Saori and Kaori shine in a lovely background episode
Last week was a generally disappointing Ayase focused episode, but this week Saori takes the spotlight! So let’s see if this episode fares better from an entertainment standpoint and gives more people what they wanted.
We’ve always known that Saori leads a bit of a double life. We’ve gotten glimpses of her with her hair down, or in fancier clothes, but never really gotten to see her completely when she’s not “Saori Bajeena.” Everything was laid bare this week as we had mostly a flashback episode describing the Saori’s background. From a sickly childhood, her sister Kaori introduces her to her otaku circle of friends, getting her out of the house and broadening her horizons.
Her Sister’s Circle
The show depicts Kaori as a person who, if not ‘flighty’, could best be described as ‘restless’. Filled with interests, she is almost constantly dropping old hobbies and picking up new ones. The people in her circle are somewhat more consistent, but although Saori enjoys being there and hanging out with them, she never really becomes part of Kaori’s circle. And that’s hammered home when Kaori’s interests change again and she gets married and moves overseas. The result is that the rest of the people just stop hanging out together, with “Kanakana-chan”, the person who had actually done the most reaching out to Saori, and probably the closest one to someone Saori could call a ‘friend’, the last one to stop coming. It’s painful to have something that you enjoy taken away from you, and really there wasn’t anything that Saori could have done. Kaori is right when confronted by Saori: That was her friends, her circle, and in the end, Saori wasn’t much more to those people than “Kaori’s imouto”.
The Birth of Bajeena?
Finally, Kanata has a last talk with Saori, who has decided she’s going to make her sister jealous by making her own circle of friends, and passes the famous otaku glasses to her. I don’t know if the glasses imbue Saori with a different personality, or just put up enough of a shield combined with her plain shirt and jeans to let a more free part of herself out, but she is able to go from there to making friends with Kuroneko, Kirino, and Kyousuke, truly making her own circle. And all this storytime is inspired by that circle of friends deciding to surprise her ‘at home’, the only address they have for her, for Saori’s birthday. They’re pretty lucky that she was going there at all, and that she didn’t just turn and run as soon as she saw them outside. And the magic glasses? Saori hints that she thinks she’ll be passing them on ‘in the near future’, but I truly have no idea to whom.
I really enjoyed this episode. Seeing Saori go from scared little ojou-sama, afraid that she can’t get married because a boy saw her face, to her much more grown up current self, was nice, as well as seeing what she finally looks like. It just left me with a nice warm-hearted feeling that she was able to open up to Kuroneko, Kirino, and even Kyousuke (everyone else has a crush on him, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saori did as well. But as we talked about in the comments for ep 1, I don’t think Saori would ever take Kyousuke away from one of the other girls). It was also nice seeing her work on her confidence and even though she was still mad at her sister, she’s truly turned it into her own thing. She’s not friends with those three just to get back at Kaori, she’s friends with them because they’re her friends.
You Say You Want Cosplay Pictures?
Kirino would be happy to oblige!