Episode 8 and 9 Summary:
It’s almost the day of the school’s cultural festival! Wakaba is super excited because this will be the first cultural festival that she’ll be able to attend. There’s also going to be a play, which Mao is the director of. The girls (Wakaba, Moe, and Mao) find Nao working on a dress somewhere within the school. Nao proclaims that it’s for her, because she intends to enter the Miss Clover contest, which is essentially a beauty pageant. Nao wants to win in order to prove her femininity, although her friends aren’t too confident in her winning.
The next day, the festival starts proper and Wakaba hangs out with Moe as they go around and look at stuff. The two eventually bump into Mao, who’s been looking for Nao. Nao shortly appears, sporting a fever because of the water cleansing ritual she performed the day before. So now Wakaba takes Nao’s place in the contest, because Mao someone to win the first place prize (a high quality camera). Wakaba easily wins, and soon afterwards becomes very popular within the school.
These two episodes were kind of cute but man did the plot feel kind of awkwardly paced. I don’t get what the point was of pointing out that the girls were going to be in a play in episode 8, when the play doesn’t actually ever happen during the cultural festival episode. That’s the biggest criticism I have about this particular arc. I suppose it had to be mentioned since Nao was in charge of making costumes, and it would have been weird to segue into her entering the contest if the girls’ roles in the play weren’t established beforehand.
I also don’t entirely get why Wakaba had to switch out of Nao’s costume and into a maid costume instead for the contest. Like yeah, the initial dress probably would have been too much with the crown and all, but I’m sure some minor adjustments would have toned it down easily? I guess the dress by itself was just too fancy for the occasion or something?
Anyway, I did find it funny how obsessed Mao was with winning, if only for the camera. I’m actually surprised that the show would actually show Mao as that selfish/materialistic of a character, because I was fully expecting the “oh don’t worry, your health comes first” moral or something. Nice subversion there I guess. Pity we didn’t get to see the actual contest in action.
Overall, these were okay episodes. Cultural festival episodes are another trope in anime that I’m fond of, and I’m kind of sad that the cultural festival wasn’t focused upon too much since the bulk of this arc was focused on the Miss Clover contest. I just really wanted to see the girls hanging out, snacking, and goofing off. Ah well.
Out of five for these two episodes: