Just shoot them all into the sun. Every single one of them. Yes, myself included.
— When we last left off, Chiyuki finally manages to snag a photo shoot, but of course, Kokoro’s manager has to be there to rain on her parade. Some people feel the need to tear others down in order to prop themselves up. I guess Yu is one of those horrible, terrible people. I mean, even if it is true that the quality of the photos will be brought down, no one’s gonna say, “Oh man, I won’t hire Kokoro just because this short girl next to her is ruining the composition!!!” Nah, Yu’s got issues that she needs to work out in therapy, but this is anime so mental health is almost never addressed.
— Nevertheless, Chiyuki has been coached well by Shizuka. She takes her mentor’s words to heart, so she tries to be a team player even though this job won’t give her any exposure.
— Then midway through the photo shoot, the nasty Yu convinces the magazine to pull our heroine out of the shot completely. I guess this is why some people believe in karma. Sometimes, life can be so unfair that you feel like you need to be in something… anything. God, wouldn’t it be nice if there was some mystical force out there to right all the wrongs? It’d be nice, huh! Too bad I don’t believe in karma. I prefer not to give myself any sense of false hope. Sometimes, the bad guys just win, and if you don’t like it, you have to do something about it.
— As Chiyuki leaves, she overhears Kokoro “confront” Yu. The girl just can’t stand up for herself. You really shouldn’t associate yourself with bad people, because at some point, it’s going to rub off on you. Nevertheless, the best that Kokoro can choke out is like, “Please don’t be mean!”
— And again, she has to beg Yu to let her off the hook. Naturally, the woman simply replies with a “No.” I said it last week and I’ll say it again: I just don’t understand why Kokoro even needs Yu’s permission to quit modeling. What power does that witch have over her? If she can say no, then you can say no!
— Look, I know some of you guys are really meek. Some of you guys really hate to let others down. Some of you guys are people-pleasers… but you really need to stop setting yourself on fire just to keep others warm. So if you’ve got a timid temperament like our tall model, realize that “No” is a complete sentence. You’re allowed to say it.
— Whatever Yu’s problem is, she’s obviously trying to live vicariously through Kokoro. She’s not doing this for her client. She’s doing this for her.
— At a bar, a mutual friend calls Shizuka to speak with Yu. We actually get a bit of the latter’s backstory, which doesn’t endear me to her in the slightest. It turns out she also had to drop out of the business ’cause she was too short. And now she’s robbing Kokoro of her dreams as well as shitting on Chiyuki’s aspirations. What a nice adult, huh?
— In contrast, Shizuka believes in Chiyuki. And when asked what she will do if our heroine fails, she replies that she’ll be there to comfort the girl. So I guess the story is trying to draw this contrast between the two women. You could say that they are both shaped by forces that are out of their control. Yu bitterly had to quit modeling, which has tainted her personality. Shizuka has had a successful career, so now she’s in the position to nurture others. And to some extent, our circumstances do shape our personalities. But we can’t blame everything on our circumstances. That’s a cop-out. You always have a choice. Yes, life took a big dump on Yu, but she still has a voice. And right now, she’s using that voice to hurt others.
— The following day, we see Chiyuki and Ikuto hang out for a bit, but the latter is too preoccupied with making clothes to talk. The girl could drive the conversation, but she’s not exactly ready and willing to open up to him about her recent troubles. Too bad. They’re not close friends yet.
— Later, we get to see Hazime rage at Kokoro for making what appears to be a simple mistake. I’m not a seamstress, so maybe I’m wrong. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I think him flipping his shit and kicking her out is a massive overreaction. If there’s a documentary on terrible Japanese bosses, he’d probably be featured on it. Still, it’s remarkable how the adults continually let these children down. They’re even more immature than the kids.
— So of course, Ikuto has to pull Kokoro back and tell her not to give up. We then see the poor girl literally grovel at Hazime’s feet while he continues to be a humongous dick. Good lord, grow up man. He and Yu should get married so they can keep their toxic personalities away from the rest of us.
— Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a satisfying conclusion to this scene, you won’t get one. Hazime eventually relents and lets the girl stay. That’s it. When shitty adults hit us, we’re supposed to just take it and smile.
— Skipping ahead a bit, Toh shows off his new workspace to Ikuto as well as opening up about why he wants to go independent. None of it is of any interest to me.
— He then states the obvious: if Ikuto and Kokoro both make it to the finals, they’ll become rivals. He can’t win the whole thing and support her dreams at the same time. So you gotta wonder if the guy will continue to be a martyr and let Kokoro win. See, common sense tells me that she should just tell Yu to shove it, and this way, both she and Ikuto can compete without any worries. But she’s not gonna do that, so the ball is in Ikuto’s court as to how he wants to proceed.
— For the finals, Ikuto can use his own model if he wants, and honestly, there has always only been one model for him.
— Unfortunately, he might not even have the time nor the energy to focus on the finals, ’cause the situation at home has suddenly turned dire. Man, this show is so dramatic.