Can Chisato keep her hold on Yuuki?
The Rivals Meet
The final election season has begun, and the Food Club is starting the campaign in earnest. But rather than introducing a lot of new things, KoiChoco uses the opportunity to return to and expand upon themes that it had introduced earlier in the show. To me, this was a great way to make the show more realistic and believable. And much to my surprise, the show is not giving up on Chisato. This episode was largely told through her interaction with Yuuki, as we follow the two of them loosely through the day, from her waking him up (albeit in the least provocative way we’ve seen), through their walk together to school and campaigning, their interactions in the clubroom, and then finally after school as they continue to visit other clubs to drum up support and then head home. And while Yuuki is consistently a gentleman towards everyone, including Chisato, she increasingly sees his interactions with other girls as a threat to her desired relationship with Yuuki.
The first crack in Satsuki’s perfect composure?
It doesn’t help that Satsuki describes their conversation as a ‘private’ matter, not election-related, or that Yuuki really lays it on thick with the unnamed girl who runs into him, or that he comes to Isara’s rescue with the mean girls and later proposes to add stopping financial aid student harassment in his platform (which Chisato rightly points out will likely alienate a large chunk of voters). He even has good approval ratings among the girl students for the election. And no matter how much Yuuki claims that he will always be there for her, they both know that’s not really what she wants. Yuuki is a smart guy, and while he’s been portrayed as a little dense on the romance front (not realizing how much Mifuyu and Satsuki both love him, for instance, but not stupid about it), I think he knows he’s not in love with Chisato the way she’s in love with him, but still wants to support her. And that’s really a tough place to be. That tension leads them to see their relationship in different ways: Yuuki thinks that nothing’s changing, while Chisato sees the same ‘nothing changing’ as a pulling away as they grow in different directions. Can Chisato get them moving in the right direction again?
President Mouri also steps up this week, showing a nice bit of leadership to the Public Safety Commission even as they expect the return of Commissioner Oosawa. He makes semi-public that he is supporting the Oojima campaign, and lays out his reasons. And his defense of Oojima really lifts my estimation of him.
Michiru can blush, too…
We also get the barest of development for Michiru, as Yuuki, Chisato, and Mifuyu encounter her with a broken harmonica, and as Yuuki tries to play it, Chisato and Mifuyu are stunned at the indirect kiss, to which Michiru states “I don’t mind… if it’s Oojima”. Unfortunately, this leads to the bad…
How many times does Chisato need to see this?
I think I’d characterize all of the other major developments in the show this week as either “Bad” or “Ugly”. We see that KoiChoco really needs to come up with a new way to put people in mortal danger. I’m not a huge fan of the major injury cliffhanger. I didn’t care for it when Tari Tari left Sawa in a heap after a fall from a horse, and I don’t like that they’ve pulled out a third incident of someone being hit by a vehicle. As Yuuki tries to playfully escape Chisato, he unwittingly runs into the path of a truck. This harkens back to seeing Daiki’s accident from before, and indeed we see the recognition of a pattern in Chisato’s eyes as she realizes what’s happened. And while I think it’s excusable as the point is to show the tragic similarities from Chisato’s standpoint, it makes me wish they had found another way to put Kana Ougibashi in the hospital in the first episode.
Red, White, and Blue cuffs? That’s pretty unstylish.
Ugly this week comes in the form of another girl. We learn later that the girl returning to school who bumped into Yuuki is none other than Commissioner Oosawa. We also learn more about the infamous “Oosawa Incident” that caused the humiliation and punishment for the Public Safety Commission: Based on a specious tip-off, a financial aid student was harassed and harshly interrogated by Oosawa for a suspected shoplifting incident. And while the student was innocent, the suspicion was enough to engender continued harassment from the other students, such that the girl ended up leaving the school, at which time the story came out about the Commissioner’s involvement, leading to the investigation and punishment.
But despite her friendly introduction, we quickly see that Oosawa is not a very friendly person. If we were suspicious of Mouri being manipulative in his aid to the Food Club / Oojima campaign before, Oosawa leaves no doubt, as immediately she professes her support for the Katahira faction, and is disappointed in Mouri’s failure to recruit a puppet candidate for the Public Safety Commission’s support, even going so far as to threaten Oojima’s life. I don’t think anyone believes that she’s kidding, at least I know I sure don’t.
Not a nice girl.
So what will we learn next time? It’s almost a certainty that we’ll find out more about Mouri and Kana, since we’re going to the hospital for Yuuki’s injury. Will we find out what Michiru’s connection to Kana is (the broken harmonica had a pretty obvious “Kana” written on it)? I think that romantically, this show will continue to be a 2-girl race between Satsuki and Chisato, as there just isn’t enough time or connection to Michiru, Mifuyu, and Isara to make them believable as the winning girl.