Runway de Waratte Ep. 4: More drama and flair

What’s walking down the runway this week? Lots of tear-jerking.

— It turns out that Ikuto’s sisters are mad at him; Ichika won’t even let him come home without a struggle. So what’s gotten into them? Well, Ikuto’s been coming home late. He also hasn’t told them why he’s been coming home late. As a result, this conflict is mostly driven by a lack of communication… which I don’t understand at all. If I got the opportunity to pursue my dreams, I would be so excited to share the good news with my family.

— Ikuto also tells Honoka that he didn’t call because he thought it was too late to do so. This is Japan, man. Don’t you guys have LINE? Email? SMS? WhatsApp?

— Meanwhile, we get to see Honoka feel guilty about accepting money from her hospitalized mother for summer school. Her family can barely afford it, but this just means that Japan also needs free higher education. Free public tuition! Loan forgiveness! Sorry, I’m a little obsessed with the US Democratic primaries at the moment.

— I really dislike this line of questioning from Yanagida. Oh, I know what purpose it serves. If you half-ass anything in this world, you probably won’t make it to the top… well, you still can with connections (read: nepotism). But Yanagida is going about it the wrong way. Rather than nurturing talent, he seems to subscribe to the old school thinking of extracting excellence through intimidation, tough love, and unreasonable demands. It’ll work here in Runway de Waratte because it has to — because some of us still expect this sort of attitude from “geniuses” like Yanagida. But his mentality is not only outdated, it’s also inefficient.

— The story then pulls it back a bit when Yanagida finally pays Ikuto for all his hard work. So we get this tsundere-like effect: “Oh yeah, he’s really hard on the kid, but he’s not totally heartless.” But you’re supposed to pay people for their labor!

— When Ikuto gets home, he tries to also give Honoka money. She flips out on him, and this is kinda what I expected. I even talked about this in a previous post:

He’s actually sacrificing his own chances for his sisters. Isn’t that antithetical to selfishness? Well, I have to wonder if his sisters would want this? If they knew what he is planning, would they be happy?

More importantly, I don’t think he should rob his sisters of their say in the matter. ‘Cause that’s what sacrifices tend to do. When people sacrifice a bit of themselves for you, you find yourself in a position where you can’t even choose to be mad. You feel like you can only be grateful or you’ll look like a spoiled brat.

Sure enough, the first thing out of Honoka’s mouth is, “If I’m going [to college], I’ll make it happen by myself. Realizing my dream at the expense of others won’t make me happy.” Agency matters.

— We need free higher education!

— In the end, Ikuto merely tells his sisters that he’s not forcing himself to do anything, so it’s all okay! Yay! But I mean, that’s all due to luck, isn’t it? If he hadn’t bumped into Chiyuki, then we wouldn’t have gotten the exact chain of events that eventually led him to Yanagida. His original intention was to take on a part-time job in order to sacrifice for his sisters. Honoka isn’t wrong to say what she said. Things are only working out now thanks to pure dumb luck.

— Also, communication from the start would have helped so much. Well, I don’t know… On the one hand, I think Ikuto should’ve told his sisters what he’s been up to. And likewise, Honoka should’ve told him about her frustrations and feelings of guilt. But on the other hand, they’re just kids, and I feel like a prick for expecting kids to have clear and open communication.

— For every upside, there is a downside. Moriyama, the girl who passed out at the fashion show, is forced to quit by her parents. Well, maybe if she had better working conditions, she wouldn’t have passed out. And if she hadn’t passed out, maybe her parents would’ve allowed her to stay onboard. The sad thing is that she probably had talent — talent that could’ve been nurtured in a safer, more supportive environment. But now we’ll never know. Hopefully, she’ll get another opportunity — a better opportunity — down the line. But I wonder if her name will even come up again for the rest of the series.

— Sadly, this sort of thing will give fuel to those who love to rail against today’s youth for all of the world’s problems. Oh, she doesn’t have what it takes! She lacks the will and the drive to succeed! Young people like her are just quitters! But even if this was true, just think about all the talent that has gone by the wayside simply because mentors like Yanagida refuse to be a little more humane. But hey, this is a win for Ikuto, ’cause he now gets all of the work that would’ve gone to Moriyama. Yay…

— Can somebody please give Ikuto a new hairstyle?

— Man, I thought Chiyuki would be the primary protagonist of the series, but doesn’t it feel as though Ikuto has gotten the vast majority of the spotlight? It doesn’t even feel like they are 1A and 1B in the pecking order. Rather, it feels like she’s part of the supporting cast. I’m sure she’ll return to the forefront eventually, but it does seem weird to continually follow Ikuto and his dreams over all else.

— Haha, I guess if you break Greek names up, they sound more sophisticated and high-class. Pfft.

— It’s all so… red. Did his parents accidentally drop him in a vat of cranberry juice? Sorry, I don’t even know where that thought came from. It’s Friday… I’m tired. The code reviews have been painful.

— Ikuto, you really need to get used to women changing on the spot. It’s work. It’s not sexual.

— Sure enough, a department store wants 400 pieces from Yanagida in just two weeks. Oh Moriyama, where art thou…?

— In exchange for some helpers, Ikuto has to participate in a school’s fashion show. In the process, he bumps into a dude who has no concept of personal boundaries.

— Toh has the ability to discern your measurements by simply embracing you. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be impressive. I mean, that’s what tape measures are for.

— This scene is ridiculous. Toh takes one look at Ikuto’s outfit and points out all of the alterations. Then Ikuto takes one look at a woman’s outfit and points out what Toh had done to it on the fly. It’s like two swordsmen admiring each other’s form except with fashion and anime’s penchant for the dramatic. “Oh my god, he noticed!!!! Quick, I gotta make a stunned face!” But thanks to this silly exchange, Ikuto manages to recruit Toh as a helper.

— He also gets this tall and lanky girl who moonlights as a model. At least she seems sane if a little shy.

— When it comes time to work, Toh immediately puts Ikuto on the spot. Not surprisingly, our inexperienced tailor botches the job. Toh then steps up to the plate, and of course, there’s a heavy dose of drama and flair. Ikuto is practically near tears as he gazes upon Toh’s work. Yeesh.

— Nevertheless, the student from Geika is impressed by Ikuto’s raw talent. Right before the episode ends, he even asks Yanagida if he could have Ikuto all to himself. Are all top designers supposed to be this rude?

— What about Kokoro? She has about as much presence as Chiyuki in this week’s episode. Hopefully, at least one of these girls will have a bigger role to play next week. Alright, I’m gonna eat some lunch then pass out.

Please refrain from posting spoilers or using derogatory language. Basically, don't be an asshole.

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