Can I just say these kids are terrifying? Not just because of the amount of psychological and manipulative power they seem to have over each other, but also because of their extreme disconnect with reality. I’m joking – mostly – and watching these teenagers operate under extremes, pretending they know more about everything going on than they actually do, is obviously a large part of Kaguya-sama‘s appeal. I guess I just wasn’t expecting this episode to start as dark as it did; the opening scene where the girls are breaking down the concept of cheating with a dead, almost violent look in their eyes made me laugh nervously. That said, I like the fact that there is a narrative progression to the three skits that made up this episode, allowing them to flow from one into the other. The first skit set up a conflict that needed to be resolved, the second introduces a character involved in that conflict and their mindset with some foreshadowing for things to come, and the third built upon some of the best parts of last week’s episode.
Although I guess it would be a bit of a stretch to say that the character in the second skit is new, considering that we have technically seen her in almost every single episode of the show. That’s right: the girl in the background that is always stalking that one couple who represents how great things could have been if some of these characters were just honest with themselves is finally given a name. Suffice to say it’s surprising that she holds some kind of connection with Kaguya by being a member of the Shinomiya branch family. The show makes it a point that they are distant relatives, but the fact that said connection is a defining feature of her introduction made me think that there will be bigger plans for her down the road, possibly relating to some of Kaguya’s family struggles that were hinted at in previous seasons. I also appreciated how the final skit ended, which is not only wholesome, but capped this episode off as one of the most narratively consistent of the season so far.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Ultra Romantic is currently streaming on