As Wakana and Marin collaborate over how her Black Lobelia cosplay will come together, Marin snaps a pic of herself in a swimsuit, the bottoms of which will need to have a high waist to resemble Lobelia’s. The thing is, she didn’t really need to wear the swimsuit top as well…that was for Wakana’s benefit!
When she comes to his place wearing that imported high-waisted swimsuit, she’s also fully prepared to change in front of Wakana, having even worn a fancy bra she wants him to see her in. Her teasing makes Wakana supes uncomfortable, but the tables are turned nicely when it turns out she wasn’t wearing the bra she thought she was.
If Wakana and Marin haven’t quite established boundaries for how much Marin should show Wakana, this incident should at least temper her forwardness in future, especially seeing how upset Wakana got, even insisting she not touch him and leave him be. It’s not explicitly stated, but I assume both the pics she sent and the in-person teasing was making him…let’s say overly aroused, considering how he tries to keep his back to her. As he puts it, “…a lot happened.”
I’d be, like, deffo shocked if this series didn’t get a second cour, but the fact there are only three episodes left after this one means it had to fast-forward to the completion of the Shion and Black Lobelia costumes. Sajuna is amazed and delighted at the craftsmanship, fit, and attention to detail Wakana brought to the table. Being a cosplay veteran, Sajuna can also give Wakana clear and detailed feedback regarding things like the floofiness of her skirt and the weight of her cape.
Marin is in awe of Sajuna’s commentary, wishing she “sounded like [she] actually knew what she was talking about”. Indeed, when she tries on her Black Lobelia corset dress, she pushes herself too hard to come up with constructive comments and ends up going with various forms of “super insane!”, which while not overly detailed, is still accurate!
Sajuna proves a valuable source of information for all-things-cosplay, recommending Marin switch to a lighter foundation and blue color corrector, as well as giving Wakana the idea to use cosplay tape to make her eyes look more Lobelia-ish. Once her makeup, white wig and contacts are on, Marin is so shocked by her appearance, she asks if she was alwaysBlack Lobelia all along!
The day of the group shoot at the old hospital, the weather is dark and gloomy, but Sajuna assures Marin that it will all work out, and the two chat about their mutual love of Flower Princess Blaze! and take a selfie together while waiting for Wakana and Shinju, who are later than they expected. When the two finally arrive, Marin and Sajuna are shocked at what they see.
That something harkens back to the day they scouted the hospital, after Sajuna and Marin took off for the day. Before Shinju leaves, Wakana asks her upfront if she actually does want to cosplay after all. Sure enough, she does, but is so self-conscious about her body size and shape she was worried her sister would hate her.
Wakana may not have known Sajuna long, but he’s awfully sure she’d never judge Shinju for wanting to cosplay. He says if she really wants to cosplay, he’ll do everything he can to help her, and even keep it a secret from the others until the day of the shoot. Here’s the twist: the Blaze! character Shinju wants to cosplay is Shion’s big brother, Souma.
This presents a new and unique challenge for Wakana in more ways than one. First, Shinju’s feminine curves and substantial chest needs to somehow disappear to make the cosplay work. Second, Shinju is just a middle schooler and has no part-time job to fund this cosplay, so they have to pinch pennies where they can.
Fortunately, Wakana’s school uniform resembles Souma’s from the show, and with help from a traditional sarashi wrap, a surprisingly inexpensive chest binder, and dollar-store makeup, the project price was successfully kept down. Where they can’t really skimp is the wig, and while Sajuna initially thinks he’ll cut and style it without hesitation, she lets out a relieved laugh when she realizes his nervous about messing up.
Wakana assures her that there are plenty of things he can’t do, but when it comes to cosplay, he’s learning how to do a lot of new things. That’s not just thanks to Shinju and Sajuna, but Marin, who got him into it in the first place. Like Shinju with him, Wakana put Marin on top of a high pedestal, assuming she didn’t have troubles like he did. Then he got to know her, and learned she has the same feelings he does, both happiness and frustrations.
Wakana’s extended love-rant of Marin (who goes unnamed) leads to him assuring Shinju that while you may not be able to look inside people, practically everyone “has a lot going on”. With that, he takes the scissors to the Souma wig and has at it, then takes the pointers he’s learned from Sajuna to transform Shinju into a real-live Souma.
I love how a clear look at the final product is kept from us, and Souma!Shinju is only revealed in all his cool manly glory when Wakana and Shinju show up to the shoot. For a second, Sajuna and Marin think Souma has come to life to join them!
When Sajuna realizes it is indeed Shinju, and Shinju’s hands tremble as she starts to explain how she wanted to cosplay too, Sajuna takes those hands into hers like the loving, caring big sister she is and proceeds to lose all of the eloquence she had about describing Shion’s cosplay. Instead she sounds more like Marin, overcome by amazement such that she can only say Shinju looks amazing…also accurate!
Marin joins in the simplistic but heartfelt and ebullient praise, asking Shinju point-blank “where’d your boobies go?” Shinju answers in her cute, delicate Shinju voice and her girly smile, which causes further amusement and delight from Marin. Just as when she cosplayed the stoic Shizuku-tan and put her own stamp on it with her big Kitagawa Marin smile, the Souma cosplay matched with Shinju’s individual traits make for a unique and irresistible look.
Marin snaps a group selfie to commemorate this amazing day when not only she gets to cosplay with the legendary Juju-sama, but Shinju finally joins her sister like she always wanted to but was too scared. All she needed was a little gentle nudge from someone who didn’t want her to deprive herself of becoming someone she loved (Souma) out of regard for someone else she loved (Sajuna). As expected, Sajuna couldn’t be happier her sister is cosplaying beside her.
I’m also glad the photo includes Wakana smiling proudly in the background, his quality handiwork on full display. It’s truly beautiful and heartwarming to see all four main cast in the same pic, having an absolute blast. Not that he’d ever abandon his hina doll calling, but if for some reason that didn’t work out, he already has a lucrative fallback job in the custom cosplay business!