Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo

October 6, 2013

They say geniuses are odd. They are just different from society because of the way they do things. Their work is an exception. Something to behold in the eyes of the many average Joes and Janes around the world. So will you consider one as a genius when that person is so damn good in a subject but can’t even properly take care of his/her own housekeeping? Take the case of Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo. Mashiro Shiina is the world’s most renowned painter. So legendary that she might have surpassed Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gough and all the other great painters that we ever know. But… She doesn’t even know how to take care of herself! Makes you wonder how she got by all these years, eh? But this series isn’t about the bloopers and daily trials of this so called genius painter. It is about a group of problematic residents of a high school dorm called Sakurasou. Yes. She is one of them. We see how these society misfits go through their daily lives, each trying to achieve their dream while maintaining their precious bond and memories of this place. Lots of drama, comedy, friendship, romance and tear jerking moments. Is this how geniuses fit into society?

Episode 1
On the morning of his first day of school, Sorata Kanda had to wake up with his snow white pet cat, Hikari with its butt in his face! What’s worse than that? Seeing the butt and pantsu of his senior, Misaki Kamiigusa sleeping in his bed! When she is full blown awaken, she goes into scatterbrain mode acting like his wife. It gets worse when the teacher, Chihiro Sengoku dresses up so sleazy, revealing her bust so she can pick up some guys at the opening ceremony, makes him fix the dorm’s broken sign. And as narrated, Sakurasou is a dorm that houses problem kids of Suimei University of Arts’ Senior High. In short, a place for weirdoes! Sorata introduces us to all the weirdoes here. First there is third year Misaki who singlehandedly made an anime by herself that became a best seller. Then there is Jin Mikata who writes the screenplay for Misaki’s anime but he goes clubbing and flirts around every night. Then there is Chihiro who also acts as Sakurasou’s supervisor. Lastly, Ryuunosuke Akazaka who is always shut inside his room busy developing some software for some company and communicates with the outside world via his virtual Maid-chan. And of course don’t discount Sorata too. His main mission has always been to escape from Sakurasou. It must be a tiring day so in class he just feels like sleeping. He talks to his friends Daichi Miyahara and Nanami Aoyama who warn him it is getting harder to escape the place the more he delays. Apparently when Sorata found Hikari abandoned, he vowed to take care of it no matter what. But he got caught and was given an option to get rid of the cat or move into Sakurasou with it. He chose the latter. Ever since, he picked up 6 more strays… Such a cat lover, isn’t he? He’ll never return at this rate. Later Chihiro forces Sorata to pick up her cousin, Mashiro who will be arriving from England later today. Yeah, she’s busy with some hot married guy. Did she say something about testicles too? This teacher… Sorata makes his way through the shopping arcade and finally sees Mashiro sitting there. Looks like the quiet kind of girl. First she asks what colour he likes. Iridescent/sparkling. As for her, she isn’t sure but now it would probably white. She notes his name sounds nice.

Back at Sakurasou, the weirdoes throw her a welcoming party. More like for themselves. Jin sizes her 3 measurements while Misaki plays her a welcoming video she made (so she knew she was coming?). I don’t know. It is so mismatched. What has planes shooting and exploding got to do with it? Next morning, Sorata asks Chihiro if it is appropriate for a girl like Mashiro to stay here. She says it is. Then she throws him the ultimatum it is HIS responsibility to look after her. Eh? So Sorata makes his way to go wake Mashiro up for school. Not answering. Entering her room, the place is messed up! Like a robbery, no, a tornado just ripped through here! He sees some cliché shoujo manga she supposedly draw on her computer when he realizes she is sleeping underneath the table. She wants to sleep. But when she gets up, she’s stark naked!!! Sorata blows his top. Why is she naked? Is this England’s custom? She can’t remember. You got to be kidding me. Oh wait. She does. She took a bath last night and took out some clothes. That’s it. So that’s why the place is in a mess. He orders her to put on some clothes. She did that. Just that. Dress properly for Heaven’s sake! Sorata must be getting pissed by the moment since he has to throw what kind of panties she needs to wear or else she won’t! Then he tells her to wash and fix her hair but it’s like she baptized herself and got her entire top wet. So does this girl just take orders at face value? Sorata is forced to clean up but he flusters when she says he is an interesting guy. Then it’s back to angersville when they are running late for school. It makes it look like his fault, eh?

Episode 2
Sorata holds an emergency meeting with Sakurasou residents about Mashiro’s inability to take care of herself. Yeah. He had a hell time this morning. She needs special care and attention. Yeah. That’s why her parents sent her here as quipped by Chihiro. Before Sorata knows it, everybody votes him to be Mashiro’s responsibility. Wow. He didn’t even know what hit him. Mashiro Duty forever. More woes for Sorata because Mashiro just takes whatever snacks she wants from the convenience store and eats them! His wallet is thinning faster these days. Worse, it’s the store where Nanami works! Nanami gets the wrong idea when Mashiro says Sorata is the first boy she’s been with. If she had only said first that she was constantly surrounded by girls in England and Sorata’s presence makes him the first boy she friends. Sorata is so poor that he is depending on tap water to feel full. Yeah, like Chihiro cares. She smoothly changes the subject about Mashiro to his career sheet. Later in class Miyahara shows Sorata a magazine article that geniuses Jin and Misaki are childhood friends. Mashiro sees Sorata and wants to walk home alone. The guy thinks he is one lucky son of a gun and Nanami misconstrues the situation further. Mashiro talks to Ayano Iida on her way home and stops by the convenience store to clear up the misunderstanding to Nanami (as instructed by Sorata of course). Nanami feels embarrassed. Sorata comes home to see a road of cabbages leading into Misaki’s room. This isn’t good. Jin notes it is his birthday and predicts something wacky. Last year Misaki covered herself in birthday cake as his present. Who knows what this year will bring. Then there is a mystery box in her room. Dare to open it? Misaki pops out and wants Jin to eat her! Sorata didn’t want to have anything to do with this and escapes. Good choice.

When Mashiro returns home, she confronts Sorata and tells him to strip naked! What?! She wants his body! For real?! She entered a rookie manga competition last year but didn’t win, Ayano who is her editor told her if she is facing trouble, go for a more risqué approach. In short, draw a man’s body. She is willing to take off her clothes too. Better not let her get to that. So Sorata strips down to his boxers. Mashiro runs her fingers through his body. Oh lala. She gets on top of him in a very ambiguous position and boldly asks if he had sex before! Of course not! His body is good enough for that, right? He played football before but quit. Things take a dim turn when he further explains how he spent 9 years playing football but his drive for the game eventually diminish to a point he even stopped caring. Mashiro gets off him and continues drawing her manga. But this doesn’t release him from his duties yet. Yeah. She’s not done with him and ‘won’t let him sleep tonight’. It’s not what you think. Next morning when Sorata takes out the garbage, he bumps into Nanami. She tries to make up with him as he explains Mashiro’s endeavours in trying to become a manga artist just like how Nanami is trying hard to be a voice actress. He thinks they are both amazing. Back in Sakurasou, he sees a book with a beautiful painting. Mashiro thanks him. Why? Looks like he doesn’t know. As pointed out by Jin, that entire book is filled with paintings by Mashiro. Sorata goes to Google Mashiro’s name and finds lots of entry on this genius painter that changed contemporary art!

Episode 3
Reality is still hard to sink in for Sorata. Then Mashiro enters while he is bathing just because Ayano told her that there’s not enough sex appeal in her manga shower scenes. Research? I don’t know showering him would do any good. Sorata hears Jin refusing an offer of an anime producer to provide Misaki with a better script. He also dismisses he is her manager and to stop calling him. Sorata talks to Jin about the genius painter. Yeah, it is really bugging him he didn’t know. That’s because he feels he is the only one in Sakurasou who has nothing. Jin doesn’t think it’s a big deal since he is leaving. The question is when. As soon as he finds someone to take care of the cats. Has he really been looking? He seems to be slacking off recently. Blame Mashiro for that. Jin tells him off to stop blaming others. He needs to figure out where he belongs before anything else. If he is serious in leaving, he will take over Mashiro Duty and even the cats for him. He is tired to hear him whine of leaving. This irks Sorata as he leaves for his room. He tries to ask Ryuunosuke about game programming but ditches the idea. Sorata puts up posters asking for any volunteers to adopt the cats. Quickly, there is already one: Mashiro. Oh no. She wants to train her cat? She should be training herself! Then she wants to ask him out on a date! Nanami must be really in total shock hearing one thing to another. Sorata brushes her off since he is busy and to go bug Jin.

Come weekend, Sorata is rudely awakened by panicky Misaki because Jin really did take Sorata out. And so the duo become stalkers stalking the duo. Nanami happen to be there too since this is another one of those places she works part time. Misaki becomes nervy of just wanting to break them up but Sorata prefers they lie low. But watching them causes Misaki and Sorata to feel pain in their heart. From what Misaki said, she likes Jin but couldn’t get him to look her way. How many years has she been ‘stalking’ him? Their worst fear comes true when Jin and Mashiro are outside the love hotel. It is such a heartbreak for Misaki that she decides to go home. Sorata becomes angry and rushes to punch Jin but he slips and got punched instead. When Sorata wakes up, he finds himself sleeping on Mashiro’s lap inside a love hotel room. Jin has left. As planned… Like he knew all this. Oh wait. He does. Now Mashiro is going to take a shower. Once more Sorata had to blow his top to tell her if she really has any idea what she is doing. Yes. She’s here for her manga research. But why is he here? He said he was busy finding caretakers for the cats. Didn’t find any? He’s the one who doesn’t have any idea. It made Sorata eat his words. He calls Jin and wonders if he will go home to Sakurasou tonight because Misaki is in a pitiful state. He can’t because he will end up taking advantage of her depression. Talking about himself and Mashiro, Sorata views her as amazing since she has no doubts or worries. Jin reveals Sorata recently told him she came to Japan to be a manga artist. He thought it would be a waste for such a talent but she replied she didn’t need that. Sorata is grateful for her because now he has come to his senses and will decide where to belong. Next morning when they leave, he apologizes and wishes luck on her manga competition but she asks him why he is leaving Sakurasou.

Episode 4
As Sorata packs up his stuffs, he remembered what he said to Mashiro the day before. If he ended up staying at Sakurasou, he’ll start hating himself. She seemed pretty shock of his departure. Ever since, Mashiro locked herself up in her room continuing to work on her manga night and day till the dateline. Sorata made some progress in finding caretakers for the cats. The only ones left are Hikari and Nozomi. The gang dress up in yukata to celebrate Tanabata festival. Misaki is a hit with the kids since her mentality is like one. I’m sure people could guess it is her wish when she wrote she wants to shoot beams from her eyes. But behind that wish is another wish. An earnest one. That someday a certain person will turn to her. Mashiro has problems writing her wish so Sorata suggests to just wish to win the competition. Everyone scrambles when it starts raining. Mashiro gets a call from Ayano. She says her manga has been rejected. Sorata tries to comfort her with encouraging words but knows this is not what he wants to say. He feels bad and goes sit in the rain himself. Jin talks to him. About Misaki’s new anime. Yeah, the one shown at Mashiro’s welcoming party. It became an instant hit with a million views and already has 10 publishing offers despite being just 5 minutes. Misaki has got talent but Jin seriously hoped she crash and burn. Sorata also understands what he means because when Mashiro’s manga got rejected, a little part of him felt happy. Jin adds people with talent unconsciously drag along anyone within reach and make a mess of them. The closer you are to them, the more it tears you apart. Sorata suspects Jin likes Misaki from the way he talks about her and their ‘gap’ but he avoids answering it. Back in his room, Ryuunosuke has left game programming books for Sorata. Consider it as his farewell gift. Next morning when Sorata cleans up the Tanabata stuffs, he sees Mashiro’s wish that hopes for Sorata’s wish to come true.

