Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Ep. 8: Of sisters and exams

Right now, I’m incredibly hungry, but the thought of eating food also makes me wanna retch. So instead, I’ll try to write a post to distract myself.

First Short Story

Miyuki’s got a younger sister by the name of Kei, and she is also on the student council (as treasurer). She’s one of those generic anime imoutos who worries about their big bro, but acts like she can’t stand him when he’s in her presence. Even so, Kaguya sees a big opportunity to make inroads on the Shirogane family. If she can conquer the sister, then surely, she can inch her way into Miyuki’s heart. Unfortunately, when it comes to treasury stuff, Yu’s got that down pat. And when it comes to being a fun-lovin big sis, it shouldn’t come to any surprise that Chika’s got that locked down. Like always, her best friend seems to steal her thunder or spoil her plans. On the surface, anyways. If you really think about it, Kaguya has nothing to worry about. Miyuki hasn’t shown the slightest interest in Chika. On the other hand, he seems to like Kaguya because she’s such an unreachable goal. It’s like she inspires him to be better than himself. A goofy-fun personality or a large chest probably can’t compare in his mind. Kaguya’s worries stem from nothing more than her insecurities.

In the end, Kaguya gets invited to go window-shopping with the two girls, so she’s all smiles. Plus, it sounds like Kei is terribly impressed with Kaguya.

Second Short Story

This one is marred by the incessant narration. The guy just keeps yapping and yapping and yapping. The gist here is that final exams are coming up. Miyuki can’t beat Kaguya when it comes to many areas in life (like how she’s supposedly fluent in French), but by god, he’s not going to finish second to her on those exams. But like everything else in this anime, even though the two of them are competing directly against each other, they won’t admit that they are doing so. Honestly, there isn’t really much drama here. Nor is there even much to laugh at. After nearly killing himself trying to study, the guy manages to beat his crush for the fourth time in a row. Good for him, I guess. In front of Miyuki, Kaguya acts as if finishing second doesn’t bother her, but we know better.

Third Short Story

Maybe Kaguya could’ve beaten Miyuki this time if she didn’t feel compelled to help Yu out. The kid is warned that if he fails his exams again, he’ll be held back. I’m surprised they wouldn’t just kick him out. Either way, Kaguya takes it upon herself to force the guy to study against his own wishes. On the one hand, if they lose their treasurer, then this would cause Miyuki some consternation. The girl wouldn’t want that! On the other hand, the story insists that Kaguya has a caring soul, and this proves to be true when she tells off a couple of gossipy students in the library. Japan is portrayed as this super polite country, but man, if you have bad rumors swirling around you, it seems as though people have no problems trashing you out in the open. Still, these moments where we put aside the jokes to focus on the drama are few and far between. The fact that each episode is comprised of three short stories doesn’t help either. The characters have very little room to breathe and grow beyond their assigned archetypes. This is why I don’t really appreciate comedies like this show as much as I would like. It’s not end-to-end laughter like Asobi Asobase, but it also lacks any sort of meaningful character development. I’m left with a mediocre product that I can’t fully embrace. Sure, it’s easy to consume, but I can say that about a lot of things. Macaroni and cheese is comfort food, but it hasn’t got a lot of substance either.

Anyways, to make a long story short, Yu barely manages to pass.

13 thoughts on “Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Ep. 8: Of sisters and exams

  1. Karandi

    I found this episode better than the previous one at least though I feel they could have done so much more with the drama in the second story of this episode. The third story I enjoyed but I’ve found previously when they haven’t focused on the competition between the two leads and just let Kaguya interact with someone else I tend to enjoy her character a lot more.

  2. Dewbond

    I’ve heard that the Yu stuff carries on long term, which I’m glad, but now that i’ve gotten over the fact that these are “mini-episodes” I’m totally on board with this series, but yeah this week wasn’t the strongest.

      1. Dewbond

        I initially thought it was gonna be more long form story telling, so that turned me off at the start, but I managed to get over myself and enjoy it.

        *shrugs* Guess it just took some time.

            1. Sean Post author

              Oh you didn’t make a grammatical or spelling error. I just want to say that just because someone doesn’t like the mini-episode format, that doesn’t mean they need to get over themselves. I’m certainly glad that you like the show!

                  1. Dewbond

                    I don’t know if it’s premise has long term staying power, but it feels fun and exciting instead of the usual “will they, won’t they” anime stuff that is more common, but my bar for anime enjoyment is quite fucking low.

                    1. Sean Post author

                      Keeping them from confessing is the safest thing possible in anime. Anime is always about unrequited love. Anime is always about characters never confessing. There’s nothing to do week in and week out but to toe the status quo and trot out some cheap laughs. The characters are all tropey without any surprises. The episodic format (made worse by being mini) means they can’t develop. And all of that would be fine if the show was laugh-out-loud funny from minute to minute, which it isn’t.

                      But I think we just have very different tastes in anime.

  3. Dewbond

    Different tastes and anime providing a wide variety of tastes are what keeps the industry healthy and vibrant. (Whether the industry actually is healthy is a discussion for people more invested and plugged in that I am.)

    Yeah, the show is absolutely depended on the status quo of the two never confessing (until the end of the source material) but as long as that status quo is freshly maintained then I’m ok with it. Fairy Tail or Food Wars were MARRIED to their status quos but didn’t put in the effort to make it worth it.

    1. Sean Post author

      I don’t see any value in “freshly maintaining” a status quo, but this discussion is going nowhere so I’m going to stop replying.


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