And so, the Student Council has started rehearsing for their play. That seems to be going smoothly; they even do a whole Training Camp as well as get an acting coach this episode. Koyomi appears to be stumped over the ending, however, as she wrote Touko’s character to become the person her lover recognized. It’s not a bad ending on paper so I think Koyomi’s reservation over it is once again, her being more perceptive than she realizes. It is, after all, a parallel to Touko’s own arc and so having her character pick a personality would be a sort of affirmation to her decision to follow her sister’s example to the letter. It doesn’t feel right for Touko nor does is it feel right for the character she’s playing for the play. And Koyomi seems to know this on some level so I expect that she will indeed change the ending.
I’ll admit that I’m a little stunned to see a bath scene in Bloom Into You. I mean, yes, Touko and Yuu can get very intimate with each other but with how grounded this show’s tone is, a scene where all the girls get naked is the last thing that would cross my mind. Save for one or two shots and a specific line of dialogue where Touko comments on Yuu’s bust, this scene is actually quite tamed by anime standards. In fact, it feels more awkward than sexy as both Touko and Sayaka realize a bit too late that they’ll be seeing their respective crushes naked, thus leaving theme super flustered and cautious. Yuu, meanwhile, is indifferent as she takes her clothes off very quickly and she yet again convinces herself that she’s not attracted to Touko. All in all, I’m glad that Bloom Into You didn’t take the usual route and this scene feels very in-character of the show to do.
Oddly enough, the positions of every character is wroth noting too. Sayaka and Yuu are on the far opposite ends with Touko right in the middle between them. This is even repeated with the locations of their respective futons. It’s such as simple set up but it so accurately conveys the dynamics of this love triangle with Sayak and Yuu at slight odds with each other while Touko is the one they both feel drawn towards.
For the past few episodes, I’ve expressed concern over how this show will properly address Touko’s obsession over acting like her sister. Well, now this episode has finally flipped that part of her character on its head and it really did not disappoint there. After meeting the acting coach, Touko discovers that he was a friend of her sister. But from there, she finds out that her sister wasn’t quite as perfect as she was led to believe; someone who often shoved work onto others (including her own homework) and later take all the credit for it all. It shocks Mai to the core as this whole time, she was trying to be a facsimile of her sister. Now, she realizes she was just a facsimile of a facsimile; only replicating what she saw on the surface of her sister’s personality. In fact, she may have inadvertently become far more efficient and considerate than her sister ever was. I suppose when one of us look at it like that, she really isn’t like her sister at all.
It’ll be interesting to see how Touko will come to terms with this new information. It may even affect how she’ll tackle her performance for the play too, especially if Koyomi changes the ending. Something that does immediately stand out to me with the aftermath, however, is who ends up giving Touko some solace. I thought for sure it’d be Yuu and judging from her face, she clearly knows something was wrong with Touko after she talked with the coach. And yet, the task ends up falling on Sayaka with Yuu simply looking over. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a great scene. I particularly love how the fizzling fireworks are used to indicate who’s feeling more tense at a given point in the conversation. I just can’t help but find this set-up very intentional. Touko telling Sayaka how much she values their friendship clearly makes the latter’s heart skip a beat and the serious look on Yuu’s face could almost be interpreted as jealousy. If I had to guess, maybe this show is preparing to finally let these respective feelings clash.
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