After weeks of heavy emotions and angst, it’s about time this show gave us an uncomplicated, indulgent bit of romance to cleanse the palate. And while some aspects of this episode left me a bit wanting, I’m happy to report that regardless of our main couple not technically being an item yet, we get a full-on Date episode this week.
Well, first we start off with Miyano getting his fortune read by Hanzawa, and while the punk-themed tarot cards are a cute visual gag, the scene itself mostly serves to remind the always timid Miyano to just go for it instead of staying inside his own brain all day. There’s also hints of…something from Hanzawa, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what. He’s obviously keyed in on Miyano and Sasaki’s relationship, and feels some kind of way about it, but aside from a cryptic mention of his older brother there’s no hint as to what that is. In any other show I’d assume this was setting up some sort of conflict with the guy – perhaps a secret love triangle after it’s revealed he’s been pining for Sasaki himself, or a sordid scandal with him outing the pair to the whole school. But that’s not what SasaMiya has ever been about, and I don’t expect it to start now. For all I know this won’t be resolved at all and will never come up again.
After that, though, it’s pure and unfiltered Cute Shit. It’s a bit odd that the cross-dressing competition goes by so quickly after so much build up, but it’s at least worth it for having Sasaki admit (to himself, at least) that he was wrong, and it’s better he support Miyano if this is something he wants to do. On that topic, I really appreciate the subtle details the art includes with Miyano’s “girly” look. Specifically, the makeup does a good job of accentuating his more feminine features without erasing his masculine ones, and it’s a striking look that manages to balance “pretty” and “handsome” in equal measure. I’m honestly kind of sad we didn’t get to see the entry who beat him for the first place, since he’s genuinely killing it here. More importantly, Miyano’s seemingly found the whole thing reaffirming, which is sweet as all hell.
We don’t get much else from the culture festival beyond the competition, which is a shame because I’m a total mark for school festival shenanigans. Let me see these boys go through a haunted house and eat takoyaki and watch an unusually talented high school band play an insert song, dammit! The only moment we get is the two eating lunch, with the cute detail that they each try to pick a stall that the other one would like – Miyano suggesting cotton candy despite not liking sweets, and Sasaki picking something spicy for Miyano’s sake. There’s of course a fireworks scene, but that’s mostly there to show Miyano’s still hesitant about answering Sasaki’s confession. He realizes he likes him now, but the “fun” thing about anxiety is that it convinces you to second guess everything, even your own feelings. So now he’s burdened down with whether or not he “really” likes Sasaki, or if he’s just confused, or if maybe he’ll mess things up if they do date. None of this is rational, obviously, but never doubt the brain’s ability to overthink things beyond all reason.
Luckily for Miyano, this world runs on romcom logistics, so he randomly runs into Sasaki while the latter is on a shopping trip with his sister, and Sasaki manages to shmooze his way into a DIABN (Date In All But Name). And we get the wonderful, terrible romantic blue balls of Sasaki tentatively reaching out to hold hands before backing off, entirely unseen. THAT is what I’m here for, and all we needed was for their hands to accidentally meet over a bag of popcorn to get Bingo. Instead, we get a sweet moment where Sasaki, knowingly or not, helps Miyano get out of his head after overhearing other people speculate if they’re a couple. This is always a show of Baby Steps, but it’s sincerely heartening to see how far our boy has come through this show. Now to see where – if anywhere – this will all go in our final episodes.
Sasaki and Miyano is currently streaming on Funimation.