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'Sasaki and Miyano' episode 2 review: 'Someone I Like'
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‘Sasaki and Miyano’ episode 2 review: ‘Someone I Like’

Sasaki and Miyano’s feelings deepen even as their miscommunications proliferate.

Though enjoyable, last week’s debut episode of Sasaki and Miyano was just good, not great. How is the series shaping up now that its premise and characters have already been established? Is it building toward something better?

The main plot threads in this episode concern Sasaki’s growing feelings for Miyano and the confusion that arises as he tries to understand the younger boy. Miyano continues to reject Sasaki’s advances under the belief they’re all jokes or otherwise being misinterpreted, whereas Sasaki has difficulty reconciling Miyano’s contradictory behavior. We get several brief scenes of the pair separated from each other, and the way they act when alone or surrounded by other people is illuminating. Because Sasaki has been so cheery and sociable thus far, his frustration to the point of hiding from others is striking. Likewise, Miyano’s increased defensiveness shows just how emotionally invested he is in their relationship.

The characters’ limits are tested here primarily through their presence in social situations. Though Miyano gets flustered by Sasaki, he’s most concerned with making sure their peers don’t overhear anything that could be considered compromising. This fear rears its head even when Miyano is questioned by characters who show no outward hostility at the thought of the pair being together. Given how difficult being gay is and how shallow some shows of acceptance can be, Miyano’s concerns feel both realistic and true to what his already timid character would feel in these situations.

Though the pair’s differing levels of fear about societal judgments are a major factor this episode, the most standout scenes all come when they’re separated from the rest of their schoolmates. In one example Sasaki accompanies Miyano to the bookstore, but they go to different aisles because Miyano is scared what others might think of two boys looking at BL together. Sasaki nonetheless can’t resist the urge to peer around the corner of his aisle to smile and waive, and it’s a cute moment. Also notable is when Sasaki asks Miyano if he’d like to exchange Valentine’s Day chocolates. Though Miyano’s rejection isn’t rooted in a lack of affection it still upsets Sasaki, and the contrasts between what the pair feel and what they allow themselves to do and say are poignant.

Last week I noted the anime’s stellar replication of a manga aesthetic, and fortunately that continues this week. The use of colorful flowery and geometric patterns continues to highlight key emotional moments in cute ways and emphasize the show’s fluffy nature. The watercolor background imagery also continues to be lovely. The attention attention, detail, and quality in the painting does a lot to elevate the series’ mood and the young love’s sense of magic. Also worth noting is the recurring presence of a cat in the background, to include an excellent moment of it being seen out a window hunting a dragonfly while Sasaki and Miyano talk on the other side. All in all, the animation is also smooth enough with no major bumps or drops in quality.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that we get to see the full opening for the first time this week and it’s very charming. It highlights all the visual signifiers of high school love stories (classroom windows, entrance doors, inexplicable fireworks, etc.) and overlays them with more of the previously mentioned charming shojo-esque patterns. There are also several instances showing Sasaki and Miyano’s sideways glances at one another as they shift from visible anxiousness to smiles, and these are especially cute. The song, “Mabataki” by Miracle Chimpanzee, is softly upbeat and an appropriate choice to embody the series’ gentle romantic tone.

All in all, this episode is a definite improvement over last week’s. Though the premiere was good, we’re now getting to the real meat of the story: how Sasaki and Miyano navigate their shared and conflicting feelings, especially when around their assumedly straight peers. Here’s looking forward to seeing what next week brings.

'Sasaki and Miyano' episode 2 review: 'Someone I Like'
‘Sasaki and Miyano’ episode 2 review: ‘Someone I Like’
Episode 2 - 'Someone I Like'
This episode is a definite improvement over last week's. Though the premiere was good, we're now getting to the real meat of the story.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The opening is very charming
The visuals are great from the pattern usage to the ongoing cat appearances in the background
The pair's misunderstandings trigger great character drama
Parts of the latter half of the episode get a bit more forgettable
8.5
Great

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