14 May 2012

Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou ep. 5 review

This episodes easily stand out among the others so far as it is more drama focused than comedy as with the other episodes. It also focuses on two characters that have been just supporting characters so far, Maya and Sayuri. I honestly loved it and really wish this drama was an hour long as I think the only way to improve this episode would be to be able to go into things deeper than they could with the little time they had.

Words of wisdom from Shohei...
The episode starts off as a typical day at the school now that things have settled a bit. The girls have the results of a Miss Catteleya contest that they did. The guys talk about it and Shohei brings up the top three for the guys would be Tatsuya, Tetsuya and himself, though Makoto questions Shohei's place in it.

Pretty flowers for pretty girls.
The top three girls are of course Fumie at first, Saya in second and Sayuri at third. The girls have flowers for all three but only Fumie and Saya are present to receive them as Sayuri is missing from class.

White after Labor Day?
Meanwhile Maya and Satoshi are outside after getting food. As the walk by the school building a shoe drops. Maya picks it up and then races off after looking at the roof of the building, where the shoe fell from.

"Got your shoe..."
Maya finds Sayuri and she jokes to him about jumping off the school roof. Maya seems troubled by it though.

They seem way too invested in the love life of each other.
Maya is keeping his eye on Sayuri but the guys notice that he is not acting like himself. They rib him about it and Shohei incorrectly guesses that Maya is crushing on someone which the guys excitedly quiz Maya about. Maya tells them that they are wrong and ends up just leaving.

"Remember when you used to be cool?"
While walking home from school Tatsuya and Tetsuya spot a salary man that Tetsuya recognizes as one of their sempai. The man, Kojihara, spots them and the three talk. Kojihara is unhappy with his job but feels like he has to stick with it as it is what he thinks being an adult is about. It comes out during the conversation that Tatsuya's older brother is dead.

Honestly I was surprised to learn that Tatsuya's brother is dead. It does shed some light about why Bakada is so important to Tatsuya, as it is not just him living up to his older brother's name but also it is a connection to him now that he has passed away. Since there was no mention of how he died I can easily see this becoming a major plot point down the line.

Meanwhile, Maya is following Sayuri and sees her throw the flowers away. He is still just pretty much looking worried about her.

I guess this date was no better than his first two.
The next day Maya is absent. The guys wonder if it is because Maya is on a date. Makoto asks Shohei about his date yesterday and gets the response of Shohei hanging his head.

Not paying attention during class? Scandalous!
Meanwhile Fumie is distracted by the fact that Sayuri is not in class. Saya confirms she was not contacted either by Sayuri to explain why she is not there. Fumie suggests that they go over to Sayuri's house after school to find her. Tatsuya over hears and tells Fumie that if she is worried then she should just go now. She tells him that it is the middle of class which he responds by telling her that friends are more important than class.

Setting himself up for heart break?
Sometime after class Fumie is carrying some papers and one of the guys accidentally bumps into her making her drop them. As she picks them up Tetsuya shows up and helps her. He tells her that Tatsuya did not mean anything rude when he talked to her during class. Fumie comments that she had never thought which was more important, friends or class before.

Ready to kick ass.
Maya is following Sayuri around. They end up running into some of the delinquents in the area. The delinquents set Maya off by commenting on how girly he is and we get some flashbacks pictures of a young Maya.

Saya is sad that she only has one expression.
Back at school the girls are discussing Sayuri. Two of the girls bring up that the day before they say her looking sad and ripped off her picture of the Miss Catteleya poster in the hallway. Over hearing the conversation Satoshi brings up that he happened to have seen Sayuri yesterday by train tracks. The girls immediately agree that they need to find her and hurry off.

Tetsuya is practically psychic this episode.
After the girls leave the guys wonder why Sayuri would be by train tracks. Tetsuya deduces that she is probably suicidal and Maya is probably with her with that being the case. The guys agree and leave to go searching themselves.

The girls run into the guys who give them the little bit of information they have found for the whereabouts of Sayuri and Maya. They all agree to keep searching together and break off into two mix groups.

The least safe school roof I have ever seen.
While they do that Maya and Sayuri have returned to the school after Sayuri asked Maya if he wanted to die with her. Maya then decides to tell her his story, about how his mother wanted him to be a girl so she raised him as one.

Tatsuya is no great secret keeper.
As he does Tatsuya tells the girls he is with Maya's story. He tells them that for his mother's sake Maya pretended that he was acting like a girl as she wanted. Of course since he was older it was difficult to do and about three months ago she caught him fighting. He ended up telling her the truth and was silently rejected by her.

