“Minamikujou, appears“ 「南九条、あらわる」
We’ve had plenty of build-up since the first season of Gin no Saji and I’m getting the feeling that with this episode, we’re getting closer to the turning point where Hachiken learns to stand up for himself and become a person he can truly accept in every aspect.
The equestrian club newbies take part in their first ever equestrian competition so everyone’s understandably nervous though Hachiken’s worried about showing off how cool he is lol. Thankfully the worthless maggot realises his mistake in the nick of time to Maron’s satisfaction and together they finish 4th out of 26 participants, narrowly missing out on a podium finish. Not bad for a guy who still doesn’t like horses very much and joined the club because of his crush on Mikage. Hachiken knows that as long as he focuses (a special “talent” of his transferred from his mugging days) he won’t lose, except until he sees his older brother Shingo watching his run! When Hachiken’s right foot got loosened from the stirrup my heart skipped a beat because it’s SO DANGEROUS to fall off a horse! Shingo believes Hachiken’s manned up which surely, against Hachiken’s personal vendetta, must mean a lot to him.
Finishing 4th was beyond his and everyone else’s expectations and he admits he can feel more confident about his equestrian skills now yet Hachiken’s upset about losing. This is a boy who’s only ever worked towards the goal of winning in everything he does, regardless if its an exercise he enjoys or not. Their instructor’s right in saying Hachiken’s got a long way to go if he’s praying for someone else to make a mistake (haven’t we all been there before though haha). He ought to take a leaf out of Mikage’s book. She doesn’t blame the external factors – horse or the equipment, she’s not envious of others too. She just wants to become stronger and better, to just keep trying. Shingo remarks that Mikage looks like she’s having fun out there even though it’s a competition and that’s the way life should be. Try your hardest but have fun while doing it because otherwise, what’s the point in being an unhappy champion? Shingo realised that when he got to Tokyo University (Japan’s number #1 ranked university) and so quit school to do odd-jobs (while attempting to cause food poisoning wherever he can) but he’s admittedly now just thinking about himself all the time. Where’s the balance between thinking of yourself, doing what you want, but living up to expectations of others at the same time? Hopefully we’ll see this in Hachiken and the mystery surrounding Mikage’s tears in future episodes.
The comedy in this show is solid, interspersed and well-placed in a well-paced show. From Mikage’s overtly obnoxious middle school friend Ayame-chan (Yahagi Saori) and her getting Hachiken’s ‘hachi’ (8) wrong, to Maron’s numerous facial expressions and the equestrian senpai’s tough love for the newbies, there’s plenty of laughs to be had in this heartwarming show. There’s slapstick, wit and just plain comedy (Tokiwa asking if it’s that funny to watch an idiot at work was hilarious!) so there’s surely something for everyone that’ll leave you with that warm, fuzzy after-laugh feeling.
P.S.: real life commitments (aka work) have meant that the coverage on GnS2 is 3 months behind schedule. I’m endeavouring to finish it by May so please bear with me~