The choir is preparing for Shirosai, but will they get there?
After some previous hesitation about Konatsu’s plans for the culture festival, the choir’s now found their motivation. But while Konatsu has a head start on the plot and script for the musical, Wakana’s makes progress on her mother’s song, and Wien shows a heretofore unknown aptitude for making props, Sawa and Taichi are having some problems with their tasks. Especially Taichi, who has a history with art and it’s not good. He’d even been told “not to draw anymore”, but buoyed by the can-do spirit that is going around the choir he gives it a shot. And the results are not good, with the ultimate judgment being “don’t try to draw anymore”… again.
This does lead to an interesting setup, as Taichi goes to the Art Club to ask if they could provide him with sketches for the set that he can then transfer to a larger scale. After getting turned down by the club president, his friend offers help separately. But there’s a cost: he wants Taichi to get him pictures of Sawa. And not just any pictures, but surreptitious, somewhat pervy pictures. Will he do it? He even gets the chance, as Sawa is practicing her coreography for the musical after being inspired by Wakana’s song. But in a nice move, we see that he could take the pictures, but in the end he can’t, as he gets lost in looking at Sawa. How much is his sense of propriety, how much his integrity, and how much is maybe a bit of interest in Sawa himself?
Is it Wakana or Mahiru?
There was also a nice moment as Wakana’s dad came into the kitchen as Wakana is working on her song. He must have wondered about a little bit of deja vu, seeing the same gestures, looks, and music coming from his daughter who looks so much like his wife.
Everyone gets the bad news.
The big bomb is dropped this episode: Blamed on declining enrollment, the school is going to be closed when the current students graduate, with no new students to be accepted from this point on. The school will be redeveloped into a retirement apartment community (for the wealthy, natch), and the development will start immediately, kicking the students into temporary buildings so they can ‘renovate’ the main school buildings into apartments
Let me point out that this is one of the best looking schools I’ve ever seen in an anime. The floors are shiny beautiful wood, the place is clean, the outsides of the building are architecturally interesting. And that’s a conscious design choice by PA Works to make the school beautiful. Looking at Hanasaku Iroha, the school showed wear. The lockers were dinged up, the walls had stains and miscolorations. So the point is being made that they’re basically going to destroy a school that’s in great shape and make it into an Old Folks Home.
As an extra kick in the teeth, the Shirosai Festival is immediately canceled. Now that’s just rubbing salt in the wound. A plan that’s going to take over 3 years to get anywhere, but they gotta start NOW? It does push the immediacy of the plan, and really sap the will of the students in the school, but it’s a bit of a farfetched drama bomb.
Sure, just drop the building right in the middle of the field. I’m sure your new residents will love going down the bleachers to get home.
The principal is back with his terrible hair! But also ugly this week, I wish the show had made at least a believable redevelopment plan. Maybe they don’t know better, or maybe they made a terrible plan on purpose, but this plan really is embarrassing. Let’s just drop a big stupid building in the dead middle of the athletic field? And then we’ll totally reskin the already beautiful school buildings? And on top of that, the terrible plan to move the students into temporary buildings almost immediately. Really pathetic. I wish there was a little more realism to it.
There is a light at the end of the episode, tho. As the group runs into each other in the hallway, we see a bit of the old spark as Wakana runs (yes, actually runs) up and says she’s finished the song, and wants to sing it with them. Konatsu, as is her wont, picks this up and runs with it, and wants to hold their own Shirosai festival. How will it turn out?
Bonus Image! Princess Sawa on Horseback!