「ワイワイ ザワザワ」 (Waiwai Zawazawa)
“Hype and Excitement”

The school festival is in full swing, as is Kanechika. I never know what to expect with him– he always comes out with something different, wearing something different, he’s very entertaining. Recovering from his childhood Charley Horse shame, he makes a smash with his latest play, carrying Sou in his wake. In that one scene, you could tell that watching Kanechika ride the waves of praise might have put Sou into flashback mode. For all the happy front he puts on, Sou is constantly haunted by the past but doesn’t want to and doesn’t know how to move on. The “doesn’t want to” part might be changing, if his conversation with Kanechika has any bearing on that. Sou gets into the same conversation with Kanechika that he had with Mitsumi- future ambitions- and gets a very different answer from Mitsumi. Kanechika knows what he likes and is content to go with the flow, enjoy the journey rather than stress out about the steps on the way. As much as Sou tries to convince himself that he can’t have any ambitions, it’s something he still thinks about and maybe even still has a glimmer of a hope somewhere inside and I hope Kanechika and Mitsumi can help to nurture that.

The Mama Shima and little brother Kei we meet differ vastly from who we’ve glimpsed in Sou’s head. In Sou’s flashbacks, it seemed like he was unloved, spurned even. In person, his mom’s demeanor resembles Sou’s sweet gentleness and Kei is rather fond of Sou. If his mom didn’t care for him, I doubt she would come see his play and she doesn’t strike me as the type who would come to heckle. Without knowing the full story, I can’t say for certain, but this might point to some of Sou’s distance with his family potentially being his own hangup. Sou does kind of admit to this in an uncharacteristic moment of unburdening himself to his classmate about keeping his distance from Kei out of respect for his biological father and worry that Kei dislikes him. I don’t think Sou has much to worry about on that account, as most kids adore their older siblings.

Kei is a rather unusual kid- he surprisingly remains calm when he loses his mom and competently finds the nearest adult for directions. Every 3-year-old kid I know would sob inconsolably or at least panic a bit if that happened, a natural thing for someone that age to do. Even though Kei and Sou don’t look very much alike, their temperament is similar in their propensity for being over-considerate of others. Kei keeping his distance from Sou wasn’t a sign of dislike, rather a sign that he sensed Sou didn’t want to be near him. Kei laughing his head off like a happy go lucky kid in spite of being lost was probably also an act to avoid worrying others. Especially when he runs, bawling to Sou. As cute as Kei was and as heartwarming of an ending, knowing that Kei was thinking about Sou all along, this was rather unrealistic for a child that age. Having worked with that age group, I can say that 3 year olds aren’t thinking that much about other people- they’re only just learning how to share and understand other peoples needs and emotions, even the sweetest of them aren’t going to be dancing around another person’s feelings.

Meanwhile, we have Mitsumi eagerly giving her all to festival volunteer work. Being the out of towner is usually all fine and good until those times when you’re the only one without family or friends to show around school events. That happened to me during an out-of-town study program when I was around Mitsumi’s age and it kind of sucks. Poor Yuzu, getting superficially hit on- no fun when they’re after your looks more than your talent and personality. Kurume’s come a long way- she’s really broken out of her shell to stretch past her comfort zone in talking Yuzu up to her friends, sensing that they weren’t comfortable with her like she was at first and wanting them to see Yuzu for the good friend she is- a mood booster for sure after those crappy dudes.

Looks like you won’t need a drama club for the show that’s about to go down with Ririka. I totally called it that she was going to show up. From even Sou’s mom’s face, you can tell it’s not good. I can only imagine what will happen when Sou sees. It’ll put him in a tough spot between keeping face with his classmates by going on with the show like nothing happened and freezing up from his inner guilt over Ririka. Who will ultimately have the upper hand- his past demon or current status quo? But seriously, doesn’t Ririka have better things to do than revenge-stalk Sou? Things like maybe having and enjoying her own high school life, moving on from the past? Holding on to long past grievances doesn’t make anyone happy and it doesn’t change anything.


  1. I relate to Sou a whole lot more after watching this episode. Like Sou, I have had personal failures (mostly self-perceived) in my life that have decreased my self-confidence and caused me to put distance between myself and others, especially family. I craved human interaction, acceptance, and praise (I guess this last one is more like Mitsumi haha), but I would have a self-imposed punishment in place because of my failures where I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to be happy.

    I am way older than Sou is here, but I only just figured out my personal issues recently and started getting help. I’m just getting started and it’ll be a while, but the day will come when I can be more comfortable about my own happiness. I hope that Sou can get the help that he needs as well, whether from Mitsumi or someone else.

    Sorry for such a negative comment, but watching Sou this entire season made it almost seem like I was watching myself! I just had to write it down

    1. It’s not a negative comment at all- thank you for sharing! It really is healing in a way, I think, when we find characters who remind us of ourselves- where we’ve been and where we’re at. It helps to process one’s experiences. I wish you the best and hope things will continue to heal and get better for you- the important part is taking that first step!

      Princess Usagi
  2. 3 year-olds come in all shapes and sizes. I’d say it’s more nurture than nature for this type of behaviour to develop. In pure coincidence, I have been told that I was in a similar situation that Kei has been and apparently reacted in a very similar way. Since I was so young, I have no recollection, only have glimses of memory.

    This episode’s emphasis seems to have been side-character exposition, and it was quite judicious to use the school festival to bring those about. With only 1 episode to go however, I wonder how they can tie up all the knots around Sou in such a short time left.

    1. I also wonder about how they’ll resolve Sou’s character arc- I don’t think it would do for them to pack it all in in the remaining episode. It might end up being one of those slightly unsatisfactory read the manga type endings.

      Princess Usagi

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