Looks like Yoshino has found some one to pick on…
This time, perhaps a general list of key events will provide for a more streamlined, focused discussion.
1. Audition for petite soeur
Crusader: Well if you need to find some one quick it’s not like you have time to be picky. Yoshino herself admitted that her own interactions with the first year class was minimal and almost non-existent, I like how the metaphor of a village without wives was used in reflection of the current gender disparity in some East Asian countries, normally I would have used a village without men considering how WWI left a whole generation of unmarried women all over Europe.
Besides time seems to be of the essence as Noriko is the only attached first year. Shimako had fate, Yumi has her oddball people skills, but Yoshino just stuck to Rei like a remora and retarded the scope of her playing field. I wonder how would Yoshino deal with life after Rei, but since they are neighbors I suppose it’s only going to be a temporary separation at most. Lord forgive me for a dirty thought crossed my mind when concerning a lonely Yoshino stealing to Rei’s room the dead of night. Funny how Noriko thinks it was all a mischievous ploy by Yoshino to apply pressure on Yumi via Sachicko.
lelangir: You could say that the audition is indicative of the girls’ much-too utopian lifestyle. On the one hand, it’s kind of arrogant, but on the other, just playful. I was up for the tea party instead, since it didn’t have much of a “you’d better impress us” feeling.
Crusader: Yoshino is being smart about it. An audition isolates those interested and the most spirited and courageous to put pride on the line. More over it was characteristically aristocratic in the 19th Century Prussian sense. The strategy was offensive, her tactics defensive.
May Sachicko bully Yumi like Haruhi-sama bullied Mikuru.
2. Yumi bumps into Rei
Crusader: Unless Rei gets demoted to a first year Yumi will have to look elsewhere to find her petite soeur.
lelangir: I don’t know what the creators were doing with the weird sense of irony. Yumi was thinking how she was mimicking Sachiko’s actions a year prior, but of course, she didn’t fantastically bump into her petite soeur by chance. Actually, as we’ll see at the end of this episode, the whole “I see yourself in me” trope comes up again, but Yumi’s lack of luck is probably a foreshadowing for the very clear and in-your-face drama we’re going to see.
3. Eriko’s appearance (clothing too?)
As long as it takes you to show up I suppose…
Crusader: Out of the three Eriko is by far the most feminine considering the dress and all, even her method of goading Yoshino was less direct and more subtle. Yoshino kept walking into Eriko’s snare and in the end Yoshino could not back out, that chance was lost the moment Yoshino lied about the whole thing.
One thing that sturck me as rather odd was that, compared to Sei and Yoko, Eriko was wearing darker colors, perhaps to indicate a mild level of malicious intent? Still I suspect that Eriko is aware of how Yoshino just latched on to Rei and wasn’t meeting new people, bringing into question of what will things be like for Yoshino once Rei graduates. It’s rather odd that when the series first started there was already a breech in the line of succession for House Gigantea, and now House Foetida seems to be undergoing a similar crisis in terms of heirs.
lelangir: Eriko as most feminine, hmm, not so sure. You could say she is because her “normal” clothes are remarkably similar to her school uniform, while Youko and Sei had very different garb. I don’t know if “dark color” is stringently linked to “femininity” and thus “malicious intent”, but at any rate Eriko always seemed like the eccentric one. She was into some old paleontologist…
4. Tea party!
Yoshino there is always time to tea…
Crusader: The tea party front was a good idea so that candidates can be studied in something that approximates their natural environment, and interview or audition is much more overtly competitive. Besides having tea is quite civlized as the blokes from Tytania will attest to.
lelangir: Yep. Less intimidating than the audition, IMO.
5. “Ever since middle school, Touko’s wanted to become a Rose.”
