Kageki Shojo Episode 5 is a bit different from previous episodes. The show’s main characters take a bit of a backseat this time around, as Ayako Yamada gets the spotlight on her. In doing so, Kageki Shojo tackles an issue that is prevalent in the modern-day, surrounding the entertainment industry and the physical expectations imposed on women. Let’s look at some key talking points from Kageki Shojo’s fifth episode. Spoilers ahead!
A budding friendship
Kageki Shojo Episode 5 starts off by addressing a loose thread posed in the previous episode. Sarasa and Ai had a very notable falling out, and despite the former saving the latter in an altercation, things are still kinda muddy between them. At the beginning of the episode, Ai struggles with speaking to Sarasa. She knows she wants to, acknowledging her weakness with regard to social interactions. It appears at first that Sarasa is ignoring Ai, with her very notably not paying her any mind. It seems then that Sarasa meant what she said about Ai not being her friend.
After watching a Kouka performance of Romeo and Juliet, Sarasa later belts outlines from the play in her usual bubbly, passionate self. This is the push Ai needed to come forward and properly make amends with her roommate. Previous episodes have hinted that Ai is enamored by Sarasa’s stage presence. It is this admiration for her that Ai latches onto, literally reaching out to Sarasa.
This allows the two to properly move past their issues with one another. As Sarasa smiles beamingly, Ai can’t help but shed a few tears. It’s an incredibly touching moment that highlights just how much heart this show has.
Suffering and sacrifice
Kageki Shojo Episode 5 tackles Ayako Yamada’s eating disorder. This follows up on the few glimpses into the issue that were provided in the previous episode. The diet Ayako takes on causes her to suffer more and more as the days go on. Alongside this, her grades and her musical performances begin to dwindle. The weight of her suffering is put at the episode’s front and center. Viewers are allowed a deeper look at Ayako’s backstory and dreams, and it’s incredibly heartbreaking to see she’s had to go in hopes of achieving success.
The episode also sheds light on the Kouka teachers’ expectations for their students. The ballet teacher, Tachibana, who called Ayako “fattie” the first time around leading to her taking drastic measures with her diet, doubles down on what she said. She reasons that finding success in Kouka will lead to even harsher criticism from audiences.
The music teacher, Onodera, argues against her. He’d noticed Ayako’s worsening condition, and berates Tachibana for insulting Ayako. He claims that Ayako is very sensitive, and argues that she shouldn’t have had to hear those words from a teacher. Though the two have differing opinions, they nonetheless agree that Ayako’s eating disorder is a problem that must be fixed.
Ayako Yamada’s voice
After collapsing in class, Ayako finds herself in a very dark place. It’s so painful to see this poor girl cry, hearing her thoughts about giving up on her lofty dreams.
It is then that Onodera appears outside Ayako’s door and provides her words of passion and wisdom. He reminds her that she is more than good enough to be at Kouka and that she wouldn’t even be where she is if she had nothing to offer. He confesses that he believes her voice to be incredibly beautiful, saying that upon hearing it, he envisions her center stage at the grand finale of a Kouka show. His voice straining outside her door, Onodera urges her to take care of herself and not quit.
Later, Ayako returns to class, Onodera’s words seemingly having had a positive effect on her. She no longer looks disheveled and looks happier and healthier. And at the end of this heavy episode, viewers are treated to a breathtaking melody sung by Ayako. Her classmates marvel at her silky voice, finally recognizing her as the excellent vocalist that she is.
Ayako Yamada’s story truly tugs at the heartstrings. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but it’s always so emotional seeing people overcome personal struggles. Surely many of us understand the difficulties of striving for our dreams. It makes it easy for us to see ourselves in Ayako’s shoes.
Special mention has to go out to Onodera-sensei for being the true MVP of the episode. A passionate teacher can go a long way in a student’s life. Seeing how much he believed in Ayako was so incredibly moving. His interaction with Ayako at the episode’s climax was truly an emotional high so far.
Full of heart
Kageki Shojo is so good. It’s a show with a bountiful amount of heart, and this fifth episode is more than a good indicator of that. Though this episode was a bit of a sidestep away from the main characters’ story, it wasn’t short of feelings and emotion. That’s what’s so great about this show. Its story is one that feels so incredibly human and has moments that evoke such powerful reactions from viewers. And it’s not even at its halfway point.
It’s exciting to see where this show will go, and it has been such a great ride so far.
Kageki Shojo Episode 5 is available to watch on Funimation! Episode 6 will premiere on August 8, 2021.