Oregairu Zoku 10
How Hachiman handles Tobe and Iroha’s rejections give the audience a nice parallel to show how much he has changed within the last 7 episodes. Rather than attempting to avoid the emotional turmoil, he stays with Iroha afterward to comfort her instead. Again they use the weight of the bag as a metaphor for emotional baggage that Hachiman helps her carry. The scenes between Hachiman and Iroha have always been romantically charged, but this episode took it to another level. Being able to cry in front of another person needs a certain level of intimacy, and Iroha’s “take responsibility” is a line with a dual meaning that Hachiman would easily interpret. Iroha could be asking for help with Hayama, or for Hachiman to date her instead.
Another metaphor that I finally noticed this episode,was the meeting between the two schools. How the other school would avoid the actual issues through fruitless discussion, mirrored how Hachiman would shield himself and others from emotional pain. Now that the service club understands that sometimes one might have to hurt others to achieve their goals, they tear into the other student council. Hachiman point out the flaws in their system while feeling regret, because he was the one that acted the same way just a little bit ago. Yukino also follows suit, calling out their vague communication for “actual communication and understanding”. The student council puts no effort into communicating effectively, similar to the relationship between Yukino and Hachiman before episode 8. The two were not emotionally open to one another which led to misunderstandings imitating the problems with the Christmas party.
Finally after all that drama, we get to celebrate the character’s triumphs, as the Christmas Party goes without a hitch and the first season OP ensues. Whenever Hachiman and the crew are happy, I can’t help but smile as I watch. They finally put the effort in, and it shows in their changing relationships.
The things you’re handed on a silver platter are never genuine and never everlasting
Arslan Senki 10
Hodir came and left leaving an episode with terrible pacing. The episode starts with Arslan suddenly being chased by hundreds of Lusitanian soldiers. Even though their group is hopelessly outnumbered, I feel no tension at all. The group acts so nonchalantly that the audience knows that will not be captured. They end up escaping into Hodir’s fortress, where he instantly tries to use this favor to marry his daughter off to the prince. Somehow, only Narsus understands that Hodir is trying to take advantage of the prince to gain status in the royal family. Narsus makes sure to explain it to Daryun and the audience after dinner, because Narsus is the smart one. The shows attempts to show that Narsus is intelligent, but it only comes off as everyone else in the cast being dunces. Within the same night, Hodir plans to kill off Arslan’s vassals to secure his position of influence, but is easily thwarted. This whole scenario was made to have a situation where Arslan would free slaves and learn that just liberating them would not be enough. Everything within the episode is rushed and that weakens the impact of Arslan’s realization.
A lot of Nisekoi feels like filler because of it aimless nature, but the first half of this episode felt like filler of filler. The actual content where Paula learns to open up to the others and be more friendly is actually only 2 minutes of the short 10 minute story. The rest is swimsuit fan service, which is fine, if accompanied by anything with substance. But Paula’s character’s growth is too short and doesn’t even coincide with any of the fan service. Instead of the fan service serving to further the material, it just takes the forefront and attempts to distract its audience from the lackluster short story. The second half of the episode was more bearable but still contained Haru being quite annoying.
Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 22
Watching Rin blush at the slightest glimpse of Shirou can only be entertaining so many times before it gets tiring. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that happened this episode.
Sound! Euphonium 10
Due to a middle school trauma involving a particularly bitter upperclassmen, Kumiko has always tiptoed around others. Shaken by the confrontation, she struggles to pursue her own dreams, shaping a viewpoint that is used to contrast every other character as they strive for their goals. Just as the reasons for Kumiko’s insecurities are revealed, Natsuki enters the spotlight and offers a few words of encouragement. Natsuki asserts that “you won your part because you’re capable, Oumae-san”. Even though she herself failed, Natsuki lifts up her friends, continuing Sound! Euphonium’s trend of inspiring others.
But not everyone can be as sweet and accepting as Natsuki. The second half of the episode focused on Yuuko’s outcry that her beloved senior, Kaori, did not get the solo part. She Accused Reina and the teacher of cheating the auditions, leading to Reina’s rebuttal “you know why I was chosen. It’s because I’m better than Kaori-senpai. If you’re going to complain, do it when you’ve surpassed me.” Unlike Kumiko, Reina tramples over anybody that tries to stop her. She is cocky and proud, but it’s backed up by her determination and ability. On the other hand, Kaori accepts Reina’s abilities, but is unsatisfied with her own performance. Kaori pushes the blame onto herself. Given another chance to meet her own expectations, she jumps at the opportunity.