I know last time I made a joke about how Kotone was a sadistic dominatrix…but…even I am shocked I’m this good.
Kotone wins. She just wins. Sorry, Haruka, you had a good run and all, but Kotone has such a lead in favorites points, that there is no way for the Pope to catch her now. There is no denying this fact.
We opened with the girls being “late” to something. But the important part here is that Haruka and Yuu steal a kiss…all while Shizuku and Kotone are in full view. They’re getting casual about this, and it’s starting to get them almost caught. This isn’t exactly important this episode, and it’s never referenced again, but there is a recurring theme a bit of the girls getting a little comfortable with their relationships.
But as to where they will be late to, turns out it is Kotone’s pool. Yes, Kotone has a pool.
Despite her living with Shizuku and sharing a bedroom, Kotone is from a fabulously wealthy family. And it doesn’t take long for the titular wardrobe malfunction. Poor Mitsuki…
Just a nice after-party for the festival. And it turns out that Haruka, Mitsuki, nor Shizuku can swim. Interesting, as this pool party was Shizuku’s idea, and she is evasive as to why she picked it.
And, as you can see above, Kotone isn’t going to have that. The look on her face as she drops the inflatable for the whip is priceless, and the music playing along is just the best. It wins not only best gag award, but my love as well!
We’re pretty deep into the episode, about eight minutes already, and there have been quite a few good gags, and the fanservice, while THERE, isn’t as obnoxious as it could be. The worst of it comes when Mitsuki arrives, but the fact that it is the living embodiment of a troll-face Kaede that’s attacking her, elevates it -slightly- to the point where I don’t feel the need to facepalm, at least. I think because it’s being honest that she’s doing it to get a rise out of Mitsuki, and the show isn’t insulting our intelligence by making it “innocent” breast grabs. We know why it’s there, they know why it’s there, and even Yuzu knows why it’s there. No need to stand on ceremony. So while I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed the fanservice, I also was much more willing to suspend my disbelief because…that’s just Sakura Trick.
But, in a most surprising twist, Sakura Trick decides that the beach episode is the time to hit us in the feels.
…And fucking how. Damn, guys, you made full body contact on this one.
The commotion has drawn the attention of Kotone’s little sister (making Kotone the middle child for you continuity hounds…a little unreasonable. Upper classes having three children? Pleeeeease.) who is making a fuss about how the family is still unhappy with Kotone living abroad with Shizuku.
Last week, Shizuku said that from her perspective, it never seemed like she and Kotone got along, because Kotone has…odd ways of demonstrating affection. But this week, Kotone’s sister shares that, from her perspective, she noticed that whenever Shizuku was around that she became the center of Kotone’s world. And she seems to harbor some jealousy over that. And, she’s what, 12? Understandable at her age that those feelings are still strong.
While Kotone’s parents may have ultimately agreed to let her go away for school, it’s clear from Shinobu’s comments (that’s her name) that they are still quite unhappy. Because we just saw Shinobu’s problems with it, and those revolve around Shizuku and Shinobu’s jealousy.
But now she parrots her parents, and I think that’s quite obvious. One of the surest ways of predicting presidential elections is high school mock elections. Why? Because like it or not you vote like your parents. Those opinions rub off on you and ultimately you end up parroting them at young ages, like it or not. Does an 11 or 12 year old girl really give a flying fuck about her cooler big sister showing a lack of interest in an arranged fiance? Hell no. But she thinks she does because it’s important to her parents and she wants them to think highly of her, so she pretends its important even if she doesn’t understand why, and her lack of articulation proves she doesn’t understand.
So, it is REALLY easy to see Kotone’s parents sitting around the dinner table, whenever the topic of Kotone comes up, saying “Oh, that girl, the nerve of going off to live with her lower class cousin!” “We look like fools!”, and this rubs off.
And in so doing, Kotone’s personality is really coming into focus. She is carefree and quite casual about things because her parents expectations have worn on her so heavily that she is on the verge of just not having fucks to give. This may even partially explain her attraction to Shizuku, who is so cold, and isolated, and AWAY from that life, both literally and figuratively.
