“New School Year and Class Change”
What They Say:
Junta doesn’t foresee any changes during the new school year, especially since he and Kubo are in the same class again. There is one difference, though: a potential new friend.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It didn’t take too much to get back into the swing of things with Kubo in the previous episode after it went off the air back in February, but some of it is still feeling the impact of a less-than-pleasing manga ending that happened not long after that. Knowing how it plays out at the end of it is certainly coloring my interest in the show to some degree, though I’ll always come back to the statement that the journey is what we’re here for, not the destination. It just wasn’t a destination I wanted to stop at. But going back to these simpler times and the upbeat nature of so much of it helps to restore some of that balance for me as it hits a sweet spot just in watching these characters come to life in a way that reflects the manga but takes on its own form as well. There’s definitely a different in how Kubo in particular comes across, and especially early on in the story, that to me diverges from the manga in a good way.
With our core cast now going into their second year, there’s a lot of trepidation for Shirasahi this time around because, unlike in the past, he has things he’s invested in. A lot of it is still the norm, from his walk to the way people don’t see him, but in his class, he’s slowly being noticed more. But now a class change hits and… there’s that uncertainty. Luckily, he’s in the same class as Kubo (and Sudo!) and she’s already there waiting for him so he doesn’t feel invisible, which is a huge thing for him. Kubo also lucks out in that her friends are in this class so she has them to lean on as well, though her attention often falls to Shiraishi. And she’s sitting right next to him at that and getting delightfully playful with him in a way that should send everyone else into rumor mode. It’s adorable and very clear what she’s doing but it’s draped in a way that thanks to his invisibility lets it happen in the middle of everyone but not be recognized. Their own little world.
As is usual for this show, where the manga chapters are so short, it’s more a series of vignettes than an ongoing story. So we see Akane curious when Kubo comes home as to whether “that boy” is there and comes after Kubo and friends were out. We see some class time with the teacher at times as well and just the way we see committees forming and what Shiraishi finds himself drawn into because of her. Watching how he has to navigate these things, and Kubo herself, is a lot of fun in its simplicity. Even something like a science lab proves to be a moment where we learn more about how Shiraishi is when Sudo, sitting next to him, doesn’t have an eraser and he’s trying to figure out how to help out. But it’s Kubo that basically forces the issue in a way that’s cute but leans in almost on tormenting him in a way, This opens up an avenue of communication between the two as Sudo said he’s been meaning to talk to him about the flower beds but could never connect with him because nobody could see him. This begins one of the best manga friendships out there and is definitely adorable to watch as they slowly bond.
The show again covers a lot of ground but it’s the kind of slowly sprawling ground in a lot of different directions. It’s a more natural (if sometimes near-bullying) kind of relationship being developed here and it doesn’t occur in a linear way. It’s thoroughly enjoyable with what it’s doing and the path that it takes to get there as we get little vignettes of their lives together, apart, and with family and more. It’s not just focused on them exclusively. And this episode introduces one of my favorite characters with Sudo and seeing the way he wasn’t able to connect with Shiraishi for a year because nobody knew he was around is just perfect. Shiraishi’s circle of visibility is growing and it’s providing for a lot of smiles.
Streamed By: HIDIVE