It is nice when this show allows characters besides Aqua to be the main character for a while. This really was an all-out Arima Kana episode. Other characters did play major roles, but it was all about Kana working through things as events lead up to the new B Komachi’s first concert. There were good moments for both Ruby and Aqua in all of this, but the episode knew where the focus needed to be. It doesn’t hurt either that this episode just looked good. The show has maintained a great level of quality from the first huge episode and hasn’t dropped the ball even as we’ve approached the finale to what is hopefully just the first season of this anime.
I may just end up repeating every week how Kana is easily my favourite character in this show. But after an episode that focused entirely on her that’s something I can’t really be blamed for! This episode really spent the time going through Kana’s past and present. Her past is something she can’t escape and has really been an anchor for her. She tends to joke in a self-depreciating way, but it’s clear how much her past failures are presently hurting her. At times all she can see is how things have gone bad and how people have left her behind. Even if they didn’t think that’s what they were doing, it’s how Kana ended up feeling about it.
What might make it even harder is that Kana is aware of the costs of failure. She knows how many people are counting on her when a project needs to succeed. And she knows how many have been hurt by projects that she was part of that failed in the past. Of course, everything isn’t Kana’s fault. A lot of people suffer when a project fails, but that also means a lot of people are involved. She can’t carry the pain of everyone who has ever had a project fail. There’s a difference from being dismissive of those that help support a project and taking responsibility for everyone’s lives.
Ruby frankly had her best moments of the series in this episode. It was Ruby being who she is that helped save Kana at the end of this episode. And it is fitting that someone who was extremely nervous dropped all of that when it was clear someone else needed help. She was able to pull Kana out of her negative mindset by cleaning the slate. Kana’s acting past is what it is. But she is also a brand-new idol. There’s no need to drag her past behind her everywhere she goes. She is the center of this group, but she’s as much a rookie idol as Ruby or Mem.
That positivity is really needed in a group like this. Mem is a bit more “go with the flow” in that I don’t see her exerting her will on the group as much. Kana has all kinds of talent, but is incredibly hard on herself and can be negative. Ruby needs to be that positive spirit that pulls the group along when they are at risk of getting stuck. And she brings all of that while clearly still carrying her own pain behind her. I do think it’s a bit risky telling Kana bits of her past from that previous life since things could get confusing if Kana ever asked questions. But it was the best way to make clear why Ruby wants this so much. It also reveals that she had a crush on Aqua in his previous life…Not sure what I should say about that part!
I will say it took a while for me to understand that it was Aqua pretending to be Pieyon. Sorry to Pieyon there. But I found myself wanting to forget he existed that when “he” reappeared I just didn’t look too closely. In that sense I have full respect for Aqua. He had to carry on like he was Pieyon and work hard enough that the girls wouldn’t doubt who he was. It wasn’t just about pretending to be someone in terms of voice, but he had to really run around in that outfit. I’m really shocked he put himself through that and went at it so hard. I know that Aqua cares about avoiding having Ruby suffer through failure. But would he really push himself to do this for just that reason? Is it too much of a stretch to think he cared what happened with Kana as well?
At the very least I want to think that he really cared. It feels that way when he opened his chat with Kana on the balcony with asking if she regretted becoming an idol. After all, he is the reason that she did it. Whatever else he might say, Aqua did state that he didn’t think he did anything wrong by getting Kana to become an idol. He had to think it wouldn’t be a loss for her to do so and that she could do it. It also shows how well he understands Kana and has watched her. She has nothing directly to do with his revenge so he had no malicious reasons to understand her that well. His chat with Pieyon makes me think that Aqua is somewhat scared of Kana continuing to push him away. I wish we could see his expression in that moment.
Truly amazing that when Kana was trying to get over Aqua and entertain falling for someone else…she just ended up falling in love with Aqua again! She just can’t get away! It is nice that they had that chance to talk without Kana getting in her own way. There was no need to focus on her frustration over the Akane situation while talking to someone she thought wasn’t connected to it. It shows how they do have good chemistry and can just talk about things without it getting difficult. All this leaves me really hoping they talk things out. After this many episodes is Kana just not going to find out? I suppose it could be interesting to see her continue to go after him regardless, but I can’t see her really doing that to someone that is in what she thinks is a legitimate relationship.
This episode does leave me hoping that they will really go all out with this concert. With a whole episode leading up to it, things just wouldn’t be right if B Komachi didn’t get that kind of focus next week. This is their big moment and first stage appearance. If it’s underwhelming, then their future could be a bit bleak. But that doesn’t mean the story will let them just be a huge hit out of the gate either. It would certainly be sweet considering how hard Kana has been on herself to see such overwhelming success. To have her find out that she doesn’t have to be afraid of dragging down Mem and Ruby into failure. But all we can do is wait and see. There are reasons for concern considering 2/3 of the team aren’t great singers. But maybe this will work out!
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