And all throughout this Shizuku is silent. It takes Haruka to put a stop to this nonsense. Admittedly Kotone comes off as a bit of a tool, not really putting up a defense of her own and literally being led away by Shinobu. Though, in her defense, a lot of the argument has been that Kotone is “freeloading” off of Shizuku’s family and being a burden to them, so it is kind of in bad form for HER to say “Nah it’s totally cool, bro.”
So Haruka tries to diffuse the issue (de-fuse?) by appealing directly to Shizuku. Who says it’s fine with her if Kotone goes back home.
The look in Kotone’s eyes….god…damnit show. That is below the belt.
Shizuku says that Kotone won’t be happy at her place. And she focuses on the fact she has a fiance waiting, and doesn’t just want to be Kotone’s convenient excuse. While she may have rationally moved past her initial concern, it still weighs on her. And it may indeed be because Kotone is quite flightly and her motivations are hard to pin down. It actually speaks that Shizuku maybe WANTED to this to happen. Remember how she was being evasive about why a girl who can’t swim would want a pool party? At Kotone’s house…hmm…
And, in the heat of the moment, Shizuku’s real point comes out. “Don’t kiss me without meaning it!” Yuzu and Kaede later bat the idea around if she meant that one kiss (from episode two). But Kaede isn’t so sure, it sounded far more personal than that to her.
Mitsuki has a plan! We will settle this family drama with a swimming contest! Excellent plan! Well, it’s certainly unprofessional….but where are they going to get a deck of cards at this hour? We have to be reasonable here.
And Kotone wishes Shizuku luck. Well this twists her all around inside.
I think ultimately the problem this pair has to get over is that…neither of them wants responsibility.
Kotone is bubbly and care free because she just wants to have fun. She doesn’t want to face the idea of having to directly OPPOSE the plans other people make for her, reinforced by how she acquiesces to her little sister, and how she just seems content to let this little contest play out. She would rather avoid confrontation than cause a scene. And just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you. I would fully believe that, just a little, Kotone IS running away from her parents by being with Shizuku.
Shizuku likes being in control, or rather, having mastery over the situation. Kotone’s very care-free attitude, of how “this is just for now so let’s enjoy it.” doesn’t sit well with Shizuku. And she came here to have her relationship with Kotone get pulled on a “sour grapes” situation. If other people intervene, well, it can’t be helped, it was never meant to be. She would rather not fight and have the dream than fight for Kotone’s love and lose.
But when Kotone wishes her luck (and tips her hand whose side she’s really on), Shizuku yells inside her head. She calls Kotone an idiot for making her happy in that instant, because now she WANTS to fight for it. But she’s afraid of disappointing. And that’s really what this is all about, Shizuku’s fear of failure, which can be seen in how shy she acts, how she never puts herself out front, because if people don’t notice they can’t be disappointed in you.
…Ffffffuck! Why you gotta make me feely, show?
But, in the end, Shizuku wins! The power of girl love cannot be denied! Even Mitsuki is excited the lesbians won.
Part 2 is tiny, and just a day in the life kind of story, clocking in, in total, at just seven minutes.
Yuu has her heart set on a new scarf, and this being anime, everyone has a scarf. EVERYONE! They’re like shoes! Gotta have one!
A little shopping trip with Haruka will make everything better. Really, more than any episode, this exists to give us our three-kiss quota for the day. Not a lot of good gags, nothing much character wise to zoom in on. I feel bad having spent 1400 words on part 1 and just saying, “And also part 2” but honestly I have nothing to say about it.
In my defense, even the show itself went back to showing off the swimsuits instead of adding more to the shopping story. Which was a pretty cute Kaede gag.
But that’s okay, because despite being, as Shinichi would say, “DA BEACH EPISODE!” this was a really great one. By this point in the series, I fully expected my normal hate-filled bile to start surfacing, and while it peeks out at this show from time to time, just sophisticated bits like this one make it impossible to stay angry at.
They may exists for laughs, but it’s clear the writer knows exactly what motivates these characters.