Nanami wants to tell something to Chihiro on their way home after school. Too bad she’ll have to wait another day when Ayano ‘kidnaps’ Sorata in her sports car. At a cafe she lets him read Mashiro’s submitted manga. Although her art is perfect, the story is the problem. That’s why she used Sakurasou as her reference and inspiration as suggested by Ayano. Nanohanasou? Plus, Sorata and Mashiro’s role is swapped! However what got it rejected was the end part. There is no happy ending and just a bunch of loose ends (the heroine leaves the place – The End). Ayano wanted her to change and draw the ending she wanted but Sorata remained stubborn. Because that was ‘what Sorata wished for’. It made him realize so he rushes all the way back to Sakurasou. His wish was never to leave Sakurasou and tried to escape from it when he couldn’t stand the pressure. Outside Mashiro’s room, Sorata tells her has submitted his career form. He wants to enter the undergraduate media programme and learn about making games. He wants to be a game creator. He was always interested but at the same time very scared. So he used his past failures as reasons of not wanting to get hurt and eventually lost his drive. Seeing her changed him and would want to become like her one day. He opens the door to see her place messed up with paper and tired Mashiro sleeping after drawing all night. She continued to draw ever since her rejection. He sees the happy ending she wanted to draw in which the heroine didn’t leave the place. Sorata answers her handphone on her behalf. Ayano announces despite not winning, she is still going to make her debut in a manga magazine. Mashiro starts crying. Then she wants him to call her by her first name. He can’t. He never calls girl that way. Misaki and Chihiro? Those are alien and Amazon woman respectively. So what does this make Mashiro? The mood is interrupted when Jin and Misaki start teasing them. But Sorata has something important to say. He apologizes and hopes they will allow him to stay at Sakurasou. But of course. It’s like they expected it. Sorata narrates he always blamed the lack of change on others. If he changes this perspective, the world would be filled with new colours and Sakurasou is a mess of many colours.

Episode 5
Can you believe this? Mashiro scored zero in all her subjects! Even English! And she lived in England her entire life!!! So her manga serialization is more important than the make-up test? Well, better get the test out of the way first before that. The only option is to memorize. Can she do that? As long as she remembers it as a picture she can. Amazingly she answers all Sorata’s questions correctly!!! Doesn’t it feel like cheating this way? But energetic Misaki jumps in and starts playing video games with Mashiro. Next day Sorata waits for Mashiro to finish her make-up test. Guess what? She scored all 100 marks in every subject!!! Suddenly everyone who has to study their entire lives feel insulted, eh? On the way back, Sorata catches hold of Nanami who almost collapsed in yet another part time job. She thanks him for being worried but feels fine now. He wonders if she should call her family to send more money since she is living a very tight budget. She reveals her family is against her dream of becoming a voice actress. That’s why she is living independently to prove she can make it. If she calls home, they’ll no doubt force her to come home. Sorata suggests she move into Sakurasou as the rent is quite cheap and they got all the cats back too. The conversation is interrupted when Mashiro opens her mouth and says the usual ambiguous things that put Sorata’s status in jeopardy. Like calling her first name in private, how he kept her up all night (the game), doing it till morning till it hurts (THE GAME!) and the love hotel incident. Ironically for a girl who falls asleep, she sleep talks a lot. Nanami has had enough of this and will move into Sakurasou to keep an eye on him. So Sorata tries to make Mashiro understand that she needs to learn to take care of herself if they (rather, he) do not want such misinterpreted situation. I think Mashiro is more interested in the bread he is offering more than anything else. Otherwise why so fast to agree? Jin suggests making it official that they are dating to keep Nanami off their back. Sorata doesn’t agree. Oh, Mashiro has a plan: Kill Nanami! Played too much games, hasn’t she?

And so Nanami moves in and gets her first taste of weirdness when Misaki rummages through her panties like nobody’s business. When she sees Mashiro’s messy room and the Mashiro Duty imposed on Sorata, she decides to take over his duty. Not easy, eh? Having a hard time just like him. But she’s not going to give up. Seriously, you’re wondering if Mashiro is really trying. Watermelon in the oven… How did she even… Late that night, Sorata has Ryuunosuke test his game design proposal. In short, he thinks it will be instantly rejected. He rants about the basics but I don’t think Sorata can absorb all that heavy stuff in one sitting. He thought of getting some shut eye but Mashiro crawled up to his side to sleep (she’s working on her manga too). Sorata thinks of sleeping in the common hall but sees Misaki sleeping there. She pulled an all-nighter trying to remember her lines. She thought Sorata was going to do something perverted on her and punches him. She apologizes after calming down. Sorata is worried that she is burdening herself. She has Mashiro Duty but can she make it with her recital? She thinks she can handle it. Sorata doesn’t think so and they ended up arguing. He is kicked out. He thought he could sleep in Jin’s room but that guy shuts the door. Oh, it’s already morning.

Episode 6
So where did Sorata sleep? In the laundry room… Nanami notices Mashiro’s sad expression. She thinks she prefers Sorata taking care of her. Nanami continues to work hard on her voice acting and Mashiro Duty that the toll on her health is beginning to show. Worried Sorata talks to Jin about Nanami and thinks they should help each other out. He says Nanami certainly didn’t look the part because people like Nanami won’t be convinced by anyone but themselves. Sorata accidentally sees the university in Osaka that Jin will be going. This means he won’t be with Misaki. He hopes he won’t tell her as he wants to tell her himself. This makes it harder for Sorata and since he is a bad actor, Misaki could sense something amiss. She gets gloomy asking his advice how to make Jin look her way. She needs his help to turn them into normal couples and do things couples would do. He can’t give her an answer as the most he could do is to play a game with her to cheer her up. After Sorata submits his game design proposal, he gets word from Mashiro that Nanami is acting strange. He sees her hobbling her way out. She is clearly not well but wants to go to her recital. After putting her back in bed, the rest discuss if they should let her continue. Mashiro says if she is in her shoes, she would want to go. Because Nanami has put in so much effort and begs of them. No choice, they help Nanami on her feet but she is worse off. Chihiro uses her adult authority to put her back in bed as she doesn’t care what she thinks and is not letting her out in this condition. But Misaki has already called the taxi as Jin restrains Chihiro so the rest could escape.

Once Nanami enters her school, they go to the nearby convenience store to wait. Mashiro views her own fault for turning Nanami out this way. She worked and tired her out. Jin sees the manga magazine that Mashiro’s manga debuted. He apologizes he got so caught up in things he forgot. She is okay with it since there is nothing special. At the end of the day when they pick up Nanami, seems things aren’t doing well. Her friend scolds her for giving so much trouble that she shouldn’t have come. Nanami breaks down in Sorata’s arms. Calling herself a useless idiot after all that effort for nothing and taking everything upon herself thinking she could do even better. Sorata didn’t laugh or mock her like she wanted. He says if she is an idiot, everyone is too. They all know she has been working hard. She bursts into tears saying those were the words she longed to hear. While Mashiro stays by her side in bed, the rest talk how Nanami’s family situation got her into this tight situation. Jin made some chicken ginseng soup and Sorata goes to feed her in her room and accidentally sees her talking to her tiger stuffed doll. Embarrassing, no? Nanami feels Mashiro felt responsible over this incident and slept all night by her side holding her hand. Sorata tells her how Mashiro persuaded them to let her go to the recital. In a way it was a good decision because if she hadn’t gone, she would have regretted it. Nanami tells Sorata that she can’t handle Mashiro Duty anymore and passes it back to him. He’s happy to take it.

Episode 7
Yuuko happily waltzes her way to Sakurasou to see her brother. Then her world comes crashing down when she sees Mashiro in a towel and over big brother Sorata. We know it’s an accident. But what does it look like in Yuuko’s eyes? Yuuko becomes wary of Mashiro as Sorata calls mom to ask what in blazes is Yuuko doing here. She asked why Sorata didn’t come back for the holidays so mom says he’s busy frolicking with girls. Yeah. So it’s her fault she’s down here. Neither girls listen to Sorata when he explains who the other woman is. It gets worse when Nanami comes in to see Yuuko clinging on to Sorata. Lolicon! Another woman for Yuuko to be suspicious! To prove he is not the only guy in Sakurasou, he knocks on the wall of Ryuunosuke but gets a warning from Maid-chan to bug off. Yuuko thinks this is woman number 3. More misinterpretation when Mashiro tells Sorata she is expecting… Dinner… And then everyone goes to the public bath and the usual folly that comes with it. Why do girls always want to touch breasts bigger than theirs and rub skin smoother than theirs? Well Yuuko, you need to wait to get into high school to turn your ‘dwarf’ status into ‘giant’. At least that’s what Jin says. Sorata’s room becomes the new hangout place for the girls. He is stumped Yuuko has been playing games and reading manga ever since she came. It was a lie that she came here to talk to him about his future plans because her real intention is to let him spoil her. He tells her to go back but she wants him to take her out on a date. This interests the other girls as well.

Along the way, Yuuko sinks into depression when Mashiro spews more of her ambiguous crap that she has slept in Sorata’s bed before. Sorata continues to have a tough time with Yuuko and Mashiro in one arm each and Nanami tugging from the back. The safest way not to get lost? So the outing at the temple was real fun. Sorata catches Nanami when she slips off the temple’s stairs. It is when they realize Yuuko and Mashiro are gone. Yeah, Yuuko is bawling tears like nobody’s business. It’s like the end of the world if she never sees her onii-chan again. But Mashiro is confident he will find them because he’s on Mashiro Duty. That doesn’t make sense… But oh lookey… Here comes Sorata! See, all is well. Except that Sorata had to pay for the candy apple Mashiro took ad eat beforehand. The next day before Yuuko leaves via train, she lets Sorata know that her future dream is to attend the same school as him so he can look after her like how he did for Mashiro. She understands Mashiro’s case but views Nanami as the real threat and won’t let her have him! Before she can finish her war declaration, the train door shuts. Thank goodness. If you’re wondering where Misaki has been this entire episode, she’s taking her driving licence test and the instructor is scared to death by her drifting and stunt driving. I think a normal driving licence won’t suffice for her ‘superb’ driving, no?

