Time for a new Center!
Did I say they were using Rin more this season?
Split Up and Stranded
What a way to spend time at the beach
For the first time since µ’s grew to 9 members, they were down a few this week as the second years took the fabled 2nd year school trip, this time to Okinawa. If you’re going to go in the summer or fall, that’s definitely the time to go, but unfortunately, they go right into a typhoon. And with Eli and Nozomi focused on keeping the student council running and the coming transfer of power, that leaves just Nico, Maki, Hanayo, and Rin to bear the brunt of the work getting ready for a small gig they were invited to do at a fashion show. But with just those four, there’s a lack of direction and motivation. So to try to get some organization going, they decide that they should pick an interim leader.
She’s as surprised as anyone, but she really has the full support of the rest of the group. The person that’s hardest to convince is Rin herself. She’s been getting more confidence as part of the group, but thrust out in front, she just doesn’t really know how to act or what to do. And it’s easy to sympathize with her. Most of the time when people take leadership positions, they are volunteering themselves, such as putting their name in for an election, or seeking a promotion. But there are sometimes when the mantle of responsibility is thrust on a person, either through elimination (nobody else can do it) or acclaim (everyone else takes a step back to push them forward) where someone who hasn’t really been seeking that position gets put into it. And even though she has the full and sincere support of everyone else, which I really liked in the show (even Nico, who has always sought the spotlight, agrees with the choice), Rin’s still hesitant.
Can’t really say no to Eli when she looks like that, can you?
Just Be Yourself
Total lack of confidence
It’s hard advice to put into practice, but it’s the best advice. Unfortunately, Rin’s too nervous, and too unsure of the person she is, to be confident putting that same ‘self’ persona out there. She tries speaking more politely, has a hard time making decisions (when usually she just chimes right in with what she thinks), and generally feels like she’s not the right person for the job. Hanayo reasons that it’s probably due to the fairly standard conflict reason that she’s not a girly-enough girl, having been teased for being too boyish ever since grade-school. That’s just reinforced when she sees the super-pretty dress the center is supposed to wear, after being told that Honoka, Umi, and Kotori can’t make it back. So now she has to deal with the worries of being the center, and the worries of not being cute enough for this dress. It’s understandable that she punts it to Hanayo. And she even seems to be much happier having done so, just a couple longing looks.
Getting support from her friends
It’s just like this show to call back to that fourth episode of the first season, when to get over her fear of being an idol, Hanayo got a literal push from Rin and Maki. This time, to repay the favor to Rin, Hanayo and Maki give her the push, after a sorta ambush with the super cute dress. And thankfully (of course) it turns out perfectly, because she’s going to be cute. It even inspires her to finally try wearing that one-piece dress that she’s wanted to out in public (and dang, Hanayo’s right, she’s really super-cute).
Bonus Rin Fashion Show!
So a week after I say they’ve been using Rin more, they focus the whole episode on her (and it was a solo ED song again). I imagine we’ll probably get a Hanayo episode in here sometime, maybe not for a third focus episode in a row, but probably after another group episode next week. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get more of a performance video for the insert song, because seeing everyone dance around in those tuxedo costumes would have been excellent, but I got the feeling there wasn’t much actual movement for that thrown together performance. Stranding the three second-years in Okinawa worked well as a device to thrust Rin into the spotlight, and I think the show really ran with the idea after it was presented. This season is really running on all cylinders, feeling like a seamless extension to the first season, rather than any sort of popularity grab, although you could say that focusing episodes on specific characters is a type of fanservice in itself. You can’t argue that Rin in all these cute dresses isn’t fanservice, that’s for sure, but it’s the kind that’s nicely tied into to the plot.