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While having Mai swap bodies with her sister, Nodoka, because of Nodoka’s inferiority complex isn’t really anything new, but I liked the subtle touches this episode added to it. Rather than leave the situation with a simple statement that Mai is more talented than Nodoka, the episode seemed to go out of its way to show the fundamental difference between the two girls. It made the episode a lot of fun to watch.
I think the best part about the body switch is how expressive Nodoka is as Mai. It’s a hilarious side of “Mai” to see.
The episode does a great job of initially portraying Nodoka with the kind of reverence and admiration towards Mai you might expect from a typical little sister. Then, it flips the script by revealing that she actually resents Mai to a degree. Based on the conversation with Kunimi’s girlfriend, I’m assuming the story ends with Nodoka accepting that she truly loves Mai despite her resentment, but we’ll see.
As the child of Asian parents, I can sympathize with Nodoka’s frustration at being compared with someone better. But at the end of the day, I’m the eldest child, so I tend to relate more to Mai and the work she goes through. Having to set an example can be equally frustrating.
My favorite part of the episode was actually watching Mai in Nodoka’s body, even if the story is centered on Nodoka. Throughout the episode, we see small scenes that show how much more effort Mai puts into whatever she’s doing. What does Nodoka do first in Mai’s body? She goes to the beach with Sakuta. On the other hand, we see Mai practicing her singing in a karaoke room, and here we see her running to increase her stamina. Unlike Nodoka, Mai takes the initiative to improve.
Well, we all know where this is going.