Episode 8
Sorata receives a mail saying he has passed the first round audition and is invited to give a presentation for his proposal. Congratulations! Now, he also receives another mail. That one says to teach him about love. I can guess whose that is from. True enough, Mashiro the culprit comes into his room seeking the impossible. Seems it was suggested by Ayano as her editor will be having a serialization meeting on the same day as his presentation. Nanami gets the wrong idea when she takes Mashiro to leave because the latter says Sorata hasn’t finished teaching her about love! All the girls get kicked out when Misaki barges in spewing her usual nonsense. Mashiro asks Nanami if she knows anything about love. Sorata seeks Ryuunosuke’s help on how to do a presentation so he tells him to do a mock one in front of the rest. Let’s see. Quite long, not to the point, stammering… Oh, Mashiro is asleep… In short, not good. He promises to revise it. Sorata improves as the days go by. Before Sorata leaves for his presentation, Mashiro gives him a charm she bought. When it is his turn to present, one of the judges, Kazuki Fujisawa asks him what it takes to become a creator. His mind suddenly went blank. He becomes clumsy. At the end of it, he got rejected as his proposal isn’t what they’re looking for. Sorata becomes a sad cat back at Sakurasou. Mashiro’s fortunes are the opposite as she will get her serialization debut. She knows Sorata is down and he hints he wants to be left alone. So she leaves. Nanami heard everything and feels bad. She talks to Jin and Misaki. They think it’s a nice time to cheer him up by holding a welcoming party for Nanami. Sorata is still frustrated in his room. Packing his proposal away. Rather, throwing them in his dustbin. Then Misaki barges in with heaps of swimsuit because they’re going to hold Nanami’s party at the school’s swimming pool. Did they get approval? No? So they’re sneaking in?! Nanami doesn’t want to go since she disapproves of this. But Sorata thinks they should since it’s her welcoming party. I think he’s just playing along.

At the pool, Sorata compliments Nanami’s swimsuit but gets admonished by Mashiro because he didn’t say anything about hers. He is going to sink into depress mode again when Misaki throws the floating board at him. Then he turns into his wild side and everybody has fun. Wardrobe malfunction included. Sorata’s. They are about to have nabe party after the swim when the guard spots them. Time to run. Hiding in the storeroom, Mashiro gives Sorata a new charm. It made him very happy. They continue running as the fireworks lit up the sky. Nanami thought he would be more depressed and he admits he still is. When Mashiro tells him to not stop moving forward (because the guard is hot on their tail!), Sorata starts to feel he is enjoying himself. When he heard Mashiro’s work got serialized, he felt the world turned its back on him. He was so serious, he couldn’t run or hide from his regret and frustration. But that made it simple because if he fails over and over again, he just needs to keep going. Nanami says she likes people who chase after their dream and those who give it their all. Back at Sakurasou, they play sparklers as Nanami talks to Mashiro. She has a little idea on what love is.

Episode 9
Mashiro wakes up to see Mashiro and Misaki painting on his room walls! Galactic Cat Nyaboron! What the hell?! In class, rumours have started that something is going on between Sorata and Nanami and even being pregnant! Miyahara doesn’t like how everybody is picking on them so he tells them off (I think he was trying to save Nanami’s face). But the girls think he is quite close with Sorata and doesn’t want to lose to Nanami and get this idea he is the one dating Sorata! They’re supportive of this pairing! How did it end up like this?! Back at Sakurasou, a British blonde turns up at their doorstep. Sorata must be stumped by her beauty that he had to say “I can notto speak Engurish” when she is clearly speaking in perfect Japanese. She is Rita Ainsworth and Mashiro’s roommate from England. She is here to bring Mashiro back now because she can’t let her stay to study manga. Yeah, that genius potential crap again. Mashiro asserts she won’t go back and pushes her out. Sorata felt pity and goes after her. She knew he would be kind enough to do that and ends up staying in his room. He can’t abandon cute creatures in need, right? Sorata learns Rita is England’s version of Mashiro Duty. Rita wants him to tell her all about Mashiro’s life in Japan. She has known Mashiro since 6 years old but she has stopped painting ever since. She warns he will end up broken if he stays with Mashiro. Next morning, Mashiro is shocked to see Rita cuddling all over him. Worst, the other girls see this. Rita isn’t going back to England and will stay in Sorata’s room till Mashiro changes her mind. Mashiro views Sorata as the enemy and on Rita’s side. Why are they all blaming it on Sorata?! I guess being too kind is a sin. Their ruckus is interrupted when Ryuunosuke comes to check on them! His first appearance! I thought he looks very much like a girl. In class, he continues to do his own thing and not pay heed to the teacher! He even tells her off he is only here for the credits and finds her lesson boring!!!

Each time Sorata bumps into Mashiro, her reply will be “Sorata, you idiot”. So he texts her that she is not on Rita’s side and may not be on hers. When he saw her masterpiece, he was torn. He wondered what would be best for her. He was just looking forward to her manga. But can Mashiro reply? Surprisingly, she does. It says… “Sorata, you idiot!”. Well, that was certainly the ice breaker. Sakurasou residents (except Chihiro of course) are planning what to do for the cultural festival that lasts a week. Sorata thinks they can do a production since they have quite a team here and further suggests to get the audience involve. They like and approve of his idea and before he knows it, he becomes the group leader. Later Mashiro comes into Sorata’s room to tell Rita to sleep in her room. Jealous? Since when was Mashiro concerned Sorata is a boy? Rita assures he is impotent! Yeah, all that mental stress must have got to him. She agrees to that but wants Sorata to date her this Sunday. He didn’t expect the date to be at a hotel, eh? Yeah, don’t embarrass her. No turning back. Obviously Mashiro and Nanami are spying on them but were found out so Rita invites them for a foursome. A what? Seems the hotel is holding an art exhibition and Rita shows them Mashiro’s final painting before she left for Japan. Sorata becomes enthralled. Like he felt the universe! The heavens! Although Rita doesn’t know much about manga, she doesn’t think it is something worth giving up painting for. Sorata thinks she should return to the art world.

Episode 10
Rita helps Sorata draw his storyboard and he finds her quite good. From what Rita is saying, he thinks she is using him to convince Mashiro to return to England with her. Sorata knows it won’t work but Rita believes she is more inclined to listen if it’s from him. The gang put forth their effort in making their Nyaboron production while Rita just watches. Till she had an unexpected ‘lecture’ from Ryuunosuke that things won’t go her way and that she has forgotten something. He notes her smiles are fake. Seems the production hits a snag. They need to do a presentation before the committee to see if they’re fit to do it. They’re after all known as the trouble kids from Sakurasou, right? Also, Sorata’s unfinished storyboard is putting things behind schedule. The gang had a brief showdown with the student council president, Souichirou Tachibayashi. Jin knows him but that dude seems to be on bad terms with him and warns them about their conduct. Feeling the need to get someone on par with Mashiro to speed up their work, there is a person: Rita. Sorata thought she gave up painting but Mashiro says she has not because she loves painting. Besides, when they were at the art exhibition, didn’t they see Rita’s painting too? They see Rita just coming back to Sakurasou and invite her to help out but she refuses citing reasons that she is quitting. When Mashiro says her work is beautiful, Rita becomes angry. She blames Mashiro as the person who made her quit painting. When they were studying in grandpa’s studio, she points out that the other kids slowly dropped out. Mashiro may not remember them because she’s so obsessed with her paintings. Everyone grew to hate her. No matter how hard they tried, Mashiro always stood above them. After 10 years, only Rita remained by her side. Mashiro was still the same. That’s why Rita wanted her to disappear and introduced her to manga. She thought if her manga failed, she would at least understand how they felt. But now she got her manga debut! Rita wanted her to be a world famous artist so she can brag she studied with her and feel she has been part of her contribution.

Ryuunosuke tells her off about putting up false smiles and now this pouty face. He admits he is a shut-in with electronics as his friends but should try to understand how they feel now.  Rita adds that ever since that day, grandpa told her that if she can’t become better than Mashiro there is no point in doing it anymore. She might seem like clinging on to Mashiro but she has nowhere else to go. Ryuunosuke asks despite of all that, he has never heard her say what she wanted to do. Rita becomes upset of his over analysis and runs away. Sorata chides him for this side of his and goes after her. Mashiro blames herself for causing Rita to hate her and had no idea. He asks if she ever felt jealous and wished she was like somebody amazing she thought. When they find Rita, Sorata explains how he had a feeling Mashiro was alone in a world nobody could enter. Even friends in class stayed away. But Rita was able to enter her world and stayed by her side for 10 years. Mashiro may not understand her but there is no doubt she loves her. He doesn’t want to become somebody who runs away. Rita admits what Ryuunosuke said was right. Then the English girls make up. Mashiro confesses she didn’t know how Rita felt because she was having so much fun painting by her side. She didn’t feel alone and thought she was all that she needed. Rita hugs her and says she too felt the same way and wants to keep painting with her because she loves painting. This emotional scene was so infectious that Nanami also starts crying. So Rita helps out with the gang in finishing the production. With lots of determination and effort, the presentation turns out well received. Sakurasou celebrates their success. Rita apologizes and thanks Ryuunosuke for what he said the other day. She now understands them. She is interested in him but he insists he hates girls and locks himself in his room. Rita adds she still has not changed her mind about Mashiro to return to painting instead of doing manga. However she will set things aside until after the cultural festival.

Episode 11
With the cultural festival starting, Sorata is like a zombie because he’s been putting in extra hours to finish Nyaboron. Nanami covers him so he could spend more time in putting in the finishing touches. Since he can’t work on an empty stomach, Jin takes him to the forest cafe whereby Mashiro and the others are serving in animal outfits. Rita continues to bug Ryuunosuke in his room. She is more interested in him rather than going to the cultural festival. She could have done something bolder had not the rest return. While making more preparations for the production, Sorata overhears Rita on the phone that Mashiro will return to England after the festival ends. Rita catches him and since he has overheard, she reveals that was Mashiro’s father on the line. There are some people waiting for her and she needs to return where she belongs. Sorata is shocked. On another day at school, Sorata is surprised to find Ryuunosuke dressed in a maid outfit. More surprisingly, he came to the festival. Well, Nanami forced him. Besides, Rita invaded his room so he can’t sleep. Since they are here, they go through the final checks of Nyaboron. Sorata feels something is lacking and that they aren’t using the system’s full potential. However he doesn’t have a suggestion so soon so Ryuunosuke tells him off he should have thought about it before suggesting any changes. If he stars second guessing right before the deadline, the project will be in danger. He gives him attend a talk addressed by Fujisawa in one of the festival’s forums. Sorata realizes from his speech that he needs to move his own heart first if he is to move the hearts of others. He knows his heart is not focused on Nyaboron but on Mashiro.

Mashiro finds Sorata to point out Jin is getting intimate over there. Seems he is talking with a girl, Fuuka. She is Misaki’s older sister and Jin’s ex-girlfriend. From their conversation it seems she wants to get back together with him and is serious. However he is not interested but she laughs it off as just joking. Sorata thought trouble is brewing when Misaki heard that Jin is going to Osaka. He apologizes he knew it but couldn’t tell her. But all Misaki is worried is that since Fuuka wasn’t serious with him, it means she still has a chance with Jin. She brightens up and back to her energetic and idiotic self. She’s not really worried if he is studying far away. With human technology, it is only 2.5 hours away. Does she have any sense of time, place or money? Well, nothing will stop her as long as she wants to see him. Her unstoppable passion is all the strength she needs. Mashiro wonders if that is love. Yeah, I think it is. Sorata thinks hard about Mashiro, Misaki’s words and Fujisawa’s words. Then it hit him. Realizing how Mashiro put all her emotions into Nanohanasou, he chairs an emergency meeting for Nyaboron’s climax scene. He will have Nyaboron unleash his secret move via the audience’s voice through the power of love! Don’t laugh yet! When given the cue, the audience will shout or yell anything to power up his gauge and let Nyaboron fire back at the enemy. They love this idea and do the necessary adjustments. It is finally completed and it will be 5 hours before the real show. They will use this time to get some much deserved sleep. But Sorata can’t sleep because he is worried that Mashiro will be gone after everything ends. Then Mashiro texts to him that she wants to see him. He panics but it seems she wants him to stay by her side till she falls asleep.

