Not a “filler” episode, but a “fill-in” episode. This week, we got a lot of fleshing out of some of the themes that have been spinning around the show, dropping hints, and generally causing speculation (well, among the people who haven’t read the Light Novels).
We get to meet the girl who is Sena’s perpetual second fiddle: Yusa Aoi. Second in test scores, not noticed in her class, short, and jealous of Sena dating Kodaka (wait, what?). She butters Kodaka up quite a bit, talking about how cool he looks, and how he’s the perfect boyfriend for perfect Kashiwazaki Sena and she’s soooooo jealous. Of course, being told he’s cool is quite the lift to Kodaka, who thinks he’s the most uncool person ever. But when he brings up Yusa to Sena, she barely has any clue of who she is. Sena’s self-absorption really is limitless. Sena’s description of the rest of the world really is insular: The people who recognize her as a goddess, and everyone else that she doesn’t bother with. This leaves out the third obvious category: The other members of the Rinjin-bu.
But the major filling in this episode is from all the hints we’ve gotten about a relationship between Sena and Kodaka. We’ve heard from Kodaka’s father, from Kate, and now from Yusa. And to really put a bow on it, finally Kodaka gets approached by Pegasus (Sena’s dad) who asks how things are going. I will give Kodaka credit here, tho. He straight up asks: “What relationship are you talking about?” And when the idea that he’s dating Sena comes up, he says point blank that he’s not. Most times in an anime, this conversation would have gone completely through without either one of them challenging their own idea of what the ‘relationship’ being talked about is, letting the misunderstanding continue. But this one is completely shot down, and Pegasus runs off, wondering what the heck is going on.
Leading to the main conversation in the episode, as Sena grabs Kodaka for a private conversation. She hadn’t realized that her father thought they were dating, even as he’s been telling everyone else in the school. Tracing it back to the idea of making Kobato her little sister, she realizes that he thought that meant that she was going to marry Kodaka. But after clearing that up, she learns something else: Kodaka and Sena have an arranged marriage, and are thus engaged. And while they agree that they shouldn’t be bound by a contract made when they were small kids, it seems like Sena wishes he’d gone along with it. Plus, a picture proves that they knew each other before, a surprise to both. But they’re not going to tell anyone else about it. Until Maria busts in and blurts it out in front of everyone.
I thought that Yozora’s look when she hears this news was great art. The shock conveyed was well done, and totally in the moment. The scene that follows, tho, where Rika and Yozora discuss in a completely detached manner the situation of Sena and Kodaka, was at the same time hilarious and almost heartbreaking. And someone’s heart was getting broken. Yozora is left pretty devestated as the remainder of her plans goes swirling down the toilet. It’s almost enough to make her give up on the movie, and as they break up for the day, Yozora’s obviously out of it.
Kodaka gets a chance to talk to Kate, who is the one that told Maria about the engagement (although it’s a surprise she didn’t hear it from Pegasus, since he’s telling everyone), and after giving her an earful about how much trouble she caused with that, she understands that Pegasus just jumped the gun. But she wants to know instead about the movie they’re making, and after Kodaka describes it, she says it sounds like The Sun Above the Hill, an underground classic teen movie. But theirs is named The Sky of the Rising Moon. So Kodaka decides to watch The Sun Above the Hill… and realizes it’s the exact same movie. The script they had praised Yozora for is completely ripped off from the other movie. Bad Yozora!
Is Yozora done for? Have enough of her plans backfired, or crashed and burned, that she’s going to give up on Kodaka? Or can she bounce back from this?