So after what happened last week, Hatsuho heads on home in order to pity herself and lick her wounds. She didn’t even inform her team about her departure. Man, it’s easy come and easy go here in the Flower Division. Well, you know what this means: Sakura is gonna have to go fetch her childhood friend.
— Klara tags along with Sakura because… well… just because she’s closest to the acting captain, I suppose.
— Speaking of Klara, Seijuro is only now hearing about the New Moscow Combat Revue. Plus, there is some shady stuff concerning Klara’s transfer paperwork. What does this all mean? Eh, who knows? The ongoing mystery is playing its cards close to the chest for now. Azami even asks Komachi (she apparently doubles as an information broker) to look into the incident surrounding the original Moscow Combat Revue, but all that yields is this blurry photograph of Klara lying in a crater.
— Anyways, Sakura and Klara heads to Hatsuho’s shrine, which means we get backstory and more backstory. It looks like we’re only getting two combat missions in four episode. I wonder what the pacing is like in the video game.
— When Sakura tells Hatsuho that her disappearance worried everybody including Seijuro, the shrine maiden starts to regret her actions. Really? Ditching your team is okay, but you only start to care when the dude’s name came up? I dunno, man. I wonder if Seijuro will have a larger presence in the game’s story, because he’s practically nonexistent here. These characters have established relationships that we know very little about. I’m just supposed to accept that these girls are all enamored with Seijuro without knowing what he did to earn their respect.
— To help Hatsuho get over her issues, the girls decide to help out with the upcoming festival. It’s the common prescription whenever people are depressed, I guess. Feeling bummed out? Just work until you forget about it!
— Watch out! Those bats might carry a strain of the coronavirus!
— Basically, Hatsuho feels as though her best friend is leaving her behind all. Is this simply because Sakura was appointed the acting captain? Yeah, I don’t get it either. If Sakura was promoted to another team, then maybe I’d understand Hatsuho’s fears. If they were no longer performing on the same stage, she’d have a point. But someone has to be leader, and in the end, they’re sharing the same battlefield.
— Sakura buys a yukata for Klara, ’cause when in Rome, dress like the Romans. This somehow triggers a painful memory in the girl, but like the main plot thread, we get no real answers regarding Klara’s issues for now.
— Oh yeah, Azami decided to spy on the girls. When she sees them all dressed up to the nines, she feels somewhat jealous, but tells herself that “ninjas must never wear flashy outfits.” Yeah… says the girl in the bright yellow floofy getup.
— The night of the festival arrives, so we get to watch Hatsuho perform a dance to welcome the gods. Seems sleep-inducing, but I’ve never been one for religious traditions. In any case, this also triggers another memory in Klara. She must be seeing her older sister…. Leyla, was it?
— Afterwards, Hatsuho teases Sakura all about how the latter couldn’t dance to save her life at first. This eventually segues into a conversation about how far Sakura has come, and thus Hatsuho’s insecurities are laid bare. In a flashback, the two childhood friends had gotten into a fight because Hatsuho used to be better than Sakura at everything. Now that the tables have turned, the shrine maiden isn’t coping too well.
— Well, emotions are irrational, and sometimes, our nastier side just can’t help but reveal itself. Even though Hatsuho probably knows it’s shameful to be jealous of her best friend, the fact of the matter is that she does feel this way. She needs to now accept her weakness and work through her feelings so that she stops putting her team at risk during missions. I just question if one conversation with your BFF beneath a sakura tree is all it takes to get over one’s insecurities.
— There’s this trope where character A is jealous of character B, but then suddenly, character B reveals that they have always wanted to be like character A! And just like that, the problem is solved! Do actual problems always work themselves out in such a neat and tidy fashion? Eh…
— Again, I also wonder what the game’s narrative is like. Hatsuho tells us all about how the team was basically in shambles before Sakura and Seijuro showed up. In fact, they had to rely on someone else to protect Tokyo. I hope I’ll get to see this part of the story in the game, ’cause I’d really like to start from the very, very beginning. The anime series has to make concessions with the narrative in order to fit a single cour, but I’d be really disappointed if the game also glosses over how the team managed to whip itself into shape. Oh well, I’ll find out in about a week…
— When Klara sees the two friends bond, she decides to join them after seeing a memory of herself and her sister. Her hidden powers then decide to activate, and as a result, the 1000-year-old sakura tree that hasn’t bloomed in years suddenly comes to life. There’s no doubt that this is why the bad guys want her back so badly, but where did she even get this ability? Welp, more mysteries to add to the pile.