Who’s directing the stadium big screen?
So for whatever reason, I’ve been listening to the OP single from NouKome S.M.L. by Afilia Saga. I think my co-worker (who I subject to way more J-Pop than he is interested in, but he’s gotta listen to something besides Weezer sometime, you know?) described it best, as “It sounds like 7 bands are auditioning at the same time.” But even so, it’s a lot of fun to listen to, so go get yourself some sweet melty love!
lllllllllllLet’s Get Ready to Rumbleeeeeeeeeee!
Someone definitely knows a little too much
We finally get to the big battle between the Popularity Five and the Reject Five, and while we get the briefest of chances of meeting Yumeshima-senpai, of course he/she/it’s not really part of the plot, except to wangle a bigger challenge for Kanade, as they bail out, leaving them to draft Chocolat into the battle. And while I was a bit afraid for this format of battle after the horrible job that Samurai Brides did with a similar thing, this one actually worked pretty well, with some suitable (and suitably stupid) competitions, and some high stakes for Kanade.
Don’t cross yandere imoutos
High stakes because he’s gotten all the girls except Seira to say that they like him, but she’s made that contingent on being the winner of the battle (we’ll talk a bit more about Seira later). Anyway, the battle goes through, and even though Furano and Ouka lose some pretty unfortunate close matches, going into the final battle it’s 2-2 thanks to Yuragi’s yandere acting (she really can be the full range of imoutos, can’t she?) and Chocolat’s lack of an effective opponent. That leaves us with just the final battle between Seira and Kanade, and everything to play for.
Is that a vibrating phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Yeah, they have to play Janken (rock paper scissors) for the final battle. But the interesting thing is more what happens after Kanade wins. Seira, the popular and beautiful student council president, announces to the assembled students that she likes Kanade, not as a person, but as a man. Add to that a big hug to pin him on the stage, and it becomes really clear that she’s completely in on what’s happening to him, not just from her hints before, but the fact that she’s egging him on about his mission. But because of her interference, he has to have Chocolat shout out that she loves him (of course, with Chocolat who knows what that actually means, but…).
Those are some shocked faces
So Kanade passes the mission, but at what cost? Well, the cost of the girls who actually do like him – Furano, Yuragi, and Ouka – feeling like they’ve already lost out, and the show makes this pretty plain. They straight up look hurt, even though none of them have actually had the ability to even come close to confessing (I don’t think we can count Yuragi’s “onii-chan daisuki!” as a confession). And none of them in their right mind would think they could compete with Seira, if Kanade liked her, but of course, they don’t know how involved in kami’s prank Seira is (nor do we, but we know she knows about it).
Furano should have won for this line
The pacing and flow continues to impress. This episode never got bogged down in being a contest, it never felt slow, and we are now done with Kanade’s 3rd mission, with 3 more episodes to go. Now I’m wondering if the final three episodes are going to even have a mission, or if it does, what it will do to further scramble up Kanade’s harem. I really don’t think we’ll get any sort of resolution to it, especially since Kanade himself doesn’t really seem that interested in dating any of these girls. But maybe he’s just had any thoughts of dating beaten out of him by his Absolute Choice and being stuck in the Reject Five.
And just to see if I can start some controversy, let’s have some input on favorite ship in this series. Who would you put together with Kanade, seeing all the major players, seeing how they seem to think of him, and how he reacts? I’m still going with Ouka #1, followed by Furano, Chocolat, and Yuragi. I do think that Konagi could be in there, but she’s a little too uncommitted, and who knows what Seira really thinks of Kanade. Is she cynically playing the spoiler, like Tatenashi with Ichika (man, do I feel bad comparing this show to IS 2), or could she be sincere in meaning she is interested in Kanade?