The 3rd episode focuses on a combination of planning the first part of the food research club’s push to get Yuuki beyond the primary and the differences between the two Shinonome sisters. The food research club gets some help early in the form of a visit from the current president, who passes down his knowledge of winning an election. However, he is doing it for the sake of his public safety committee’s chances of winning future elections. As the club members get to work on the campaign, Hazuki confronts her younger sister Satsuki to find out if this whole campaign is personal.
This episode pretty much felt as though there were several disconnected parts that did not seem to fit together. The takeaways from this episode are probably three things. The first is that the public safety committee is using Yuuki’s candidacy as an independent to make it easier for them to be elected in the year after this campaign. The second is that Satsuki’s campaign is personal against her older sister, even if she doesn’t say so publicly. Finally, Yuuki does have a secret he’s hiding which could come back to haunt him.
First, the public safety committee’s decision to back Yuuki in private is an example of realpolitik. It’s simply a pragmatic decision over any sort of ideological stand from their perspective. The food research club was on top of the list of clubs to be eliminated as the centerpiece of Satsuki’s manifesto, which makes their running a campaign against that point to most prominent of the outsiders. Mouri even comes out and tells them that their support is about eliminating the incumbents advantage for the next election, so their best interest is in having a president who is not part of any of the committees.
The extent of the campaign rules, however, means that the public safety committee can only help in an unofficial way. They are barred from running a candidate, so they cannot run a shadow candidate. Chisato recognizes this as well in saying that they have the higher ground. The committee needs the food research club as much as the food research club needs the committee. When that is recognized by both sides, they quickly get to work on doing what has to be done to get to the 10 percent threshold to get out of the primary.
The second and third parts were mainly tied to the relationship between Satsuki and Hazuki which has seemingly placed Yuuki in the middle of a storm he knows little about. Hazuki called out her younger half-sister in wanting to know if the campaign and mainly its call to eliminate the club she supervises is some vendetta against her. On the face of it, it’s completely justifiable on the basis that it wastes money and can therefore be dismissed as a normal campaign. However, Satsuki leaves the confrontation after telling her older sister that the campaign was also about winning something Hazuki never did. So in a sense it is personal as part of her drive to surpass her older sister.
Also seemingly at stake between the both of them is Yuuki. In the previous two episodes, Satsuki was seen getting closer to Yuuki in the form of frequent encounters, her encouraging him to run in the election and her giving him a unique nickname that no one else calls him. At the end of this episode, there is the scene where Yuuki goes over to Hazuki’s apartment and cooks dinner for her.
There were three parts of this scene that I found interesting. The first is that he was hiding the fact that he was there from Chisato. He either cares about Chisato enough to think that being at Hazuki’s place would hurt her, or it is something that should be known by as few people as possible. Either way, this is probably going to come out at some point. The second is that there was some incident in the past between the two of them that hints at Hazuki having some feelings for him. Finally, the awkward hug at the end joined the list of dark scenes at the end of episodes. I think what was supposed to be gained from that is that Yuuki needs emotional support that seemingly only Hazuki is providing at this point.
While this week’s episode from a campaign perspective was about building grassroots support for Yuuki among the clubs that would get the axe from Satsuki’s successful election, next week’s appears to feature Satsuki attempting to do the same. The main question I have to ask about her campaign is to unveil a platform immediately. It makes it that much harder for her to talk to clubs when she’s already announced that she wants to cut funding to some of them or eliminate them completely.
As a side note, next week’s post will be delayed as I’m out of town in Baltimore because of a promise I made due to the tournament last month. So it will probably be up on the following Monday here.