Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 08

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The 24-hour airsoft tournament commences, and the Stella girls excel, though Yura’s imperiousness irks Yachiyo and Karila. They fight throught the day and night until Stella and Meisei are the last teams standing. Yura meets with Rin before the last flag drop, and Rin half-confesses to shooting at Sonora. In the final showdown, Yura gets hit by a stray pellet, but doesn’t report getting hit, and shoots Rin.

We knew this tourney would go down one of two ways: either Stella would lose by the narrowest of margins but Yura would show rin her new-found fire, or Stella would win but Yura wouldn’t be happy with how they got it. During the truce before the final round, Yura, desperate to learn the truth, seeks out Rin. Through Sonora Yura has learned about how deep airsoft can get, and the lessons it can teach about living life. But Rin has none of it; airsoft is about one thing to her: the simulation of war. And in war, the winners live and the losers die; it’s as simple as that.

Those words don’t wound Yura so much as the ones that follow: because Rin sees this as a life-or-death struggle, she’s willing to do whatever is necessary for victory, including taking out Stella’s ace. She says Yura is no different; and it’s likely she can see it in Yura’s eyes; while Yura doesn’t consider this war, it’s absolutely imperative that she beat Rin to avenge Sonora. And win Yura does, but only by cheating. It would seem the cameras didn’t catch the pellet that hit her, so only Rin knows, and it’s something she’ll always know, making Yura’s victory taste as bitter as defeat.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • In our books, being a zombie player for a split-second is nowhere near as bad as targeting your rival in the real world with a high-powered rifle, but on principle, she’s correct that Yura was willing to break the rules to win.
  • Yura may have been a single-minded tyrant and cheat in this episode, but they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they did without her intricate, highly successful strategy.
  • We loved the moment Yura pulled her gun on “Karila”, who was actually her twin brother in disguise. For a split-second, it seemed like she was going to shoot her for losing the flag!
  • Rin is voiced by Seto Asami, the voice of the bubbly Chihaya Ayase, but here she’s all serious business.
  • Rin is also the latest in a long line of raven-haired, dark-eyed female characters who play the villain, though she pretty much shares that role with Yura this week. Yura’s innocence = zero.
  • We have a feeling Sonora envisioned things potentially going this way for Yura after witnessing her obsessive behavior. Maybe she saw the Rin in Yura?
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Tamayura: More Aggressive – 08

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Chihiro visits Takehara for the upcoming fireworks festival, which she and Potte promised to watch in yukatas from their secret base years ago. Chihiro meets Kanae and sees the photography club in action. Riho invites Potte and Kanae to participate in a museum exhibition with her. Potte tentatively agrees, wanting to take pictures specifically for the show. Sayomi takes everyone to a hilltop with a fine view of the fireworks, but everyone leaves Potte and Chihiro alone in the isolated spot, which they liken to a secret base. From there Potte snaps photos of the fireworks using a tripod.

It’s a rare and precious thing to be able to fulfill a deferred but not forgotten dream, even if it was a silly little idea cooked up between you and your childhood friend when you were just little pipsqueaks. But Potte (AKA Fuunyan) and Chihiro share a deep bond of friendship, and both wanted to see that shared dream come true. As it happens, the dream was fulfilled by happenstance: Kaoru’s adventurous sister happened to run into them and lure them into another deathmarch, which led them to the “base” they dreamed of. And it’s a lovely spot.

Potte may only be president of herself and Kanae, a painfully shy upperclassman, but Chihiro is still impressed by her presiding skills, and when she musters up the aggressive enough to accept Riho’s offer. We wouldn’t be surprised if the entire season runs by without another person joining the photography club, but that exhibition could be a very big deal for both Potte and Kanae. The show is a goal that could inspire them to create their best work yet, will give them exposure in that world, and boost their confidence. With old dreams fulfilled, it’s time to fulfill new ones.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)