Oh, how time flies! The girls go on their summer break on Kageki Shojo episode 7. Ai, who has nowhere to go for the break, joins Sarasa and gets to visit her hometown. There, she learns more about Sarasa’s past and upbringing. Here are the key talking points from this week’s Kageki Shojo episode. Spoilers ahead!
The sting of never
Summer break is here! It feels like it was just yesterday that the girls were having their first day at Kouka. Now, it’s time for a little break. Ai decides to join Sarasa and together they visit Sarasa’s hometown. However, on the way there, Sarasa’s gloomy demeanor is extremely stark. The sting from Andou-sensei words in the previous episode clearly still lingers for her. Here, it’s revealed that he went on to say that Sarasa won’t ever become a top star if she keeps copying other performances. She must carve out her own name.
The episode also reveals a little bit about Andou-sensei himself. A meeting with a few of Kouka’s top stars on the train leads to the girls learning about Andou-sensei’s past as an actor. Apparently, he used to be the star of the Phantom of the Opera before an injury cut his acting career short.
This revelation serves as an interesting contrast between his experience and the words he says to Sarasa. It also encapsulates the themes of this episode in a concise manner. In the episode, Sarasa laments that she hates hearing the word “never”. This is why Andou’s words hurt so much. Having heard it in other times of her life, Sarasa has grown to detest the feeling the word brings. Andou’s backstory adds to this further, as, in a way, his career is an embodiment of the sting that “never” brings. It adds an element of wisdom to his words in a way.
The art of kabuki
Kageki Shojo episode 7 also sheds some light on Sarasa’s upbringing, showing a glimpse of her environment growing up and why she is the way she is. Through a series of flashbacks from the perspective of Akiya, Sarasa’s boyfriend, we learn that she had grown up surrounded by kabuki. In her youth, Sarasa displayed immense natural talent in art. She was far more talented than even Akiya was.
It’s a shame though that tradition ultimately prevents Sarasa from pursuing kabuki further. The art form is strictly one that only men can participate in according to tradition. This, coupled with the fact that Akiya’s guardian lambasts her for reaching for her dreams, crushes young Sarasa.
It’s there in her youth that she first hears the words “never”. “It will never happen.” She will never get to be a kabuki performer. Learning this adds a lot more weight to her having to hear Andou-sensei’s words. In a vacuum, it’s easy to understand where her teacher is coming from when he critiques her performance. However, with the context of her experience as a child, Sarasa’s pain in hearing “never” from anyone is equally understandable.
This adds a lot to Sarasa’s character! Until now, she has served as the light and heart of the show. She’s been cheery, determined, and bubbly, even in the show’s darker moments. This exploration of her past has fleshed her out considerably. It adds layers to her that make her feel a lot more like a real person. And this will, no doubt, in the long run, make her far more endearing.
The strangest couple
On a lighter note, Kageki Shojo episode 7 has allowed viewers the first glimpse at Sarasa’s face-to-face interactions with her boyfriend, Akiya. And boy, is it strange.
Sarasa has called Akiya her boyfriend multiple times throughout the series. However, when together, she and Akiya hardly act like a couple. Yes, she is overjoyed by receiving a gift from him. But she displayed just as much joy when receiving a gift from Ai a few episodes ago, if not more. Not only are their interactions in the episode rather dry, but they also seem rather rigid and formal around each other. Or at least, as “formal” as someone like Sarasa Watanabe can be.
Even Ai notes this toward the end of the episode. She lets Sarasa and Akiya have a moment together before they head back to Kouka. As she watches the couple say their goodbyes from afar, she sees that they bid farewell… with a handshake? Not even a hug? It’s strange, and there’s definitely something far more than meets they eye going on here. But in this episode, we’re only given questions. Perhaps answers will come later.
The fuel to the fire
This episode, at first glance, may seem like a bit of a filler episode in a way. Most of the supporting characters of the show are absent, with the focus being on an out-of-school adventure. Things seem far lighter in this episode, with not very much at stake.
However, it’s episodes like this that could be important for far bigger moments down the line. The best thing that this episode does is explore who Sarasa Watanabe is. It’s easy to forget that the show hasn’t done too much of that yet. It certainly feels like it’s easy to understand Sarasa, after all. She’s a human golden retriever. She’s cheerful no matter what, has no sense of public awareness, and is loud and bubbly.
No, this episode does away with those aspects of Sarasa’s character and shows us what fuels her fire. Her pain, her struggles, and her experiences are explored in this episode. And in the end, it tells us that there’s far more to Sarasa than her dazzling smile and happy attitude. Somewhere there is a girl driven to succeed doing what she loves, and will ultimately not take “never” for an answer.
Kageki Shojo episode 7 is available to watch on Funimation! Episode 8 will premiere on August 15, 2021.