Episode 12
Mashiro falls asleep right beside Sorata while he ponders they should make lots of memories while they still can. The day of reckoning is here. A long line of audience queues to see their show! Why not? There are big names in their production, right? Chihiro takes her seat and is surprised Fujisawa is here. He wants to see Sakurasou’s next generation product. The show begins as Nanami as host also leads the audience. They get excited when their actions affect what is on screen. Things are going well till the climax scene whereby they need to shout their love. The audience becomes reluctant. A strange silence fills the hall. Nobody is going to do something that embarrassing. Fujisawa feels he must have said something wrong in his speech about having passion. Although the production is good, trying to force passion on your audience will only meet resistance. Before Sorata starts blaming himself for this big failure, Mashiro yells from the top of her voice to thank them for everything. This is followed by Misaki shouting out her love for Jin and soon the rest of the Sakurasou join in before the crowd start screaming just about anything. Love confessions, insults and even who owes who money! The final shout is from Sorata thanking Mashiro. This is enough for the scene to move on and end in a grand fashion. Sakurasou kids go on stage for their curtain call as the audience cheer them on. They love it. While putting away their stuff, Jin gives the necklace he bought during his ‘date’ with Mashiro to Misaki. They see Rita and Mashiro heading off in a taxi.

When Nanami tells Sorata she couldn’t find Mashiro, Sorata realizes she has already left. Nanami is shocked and wants him to go stop her. But he has resigned to his fate that this is what Mashiro wants and he has already told her what he wanted so she slaps some sense into him if this is all he wanted to tell her. Of course not. He doesn’t want her to go. So they start searching through the school not knowing they already have left the building. Misaki goes back to class only to bump into Miyahara. He praises her performance and wonders if she has heard what he said during the shout aloud part. What did he say? He said he love her. Taken aback of this development, she apologizes and runs away. Now this is where Misaki’s driving licence comes in. Heck, she doesn’t even need one. People, never drive so dangerous like her. She is going to take the gang to the airport. So freaking fast that before they could board the plane, Sorata has already arrived and straight away hugs Mashiro. He tells her not to go and continue staying at Sakurasou. Guess what? Mashiro was just seeing Rita off. Haha. Embarrassed? Like he just made a big confession. So did Rita lie that Mashiro was going back to where she belonged? Well, Mashiro belonged to Sakurasou. She is glad to have come to Japan and will leave for England now. Ryuunosuke gives Rita his address. She is very happy but it turns out to be Sorata’s email address. She wants to punish him and though he could evade her slaps, he couldn’t avoid her peck on his cheek! Surprise? Sorata has to relive another round of embarrassment when Mashiro vividly describes the lingering feeling. She feels funny in her heart. It’s thumping so hard. She can still feel it. She can still hear his voice ringing in her ears. She wonders if this is love.

Episode 13
Sorata wanted to say something back but Mashiro used Nyaboron terminologies to indicate she rejected him. And then with Misaki they blast off away into the sky with Nyaboron. WTF?! Must be a dream. Yeah. And Sorata just fell off from the wrong side of bed. Based from the survey, the Nyaboron show did very well. It gave Sorata lots of motivation to submit another game proposal. Misaki tries to get Jin’s heart by making him bento and trying to steal a kiss when he’s napping. The latter didn’t happen. There’s even a love letter in his shoe box. Wait, my mistake. It’s a marriage registration form! It’s playing to the wedding song too. Jin gives Nanami a pair of play tickets of Christmas Eve since the person who gave it to him suddenly had change in plans. Elsewhere, Mashiro wants to cook. Serious. She means it. So Sorata teaches her how to crack an egg and since she is doing fine, she insists on moving up to knives. See how the way she is holding? Like a murderer, eh? Or does she want to make Sorata her meal? Then she gets her finger cut. Sorata panics and calls Chihiro. After she bandages it, she knocks Sorata’s head for being careless since Mashiro has her manga deadline to meet. Mashiro says she’ll be okay with it and wants to continue cooking but that one injury is enough for Sorata to advise her to stop for today. Ayano pays a visit to Sakurasou since Mashiro called her. Then Sorata goes to talk to her. Ayano assures her injured finger won’t affect her work. She is curious to know what he thinks of Mashiro these days. She has definitely changed. When she first met her, she felt something weird of her and her gaze penetrated as if she was looking right past her. Sorata notes she was once so caught up in her manga, everything else didn’t matter. But now it isn’t and doesn’t know if this is the real Mashiro or not. Ayano thinks she is more like a normal girl, just a little lost. She asks if he likes the old or new Mashiro and thinks he would come to like both but he surprises her that he is more comfortable with the old one.

When Sorata comes back, he eagerly opens his reply letter of his game proposal. Based on his actions, you can say he got rejected. But does this give him the right to lash out at Mashiro who still wants to cook for him? Even if she has finished her manuscript? He blows his top that the old Mashiro would have continued redoing and polishing her manga right up till the last minute but now she’s slacking off. For once, Mashiro said something back. If that’s the case, Sorata should stop being on her mind all the time. She wants him to tell her the feelings she is feeling right now. Can’t, can he? He is supposed to relay a message from Ayano to her about the end of year party by the publishers on Christmas Eve but I guess the situation doesn’t call for it. Then Misaki wants Sorata to come to her room as she seeks her advice. Nanami happened to come back at the same time so she too gets invited. Seems Misaki is troubled. She has done all she can to steal Jin’s heart. From bento to marriage registration form and several confessions (in which Jin gave lots of excuses and treating this whole affair like a joke). Does this justify why she’s in a sexy Santa outfit? She is going to use her last resort. She wants to be alone with Jin on Christmas Eve and wants them to cooperate. Looks like she has decided than sought advice. Nanami sums up her courage to ask Sorata out on that day since she has tickets to the play. He promises to go with her.

Episode 14
Sorata leaves the party invitation outside Mashiro’s door since he feels hard talking to her. But Mashiro is peeking outside the corner of his room. She thinks he is angry. Well, clearly he is even if he says he is not. See, now you scared her away. Souichirou talks to Jin at the library about Misaki. Jin seriously wants to cut ties with all the other girls he is fooling around because he truly loves Misaki. He wants her to see him more than a lover. Misaki helps Nanami pick out a dress. They talk about Misaki’s confession and of course she is scared and nervous. She feels everything is like a never ending cycle. She likes him but too scared to say. But she fears being rejected and thought things will be fine if it stays the same. Then the thought of losing him if he goes out with someone else. It all ends up back to square one. She is tired of this cycle. Meanwhile Sorata gets an earful from Chihiro. She tells him Mashiro isn’t slacking off like he thought she is. She just doesn’t know how to deal with emotions she never felt before and shouldn’t take it out on her. Since many things in this world aren’t clear cut, if he starts rejecting everything that doesn’t fit his ideal, he’ll end up screwing himself and those around him. As on how to deal with Mashiro, he should figure it out himself. Not because he is on Mashiro Duty but because he is a man. Chihiro tells him she is closing Sakurasou for the year end because she wants to have fun in Australia so everyone is forced to go home. On Christmas Eve, Sorata accompanies Mashiro to the party. He spots another reply letter in the mailbox but just puts it in his pocket to read later. Before Sorata leaves Mashiro to Ayano, Mashiro hopes Sorata would say something. Properly talk to her, that is. I’m sure properly greeting everyone wasn’t what she had in mind. Misaki is alone at Sakurasou with Jin. She isn’t kidding when she says she was desperate. Yeah. She’s naked! She wants an honest answer. He says he loves her and has felt this way for a long time.

Sorata meets up with Nanami and watch the play with her. At the end of it, she reveals her next audition and if she doesn’t pass, she must go back to Osaka. Otherwise she’ll get to continue staying here while working for an agency. She wonders if he’ll miss her but he doesn’t want her to think such things and is confident she’ll pass. She says she has something important to tell him when she passes. Suddenly Sorata gets a cal from Ayano that Mashiro is missing and the hotel staffs saw her walking out of the building. Sorata becomes frantic and goes to look for her. He finds her sitting near a fountain all alone. She lost her shoes along the way. Seems she wanted him to taste the delicious baumkuchen and brought it out for him to taste. Why would she do something like that? Because he’s angry so lately. Even though she has much to say to him, he didn’t face her properly and this is all she could do. Sorata hugs her and admits he is angry. For making him worry by going missing like that. He thought she got into an accident or something. Mashiro says she has been thinking a lot about him lately and tried to do different things. She never felt this way before. Sorata assures he will always watch over her ever since he first laid his eyes on her manga. He couldn’t take his eyes off her then (is there double meaning to this?). But anyway they made up. Nanami heard everything and had to interject. She passes him the letter he dropped. He opens to read it. He turns cheerful instead and hopes they both can help him out in future presentations. On the way back, Sakurasou is pitch black. ‘Night activities’? But they see dejected Misaki crying alone in the dark. She tried to be his lover but he told her he can’t love her the way he is now. He wanted her to stay the way she is now and don’t have to do anything. Misaki couldn’t understand. He was so gentle. She wanted to be hurt by him tonight.

Episode 15
Nanami, Misaki and Mashiro are all heading back to Sorata’s hometown for the winter holiday! We know Mashiro’s airheadness so she wasn’t able to call Rita to get her. Nanami forgot but has her own problems back home. Misaki… She’s a depressed cat… And so that is how Sorata brought home his ‘harem’ much to the shock of Yuuko. Mommy welcomes them but daddy doesn’t approve of polygamy! So does the law! Later Sorata calls Jin to find out what happened. Jin confessed to Misaki but wanted her to give him time. It is because he loves her very much, he can’t abandon his dreams to enter Osaka University. He doesn’t want to become a guy with nothing to offer. Currently he is staying at Souichirou’s place. That ex-student council president is counting the days when he’ll get out. When Sorata’s mom comments about Sorata getting a wife, Yuuko becomes clingy to him and asserts anybody who wants to be onii-chan’s wife must defeat her! Mashiro is serious in doing that! However as noted, daddy will not allow her to go to Suimei so Yuuko is depending on Sorata to persuade him. Nanami offers to tutor Yuuko thinking that daddy will change his mind if he sees how hard she is working. Yuuko brings in her materials for tutoring and that includes a thick manga magazine. Is she serious? There is a new manga story she likes. She didn’t realize it was written by Mashiro (which is based on Jin and Misaki’s relationship) but when she finds out, she becomes her biggest fan. Wow. Sudden u-turn. Sorata wonders if Mashiro can work on her manga without her computer but she says she already has completed them. Her finger healed and she worked harder. Just the way Sorata likes. She has also drawn a picture for his presentation.

