Last week Tari Tari wrapped up the main part of Sawa’s fallen dream story, and this week starts off with Wien receiving a package of letters. Unfortunately, they’re the letters he had been seen writing before, returned from Austria. So good this week is that we finally get to see more about Wien. As a result of getting his letters back, he’s lost his motivation. His attentiveness is gone, his notebook is gone, and even commented on by Taichi when he seems unfocused in the choir club meeting, to which Wien replies “I don’t need [to take notes] anymore”, indicating that he’s done writing the letters.
Returned to sender.
Meanwhile, Konatsu has decided that the choir club is going to do a musical for the White Festival (you know, the one where they let the rhino out of the basement), and drafts people into different jobs: Sawa to coreograph, Wien and Taichi to construct props and the stage, and Wakana to write the featured song. Of course, none of them have ever done any of this before, and on top of that, they have no money. That’s when Sawa’s mom, Shiho, comes up with an amazing coincidence: She’ll pay them 30,000 yen to be hero mascots for the shopping district for a weekend! Apart from the much-needed funds, this is a slow pitch down the middle of the plate for Wien, who realizes that his moping isn’t anything to be proud of, and inspiring kids as a hero is. With leverage on four of them (Sawa because she’s her daughter, Wien because it’s his chance to be a hero, Konatsu because she wants the money, and Wakana because she wants to ask about her mom’s songwriting because she’s hit a block), Shiho gets the whole group to agree, because Taichi will apparently get roped into anything despite claiming that he doesn’t want to get roped into stuff.
Sometimes it’s nice to have friends to help.
The prospect of being a hero really invigorates Wien, and helps him rediscover his spirit (which hadn’t faded that far anyway). He assumes into the lead of the group, even making an impassioned speech to Sawa when she picks Red because she likes the color. But when the rest of the group doesn’t take it seriously, he obviously falters, leading Taichi to ask what happened. Then we finally get the story of Jan, who was a sickly boy in Vienna Wien bonded with over Ganba Rangers videos sent from Japan. Thus we see how much this means to Wien, to actually be a hero, and be the figure that inspires people like he and Jan were inspired. And thankfully, the rest of the group picks up on his inspiration, and decides to take it more seriously.
Taichi: “How do I end up in these situations?”
Just one hurdle remains: Students aren’t allowed to have jobs. But “nothing ventured, nothing gained” is apparently Konatsu’s motto, so they ask the Vice-principal for her special approval, which she surprisingly gives …although she did seem a little distracted.
I thought it was good that we got to see more of what sparks Wien. The prospect of being an inspiring character inspired him, and he did a lot of extra work, coming up with a coherent concept for their heroes. It was also good to see what had inspired him before, keeping in touch with Jan, and the hope that they would meet again. It wasn’t any sort of earth-shattering problem, but you wouldn’t expect it to be with a character like Wien, who is somewhat enigmatic but ultimately a nice guy.
The only thing I think was bad was that I’d have liked a *little* more depth to Wien’s problems. But I’ll admit there’s not too much that they could really do with him: he doesn’t have much of a family, he doesn’t have anything in the way of connections besides Jan, and that’s what they exploited for the conflict. I’d hoped that he would become more of a part of the choir, and make more of those connections, but the show doesn’t seem to be going that way.
Oh, also bad was the pun “Ganbarangers.” Oof.
What did Vice-Principal Takakura see in that report? Why is the Principal so scared, yet so cowed? And what does the spirit of the old choir have to do with it? They’re definitely setting that story of the school Director’s plan up for the final bit of the series. But they haven’t given any hint that I can tell what it’s going to be.
Oh, and we did see the Principal’s hair this time. Oooooweeeee! That’s definitely ugly.