Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo Weekly Update – Episode 16

Hurray for love rivals.

In this week’s Sakurasou, Nanami and Mashiro turn the dial up to eleven. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating; but they’re both trying pretty hard to catch Sorata’s attention. And at the moment, it looks like they’re both just about evenly matched. Nanami has the advantage of knowing that her feelings for Sorata are those of love. The problem is, she hesitates to pursue him aggressively, even though I’m sure he couldn’t turn her down if she ever did try to take Torajirou’s advice (or something less drastic). On the other hand, Mashiro has no qualms about doing or saying rather provocative things when Sorata is involved. Accordingly, her problem is that she doesn’t realize the reason why she’s doing all this is because she loves him. This characterization of the two rivals really seems to push that the two are opposites of each other in a sense; we’ve previously seen hints with Nanami being ordinary as opposed to talented like Mashiro (which I would think tips the balance in Nanami’s favor). And of course, this all comes back to the age-old question of which girl you prefer. I’ve made it no secret that I personally root for Nanami, but I’ve also openly acknowledged that Mashiro will likely be the one to win. This is just personal preference though, and pursuing the matter any further in such a fashion will only invite flaming and wars. Instead, let’s take an objective look at the state of affairs.

Each of the two¬†heroines¬†lacks something that the other possesses. It stands to reason, then, that the one who manages to obtain her missing “piece” first will likely gain ground over the other. So, who is closer to achieving this? The way things look right now, it would be Mashiro. While Nanami having Sorata practice some ironically accurate lines with her in preparation of her upcoming audition is unusually bold for her, she’s pretty much made it clear that she will not pursue him until she gets the all-clear from passing the audition. In essence, Nanami has put a limit on herself, temporarily freezing her relationship with Sorata. And unfortunately for her, while she’s standing still, Mashiro is continuing to progress at a slow but steady rate; her editor has been giving her subtle nudges by having her read shoujo manga to introduce her to the concept of love. Things aren’t completely hopeless for Nanami just yet though, with her audition approaching next episode and Mashiro still not understanding her feelings. But really, this shouldn’t be all too surprising. If one of the two were to gain an advantage over the other so easily, the show wouldn’t be half as engaging as it is. By instead pushing the romantic developments of both rivals to occur at as close a pace as possible, Sakurasou is really upping the anticipation of the inevitable decision. Call it shrewd, calculating, or whatever you like; but you can’t deny that it works.

In this light, Mashiro seeming to hold an advantage this episode doesn’t really mean too much after all. The show is really just passing the baton between both heroines periodically, what with Nanami appearing to have the advantage during the Christmas Eve episode. This cycle has gone on for several iterations now though, and with the number of episodes left dwindling, surely the big decision is coming to a head. Perhaps I would be pushing my luck by saying that something big might happen next time? That’s when Nanami’s audition is set to take place, and I can’t picture her failing. Or at least, she won’t be leaving Sorata whether or not she passes. The point is, taking Nanami out of the picture now would completely dispel all of the tension the show has worked to build all this time, so there’s no way that’s going to happen. It should be relatively safe to assume, then, that whatever happens, Nanami will make good on her word and confess to Sorata next episode. The question is, will this just turn into more baton passing, but with higher stakes? I can see Sorata being indecisive and not giving Nanami a response immediately. And while Nanami is waiting, Mashiro will have figured out her feelings and made them clear to Sorata as well.1 This would be a rather cliche development, though, and I personally wouldn’t be too thrilled if it were the case. It would be refreshing if Sorata were to actually pick Nanami at the moment, even if he were to leave her for Mashiro by the end of the show. But unfortunately, it is precisely because the aforementioned development is cliche that it will most likely be what happens.

I really don’t have much to complain about the show at this moment. However, one thing that’s always irked me is the amount of hostility I’ve seen between the two “heroine factions”. This is the internet though (sad that this should excuse poor behavior), and undoubtedly the offenders of both sides will claim they weren’t being serious (an oft-used excuse for making inflammatory remarks), so I’ll just voice my futile complaint here and not mention it again.

The Screenshots

1It would be ultimate irony if Mashiro’s realization were triggered by something like her witnessing Nanami’s confession.

6 thoughts on “Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo Weekly Update – Episode 16

  1. It has been fun trying to predict which way this will go. Honestly, I feel like Nanami has never been in the lead. I’ve come to like Nanami’s character quite a bit, I just don’t see her wining the romance even if she does confess next episode. My biggest reason for that are the themes this story has built up.

    Sorata and Mashiro are on opposite platforms, trying to understand each other. They both have and acknowledge feelings for one another. Sorata is trying to improve his artwork to reach a higher level while Nanami is trying to learn how to be a normal young woman. This same theme is then echoed by Misaki and Jin.

    Nanami is often given the perspective of an outsider. Both Nanami and Mashiro are vying for Sorata’s attention but the only one he has been looking at of his own accord is Mashiro. Also, this anime is fond of heartbreak. Nanami hasn’t been shutdown like the other girls have yet. Maybe she won’t go home after the audition but it seems highly likely to me that she is being setup for failure by the story.(which would also fit in with the art is hard theme) Instead of a romantic ending for her I suspect a more thematic one. What is really important to Nanami? Voice acting? Or Sorata? I half expect to see her get sent home, unlikely as that may be.

    • If they had taken more time to get to the Valentine’s Day audition for Nanami, then I could see her failing and getting sent home. Although that they’re doing it with 8 or so episodes left might mean that she does have to go home and has a triumphant return (*Highway’s dream sequence starts* And Sorata realizes while Nanami’s gone just how much she means to him, and he decides he has to go to Osaka to bring her back and confess and they live happily ever after…errr… *ahem*). But this show keeps surprising me with the short time skips, rather than trying to build up a lot of drama for the event. They tell us that something’s happening on Christmas Eve a month away, and then next episode, it’s Christmas Eve and stuff’s happening!

      • Well I guess I won’t try to make you give up hope just yet. Even if Nanami does fail like I suspect she will, something else could happen to keep her around. Maybe Sorata will chase after her and we will have a confession scene like the one with Mashiro at the airport.

      • Nothing will make me give up hope for Nanami! I’m on this ship until the bitter end, even if it’s being chased by a wolfpack of U-boats through iceberg-ridden, shark-infested waters. I fully expect to end up wrecked on Mashiro Reef, but I’ll go down with this ship.

        And really, what I hope most of all is that it happens in such a way that acknowledges Nanami’s class and gives her the dignity she deserves. One of my favorite anime, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, is a favorite because of the dignity Kazuma affords to the girls who openly confess to him that he knows he is not in love with. The anime has three other girls make a run at him, two of whom confess, and he realizes it and gives them an answer. Yes, they end up friendzoned, but it’s because they’re friends, not because of stupidity.

  2. I’m not on the ship but I do want to see all of Nanami’s hard work with her voice acting vindicated. It is going to hurt if she gets forced out.

    I watched the first few episodes of Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi back when it first aired. I think I dropped it more for time reasons than anything else. Does it manage to spin a drama on the same level as Sakurasou? If so, maybe I should go back and finish it.

    • No, it’s certainly not on the level of Sakurasou, especially drama-wise. But I find it one of the most ‘feel good’ harem animes I know of. It’s silly, it’s rather shallow, but the interactions are nice, and like I said, the relationships are treated with dignity. It’s a harem anime that moves inevitably toward the final couple, and everyone stays friends, and everyone accepts it. And it has just about the greatest confession scene I’ve ever seen, set up by those friends, even the ones who got rejected.

      It’s not super deep or ultra emotional, but it made me happy to watch and rewatch.

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