The gang is evicted from Sakurasou when Chihiro decides to go down south for a vacation. And as it so happens, none of the girls made any preparations for leaving the dorm, so Sorata has no choice but to let them stay with him over break. The moment they arrive, the gang is greeted by a shocked Yuuko, who immediately jumps to the conclusion that her brother has brought a veritable harem home with him. It probably didn’t help that the last time Yuuko appeared, she found Sorata living in a house full of women. But in any case, we finally get to meet Sorata’s parents. We’d previously heard little tidbits about them here and there, and I remember his mother called about Yuuko paying him a visit, but this is the first time we see them in person. Sorata’s mother is just as playful and easy-going as she sounded over the phone, and from the look of things, she really enjoys teasing her children a lot. Sorata’s father, on the other hand, immediately gives the impression of a “strict, no-nonsense parent”, but we soon find out that he’s actually got a silly side to him that totally doesn’t fit his image.
As we see more of the Kanda family in action, it becomes pretty clear that while it seems like Sorata’s father has the final say in things, it’s actually Sorata’s mother who holds that power; she is able to pretty much talk him into anything. And in fact, it’s almost as if their respective personalities are opposites of their respective images. The father gives off an imposing aura of authority, but stops just short of sounding responsible and instead reverts to being silly. Inversely, the mother sounds very easy-going and perhaps even carefree, but is actually surprisingly sharp and manipulative inside. And of course, Yuuko is still her usual self. She’s just as energetic and reactive as before, and is still trying her hardest to get into Sui High. All in all, it was really nice to see the dynamics of the family, as was exemplified by the convincing of Sorata’s father to allow Yuuko to take the Sui High entrance exam. Not to mention, Sorata’s talk with his father in the bath was highly amusing and rather heartwarming at the same time. As questionable as his methods are (you probably shouldn’t have important talks with your son only while you’re drunk), he truly does care for his children.
The entertaining Kanda family aside, we also get some slight progress on the relationships front. Mashiro seems to have gotten over her obsession with Sorata, and is (mostly) back to her usual self; instead of getting hung up on something, she goes around asking delicate questions in an extremely frank manner. When Sorata is surprised that she’s gotten all her manga work done already, she very bluntly asks if he loves her when she’s drawing manga. Later on, after hearing Yuuko’s thoughts on the Jin-Misaki manga clones, she asks Misaki just what she wants to be to Jin. But Misaki’s response that she is willing to do anything, even stop making anime, just to be with Jin forever, only puzzles Mashiro further. This prompts her to ask whether this is really the Misaki that Jin loves, which finally pushes Misaki in the right direction and out of depression. If I understand correctly, Misaki started thinking after the Christmas debacle that she should take things down a notch so Jin won’t have to “catch up” with her, thus allowing them to be together instantly. In order to do this, she would have to cut off her primary talent of making anime. Now, it’s all good that she at least realizes Jin feels unworthy of her, but her reaction to this was completely the wrong one. Jin never said that he hated her for being “better” than him; he only wanted to reach her level. So really, artificially bringing herself “down” to his level would probably only anger him, as well as make herself feel uncomfortable. It would be a complete lose-lose situation.
I’ve been fairly annoyed with Jin and Misaki for a while now, so hopefully they won’t keep doing all the wrong things (yeah right). It really is just as Yuuko says though. No one understands what they’re thinking, and we all want them to stop beating around the bush and straighten things out already. Will it finally happen next time? I wouldn’t set my hopes too high.