Sorata and Nanami talk and encourage each other in their respective fields. She hopes that when she gets her script, he will be able to help her out like how she did for his presentation. Their nice mood together is interrupted when they realize Mashiro is standing behind them. She wants to work hard with them but lately she feels there is a lot she doesn’t understand. She goes to talk to Misaki that they are both in her manga. She doesn’t understand them and wants to know how she should have done it. Misaki says if her anime hurts Jin, she’ll stop making them. Mashiro wonders if that is the kind of Misaki that Jin likes just like how Sorata loves her who draws manga. She asks what sort of her does Jin likes. Mommy tells Sorata that despite Yuuko working very hard than before, daddy still won’t approve of her going to Suimei and hopes he could talk to him. Why him? Because Yuuko requested his help. And so the guys have their talk (in the bathroom, of all places). Sorata hopes he would give Yuuko a chance and even if she fails, she will be satisfied knowing she has tried. That notes how matured he has become (looking at his dick) but is more interested which of the girls he likes. Then he assures him to do what he likes because he will come up with enough money for his and Yuuko’s tuition to whatever college they want to go. Everyone drives up the hill to see the first sunrise. Yuuko thanks Sorata and shortly Misaki too. She realizes she loves anime and wants to continue working on them. This is the person that Jin loves and will animate his screenplay to make him turn to her this time for sure. Everybody agrees that this is the Misaki they love. I’m sure wild unpredictable Misaki beats having a sulking one, right? Everyone takes a train back to Sakurasou and they are nervous of the new term with all the new obstacles they have to deal with. But they’re looking forward to it.

Episode 16
With Misaki back in her groove, she is working on a new anime. Despite her action sounds, she is doing a romance genre. Nanami wants to borrow it for her audition on Valentine’s Day. Sorata prepares his proposal when he gets a call from Yuuko. She has her entrance exam on 13th February so she’ll be staying over for a night. By the way, Jin hasn’t come back to Sakurasou. He will be crashing at Souichirou’s place till his exam is over. The president didn’t know that, did he? After school, Sorata heads out for his proposal presentation. While he is presenting his rhythmic action battle game, Fujisawa and one of the judges discuss among themselves the development cost for this game and the units needed to be sold to break even. At the end, the judge tells him that it will be difficult for their company to invest in his proposal. Another rejection? However he tells Sorata he is free to brush it up with Fujisawa. Looks like Fujisawa will be helping him brush up his proposal and gives Sorata his name card to decide on an appointment date. He assures Sorata that he is halfway there. So everyone celebrates Sorata’s success back at Sakurasou. Red bean rice? Don’t even ask. When Mashiro learns Nanami sent an encouragement mail to Sorata before his presentation, she instantly goes to send him one now. Isn’t it too late? Shouldn’t it be congratulations instead? Mashiro thinks Sorata has been giving Nanami special treatment lately. But Sorata interjects that he ALWAYS gives her special treatment every day! Sorata helps Nanami recite her lines. She is convincing that you wouldn’t know if she is confessing her love to him for real or just acting. It is Sorata that is more embarrassed to say his lines.

Mashiro talks to Ayano that she feels restless when she sees Sorata and Nanami together. She gives her a stack of romance manga to read. Sorata calls Fujisawa for an appointment. He learns he and Chihiro were once classmates and also the art for this proposal as well as Nyaboron was drawn by Mashiro. Yuuko arrives at Sakurasou a happy little sister. Her mind is filled more with Valentine’s Day than her exam. But her happiness comes crashing down when she hears Sorata has been doing lots of stuff on Nanami’s behalf. It’s like they’re a domestic couple. Very close to panic mode… Even if Mashiro’s ambiguous words like “Sorata also does a lot of things for me” didn’t make Yuuko as suspicious since she views her as some helpless girl relying on him. Misaki starts making her handmade chocolates (I wonder how many packets she’s got) while Nanami puts hers away in the drawer. But Yuuko is left to suspect Mashiro too when she comes in clad in a towel to let Sorata dry her hair. I think she’s already in panic mode. Yeah, in addition to her exam, she’s got his relationship to worry about. Poor girl. So young, so many worrisome problems already. Yuuko leaves early on her exam day and gives to Sorata her chocolate. She has to go straight home after her exam so she gives him a day earlier. She asserts she won’t lose to those girls. Then she whispers in his ear which of the girls he is serious about because daddy said indecisiveness is a crime. Sorata’s face is flushed with embarrassment as the girls are suspicious to know what Yuuko said.

Episode 17
Sorata wishes Nanami good luck for her audition. At the same time, Ayano is in panic mode. She calls Mashiro that the artist assigned for the front page collapsed and wants her to fill in and do a colour page. For once, Sorata is shocked that Mashiro actually dressed herself up. Okay, maybe she was just missing one sock. She refuses to let him look through her bag (he thinks she may forget something) when they are pleasantly surprised with Rita’s arrival at the doorstep. It’s Valentine’s Day. She’s not here to catch up with Mashiro. You do the maths. Can you hear the commotion from Ryuunosuke’s room? World war has just begun. Ryuunosuke locks himself inside the toilet while persistent Rita stays outside hoping he would accept her chocolate. At school, Sorata gets a desperate call from Nanami. The train stopped since someone got injured on the tracks. She can’t postpone the day but only the time. Since she is at the platform, Sorata wants her to wait for him. He makes haste and leaves a voice message to Mashiro that he will be late to meet her today as promised. Sorata wanted to borrow Miyahara’s bicycle but when he hears Nanami in trouble, he uses his power of love to peddle Sorata there. Well, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of that power especially when he’s peddling uphill. Reaching his limit, he passes the bicycle to Sorata. He lets him know his confession to Nanami was rejected. He cheers on him to go get her since he is the one Nanami called in time of need. When Sorata arrives, he wants to give her taxi money but the queue is too long. He wants to cycle her there but they might not make it. Sorata tells her she is not going to give up here after working hard for 2 years. Evening, Ryuunosuke finally gets out from his toilet. Rita is gone but left a note saying she has left for her flight. She regrets not properly saying goodbye to the rest and lets him know that kiss she gave at the airport was her first.

Sorata wonders if Nanami would like to practice her lines along the way. Does he have enough breathe to talk? She takes up his offer and suddenly hugs him, confessing she loves him. He stops dead in his tracks. Shocked. Was it for real? Well, Nanami is impressed that her acting sounds so real. Was she really acting? When she goes off to her audition, Sorata realizes he is late to meet Mashiro and peddles all the way back. He thinks she has gone back but finds her at the rooftop. She passes to him her chocolates. Bamboo shoots actually. The meeting was just for this? She could’ve given him back at Sakurasou but she wanted to do it normally like other girls. Yeah, she read too much manga. She tries hard to be normal so Sorata can understand her because she feels they are distant. Nothing he went with Nanami again today, even though it’s Nanami’s special day, it is hers too. It is when Sorata realized she has been running far ahead in front of him. So far he couldn’t see her. But it works both ways because she too can’t see him when she turns back. Sorata likes the bamboo shoots and this makes Mashiro happy. She wants to walk home holding his hand but decides not too since her heart is beating very fast. He says it’s a sign that she’s alive. Back home, Nanami seems happy since she has done her best for the audition. They celebrate with dumplings. Dumplings for Valentine’s Day? There’s chocolate inside it… Everyone laments Rita couldn’t stay and Ryuunosuke didn’t want to elaborate further if anything happened. Misaki understands everyone has a thing or two they can’t tell. This has Sorata wonder if her confession to Jin went well. Then he remembers Nanami’s promise to tell him something and spills sauce over his shirt. Could that confession be for real? He hopes he is just over thinking things.

Episode 18
Jin calls Misaki to tell her of his acceptance to Osaka University but she is not picking up and continues her anime. Sorata sees Fujisawa for a short while to consult on his proposal. The latter asks if Mashiro could draw additional artworks to increase his chances of approval. Later Sorata and Nanami leave to go check Yuuko’s results. Mashiro also tags along because depending on the results, she may have to adjust her future plan. Wow. Thinking ahead. Mashiro accuses them both of siding each other when they are in sync denying everything. Yuuko’s number isn’t on the list so Sorata calls her to say she didn’t make it. She becomes distraught. So distraught that she’s just comical. Really. She even got the confetti ball ready. Counting her chickens. Souichirou comes up to them to tell Jin has been accepted to Osaka and is here to tell his homeroom teacher. This means he will be leaving soon but he hasn’t been making up with Misaki since Valentine’s Day. Sorata won’t let that happen. He and Mashiro will stall Jin while Nanami goes back to bring Misaki here. Sorata brings Jin up to the rooftop to talk about Misaki. Jin seems to accept the fact he won’t be with her and will not date her. Sorata tells him off he is not the person he knew, if he cares Misaki will end up with someone else, blah, blah, blah. The guys engage in a fist fight. Jin counters his accusations saying he has a hard time keeping up with his studies with Misaki always on his mind. He needs commitment to stay with her forever. Sorata knows he is ready for commitment ages ago and wants to know what he is waiting for. I guess you could say Jin wins this boxing match and all the while, Mashiro was just looking on like a blur case. Jin adds Misaki won’t be coming. He knows because she has been avoiding him lately without replying his calls and messages. Mashiro is confident Nanami will bring her here. Nanami has reached home but Misaki won’t go. She gives excuse she needs to finish her anime so Nanami lectures her about this and that. Misaki admits she is afraid to see Jin and can’t bring herself to finish this scene she is working on.

Flashback time. Misaki and Jin were always close since young so she took for granted he will always be there. Then in middle school, Jin was dating Fuuka but secretly admired Misaki. While Misaki ran rampaged with her artistic creativity, Jin would pick a fight with anyone who badmouths her. Even Fuuka knows he likes Misaki. Their teacher recommended Misaki to Suimei whereby she can meet ‘oddball aliens’ that share her passion. It was when Jin realized Misaki was always alone. So when Jin wanted to enrol into Suimei, he had his last talk with Fuuka before breaking up. She knows he always worries for her. Because he wants to keep her untouched by his side and not hurt her, he rather made love to Fuuka instead. In the end he couldn’t leave Misaki alone and enrolled in Suimei. Back in present time, Nanami makes a daring move to jump out of the window to bring Misaki to school! While Sorata and the rest hold the door to prevent the teachers from coming in, Jin and Misaki properly talk. He tells her about his acceptance and wants her to do what she wants. After making Nyaboron, she must have realized it too. While everyone’s work was good, Jin knows his scripts weren’t meeting her standards because she had this disappointed look when he submits them. She admits that to be correct. He promises to come back in 4 years with skills worthy of her. He puts on a ring on her finger. Consider it a charm to keep men away. She won’t take it off ever. With that, Jin ends his exile and returns home to Sakurasou with the rest. But they are hit with another bad news. Chihiro has just come back from meeting and it is decided Sakurasou will be torn down by the end of the year.

Episode 19
Sakurasou won’t be undergoing any renovation. It will be demolished. Period. That’s why Chihiro had them move out during winter break to let contractors assess the place. She adds that the board decided on this and they’ll move back to the normal student dorms. Oh, they’ll allow the cats too. It is odd for Sorata who once wanted to get out so much being the most vocal one against the demolition. Jin tells him to consider that staying in the normal dorms won’t be that bad. It isn’t as rundown as this place and they have their meals fixed by the cafeteria staffs. Of course he is also not okay with this decision (since something fishy is going on as the board can’t give a direct reason on its demolition) and will see what he can do to help them out. After all, they’ve done a lot for him. Mashiro talks to Sorata in his room. He worries about living in the normal dorms because there is gender segregation and can’t look after Mashiro like always. When Mashiro sees a group photo of Sakurasou’s residence, the one when Sorata first moved in, he begins his flashback on how he moved in. We all know his affection for cats landed him here so on the first night when he stepped in for the first time, the lax security was one thing, he found a girl sitting in his closet! He isn’t seeing things, right? Misaki then pounded on him thinking he was a thief. That’s his first experience with her wild quirkiness. His next shocking surprise is when he sees Chihiro dressing up so sexy going out on a date and doesn’t give a damn about her students. He thought Jin was a nice guy till he whispered in his ear that his current girlfriend is a married woman!!! Misaki bums in his room hoarding his video game. It’s her 99th consecutive victory! He can’t unpack and he can’t use the toilet because Misaki just gave up on achieving her 100th streak and went to use it.

