This week’s Sakurasou bounces back from a relatively uneventful previous episode. Following the revelation of Sakurasou’s impending demolition, the residents decide to start a petition protesting the move. Supposedly, if they can collect the signatures of more than two-thirds of the student body, the administration must do something about it. Now, I’m all for a straight-forward, favorable resolution; but I’m honestly a little skeptical about this petition business. Can the demolition really be stopped if at least two-thirds of the students sign a document in protest? It seems to me that the administration has pushed the demolition forward on grounds that Sakurasou might be dangerous to live in. In spite of the five year grace period which the construction company gave for the students to move out, the argument of student safety is a pretty solid one. I highly doubt a simple petition would change anything. At most, I can see the demolition being changed into a remodeling, but that would still necessitate the evacuation of the current residents. No matter what arguments the student body can put forward, it seems really unlikely that anything can completely prevent demolition in the name of the well-being of students. And any argument for merely delaying the inevitable is equally unlikely to succeed. If the administration says the building is unsafe, why delay taking care of the problem? That would just be irresponsible and risky.
What I’m trying to say is unless the administration’s true intentions are made apparent, I really don’t think the residents can do anything; with or without the support of the student body. And even then, I don’t see how revealing the truth would prevent or even delay the demolition. The question of safety still remains. All such a revelation would accomplish is just make the administration look bad, which I suppose they do deserve. The only merit that this whole petition business has is that it’s been distracting the residents from the inevitable: they are going to be kicked out of Sakurasou, and there’s nothing they can realistically do about it. But of course, this being a work of fiction, it’s possible that a “happy ending” might be forced regardless. The best that the gang can hope for is to get their five years, by which time all of them would have happily left “naturally” via graduation. And then Sakurasou would still be taken down. If you take into account the argument of the building symbolizing and containing their memories, it starts to sound like they’ve still lost, doesn’t it? Or maybe I’m being far too pessimistic. I admit it’s possible that the show can throw us an even more forced “happy ending” by revealing that Sakurasou isn’t so run down after all. That would completely eliminate the need to demolish or even remodel the place, thus allowing the gang to stay there to their heart’s content and preserve their memories for the foreseeable future. But that just feels rather deus ex machina, doesn’t it?
The demolition aside, this episode put the spotlight back on Sakurasou’s very own dragon. And of course, you can’t have a Ryuunosuke episode without Rita making an appearance. Maid-chan’s sudden heel face turn (with respect to Rita) felt a little abrupt and unexpected, but it’s nice to see Rita getting the closest thing to an A-OK to pursue Ryuunosuke. It actually felt like the moment when a father gives a guy his approval to chase his daughter’s skirt. Admittedly, the episode did try to integrate this development as part of the gang’s signature solicitation attempt, but it’s still a long shot. I just don’t see Maid-chan as the type to be swayed by something like Sakurasou’s demolition. Sure, there’s the excuse the show gave us of her being concerned that Ryuunosuke would be lonely without the gang, but I would have expected Maid-chan to claim that she’s all the company he needs anyway. Now, it could be that Maid-chan is more dynamic than I thought she was. She’s taken independent action many times before, but this was the first time I really got the impression that she truly is a sentient AI. That moment when she strongly recommended Ryuunosuke answer Rita’s call? Yeah. Unless Ryuunosuke himself secretly longs for blond, busty, English chicks, I think this episode was really the first time Maid-chan has done something completely against his philosophies.
And now let’s get to the not-so-good stuff. It’s heavily hinted from the very last scene that Mashiro really did overhear Ryuunosuke’s conversation with Sorata, and intends to leave to “protect” Sakurasou. Again, let us ignore the gravity of safety issues and assume that this will feasibly save the building for the sake of preserving the impact of such a motion. Combine this development (technically speculation on my part for now) with Nanami not making the cut, and you have what seems to be a recipe for a MashiroxSorata ending. Yes, I know. I’m letting my Nanami bias show again by putting this in the bad section. But it’s kind of sad that I’m pretty much forced to concede to this kind of outcome just because Mashiro is the “main” girl. I’d love for Nanami to have more of a fighting chance, but the show is just so obviously sending us down the Mashiro track that I can’t help but feel a little indignant for poor Nanami. It’s almost as if she was made to fail her audition just so Mashiro would be the only one for Sorata. I guess I could still hold out hope for her having a chance since she isn’t going home immediately, but it’s just looking more and more far-fetched. Unless her father suddenly has a change of heart and lets her stay, I’d say her fate is pretty much set in stone.
Also bad is the school administration, but I don’t think I have to explain this in too much detail. How the heck does moving Mashiro into a regular school dorm (remember that Sakurasou is also technically a school dorm) make the apparent destruction of her talent not their fault? She still attends their school and lives in one of their dorms. And don’t even get me started on how stupid the concept of their being held accountable for the destruction of her talent is in the first place. Clearly, these guys aren’t half as intelligent as their students.