last minute before handing it in.

    Also, I got happy seeing the student council prez Tokiko interact with Segawa, the future soccer captain. I think their cooperation will bloom into something personal.

    1. I’m not sure. I’d hope for Mitsumi’s sake she at least got to scribble some answers down, but regardless, with her brains and determination, one blank exam or quiz isn’t going to ruin her academic career.

      Princess Usagi

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