Despite Gama Gama’s sad fate, this episode doesn’t forget to sprinkle in a bit of comedy. There’s a really good scene where Kukuru consults fortune-telling in order to divine Gama Gama’s future. There’s also an entirely unfunny scene of Kai’s sister saying that he should get with Fuuka (because she’s a classic beauty), but then again, comedy is always subjective.
In the end, both of these episodes are strong reminders of why Kageki Shojo!! continues to be a fantastic series. It not only successfully portrays the intense, heightened drama that already latently exists in high school, but centers that between young women (by this, I mean anyone who is socialized female, and definitely mean maginalized genders), most of whom experience some level of queer, non-romantic sapphicism in their friendships.
TL;DR: The Great Jahy is exactly that: great, and if you’re not watching, well… why not dive deep into the world of everyone’s favorite demoness today? If you need some levity in the year of our lord, 2021, you honestly can’t go wrong with this very fun and very funny reverse isekai about one demoness’ attempts to survive and maybe even thrive on this beautiful blue marble of ours.
While I have mixed feelings about episode 10 versus episode 11, what I can easily say about these two episodes is that these are… brutally realistic, but in a satisfying, understandable way. Kyoya having to deal with backlash against his company’s smartphone game aches in an intensely relatable way, as does the fallout he and Eiko face.
Chiyu represents everything that Gama Gama is not: she’s from a stylish, slick new aquarium that sits in the city center, and turns her nose up at the thought of going to a “failing” aquarium. Chiyu and Kukuru’s tenuous work relationship is a showcase of this episode, but what I really want to focus on with this review is Chiyu herself, because so far, our viewpoint characters have mostly been kids—okay, teenagers, but kids nonetheless.
And yet Sarasa has to be Sarasa, and ultimately, that’s the message this week: be yourself. More precisely: who you are is why you’re the only one who can do what you do, which is… cheesy, admittedly, but it’s true! It’s so true, and it’s a reminder that Sarasa needed, especially since she’s been off her game since three weeks prior. I initially thought the central theme of this episode is bullying, but Hijiri’s bad attitude really isn’t the heart of what’s happening. Her bad attitude factors into Sarasa’s slump, surely, but this is ultimately about Sarasa realizing that she’s okay as she is, and that it’s what makes her worthy of being at Kouka.
EpisodeLast week, I took Kyoya to task for overmanaging Team Kitayama in the final stretch of working on their doujin game. He essentially manhandled the entirety of the back end of the project, taking the reins from each of his friend’s hands to create a game that would do numbers and be a success. And it was a success… at the expense of him creating a future where Tsurayuki, Nanako, and Aki all stop creating games. Of course, we only saw that future last week with Tsurayuki: the reveal that Nanako and Aki have stopped as well come this week, and they feel like dual gut punches.
But that’s not the funniest thing in this episode. That honor goes to the fact that Jahy, the great and powerful and intimidating and imminently strong Jahy… catches a common cold, and y’all? It’s comedy gold and once again makes Jahy a really relatable character. She’s become one of this season’s funniest heroines, specifically because while she seems to be all tsun, and no dere, she’s actually the opposite of that, and is actually quite deredere, with only a touch of tsun to be found.
I’m not saying that there is a problem with watching the show and liking it. I think there is a difference between liking a show and condoning what it represents: you can like something and still have your own, informed opinion. At the end of the day, this just wasn’t a series for me, and my opinion certainly isn’t the end all be all: media is subjective, problematic faves exist, and if this is yours, it’s neither my place nor my intent to judge you for it.
Episode 8 threw me for a loop, and even on my seventh rewrite of this review, I’m still not sure what I’m trying to say. What I will say is that I think this episode was powerful, even if it left me feeling muddled, and threw a plot wrench into the mix. I genuinely have no clue how things are going to resolve since I’m an anime-only viewer with no interest in the fan translations, should they exist. There’s something powerful about not knowing anything: I… I kind of like being tugged along for the ride.