I really admire the staff’s decision to not directly present what transpired after Hina got called to the faculty office. She’s definitely super pissed about the situation but I find it more evocative that her tantrum is just summed up by Akari’s dialogue and we instead see Hina resting after an emotionally (and apparently physically) exhausting day. It shows that she’s at least handling things better than she did the first time around. I expected Hina to outright tell Rei what happens given how trusting their friendship is but I love that they just make small talk instead. Let Hina enjoy some tranquility while she still can.
Now I should preface this paragraph by disclaiming that one of my two undergraduate majors is Education (the other being English) so I might come across as a biased here. That said, Hina’s teacher just plain sucks. With the more prominent antagonists of 3-gatsu, Gotou and Kyouko, I can at least find some redeeming qualities to them. With this teacher, I seriously can’t think of anything to like about her. She just reeks of the worst qualities an educator could possibly have — inattentive, uncaring, and would rather just put the blame on the victims. You could argue that maybe she’s just jaded (given her age, I can buy it) but I’m hard pressed to play devil’s advocate here. This teacher seems to just care about her job and honestly, I hope she loses this battle.
While the past few episodes has been a huge ordeal for Hina, it’s clear that Akari is feeling a lot of pressure as well. It looks like she might be called for a meeting and I can’t blame her for feeling intimidated by the bullies’ parents and the teacher. There’s a part of me that would like to see Monster Grandpa and the Shadowy Monster that is Aunt Misaki take matters into their own hands. Akari would certainly benefit from their help. But for Akari’s sake, I think it’d be best for her to face this alone. She’s been concerned about her abilities as Hina’s sister and this meeting could be the moment for her put her doubts to rest. It’s scary but hopefully, she’ll be able to stand her ground when push comes to shove.
The episode then transitions to the shogi side of things again. Rei seems to be feeling the pressure in his own way. His opponents seems to be getting tougher and Rei remains as adamant as ever with winning and securing his savings. I still find that goal a little silly but it does demonstrate how much thought Rei is putting towards being a dependable person for those he cares about.
I also really like Rei’s phone call with Nikaidou; it really shows just how much the former now views the latter as a friend. Rei’s now able to laugh at Nikaidou’s ramblings of the two of them being shogi princes and even encourage him to get some sleep rather than overthink on his upcoming match. It’s such a far cry from how Rei acted around Nikaidou at the start of the show and honestly, more moments where Rei laughs is welcomed.
The match between Rei and Hachi is really well-directed. I really love the emphasis on Hachi’s little quirks and his fast and precise movements. It’s a really strong contrast to Rei’s more methodical and composed approach as well as a good way to add tension to the scene. It’s also fun to hear the two think to themselves about how annoyed they are with their opponent. At the same time, you don’t get the sense that Hachi dislikes the shogi. His tongue clicking and finger tapping instead shows how much he’s in the zone. For real, I hope to see this guy and his parfait consuming post-mortem again.