OH yeah, there’s a surprising amount of plot in this episode, so I suppose this marks the point where there will be SPOILERS from here on out.

SPORTS FESTIVAL YEAAAAAH

Summary:

The weeklong sports festival is underway, and Souta’s team seems to be doing well.  However, at the end of the first day, Souta begins to lose his fighting spirit and the whole team suffers as a result.  By the second to last day, Souta’s team drops to 8th place.

At least there’s just as much fanservice for the girls… or any dudes who are into this kind of stuff.

Ruri is the only one who seems to notice that the team’s loss of morale has been caused by Souta’s sudden gloomy demeanor, so she and Souta end up having a private talk in the nearby greenhouse that night.  Souta explains that he has a massive death flag hanging over him.  Knowing that his death would cause his friends immense sadness, Souta would rather be expelled than have his friends witness his death.  However, Souta accidentally activates some kind of hidden code within Ruri, causing her to reveal the presence of an “other world” located in the same site as Quest Dorm.  In this “other world” there is a tree that can break all flags.  Souta needs to find a knight, a magician, a ninja, and a cleric in order to access the gate to the Other World.  Souta quickly realizes who the knight, magician, and ninja are, but he’s lost as to who the cleric is.  Nonetheless, now knowing that there is a way to break his own death flag, Souta regains the will to live on for the sake of his friends.

This whole scene was just “:c” incarnate.

The next day is the last event, the relay run.  Souta and Nanami are paired up for the last leg of the race, and although they manage to keep the lead, a sudden injury on Nanami’s end causes them to end up in second place despite Souta’s best efforts.  Fortunately, the school’s board of the directors is touched by the display of teamwork shown by Souta’s team, so Souta’s team wins the MVP title and Souta won’t be expelled.  As the episode ends, we see a glimpse of a mysterious person, who seems to have been spying on Souta.

This scene was very touching. Or maybe I’m just a huge sap.

My Opinion:

I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS EPISODE TO BE SO TOUCHING.  I was rather reluctant to watch this episode at first, because the preview made it seem like the sports festival would be the only thing of interest.  But in the latter half of the episode, we unexpectedly got plot AND character development, on Ruri’s end.  And man am I a sucker for the “robot gaining emotions” trope.  Dammit.

I really, really like Souta as a character.  He’s one of the better male leads imo.  He’s not written to be super manly or badass, like in a lot of shonen works.  Nor is he written to be the “oblivious Casanova” like in far too many harem series.  Although Souta CAN pull off some Casanova tropes if he wants to, he doesn’t like doing it to his friends because he feels like he’s using them.  And he’s the type of person who would rather sacrifice himself for the sake of his friends’ happiness.  That’s a level of self-awareness that a lot of anime male leads lack; and it also gives Souta a level of depth beyond just the typical “bland nice guy.”

Although the ending did seem a bit too… easily resolved, what with the school’s board of directors awarding the win to Souta’s team because they were touched—you know what?  Whatever.   I admit that I am also a huge sucker for teamwork tropes, and Souta’s team really deserved the win anyway.  (And well, also the fact that there wouldn’t be a series if Souta got expelled that easily.)

Overall this was a surprisingly good episode.  The first third or so of the episode is a little bland because it’s just Souta and co. being silly and dumb, but the rest of the episode really makes up for it.  So now we have an actual goal for this series, which is finding the “cleric” in order to save Souta’s life.  Since Souta has no idea who it is, I’m guessing we still have a few more female characters that are going to be introduced in the next few episodes.  I sorta like the dynamic between Souta and the current cast of characters, so hopefully the permanent character roster doesn’t get too large.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

 

This was such a cute eyecatch!