So it turns out Valentine’s Day wasn’t as decisive as I thought it would be. There was the usual clashing of Mashiro and Nanami over Sorata, but without any definitive developments. Sakurasou did manage to make Nanami’s audition exciting by throwing a curve-ball at us in the form of the train blockage though. For a moment, I thought that Nanami might actually miss her audition and have to go home defeated and depressed, which would be just about the worse possible thing that could happen to her. Luckily, Sorata pulls through for her, notably with the help of Daichi. I had previously thought that Nanami might end up with Daichi as a sort of consolation prize when she inevitably loses Sorata to Mashiro, but the show has pretty much dismissed this possibility, even having him admit that Nanami’s eyes are set on Sorata. Plus, at this point, there’s been so little serious character development on his part that I highly doubt he’ll manage to make the jump into the “ring” of main characters.
In any case, this episode gave Nanami yet another chance to make her feelings known to Sorata. As mean as Sorata can be to Mashiro, he has been extremely nice to Nanami. Yes, I get that they are both “ordinary” people who have to try their utmost to catch up to the “talented”, and it’s understandable that they see each other as comrades in this light. But Sorata really has been going above and beyond to help Nanami out. I guess this just hits home with the point that the two are more than just friends, but not quite lovers. Anyway, Nanami all but confesses to Sorata as he’s delivering her to the audition. But she pulls back right at the critical moment, as the truth of her words start to sink into Sorata. Damnit, Nanami. I know that you are a classy lady, but you really need to take your chances when you get them instead of throwing them away. I won’t pretend to know exactly what Sorata was about to stammer in response to her abrupt confession, but from the look on his face it seemed like he didn’t object too much to the thought of getting into a relationship with her. At least, I don’t think he was about to give us some generic “I don’t know how I feel about you” bullshit. I bet that if she had continued to push at that moment, Nanami really could have secured a boyfriend for herself right then and there. It’s such a shame that she didn’t.
On the other hand, we have Mashiro, who was inspired by a shoujo manga to give Sorata chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for her, Nanami’s problems took precedence to Sorata. But the guy manages to remain on top of things and actually goes to check up on her (despite being very late) instead of completely forgetting about it. Props to him for this. And at this point, things start looking up for Mashiro again as Sorata admits that he was excited at the prospect of possibly receiving chocolate from her. I understand that the show is trying very hard to keep appealing to both sides of the shipping war, but this actually struck me as a bit odd. I know, I’m biased towards Nanami, but hear me out for a moment. Sorata just got back from a very intimate moment with Nanami (even though she cut it short herself). Wouldn’t it be natural for him to be preoccupied by her words? I find it really strange that he was able to dismiss them so easily, even if the words were taken directly from the script that they had practice together on. And even if it is argued that Sorata thought Nanami might just be a really good actress (which would ironically be good news for her), I’m pretty sure the sincerity in her words would show even though she tried to laugh it off as a joke.
I understand that the show might be attempting to convey that Sorata cares for Mashiro just as much, but the way he just shrugged off his moment with Nanami and immediately refocused on Mashiro still feels oddly forced to me. I guess you could argue that Mashiro’s invitation came before Nanami’s call for help so technically he always had Mashiro on his mind, but that’s just quibbling at that point. Regardless of the forced nature of things, it was a very nice touch to see Mashiro herself point out Sorata’s apparent favoring of Nanami, which harks back at their camaraderie as fellow “ordinary” folk yet again. Mashiro had previously shown hints of being jealous of Nanami’s closeness to Sorata, and it feels like this time her direct “complaint” hit home for Sorata. It’s made clear that Sorata for the most part realizes Mashiro’s feelings now. And of course, he also has a suspicion that Nanami has romantic feelings for him just to keep things balanced for the shippers. The question is, will he do something about the current state of affairs (making a decision to go out with one might be a little premature at this point, I concede), or will he put things off and just not think about it?
Blah blah blah same old situation with Jin and Misaki. I sound like a broken record complaining about them at this point, so I seriously should stop bringing them up unless something actually significant happens between them. You know, like the preview for next episode suggests. Or maybe not. We all know how “developments” between those two have gone before. That is, nowhere. On the other hand, it’s very nice to see the “relationship” between Rita and Ryuunosuke pursued. I was beginning to think that their little kiss at the airport was as far as Rita would get, but clearly there’s more in store for them. The thing is, Ryuunosuke was unnecessarily cold towards Rita this episode. I had thought he was warming up to her with his Christmas e-mail, but apparently that was a rare exception instead of a step forward. Even if she did drop by rather abruptly (and Ryuunosuke’s dislike of women notwithstanding), completely blocking her out is no way to treat someone who has come all the way from England to pay a visit. Maybe he is just a tsundere? I’m sure the two will be all lovey-dovey (or at least Ryuunosuke will tolerate Rita) soon enough though. Sakurasou has to tie up all loose ends with relationships before the finale, or risk inciting the anger of fans and shippers alike.