Sorata thought he heard a ghost next door. He got the scare of his life when he sees Ryuunosuke walking out like a zombie and thought he was a ghost. He thought he saw another ghost but it’s Chihiro with lemons over her face. Looks like the date didn’t go well. Yeah. Men ‘complained’ she easily gets mad and a drunkard. That describes her perfectly, right? Chihiro explains to him about Ryuunosuke, a serious shut-in whom she has only seen 3 times out of his room and never gone to class since his entrance ceremony. For Sorata to see him on his first night, it’s a good sign, right? More like a curse! Sorata thinks she should take her job seriously but she says forcing others will only get them to hate life. That’s why she won’t take her job seriously. So she’s talking about herself? She gives him Ryuunosuke’s email. Sorata tries to converse normally but all he got was an automated reply from Maid-chan. Since he couldn’t figure that out, he got insulted by Ryuunosuke. Misaki wants to continue her video game marathon up till morning. Since she can’t leave him alone, he decides he will leave this place. At the park, he sees another abandoned cat and brings it home. Then he gets a welcome surprise from Misaki in his room. She set all this up and tidied up his room too? I guess that’s why Jin came back ‘early’ from his romp with one of his girlfriends too. Oh, he says he had 4 of them. Haha. Sorata settles in with the nabe party and soon the gang took that group photo (with Misaki Photoshop it to add Ryuunosuke in it). Jin has a feeling they will be together for a very long time but Sorata insists he is going to leave this place once he finds a caretaker for the cats. So back in present time, Sorata reminisces the other things he did in Sakurasou. Yeah, even know which cat put a scratch on that wall. Because everyone has their own great memories of this place, they don’t want it to be torn down. It is where they belong. And so they gather up to discuss what can be done to stop its demolition.

Episode 20
The Sakurasou kids are going to collect signatures for a petition to stop its demolition. They need to get 2/3 of signatures but it’s going to be hard since nobody cares. Can’t blame them. It is not their problem. The first to sign is Miyahara. This gives hope to them to work harder. Later Ryuunosuke shows them the board minutes that he hacked into. Firstly, the contractor who surveyed the place admits it is rundown and must be evacuated in 5 years. It shows there is no rush. The rest of the minutes have Mashiro’s name popping up. In short, the board views it inconvenient for Mashiro to live in Sakurasou and is using this reason to get her out. That’s because they feel she is squandering her potential of painting via manga and before the school can be blamed, they feel the need to take action. Although Chihiro has voiced out Sakurasou and Mashiro’s manga have nothing to do with each other, the board is not convinced. Sorata wants to go see the principal but is warned by Ryuunosuke of how he would know details of the minutes. He can’t say he hacked, right? That will make it worse. Ryuunosuke says that there is only one obvious answer. Sorata didn’t like his idea of kicking out Mashiro. Ryuunosuke tells him he can’t afford this kind of problem because he has his game proposal to deal with and would be better to sort this out. This petition thingy is also useless as most seniors are not attending class, getting 2/3 means almost every first and second year students must fill it in. Even so, this doesn’t guarantee Sakurasou to remain. Sorata chides Ryuunosuke that he doesn’t care if Mashiro gets kicked out. He wants everyone including him to stay because they are his friends. But Ryuunosuke points out if they have this strong bond and friendship thingy, a demolition of a building wouldn’t affect it, right? Even if they are successful, half of them will be gone by next year. Jin and Misaki will graduate while Nanami will have to move out if she is successful with her audition. Remember, Sakurasou is a dorm for problem kids. Once your problem is gone, so do you. So if Nanami becomes a voice actress under an agency, she will be free of her financial problems. In the event if she fails, she will have to go back to Osaka as promised. Either way, she will still leave. Ryuunosuke advises them it is better to spend time making more memories than collecting signatures.

Rita calls Ryuunosuke but Maid-chan answers. She’s still rather cautious over the ex-freeloading woman. Rita has heard about Sakurasou and that Ryuunosuke is not helping out with the petition. She is worried he will become lonelier once Sakurasou disappears. It’s like Maid-chan developed some sympathy so she shows her a photo of Ryuunosuke’s middle school friends. They were supposed to make a game together but Ryuunosuke’s superior skills meant that they cannot meet his requirements. Ryuunosuke found it irritating and lashed out at them. Slowly they start ostracizing him and shunned from all activities. While Sorata is going over his proposal with Fujisawa, the latter notices his mind is not here. He learns of his dilemma. Fujisawa mentions he too once experienced something similar. Before he graduated and was swamped with getting ready for the job he is working now, his girlfriend didn’t know what to do in life. She couldn’t decide in continuing to paint or become an art teacher. Fujisawa was too busy with his own matters to help her. He is sure there is a way of doing 2 things together without sacrificing the other. When Sorata walks home, he spots Misaki and joins her. Seems she has graduated from her voice acting school (whether you pass or fail, after 2 years you will graduate). She tells him how she wanted to become a voice actress because her teacher praised her when she read aloud. She wanted to do it even more so when her father protested. They see Mashiro outside Sakurasou checking the mail. It contains a letter of Nanami’s audition result. What is the verdict? She failed. Yes. She didn’t make the cut. She won’t cry because she knows she has done her best and wants to at least hold it after Jin and Misaki’s graduation. She wants to send them off with a smile. Suddenly Misaki barges out and have this great idea of getting more signatures. Dressing up in animal costume? Looks like she’s scaring them instead… Yeah, everybody has to wear one. Embarrassing? Not when Sakurasou is on the line.

Rita calls Ryuunosuke but he doesn’t want to pick up. Maid-chan advises him to do so since she feels this is important. She has heard about his past and understands why he won’t join the petitioning. But is that how he really feels? She also understands him because she herself gave up on painting once and tried to distance herself from Mashiro. It’s only natural to think there is nothing but disappointment. But now she has gone back to painting thanks to those Sakurasou kids. That includes him. He was there for her. She knows Sakurasou is important to him and assures he has a group of real friends who won’t betray or abandon him. When Nanami decides to go get more signatures, the guy wonders if he needs to sign again because he just did so on the school website. Everyone is surprised to see Ryuunosuke had done up an online petition and they go rush to give him a big happy hug. It gives them more motivation to carry on.

Episode 21
The petitioning continues. They even have the support from the shop owners. Misaki even came out with petitioning formations. Wow. They’re going great guns. But Sorata knows these days will soon be coming to an end no matter how hard they try. In class, Nanami suddenly cries for no reason! The class is shocked so Sorata takes her to the infirmary. She asserts she is fine so he heads back to class. He gets a call from Fujisawa about the committee’s decision on his game proposal. He failed. Without going into detail, he says there was another rhythm game submitted. It is simpler and based on a currently popular anime. The main basis he was rejected was because they didn’t want to have 2 rhythm games. He will receive the results in detail later by mail. Fujisawa blames himself that he should have made their meetings more frequent but Sorata is grateful for all his help. Fujisawa adds that there are some things in life that are just unattainable no matter how much effort you put into it. That’s how life works. Sorata begins to feel very frustrated at the end of the call. He might turn mad if I should say. He gets a message from Ryuunosuke asking about Nanami. He scolds Sorata that Nanami can’t be alright because if she was, she wouldn’t be crying like that. Sorata rushes back to the infirmary but she isn’t there. He sees her standing shell shocked in the rain. He says this is enough. He is happy she cared and worked so much for Sakurasou and everybody. But she replies all this is just an excuse to cover up her fear. She used her surroundings to pretend she wasn’t upset. She thought everything meant nothing but Sorata disagrees. Without her, he too wouldn’t have come this far. The petitioning wouldn’t have made so much progress. She should stop thinking too much and accept the fact she has failed her audition. Stop running away. She breaks down asking her sacrifice and hard work for 2 years was for what purpose. She wanted to have fun and go out with friends but had to work and save up. So wasn’t she not good enough? Sorata knows she has been trying hard. Harder than anyone in the world. He hugs her so she can let it all out.

After drying themselves in the infirmary and Chihiro treating her for slight fever, Nanami wants Sorata to stay by her side till she sleeps. She then learns about his proposal failure and feels guiltier since she was thinking about herself. Sorata admits he is also fed up of failing. Fed up of everything going wrong that he has become a coward. But all they can do now is let it go because they’ll think about the future once they’re ready. Sorata realizes he has overslept and rushes to the gates where the other Sakurasou members are petitioning. Sorata is mad that nobody woke him up and even if they have got a bunch of signatures today, it is nowhere near the quota. Jin says they can’t leave Nanami alone and they need someone she can relate too. Besides, they have done much to help them so it’s their turn to help back. When they leave Sorata with Mashiro, Mashiro wants to continue collecting more signatures despite the fact that there is not enough time. Today is the last day. When they return to Sakurasou, Sorata sees a mail from the committee. He opens the letter only to read that they are interested in Mashiro’s illustrations on the rhythm action game and wants to offer her to do character design for their company. Sorata realizes the letter is addressed to Mashiro. Then he goes crazy. Feeling unfair since it has ended up this way. The plan to have Mashiro draw more illustrations for his game backfired on him. He starts believing ordinary people cannot do anything no matter how hard they try. It is the same for Sakurasou. No matter how hard they try, they couldn’t do anything. Frustrating, eh? Mashiro notes it’s because she is here. Oops. Did Sorata say the wrong thing? Because Mashiro did say she will protect Sakurasou, she packs her bags and leaves.

Episode 22
Mashiro regrets what he said then but in some ways felt he wanted to. Early on the morning of graduation day when Sorata goes to wake up Mashiro, he panics he couldn’t find her around. Chihiro points out she left this morning. Why didn’t she stop her? She did talk to her whether she discussed this with Sorata and the rest. Apparently she did not. Chihiro points out the old Mashiro wouldn’t have done anything when she sees him panicking but is now a completely changed person. Ryuunosuke’s GPS has tracked Mashiro at school so off everyone goes. Thanks to Misaki’s drifting, they got there faster. Remember, don’t drive like her. In the art room, Mashiro is not around but a painting of Sakurasou. Sorata feels this is the painting of her feelings but is upset Mashiro herself isn’t in it. He realizes the emotions behind the words when she said she wanted to protect Sakurasou. It was her plan to leave if the petitioning failed. Everyone splits up to find Mashiro. Knowing her, she mustn’t have gotten far. Along the way, Nanami picked this time to tell him her promise. I hope it’s not because he’s giving too much attention to Mashiro. The thing she wanted to say was that she is glad to meet him and is able to work so hard because of him. Hearing his voice makes her optimistic and before she knows it, she is always looking at him. I suppose she couldn’t finish her sentence or what she really wanted to say since she wants him to go convey those feelings to Mashiro. Yeah. The reason why she persevered this long was because she fell in love with him. Ryuunosuke is reluctant but calls Rita for help anyway. I’m not sure if he had expected her but she’s right behind him! I’m sure she wants to stay and chat with him for long but they’ve got a job to look for Mashiro. Rita knows Mashiro will be fine as she won’t give up on something easily.