BFFs don't let BFFs jump off bridges.
When that happened Maya ran away but the boys searched for him. They ended up finding him as he was going to jump off a bridge and into the river below. They saved him from doing so of course.

Real men wear pretty birds on their shirts.
The other group meanwhile run into some more delinquents. Satoshi gets to show off his cool side by staying to deal with them so the rest of the group could continue on with the search.

I feel so shallow for thinking how pretty Kaoru looks in these scenes.
Back on the roof Sayuri begins to pour out her heart to Maya. She explains that she really wanted to do track but her father felt that was unfeminine and would not let her. She ended up developing a grudge against all men for being able to do the things she wants to do but cannot as her father wants her to be a "feminine" girl.

Not an episode goes by without running.
The two groups meet up again but still not have found the two. Fumie suggests that they could be at the school and they race back. At the school they notice that there are people on the roof and set off running through the school to get to them.

A lonely world...
Sayuri finally tells Maya that the reason she wants to die is because as even though she ended up enjoying her life at Catteleya because of Fumie she knows that it is coming to an end. She does not feel like there is a place for her to exist as she feels like she cannot be who she wants to be and she does not have the kind of friends that Maya had to go so far out of their way to help her.

...is not so lonely anymore.
Of course she is immediately proven wrong by Fumie showing up. She gives her friend a slap and tells her that she needs her before embracing her. The rest of the girls show up and join in the hug.

The guys silently congratulate Maya on helping out Sayuri. I was surprised with how happy I was to see him return the victory sign to the guys. Even though we only got his story in this episode there is still a sense of character growth with Maya, from someone who sacrificed his own happiness for the sake of his mother to someone who is more willing to accept himself as he is, even though he still has issues to work out.

Tatsuya's seal of approval.
Tatsuya apologizes to Fumie about the way he talked to her the other day about friends being more important than class as he felt that she made up for her attitude with what she did that day.

Who needs work when you have wheels.
I guess they hang around the school for sometime after that as it is suddenly night when they are all leaving the school. As they do a man on a motorcycle pulls up. It is Kojihara who has decided that after his talk with Tatsuya and Tetsuya to quit his job to live life the way he wants to.

Friendship bump.
As the kids go to leave the school grounds Fumie holds out her fist like the guys do to Sayuri, who returns the fist bump. I think this is more Fumie's way to show Sayuri that she sees as their bond of friendship as something strong, much like the kind of friendship the guys have. That is not to say the guys have shown her what friendship was, as she clearly understood well before meeting them, but just another way to express it. Kinda like questioning which was more important, friendship or class. It was not like she did not think either was not important just she never really thought of having to choose between the two.

Watching this episode a couple times I really feel the heart of the story for it is how trapped people can feel when they are forced into a role they do not feel they fit in but they should not give up if they have people who are willing to support them as they are. This theme ties in to Sayuri, Maya and Kojihara's stories. With Sayuri and Maya their issues stem from gender roles being forced on them that they did not agree with while in Kojihara it was more about being forced to take a job that made him unhappy over doing what he really wanted to do with his life. In all cases what saves them is being reminded that they do have people who care about them and support them. In Sayuri and Maya's cases this love and support from friends is no doubt incredibly important as it has to supplant the lack of it they feel they have gotten from their family.

I really like the fact that the reason why Maya decides to follow Sayuri is because he could tell that she was feeling suicidal as he had felt that way before. I think above all he knew the kind of pain she must have been in to feel like death was the only way for her which is why he decided to open up to her about something that is clearly painful for him to talk about. Not to mention when dealing with someone who is suicidal one of the things you want to avoid is leaving them alone. which he also made sure of by following her.

I think this episode is the strongest one so far and I hope there will be more like it before the series ends. I think it deals well with showing how both sides are learning from each other, like Tatsuya realizing that just because they go about it in a different manner it does not mean the girls do not treasure their friendships like the boys do. Overall I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed this series and I hope the ending does not disappoint.


avanpiper said...

I agree that this episode is the best so far. The plot is more serious and darker that it weighs more than the first 4 epis where we just see the bunch the yankees fighting day in and out and the girls are so bland (imo).

But then Maya and Sayuri saved this show for me, at least. I may be biased since I actually gave this show a try for Kaoru Mitsumune (who's also in ATARU). But I am really convinced by now that her acting skills are way above the rest of the girls (esp the main girl) sorry if I offend anyone who's a fan, but I really think the Johnny boys are far better and the only girl character that interests me is Sayuri.

Well, needless to say, after ep5, I'm a MayaxSayuri worshipper now xDD

Thennary Nak said...

This is definitely the stand out episode of the series so far.

I agree that Kaoru has a great talent for acting. I can definitely see her become a popular actress in the future, even if she leaves AKB48.