The previous episode of SHARK Season 2 concluded with Saku (Shigeoka Daiki) making a ludicrous decision. Let me lay out the situation. Aruto (Abe Aran) writes the lyrics to a song. Saku writes the music for it with the help of Aruto, Haruya (Hagiya Keigo), and Kai (Hamada Takahiro), and they all end up happy with the result. Kota (Yasui Kentaro) returns to the group and decides that it isn’t Cloud5’s style and that they should change it to suite his preferences. Afraid to lose Kota again, Saku agrees with Kota. Then, after a bit of reflection, Saku changes his mind and decides . . . decides that Matsuyuki, who Kota absolutely hates, should arrange the music of the song.

Huh? Why didn’t he just go back to the version that everyone except for Kota seemed to like? Why do the one thing that would piss off Kota even more?

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So, I ended the fifth episode hating both Saku and Kota. The phrase “a plague on both your houses” comes to mind.

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While this decision is technically what Aruto wanted, he doesn’t look too happy. I think he knows what’s coming.

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And when Kota pretends to accept Saku’s decision after Saku gets angry about it . . .

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. . . as Saku goes to Matsuyuki to do the inexplicable . . .

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. . . Aruto tells Haruya that he doesn’t believe that a person can change on a dime like that, and he suspects Kota’s motives. Again, total respect to Aruto who seems to be the only group member who sees things as they are and refrains from spewing bullshit. He acted like a pain in the first couple of episodes, but now he’s improved in proportion to Kota’s decline.

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In other news, Teppei (Kamiyama Tomohiro) tells Kai that Mizuki (Hirano Sho) is ready to perform and SHARK a;ready has a gig lined up. Why do I get the feeling that this is not going to go according to plan?

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Cloud5 have a practice and Kota continues to play nice, but they still haven’t gotten the arrangement for the new song back from Matsuyuki.

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On their way out . . .

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. . . they pass by the mysterious Asahi (Iwahashi Genki), who offers one of his characteristic ominous stares. From this, I gather we’re not going to get to see anything about his group in this episode. That’s a shame.

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Kota and Saku go to the guitar shop together and Kota continues to pour on the good feelings.

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Talking with Haruya, though, he reveals his true intention – to pounce when Matsuyuki’s arrangement arrives and to make his case then.

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Despite Aruto’s warning, Haruya is stunned, and immediately mobilizes to bring puddling to the group meeting (he always offers a snack to interrupt an argument).

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As it so happens, Kai and Teppei are passing through just as Saku says that the received the new arrangement from Matsuyuki.

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In his continuing attempts to make Kota even more angry, Saku invites Kai to join them to listen to the song since Kai contributed to the initial development of the song. Of course, we’ve already seen that Kai made Kota feel insecure about his position as Cloud5 guitarist, so having Kai present when Kota pounces is bound to make things worse.

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And, of course, Saku is also contributing to potential problems in SHARK, just in case messing around with one band is not enough for him.

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How will it go? I think this is where the legitimate spoilers begin and my summary has to end.

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I will say that a later scene between Haruya and Saku at least demonstrated Hagiya Keigo-kun’s acting skills, so that was nice to see.

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This episode had a lot more action than any of the previous episodes, and fully half of it was dealing with the conflicts that were set up. So, the pacing was great. Because they seemed to finally be dealing with the questions set up in episode one, it sort of felt like episode two (finally).

So, even though we didn’t get to see the group that is supposed to rival Cloud5, at least it seems like things are finally moving thanks to this episode. I came away from it feeling reasonably satisfied.

They managed to keep the Makoto parts to a relative minimum, so that was ideal. Late in the episode, Saku started looking like a decent character – let’s hope they manage to keep that up.