Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo 8 appeared to be a downer episode but to my relief the show refused to give in.
Sorata’s game design passes the first round and he has to give a presentation. Meanwhile, Mashiro’s manga comes up for serialization consideration that very same day (I like to imagine the editors in Bakuan sitting at that table with manila envelopes spread out in front of them. I think she and Eiji would get along famously). This show likes to schedule big days together so that you can’t get too happy about one person’s success without feeling bad for the other’s failure. Everyone helps Sorata prepare his presentation, and overall it’s lighthearted. As a distraction, Mashiro’s going around asking what love is, leading to the usual misunderstandings.
The actual presentation scene wasn’t fun to watch, one of those intimidating wall of suits at a long table type. One of the geniuses Sorata looks up to asks Sorata one of those vague, personal and unanswerable questions you dread hearing at an interview and it’s downhill from there. Since I’ve been back in job interview hell myself recently I can sympathize, and I fully understand why he takes his performance and the rejection so hard. He’s new at this rejection stuff. He hasn’t developed a thick skin yet. He’ll get better at it, but telling him that right now won’t make him feel better. Going home and learning that Sorata’s manga got accepted won’t cheer him up either. And it’s here that Sorata and the show reaches a fork in the plot. Sorata could mope and lash out when people tried to help him, meaning we’d have a two-parter full of dull apologies, or someone could come in and lighten the mood.
Maybe the best touch on the “let’s sneak into the school pool and have a party!” idea is that the party is not to celebrate Mashiro’s success or to cheer up Sorata. It’s to welcome Aoyama to the dorms. So no guilt about feeling good for Mashiro. And even then, Aoyama doesn’t want to–until Sorata, rightfully forcing himself out of his funk, urges her to go along with it. And in fact, during the pool scene he still carries his disappointment, why shouldn’t he? But thanks to the others he refuses to let it drag him down and at the end feels re-energized. I have to say it was refreshing to watch a character, not to mention the show itself, not go the easy, sulking route but shrug off the bad news and keep fighting. The fireworks were a bit much, but who cares?
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 9 … The ugliness from last week is gone; no one even mentions that Haru was more or less holding a girl hostage. Instead everyone does very little of anything. Asako fumes because Chizuku has been thinking about the relationship for a month with no progress, because Haru hasn’t given her much reason to, apart from trying to catch her a crayfish she doesn’t need. There’s some background on Chizuku’s life. Her father is a “failure” and her mother has to work to keep the family together. There’s a goldfish metaphor going on which is related to that crayfish. Meanwhile Kenji has officially fallen in love with Chizuku, but he’s not an idiot about it. And Asako seems to be falling for Misawa, and since she does have idiotic tendencies it could be entertaining to watch. I suppose you’d call this a filler episode.