Crusader: This is only second hand information really and for now it’s really only hearsay until Touko herself confesses to this. Nonetheless it seems that Touko’s high profile has made her the primary target, that or Kanako is already so tall and intimidating that none of the girls wish to stir the gentle giant.
lelangir: Yeah, the second hand information really paints how Touko is very passive-aggressive, I think: she’s very “none of my business”, but is probably extremely perturbed by these kind of subtle putdowns. All the random classmate’s giddy and non-remorseful impressions of Touko also suggest that this kind of gossip has been going on for quite a while, as I suppose it’s a norm to talk behind Touko The Stoic’s back.
6. Noriko and Touko in the hallway
Touko frowns upon your shenanigans.
lelangir: What is Touko carrying? A paper shredder? Well, Touko let’s Noriko help her, though we didn’t get to see the manner in which Touko accepts her help, which we can speculate would probably be like “fine, I don’t care.”
Crusader: Clearly Touko was disposing of some sensitive documents. Still Touko is rather touchy and in a sense was similar to Sei in that she did not like other people meddling in her affairs. Since every one assumes that it is a given that Touko will go, Touko wishes to do the oppostite if only to suggest that she marches to her own tune and no one else’s.
lelangir: Touko said “and she’s very popular amongst the first-years, it seems,” which sets her apart from the group. Perhaps a sociable person would say “and she’s very popular amongst us.” With the more or less careful detail to the paper shredder, it’s a reinforcing metaphor for Noriko’s help.
7. Shimako and Noriko and the statue
lelangir: WHY AM I SUDDENLY CRYING??? I D…DO….DON’T K..KNOW….
Crusader: Good Lord man pull yourself together, Noriko likes Touko like Shimako likes Yumi and Yoshino. In the grand tradition of Hosaka the want to BE FRIENDLY or something like that.
lelangir: dood I was kinda joking, there’s the “why am I suddenly crying” trope in anime. Icystorm mentions this, and it elicited some brief face palming. I guess it’s just some hyper overdramatizing, unless Japanese Christians actually do randomly cry, then ask outloud why they are crying.
8. Kanako’s deredere
In my heart you two always will be.
lelangir: This part just kinda freaked me out. Kanako is supposed to be this giant, brooding hulk, but now she’s all gokigenyou fufufu like the rest of the matriarchs. Would you call that effective character development? I dunno…I didn’t enjoy the emotional scene last episode, the whole huge-age-gap between stepmom-senpai and Dad ruined it for me.
Crusader: Kanako is getting removed from the line of succession, even if it is a bit abrupt given the time constraints it was good to see that Kanako was finally one step ahead of Touko. Maybe its one of those epiphanies that have become prevalent in literature in the last century in the vein of James Joyce? Still I think all things considered it was time for Kanako to face the music and let how go. Her problems were resolved and maybe holding an infant in her arms awoke some maternal maturity in her. Suffice to say though Kanako has leveled up and can now operate on her own. Perhaps now she can be tall dark and bishoujo now.
lelangir: Though it was relevatory how Kanako initially thought of Yumi as Yuuko, and Kanako was using Yumi as some weird proxy for her problems with Yuuko – the “I wanted to protect you” trope was eye-rolling-inducing.
Crusader: “I wanted to protect you” = LET”S BE FRIENDLY.
9. Sachiko confronts Touko
She is not amused…
lelangir: As in section 2 of this post, the “mirror of youth” (or however you want to phrase it) appears in Touko via Sachiko. Aren’t they related [it must be familial]? Touko is largely aggressive here and repeatedly misconstrues Sachiko, probably since they’re related they have that unspoken warrant to do so.
Crusader: It seems to me that Touko hates following directives, and what Sachiko said hit close to home. After a certian point Touko just clammed up and didn’t say anything. Moreover the silver lining is that Sachiko is not playing favorites with Touko and since that is the truth it matters little what lies other people come up with. Next time promises to be a real party as Eriko, Yoko, and Sei will be showing up as well as a potential new aspirant in for Hoes Foetida. As to Touko’s fate I am sure it will take some time to simmer and get some more flavor. Also here’s the obligatory funny face image dump.