Well, we’re back at it again, and just when I was worried they’d have to somehow edge Mai out of the story due to her producers being butts about her relationship with Sakuta, we discover that the next issue pretty directly relates to Mai herself! So, yay, Mai’s back in the story, and actually contributes a lot more in this episode than she has in a couple episodes lately.
Well, this episode rolls around several issues, the main being a new form of Adolescence Syndrome, where apparently, Mai has swapped bodies with her little sister Nodoka Toyohama, who happens to be an up-and-coming idol. Apparently, Nodoka ran away from home to stay the night at Mai’s, but overnight, they ended up swapping bodies. While Nodoka seems confused at this development, of course, Sakuta and Mai take things pretty well in stride. And while the REASON for the body swap seems pretty readily apparent, the solution doesn’t seem to be quite as obvious.
This is something that happens in Anime a lot, actually… Not the body swapping, but the cause, I mean. There’s a lot of examples of a younger sister struggling to live up to the fame of her older sister, and that’s definitely the case here… but there’s more to it than that. We’ve already dealt with Mai and the problems she faces with her mother, pushing her into showbiz. It seems that, after her father remarried, his new wife decided that Nodoka needed to compete with Mai in showbiz, and has been pushing her into it her whole life, though she’s never been able to make nearly as much of an impact as Mai.
This led to bitterness between the two sisters, not to mention an inferiority complex on Nodoka’s side. And this leads to a pretty interesting point… Why do parents have to get so involved in their kids lives? Or, more importantly, why do parents feel the need to use their children to settle their personal grudges??
We’ve already seen how Mai ended up nearly disappearing because of the stress her job placed on her, and now Nodoka and Mai are both in pretty tough situations, having to live each other’s lives at this point. All because, to be perfectly honest, their mothers are acting like bratty teenagers in a catfight.
And while the sisters seem to get along at first glance, things quickly unravel into an argument, as they each resent each other for various things. So, not only are both girls under intense emotional strain, enough to force them into breaking the laws of reality, but the stress has also caused so many hateful feelings to build up inside them, so they can’t even act as proper sisters anymore. Mai (in Nodoka’s body) ends up staying at Sakuta’s house, because they physically can’t even stand to live in the same apartment as each other.
So… who’s really at fault, here? In a lot of the previous cases, the problems have been the result of the person in question being a little silly. But this time, it’s almost something that’s out of the two girls’ control. And I wish it wasn’t, because I do like both of them. I think Nodoka has already come off as a very earnest and genuine person. In spite of her situation, she’s tried very hard to get to where she is, and I guess it’s only natural that she feels a little inferior to Mai, the more successful one.
In essence, these two girls have been torn apart by the endless bickering of their controlling parents, and in their envy of each other, (one wanting to be as successful as her older sister, the other wanting more freedom, and to be with her father), it’s no wonder Adolescence Syndrome triggered.
Well, basically, I really enjoyed this episode. While we didn’t get any super amazing character scenes like the last few episodes, we did learn a lot more about Mai. The final question the episode leaves us with, then, is up for speculation. So, guys… what’s in the cupboard? Let me know what you think down in the comments below, thank you so much for reading, and i’ll see you all in the next post!