Impression – Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu, Episode 04

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Episode 04 – “You Have to Get Hit by Arrows You Don’t Have”

After the excitement of the CTF tournament last week, we get a little lull in the action as Sonora gives Yura a few more pointers in the art of airsoft. I say a little break because Yura’s imagination is as crazy as ever. In fact, this actually becomes an incredibly important plot point this week, and I love how it was done. What I wonder is if this will be pursued further or if it was a one time deal only.

Following in the footsteps of her own shishou, Sonora takes Yura, as well as Rento, to a shrine for special instruction. Both Sonora and Rento easily conduct target practice, involving shooting a hanging 5 yen piece from across the yard, but things are a little bit more difficult for Yura. Even at several paces length, she can’t shoot the target. Sonora believes its because Yura hasn’t found her meaning to the sport of airsoft yet.

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Interestingly enough, the same thing is happening in Free!. There’s no such thing as one concrete regiment to doing sports, or anything really. Results are produced based on what you put into the activity, as well as what you make of it as well. It’s your philosophy that makes your art (sports are an artform in a lot of ways, too) yours. Different people are driven by different things, whether it’s for fun or for the heat of the competition, and these motives are what sets athletes and artists from each.

As for Yura’s fantasies, the show takes them in a completely unexpected direction. The girls talk about the legend of Choujirou, a young warrior in ancient times who was taken down in the midst of battle. In typical Yura fashion, she produces a vision in which he appears before her in the form of a white fox. Later in another fantasy, she ends up in one of his battles! Choujirou tells her that he summoned her because he believed that she could save him from eternally dying in battle. Surprisingly heavy stuff. Despite failing once, Yura returns to fulfill his request. What makes this ridiculous is that apparently her fantasies actually alter reality, too. By saving Choujirou in her fantasy, she actually rewrites history so that he survives to an old age. Poetically, the gun that Sonora gifts Yura with (Škorpion vz. 61) happens to be named “Choujirou,” too.

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As I said, I’m not sure if the series will pursue the matter any further, but maybe this “power” of Yura’s will actually play a part in how she plays airsoft. That’s very likely, and I’m excited to see what other scenarios she can come up with. Maybe the series will turn into an adventure where Yura has go back in time to rewrite history! That would be intense. I would like to more of the characters though, as Yura and Sonora have been getting a lot of the spotlight. Also, how about that new opening? It’s changed to match Yura’s new hair and personality.

B.W.

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