In last week’s review, I mentioned offhandedly that this café shares a lot with pro wrestling in how it works. There are plotlines and semi-scripted events among the improv but that doesn’t mean the audience will take what they see as intended. Sometimes, they will outright reject the story presented and create their own narrative which completely overwhelms everything else. In this case, Mitsuki’s blowup last episode has convinced many of the customers in the café that day that Mitsuki has been forcing Hime into being her Schwestern—either in character or out of it. Yet, no one seems to blame Hime despite her unilaterally being the one who made them a couple. In Hime’s eyes, the cycle from so many years back is starting to repeat. Once again, Mitsuki is being vilified for something that isn’t her fault.
So Hime sets out to prove to everyone just how perfect she and Mitsuki are as a little sister/big sister pair—cranking her façade up to 11. However, this throws Mitsuki off. While she has realized her mistake when they were kids, one of the core problems remains. She is unable to tell where the truth ends and the lie begins with Hime. So the cuter Hime goes the more worried Mitsuki gets. Worse yet, when Hime sees that all her efforts aren’t changing the audience’s view of Mitsuki, she reacts just as she did when they were little.
The thing about Hime is that, while she is an extreme people-pleaser, she nonetheless won’t compromise on her own wants. She’ll make plans to keep people happy then break them off with a plausible excuse at the last moment so she doesn’t have to go if she’s not actually interested. However, there is one instance where she will go against what she wants—when those wants are actively harming someone she cares about.
With her high EQ, it’s easy for Hime to empathize with others. So back in elementary school, when she saw how the bullies treated Mitsuki, she knew how she would feel in Mitsuki’s position. Moreover, knowing Mitsuki didn’t have the ability to shut the bullies down, Hime did it herself—sacrificing the thing she wanted to do (play the piano with Mitsuki) in the process. It never even occurred to Hime that Mitsuki didn’t even care about the bullying. All she cared about was being together with Hime. The simple fact is that Hime, both then and now, can’t see the giant difference between how she would feel if she were in Mitsuki’s shoes and how Mitsuki actually feels. So, in the café, she starts to do the same thing—publicly giving up being Schwestern with Mitsuki in a way that makes her the bad guy instead of Mitsuki.
Making things worse is the communication issues between the two that have prevented their true feelings from getting across. To Hime, actions are all that matter. Words are cheap because she can see the hidden motivations behind those words. However, to Mitsuki, a person who can’t read people at all, words are everything. Actions alone—especially those that seem to directly contradict what she has been told confuse and frustrate her. It makes her unable to know what are lies and what is truth.
Luckily, thanks to the events of the series so far, Mitsuki is able to make the leap she wasn’t able to as a child—to believe Hime’s love for her is real and the words fake. This allows her to confront the situation head-on (instead of acting passive-aggressively out of hurt) by laying out her true feelings in a way that shows Hime she had been mistaken in her actions—both now and in the past. The only thing Mitsuki cares about—has ever cared about—is being with her. Anyone else’s opinions on the matter are less than nothing. No sacrifice was ever needed in the first place.
This episode is the culmination of all we have seen so far—where in the midst of this new conflict, Hime and Mitsuki are able to see where things went wrong when they were children and avoid making the same mistakes this time around. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything is suddenly perfect for our main pair. The fact that they were on stage during their reconciliation adds a bit of ambiguity to the whole thing—after all, who was talking, the characters or the people behind them? And it doesn’t help that Mitsuki’s current feelings for Hime are very much implied to be romantic in nature while Hime still has Mitsuki firmly in the friend zone. However, for the moment, the pair have reached a new level of understanding and their relationship is better than it has ever been before.
…It’s just too bad that their joy turns out to be someone else’s pain.
• I’m not sure whether Sumika’s interference in the situation made things better or worse for Hime and Misaki overall.
• Before, it was Hime that had trouble differentiating between what was said on stage from reality. Now, it’s Mitsuki as Hime keeps saying the words she most wants to hear for real.
• Kanako’s hyper-focus on Hime is a bit disquieting. Being both a fan and a friend can be a hard line to walk.
• The fact that Kanako can’t even speak to Sumika—a person she works with every day—implies a lot about why she is so obsessed with her best (only?) friend. I guess Hime is basically a kryptonite for socially awkward girls.