In the midst of juggling his festival responsibilities, Hachiken finds the courage to ask Aki a question.
What They Say:
“Hachiken Has His Hands Full”
Content: (please note that the content portion of a review contains spoilers)
With the equestrian competition over, Hachiken and his classmates now prepare for the Ezonoo school festival. As usual, Hachiken winds up with far too much on his plate. When lecturing classmates about the budget of their Pork Soup Cafe, they all nominate him to be in charge of that event’s spending. He’s also the lead man of the equestrian club’s events, which includes a Ban’ei race (the draft horse pulling race we saw back in season one). While Hachiken does pull in some outside help, like asking his roommate Nishikawa to paint the Ban’ei sleds, and letting Tokiwa take Vice Prez for a walk, but his tasks still pile up, so he loses more and more sleep, becoming more and more exhausted…
One of the things Hachiken pushes on himself is cleaning up the race track. When questioned about it, he mentions that he doesn’t want the horses to injure themselves, since they can be slaughtered “for the smallest thing.” This would have been just a offhand remark, except that while he says this he flashes back to the day Pork Bowl went to the slaughter house. He hasn’t directly mentioned the pig so far this season, but this proves that what happened to him, and what he chose to do with it, is a conundrum that still weighs heavily on Hachiken’s mind.
Hachiken also finds himself concerned over Aki again, not because she’s sad, but because she’s so excited to be taking part in the Ban’ei race. He asks why she doesn’t pursue a career in horses instead of taking over the family farm, but she says she can still have fun with her family’s horses. “I don’t want to fight with my folks about my career, either.” He worries that she holds back her feelings (something he again notes when she pretends that Nishikawa’s moe-themed paint job is perfectly fine). Later, after an upperclassman implies that Aki can’t pick up on hints and then wishes Hachiken luck, Hachiken awkwardly, and very adorably, asks Aki on a date, and while he’s thrilled when she says yes it’s abundantly clear to everyone else, including her friends, that she didn’t get what he was doing. When they finally pointed out, she’s the one that gets flustered and concerned over how to talk to Hachiken, proving how totally clueless she was during this whole series.
Hachiken’s insistence on doing everything himself follows suit with how he acts in other episodes. Though this time, he’s taking on several big tasks instead of just one, and while the buildup of responsibilities has a humorous tone in parts, the real results of overworking yourself like that hit Hachiken full force by the end. It’s a relief to see some progress in the love story; while that’s a minor part of the overall plot, Aki’s persistent cluelessness was listing towards unrealistic. The two plotlines — Hachiken’s overworking and Aki’s revelations of his feelings — are sure to intersect in the next episode, and I’m anxious to see if Hachiken can learn to take it easy, or if Aki can figure out how to express feelings.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 13″ Apple Macbook set to 720p