Fujisawa enters Sakurasou only to be slapped by Chihiro. That reason being is also why he is here to apologize to Sorata for that Mashiro job offer fiasco. He didn’t expect another team would ask Mashiro to work for them. He wants to help out but Chihiro insists there is nothing he can do. Even if there was, they don’t need him because the kids will figure out something themselves. Sorata finally finds Mashiro at the train station. He assures her things will be fine but Mashiro starts blaming herself and breaks down. I think she is showing a lot more emotions than she ever did for this entire anime. She thinks they’ve worked so hard but failed to save Sakurasou. It is because of her that everyone continues to get hurt and caused him to hate her. He tells her to shut up and listen. He apologizes and admits what he said was true. He meant it. He felt jealous of her who had talent. He felt frustrated enough for him to hate her. But thanks to her, he found something worth striving for. He worked hard and combined with his failures, it feels he is living the best days of his life. Had he not met her, he would’ve remained ignorant to these feelings. That’s why he loves her for teaching him that and there’s no way he’ll hate her. When the train stops and leaves, Mashiro is gone. Did she get onboard? Actually she was finding stairs to meet him on the other side. It’s a good thing she still wants to be with him and Sakurasou. But she still feels her presence will cause everyone to get hurt just like Nanami. Nanami tells her off her failure had nothing to with her or Sakurasou and it was completely her own. It was her own fault she didn’t listen to Sorata and put on a brave face when she should have cried. The girls hug and made up. Sorata adds that Mashiro misunderstood something. It wasn’t Sakurasou the building that he was talking about. It’s the people in it. Sakurasou is so because of them. Amazingly, Mashiro understood that quickly. Then they realize they need to rush back for the graduation ceremony that will begin soon. Sorata says he might not know what colour he wants to be but just for today, he wants it to be sakura colour even if it’s the last day that they will all be together.

Episode 23
Seems all students are being handed little sakura brooches for the graduation ceremony. It was Ryuunosuke’s idea to do something for Jin and Misaki and Rita helped out to make enough for the entire school. As the ceremony begins, everyone is surprised that Misaki is the representative for the graduating students as she takes the stage. Even more surprising, her speech is normal. In your wildest dream you never would have thought she would speak like that. Her speech starts off with how she came to Suimei to make friends and how Sakurasou was a lonely place slowly being filled with dreams. The rest feels like a short summary of what they went through. Just put in lots of heartfelt emotions. Then she makes a special mention and thanks for her Sakurasou pals in person (including Rita but excluding Jin) as well as everyone else in this school for being with her. At this point, everybody is already crying. If you’re not, you must be a robot or have a stone as a heart. Her speech could have ended well if not for that last bit whereby she makes an emotional plea that Sakurasou is on the verge of being demolished and pleads not for it to be taken away from them. The principal has had enough of this nonsense but Jin steps in. The principal was sure Souichirou was the one to have given the speech instead but as Jin pointed out, Souichirou did see him early in the morning to hand over the speech he wanted to say (which was Misaki’s speech). It proves the principal forsake his responsibility in not reading such an important speech. He orders the teachers to restrain Misaki and Jin but Sorata jumps onto stage and with a microphone in hand, he expresses his heartfelt feelings how Sakurasou gave him a home when he had nowhere to go. Nanami and Mashiro also join in.

The teachers are closing in on them when Miyahara rallies the students to support Sakurasou and show them what they are made of. In no time, everyone starts cheering for Sakurasou. It brought more tears to Sorata’s eyes. They couldn’t collect 2/3 of the signatures but their message was still heard. This goes out to more than just Sakurasou. It’s about everyone at Suimei too. Sorata evolves to being super emotional as he tells Misaki he wants to stay with them forever and do more stupid things together. He doesn’t want them to graduate. Misaki tells him in that case he should make memories with his juniors in their place like how he spent time with them. Do everything he wants to do that they can’t with them. The teachers still want to quell them so Ryuunosuke finally enters the hall to tell them that if they haven’t get the big picture yet, they should realize that the crowd is on their side. Souichirou suggests they should admit defeat. He heard Sakurasou was originally established to nurture art students who needed to be free from society’s expectations. Although he won’t defend those problem kids, seeing how close they are, their tight bonds and their faithful hearts, he envies them. Chihiro suggests taking a vote since everyone is here. For those in favour of revoking Sakurasou’s demolition, throw their sakura brooch into the air. Safe to say everyone who had that did so. In the end, the ceremony continues but the Sakurasou troublemakers are made to stand outside the hall for the entire duration. It is revealed that it’s Jin and Misaki’s ingenious strategy of using speech to evoke sympathy, exposing the faculty’s incompetence and having a vote once general sentiment was opposed to Sakurasou’s demolition. With such atmosphere created, those who didn’t sign the petition would have thrown their sakura too. Yeah, felt like they’ve conned the crowd, eh? They couldn’t tell the rest since they will not approve of it. Even if they did, they would still have gone ahead with it anyway. The final song is being played as the gang sing along and run along. Run free like the wind!

Episode 24
I think Sorata has nailed in too many nails so that the Sakurasou signboard won’t come off. Overdoing it? Nanami will also be leaving Sakurasou but only temporary. She is going back to Osaka to convince her parents about her dream to become a voice actress. Misaki has rented an SUV to see off the gang. I hope she will drive safely and not make this their last journey. Fujisawa comes by shortly. Once again he missed the boat to see the kids so he goes for a drink with Chihiro instead. First to see off is Rita at the airport. She feigns a handshake so that she could pull Ryuunosuke and kiss him on the lips. Next is Jin at the train station. Misaki still worries about being separated so he assures her with a kiss on her lips. If that’s not enough, he gives her the marriage registration form. When he comes back, they can submit it together. Nanami is going the same way too so she hugs Mashiro after she says her real home is Sakurasou. She promises to come back. After Misaki drops off the rest, she tells them she is just going home to move some things and will see them soon as they are going to Suimei University. Ryuunosuke then leaves to do his outside work. Now all that is left is Sorata and Mashiro. They are standing at the exact spot where Sorata first met Mashiro a year ago. Back at Sakurasou, Mashiro hangs up her painting of the dorm and this time she is inside the painting. Mashiro wants to kiss too after seeing a couple of bold ones. She’s not sure if this is for her manga. Sorata agrees to give it a shot. But as their faces inch closer, Hikari scratches Sorata’s face. Can a cat feel jealous? Mashiro manages to land a peck on his cheek. That’s a reservation for the future.

Spring arrives and after the entrance ceremony, Sakurasou will have 2 new members. First would be top student Kanna Hase who can’t stand her dorm mate and wants to move out. The other is Iori Himemiya, the boy who got expelled trying to peep in the girls’ bathroom on his first day! Nanami has also returned to Sakurasou (she somewhat forced her parents to agree although they realize how serious she is now) and wants to help Sorata out with making a welcome nabe for the new residents. She notices he is making a new horror adventure game. Sorata seeks her help in her voice acting as he wants to use it for his presentation. When Kanna and Iori arrive at the doorstep of Sakurasou, they hear Nanami’s screaming for blood! Then Sorata comes out with a knife covered with blood! It’s the tuna he was cutting. The first to freak out was Iori. He tried running away outside but sees Ryuunosuke with a sickle (he was weeding), then rushes back in, crashes here and there before ending up in Mashiro’s room. A beauty amidst the mess. First thing she tells him is to strip! He gladly obliges! Till Nanami had to barge in and put some sense into both of them. Seems Mashiro is trying to add new members into her painting and views a boy’s body to be difficult to draw sometimes. When everyone is having nabe, Sorata gets another shock because Yuuko is in Suimei’s uniform! Seems she has gained entry in the school and wanted to keep it a secret as a surprise. Her number was on the result board and she told Sorata a different number. She was Kanna’s rowdy roommate. Now we know why she wants to move out. Mashiro shows her painting of everyone. Except Yuuko. No space to put her in. Wow. Hear her screams of despair. Another surprise at the doorstep. It is Misaki. She is here to join them as their new neighbour. What? She couldn’t wait for Jin to come back so she moved in to their newly married home next to Sakurasou. What was the graduation ceremony for then? Sorata narrates Sakurasou is filled with many old and new colours as usual. All those colours shine atop the canvas that is Sakurasou. Oh, Mashiro manages to squeeze a little space for Yuuko’s mug in the painting.

A Place To Call Home
It has been quite an enjoyable and emotional filled ride (I’m not talking about Misaki’s driving). There were moments of laughter, there were heart-warming scenes and there was a particular streak of shedding too much tears. I guess you can say that emotional farewell-cum-save-Sakurasou speech was very moving. Infectious indeed. Enough to even make passers-by who do not know a single thing or have nothing to do with it to jump straight in and support whatever the cause. The show quickly evolves into one whereby Sorata’s goal of moving out from Sakurasou is quickly moved out of the way to one whereby the Sakurasou residents deal among themselves especially Mashiro’s departure to England after the cultural festival and the dorm’s impending demolition. I thought in a way this is quite a good story flow because it would have been tad boring if 2 dozen episodes were dedicate trying to see how Sorata desperately trying to move out from Sakurasou. I will just get tiring and repetitive. Just like the never ending troubles of a certain boy in the ecchi harem of To Love-Ru, eh?

This anime isn’t just focused on Sorata as the rest of the Sakurasou residence do have their fair share of screen time although basically it leans more towards Sorata and Mashiro’s relationship. Theirs is one reason why this series is funny because of the witty lines that they come up with against each other. In every episode, you are guaranteed to hear Sorata screaming his head off whether it is Mashiro’s inability to do something right or something emotional from the bottom of his heart. The way Mashiro always says things tends to lead to misinterpreted situations and make Sorata look like a bad perverted person. In a way, don’t you think complement each other? They both have each other as support to cover up their weaknesses. Mashiro’s lack of common sense makes her a funny girl. Also in the context of strange. She rarely puts emotion in her words (I guess it is all conveyed in the canvas) and when she does, it would feel so strange and different from the original Mashiro we know that you wish you had the previous one back. I can understand why Sorata felt that way. He has grown accustomed with what Mashiro is like and for her to change (even though it is trying for his sake) would seem funny. Sometimes I get this feeling that Mashiro’s lack of common sense is somewhat deliberate and on purpose just to piss Sorata off. Does she do this back in England too? Doesn’t Rita blow her top like Sorata too? Maybe Rita was suppressing her hatred all that time.

Even though Sakurasou has a bad reputation, once you get to know the residents better, you’ll find that they are not as bad as you thought they would be. They’re just ‘different”. I hope that moving speech from Misaki has made everyone realized that Sakurasou isn’t synonymous with problem people. I’m not sure everyone was just supporting Sakurasou at the spur of the moment because although the dorm didn’t get torn down, freshmen students as heard still have its bad reputation in their head. Maybe it’s Sorata’s job to dispel that too in the future. But if I’m told that Sakurasou houses problem people, it makes me wonder how Nanami can fit in there? Sure, she is having problems with her finance but does that make her a problem kid? If that is the case, then every student in Suimei surely must have their own personal problem, right? Consider extending Sakurasou? One thing funny I find about Nanami is that whenever she gets angry, she starts speaking in her Kansai accent. Very obvious. Very funny. Can’t shake off her Osaka trait, eh?

