Well, I messed up. I was so caught up in the previous episode that I totally forgotten that there is another character that wears glasses apart from Manami. Subsequently I realized my error but rather than ninja edit it, I’m leaving it as it is – because we all make
mistakes bad calls, don’t we?
My Saori couldn’t be this..pretty?
So, I kinda knew that Saori (Nabatame Hitomi) was a beauty, after all in the anime world, it is important to remember that the inverse usually happens – beauties hiding behind disguises, random dense dude getting all the girls, etc. I jest, slight spoilers are the actual reason why I was aware of Saori’s true appearance. While not as downright hilarious as the Ayase-centric episode, I have to say I was able to relate myself to the events that happened to Saori. In other words, a more emotional episode as opposed to the usual comedic fare.
It isn’t hard to see where Saori picked up her magical spectacles and her mannerisms from once Kurusu Kanata (Kugimiya Rie) came into the picture. Saori’s master so to speak, was the one who properly inducted Saori into the world of anime culture, despite her elder sister Kaori (Kuwashima Houko) being the one who did the introductions.
Growing up, growing apart
This was the part of the episode where I’m sure many will be able to relate to – the process whereby a clique slowly drifts apart. It is something sad and undesirable, but perhaps also inevitable. As we grow older, our responsibilities increase, our priorities change, our interests might even wane over time, thus slowly but surely separating people apart. It is almost like a natural process, a cycle where people meet, get together, before parting.
While it “can’t be helped”, there are two scenarios where people start to grow aloof towards each other, the first being the “sit back and do nothing” approach, the other being some kind of rift happening within the group. Saori’s case was pretty much a mixture of both, where Kaori, being the key figure left for greener pastures, while everyone else sat back and carried on with their own lives.
As such, it isn’t hard to understand why Saori bore a resentment towards her elder sister, as she blamed Kaori for current (nonexistent) state that the group is in today. The other side effect of the dissolution is that Saori felt dwarfed, shadowed by Kaori. After all, Kanata and gang were technically Kaori’s friends while Saori merely fulfilled the role of a cute little sister.
The pair of glasses that wouldn’t come off
The other major element in this episode was the symbolism behind the glasses that Kanata/Saori wore. It was simple, subtle, yet so ingenious that the glasses represented nothing more than a facade that Saori hid behind in order for her to hide her younger, fragile-self. Saori wanted to surpass Kaori, in proving to Kaori that she too, could make her own group of friends. She needed a fresh start, a new identity and that was what the glasses symbolized.
Much like Kanata, the day where Saori will no longer sport those glasses will be the day where she no longer needs to hide behind the entity known as Saori Bajeena. The only question remaining is: “when?”
- Man, Saori sure grew a lot. She is only 15 and 180cm in height, that is some monstrous growth spurt, if you ask me..
- I’m sincerely hoping that Saori would appear in future episodes without her glasses, but I find that an unlikely prospect.
- Typing Saori and Kaori is a nightmare for me, if I were to use she/her too much, that would further add to the confusion..
- Apparently Kyousuke isn’t too impressed with what Saori’s real appearance, which also indirectly implies many other things..