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Kageki Shojo Episode 4: Baby Steps

Kageki Shojo Episode 4 is airing for all to watch! In this week’s episode, Kageki Shojo reveals the truth behind Ai Narata’s stalker! Meanwhile, sinister occurrences are manifesting at Kouka among its students! Let’s go over the key talking points from the episode in detail! Spoilers ahead!

A misunderstood otaku

Kageki Shojo’s third episode ended with Ai leaving Sarasa with a seemingly creepy guy. Episode 4 reveals his true intentions. With Sarasa and Taichi listening, he reveals to them that he’s the reason that Ai Narata was forced to leave JPX. This odd otaku shares that it was in the Naracchi fandom that he found ways to come out of his introverted, shy shell. The reason he was able to have a functioning social life came down to finding people who admired Ai as much as he did.

Knowing that he’s the reason that Ai was forced to graduate early is heartbreaking for him. It was for this reason that he wanted to find Ai again. His desire lay in wanting to make amends and to sincerely apologize to his idol.

The misunderstood otaku wants to apologize to Ai.

In a way, this element of the story is somewhat true to life. There are people out there who come off as “creepy” or “weird” without meaning to do so. This strange-looking otaku is a misunderstood figure, appearing to be a manifestation of Ai Narata’s fears. A creepy, gross, touchy man. This is what Ai saw in the third episode, and why she ran away in terror.

Yet, there’s so much more to the man than meets the eye. At his core, he has ever only wanted the best for Ai and was just so caught up in his admiration for her. This aspect of the story is a simple reminder not to always take people at face value. After all, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, right?

Sinister happenings at Kouka

Kageki Shojo episode 4 sheds more light on the ominous, dastardly occurrences in Kouka too. The seeds for these have been planted in previous episodes, but this time around, a little more than a glimpse is provided into the evils Kouka students must face.

Take Hijiri’s attempt to blackmail Sarasa, for example. The second-year vice president was quick to act upon seeing Sarasa with the otaku. She snuck a picture of the two together and confronted Sarasa the following day. Keeping up her cute and charming façade, she speaks as if knowing with certainty that this man is Sarasa’s boyfriend. Fortunately, thanks to Sarasa’s lack of ability to read a room, she’s able to cut the confrontation short.

Hijiri attempts to blackmail Sarasa.

Though this encounter was rather short, the sinister implications will no doubt hang in the show’s atmosphere moving forward. This all but confirms that Hijiri has a dark side to the happy cutesy exterior she puts out. She will be one to watch in future episodes, as she’s shaping up to be a key antagonist for the story.

Elsewhere, Ayako Yamada’s attempts to adjust to Kouka’s demands appear to be doing more harm than good. She struggles to keep up in singing class, and she is seen breathing heavily over a toilet at the end of the episode. Those who have been following the show so far will know that Ayako was chided previously for having gained weight. As a result, she is now on a strict diet that seems to be taking a heavy toll on her body. How this subplot will resolve itself remains a point of curiosity, but it is nice that the show is displaying the gravitas of an issue as pressing as eating disorders in a very serious light.

Ayako’s diet is taking a toll on her.

Ai takes a few small steps forward!

The end of Kageki Shojo Episode 4 results in Sarasa, Taichi, and the otaku having to team up to save Ai. Caught in the hands of two forceful men, the otaku literally throws himself at Ai’s assailants in an attempt to rescue her. In the end, it’s Sarasa’s ridiculously loud screams that save the day and get the men to scamper away.

Is that a JoJo reference?

It is after this confrontation that perhaps the most important event of the episode occurs. Having a better understanding of the otaku thanks to Sarasa, Ai approaches him. She very gingerly hands him a handkerchief, struggling to properly hand it to him. She tearfully thanks him for his help, saying as well that this is the best she can do at the moment.

Ai hands her handkerchief to the fan she’d feared.

This moment appears to be extremely important for Ai’s character development. As someone who has very good reason to be afraid of men, the fact that she was willing to approach this man that she’d feared for the longest time shows the potential beginnings of growth. She at least acknowledges that this man had helped her. Though it seems small, it’s the smallest of steps that make the biggest of differences. It’s nice to see Ai move forward like this, as small a step as it is. Long may her character development continue.

Mature and entertaining

Kageki Shojo continues to prove itself as an entertaining, yet mature show. Again, the way it tackles serious topics while maintaining a fun atmosphere in a tasteful manner continues to impress. This week’s episode is another strong one. With the story getting more compelling as the weeks go on, there’s so much to look forward to with Kageki Shojo!

Kageki Shojo: mature and entertaining!

(On a more fun note, this week’s ED is a bit different from other episodes’! Be sure to stick around until after the episode to check that out!)

Kageki Shojo Episode 4 is available to watch on Funimation! Episode 5 will premiere on August 1, 2021.


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