and believe in you, who believes in yourself.
Yona Productions dispatches a crew to film a documentary bit at Tingarla, starring none other than Fuuka’s junior Ruka, and Fuuka herself is shortlisted to co-star. Having put life in the spotlight behind her, Fuuka initially intends to decline, but agrees after seeing the amount of stress Ruka is under – from her audience, and from herself. Fuuka, considering herself partially responsible for the latter, resolves to help Ruka by showing her that she doesn’t need to agonize over whether she’s doing enough to fill Fuuka’s shoes.
I feel like fate is once again pulling the strings with our rotation, since I had to switch with Dan for the remainder of the season and ended up getting the episode with the payoff that I’ve been looking for since long before I brought it up in episode 12. Much like the half-moon in that episode, though, the gift scene in this one took me two tries to fully appreciate, since I spent the first go-round thinking “There’s no way Ruka and Fuuka have the same shoe size.”
At least the penguin-as-a-metaphor was obvious enough for me to detect.
Also, was it just me or was a sub-theme of this episode that well-intentioned gestures always have a chance of backfiring? The main example of this is, of course, Fuuka’s horror at realizing that a comment she hoped would be encouraging has ended up becoming burden. I could, however, just be reading too much into Marina failing to read the room at the beginning and Udon-chan getting a party going when Fuuka just wanted some time to talk to Ruka one-on-one (especially since both of those things seem to have directly contributed to the co-star offer being formally given to Fuuka and her accepting it, now that I think about it).
I do love that this show manages to pull off being sweet without being saccharine. There’s enough realistic stress spread throughout and mild absurdist comedy sprinkled in that the core of the show can just be normal people being nice to each other. I hope this inspires more slice-of-life shows about adults – and, if you know about others that already exist, feel free to drop me recommendations.
Tangential: Who let Eiji get in front of a camera with that ridiculous headgear?
Another feel-good episode – doubly so now that I’m not wondering about the shoes anymore.