Wild child Misaki is the wildest and most unpredictable of them. I guess in every group you need to have one which is as crazy. Otherwise, where would the fun be? Her rowdy behaviour stems from hiding her loneliness for Jin. It might seem she is running away from reality but do you like it when Misaki is all down and gloom just like in that one episode? Better for her to be the mad and crazy woman we all know, right? Even Sorata admits he sort of likes that part of her. It’s funny that 2 people in love with each other can’t be together so with Jin wanting to become a better person for Misaki’s sake, he has to reject her for now till he improves. Just like Misaki, his flings with several other girls are also some sort of escapade from reality. I guess everyone in Sakurasou has this. Sorata wanted to run away from it when he is under stressed but the more he delays, it seems pretty much like an excuse. I thought I would never see the tomato lover Ryuunosuke but surprisingly he makes more frequent appearances after 1/3 of the show. I was resigned to the fact that all I will ever see is Maid-chan in his place. It is pretty funny for an artificial intelligence programme like Maid-chan to act very much like a human. You can see her hostility towards Rita each time she tries to approach Ryuunosuke. Things may have softened but I’m sure she isn’t totally dropping her defence yet. Ryuunosuke’s words may be harsh but it reflects reality. Sometimes I feel bad when he had to lash out to Sorata about facing the truth but what he says is true. It is because society functions that way. Can you blame Ryuunosuke for the way he thinks after he himself had gone through a bad patch? But he is not entirely a heart of stone because he is seen to have cried too especially during Misaki’s speech. I think everyone cried (except for some hard boiled teachers).

Chihiro may have the least presence among the Sakurasou residence but she is one I considered one of the most powerful in terms of helping out the problem kids. She may not look like it and half the time you would see her drunk or a sleepy head. She does dispense very well advice when the time calls for it and is quite a far person when it comes to protecting the rights of her Sakurasou fellows. Yuuko may not be a resident of Sakurasou and not even a regular but I can summarize that she is a lot more of a joker than a little sister. I thought with her now being admitted to Suimei, she should have been thrown into Sakurasou too for her rowdy behaviour which is only second to Misaki. And since she wanted to be with big brother so much, shouldn’t she just apply to live at the dorm? I’m sure Chihiro would have approved it. Not enough rooms? Since when is that a problem? That’s why I just don’t get it when Yuuko now a Suimei student but not a Sakurasou resident. If she moves in, I guess Kanna will have to move back out. Yuuko is like torn between 2 extremes. She has this brother complex and fawns over him but at the same time wants to be spoilt by him. So which is which?

Seeing that this is a romance comedy genre, there are a handful of moments between Sorata, Mashiro and Nanami. Some episodes give more Sorata-Mashiro time and there are other moments of Sorata-Nanami scenes. The way it builds up doesn’t have you thinking that this will lead to some kind of harem in-fighting like OreShura. So while it may not seem like romance is building up between them, at least it shows that their relationship are growing. Sorata certainly doesn’t blow his head off like he usually does every time Mashiro is in sight. He still does from time to time. But he gets angry not because he is upset. Yes he is but it is mainly because he loves her. I am not sure about Mashiro’s upbringing back in England because how can a girl like her grow up to be without common sense and emotion? I suppose everyone is so much more infatuated with Mashiro the genius painter that everything else about her doesn’t matter. It’s like treating her as a tool. That’s why when she came to Sakurasou, it was an eye opener and a heart changing experience. This is something that all the praises of her genius artwork cannot buy. To the extent that she would almost change herself for Sorata. Between Mashiro and Nanami, if I had to pick one who would confess to Sorata, I would bet on Mashiro first seeing she lacks the embarrassment barrier like Nanami. But that won’t really happen soon since Mashiro doesn’t understand the concept of love. Yet. For Nanami, after having 2 years of voice acting training, she still has a hard time to confess to Mashiro unless she is practising one of her roles? Easier said than done. Well, keep trying. As long as she continues her voice acting studies, there’s still a chance. I hope. That is, before Sorata makes his decision or some other girls with hers.

Interestingly we also have a glimpse of the odd relationship between Jin and Misaki. Of course thankfully theirs turn out to be genuine and it is just a matter of time they are together. Also not to be left out is Ryuunosuke whom Rita has set her eyes on. Even though he has this phobia of girls touching him (to the point where he might just collapse), I guess with Rita’s frequent presence, I can say that he has gotten used to her and shows less hostility towards her. But whether or not he really wants to become her boyfriend is another story. From the way things are going, not just yet. It will take a very long time for the persistent English woman to convince and convert this shut-in. But can you imagine Ryuunosuke totally lovey-dovey? I can’t imagine that so let’s stick with the cynical one that we all use to know. But there is something disturbing I noticed during the opening and ending animation. At some points I noticed that Ryuunosuke is too close to Jin! Is there something gay going on between them? The series doesn’t indicate so but it is sure mind boggling to see Ryuunosuke closer than normal to him. Is this his extend of hating women? Why not Sorata then, may I ask. There are indications that Chihiro and Fujisawa are ex-lovers and from what I see, they are staying as friends. I think there is even some sort of one-sided romance brewing for the new Sakurasou members. Iori for Kanna. Or maybe any pretty girl is okay for him. He was caught peeping at girls, right? Speaking about unrequited love, I guess it was a pity for Miyahara. It’s a good thing that he is able to move on and accept that Nanami’s heart belongs to someone else. Is it because of this experience that Nanami couldn’t confess her real feelings to Sorata? Can she handle the rejection? As for Yuuko… I don’t think I have anything to comment on her for this part.

Something that this series tries to tell us is that failure is all part and parcel of life. There is no shame in failing because it makes us stronger. We learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up. It is disheartening to see Sorata and Nanami try their best but only to hit a concrete wall. You can feel for them the frustration that normal people no matter how hard the effort put in, those labelled as geniuses have much easier ride most of the time. If success is guaranteed for everyone, then logically nobody would really put in the effort, right? It is just like wishing. If God were to grant everybody’s wish, then there is no need for people to work hard in the first place. So with every failure that Sorata and Nanami encounter, it serves as a good experience and lesson for them to do better. And while they are far from being anywhere their dream goal, at least they have a dream and are making some progress. Even if it is a long way, the important thing is not to give up. They can feel frustrated, feel discourage and cry their heart out sometimes. The most important thing is never to abandon their dream. If they do, what will they have left? What were all their efforts for previously?

Which brings me to this question: What constitutes Mashiro’s art to be so amazing that it she is considered to be a genius? I admit that I am not a person who knows how to appreciate art so when I first looked at Mashiro’s most awesome painting, it felt just like any other painting to me. I even thought a kindergarten kid could draw like that and still earn the same praises. In conclusion, art is a very subjective subject. Its beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. So for those people who view Mashiro’s work as extraordinary, who are they? Elites? High society? In such case, if considering manga to be a lower art form than such works, I would say the same for those contemporary arts. In fact, I personally think manga looks much better since they have a story. I know each picture has a story to tell and worth a thousand words but you can find so much more in manga. Therefore it all boils down to your personal views and likes. The eye of the beholder. Thus to call her a waste of talent for her to be putting her effort in something else different, in a way I think it is uncalled for. Mashiro has found her new passion and calling, so why not view that new work of hers as new art? Again, society’s perception on manga and comics. At the end of the day, it always boils down to your preference.

I think Yoshitsugu Matsuoka was very fitting in voicing Sorata. Especially when he starts screaming out of frustration from the top of his voice. Very convincing actually. You can really feel the annoyance in his tone. So much different than his role as Kirito in Sword Art Online and Godou in Campione. When I first heard Ryuunosuke, I somehow suddenly felt this familiar strangeness. It’s like I have heard this voice somewhere before and then it hit me. It’s Yui Horie! I just heard her voiced a boy’s role as Riki in Little Busters and I did not expect so soon to be hearing her voice again in such a role. They sound somewhat similar I think those are the only roles so far in my life that I have heard her taking on a boy’s role. Similarly, she also does voice Maid-chan and she is more recognizable has the little artificial intelligence programme. It also took me a while to recognize Ayako Kawasumi behind the voice of Rita as she wasn’t like Nodame in Nodame Cantabile or Saber in Fate/Stay Night. Ai Kayano has played various emotionless characters before. So as Mashiro, she is close to like Inori from Guilty Crown and Kikaijima of Medaka Box. Mariko Nakatsu is the voice of Nanami and so far her only other anime role at this point is Erika in Ginga E Kickoff. Other casts include Natsumi Takamori as Misaki (Mei in Another), Takahiro Sakurai as Jin (Yamato in Sukitte Iinayo), Megumi Toyoguchi as Chihiro (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Yui Ogura as Yuuko (Hinata in Ro-Kyu-Bu), Satoshi Hino as Souichirou (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima series), Shintarou Asanuma as Fujisawa (Yoshiyuki in Da Capo II), Taishi Murata as Miyahara (Yamamoto in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Iori (Taichi in Tari Tari) and Haruka Yamazaki as Kanna (Ruka in Hayate No Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You).

All the opening and ending themes have this upbeat feel to it that you can identify with the theme of friendship. The first opening theme is Kimi Ga Yume Wo Tsuretekita by the trio of Ai Kayano, Mariko Nakatsu and Natsumi Takamori while the second opening theme is Yume No Tsuzuki by Konomi Suzuki. She also sings the second opening theme called Days Of Dash and the second ending theme, Prime Number -Minna To Deaeru Hi- is by Asuka Ookura. One thing funny I find about the second ending animation is how everyone from Sakurasou are swaying their heads from left to right, right to left, to the tune of the song. Feels infectious… Feel like doing it too… There is a special opening song for one of the episodes focused on Nanami, I Call Your Name Again. Also, a special ending song for that graduation episode, Konnichi No Hi Wa Sayonara, makes you feel like wanting to just cry your heart out after all that heart moving scenes.

When Sorata mentions that the people in Sakurasou are the ones that make Sakurasou, shouldn’t he be less concerned about the building when it is going to be torn down? He might be greedy in wanting both the same people and the building where all their memories were made. It’s like having both your cake and eating it. Maybe long distance relationship doesn’t cut it for Sorata especially giving excuse he won’t get to take care of Mashiro. Once Jin returns, it will be like everybody back together again. Just like how it all started. Never left in the first place, eh? Just add some new additions to it. It is true that if your bond and friendship are genuine, you will remain friends anywhere and anytime, forever and ever. So it doesn’t matter if the building goes, right? Well, better to have it if they have the chance. I’m sure there are countless animes out there about weird dorm residence but at the end of the day, they only look weird to the outsiders. Those living in it get accustomed and feel part of the great family. And it builds character too. Weird people are weird only because a big majority of people in society do not act that way. Had they been the majority, then the normal ones would be weird. Don’t you agree? Point to ponder: Would you rather put up with a girl who lacks common sense to the point you need to take care of her daily basic needs or put with a group of harem girls fighting over you? The latter would seem tempting for an otaku but honestly, I rather have neither! As for what colour I would like today, at least it is not red for blood, blue black from bruises, green with envy or having a yellow streak. I prefer being dull colour.

%d bloggers like this: