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I was surprised to see Nodoka’s arc end already, but I guess it makes sense if the series is trying to finish with Kaede’s arc. I guess it’s not a big deal, since Nodoka’s arc was fine. I do like the fact that the arc doesn’t go easy on Nodoka, basically saying that she isn’t putting in the effort needed to match her expectations.
Well, the Kaede interlude does a decent job of setting up her upcoming turn as story focus. I did find it funny that she felt pushed to fix herself after seeing how much of a degenerate her brother had become.
It’s probably a consequence of my identifying more with Mai than Nodoka, but I would have liked to see more of Mai’s side of things. We’re constantly told throughout this arc that Mai constantly deals with heavy expectations, so it would have been a nice counterpart to Nodoka’s inferiority complex. Part of me wonders if the show purposely hides that aspect to mirror the way Mai hides it herself. Just a thought…
You know, I think it would be cool if Nodoka was purposely trying to keep Mai away from her mother because she wanted to protect Mai in some way. Sure, Mai as Nodoka has a positive moment with Nodoka’s mother later in the show, but Nodoka knows her mother to be overbearing. When I saw this scene, I saw it as Nodoka not wanting Mai to share her pain.
I can understand how devastating this scene must have been to Nodoka, but I thought it was an excellent reality check. Mai earns the single feature and the praise from Nodoka’s mother as Nodoka, meaning the achievement has everything to do with Mai’s behavior and not the fact that she’s Mai.
Again, Mai’s story comes off as being the more interesting one. I really liked the idea that she was able to deal with the pressure and isolation largely because of the support of Nodoka, a familiar face in the crowd (even if she technically didn’t know Nodoka that well).
Also, this is a random side comment, but did anyone else think that the scene where the two sisters switch back was a bit strange? That snap sound was jarring, and it just kind of happened.
The troubles never end.