I’m just going to plunge ahead in SHARK Season 2 because it’s about time I caught up on something from the Spring season, and the new Saturday drama started today.

Last time, Kai (Hamada Takahiro) decided to disband SHARK so he could become Cloud5’s guitarist. Let’s not mince words about it – he’s been thinking about it since episode one and acting like he was destined to do it.

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Someone’s happy:

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But Ichika (Yamashita Rio) must have some seriously complicated feelings about this.

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Kai is thrown off a bit by all the screaming fans, and he is even more perturbed when the Cloud5 guys pretend that it’s going to be a live broadcast instead of a recorded program. That sort of seemed strange.

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Big dramatic moment when they see that Kota (Yasui Kentaro) joined BtS.

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Kota says he joined BtS thanks to Matsuyuki. But wait . . . suddenly he’s Matsuyuki’s best friend? If he’s willing to take Matsuyuki’s advice now, why didn’t he just accept the changes to the music before?

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Oh, and the “HATE” necklace was a nice touch. Very appropriate.

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Apparently, Matsuyuki told Kota that Kota needed BtS, and Asahi (Iwahashi Genki) specifically. Okay . . . we’d better get an explanation for that . . . though still seems like Matsuyuki would be the last person Kota would trust for advice.

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Saku (Shigeoka Daiki) asks why Matsuyuki said that to Kota and – wait for it – drama!

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In particular, Matsuyuki has made the début of BtS contingent on them winning a battle of the bands in which Cloud5 is also participating. Kota is seeking revenge through that competition. When Saku says that Cloud5 will withdraw from it, Matsuyuki says that he’s already talked to Wonder Records to make the group’s next single release contingent on them winning the battle.

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And that, of course, is ridiculous. Once a record company signs an act and puts promotion behind them, the company is going to put out singles as often as is possible and profitable. I can’t imagine them jeopardizing profits to suit to whims of a music producer unless he owns the label, which is not apparently the case.

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Still, it’s not even in the top ten of the most laughable plot points in this series.

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Samantha (IVAN) is uncertain which band she’ll support in the battle. I was sort of thankful for the comic relief – this series has precious little of it.

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And not enough to make up for the scene that follows between Saku and Kota.

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Wow, is Kota . . . I think the correct word for it is ‘bitchy’. This is total soap opera melodrama –

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Even with Matsuyuki’s ultimatum, Saku thinks that he still has a choice whether to compete in the battle. Aruto (Abe Aran) tries to talk some sense into him (as usual). After all, are they supposed to sacrifice their future as a group because Saku can’t face Kota?

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But since when has Saku made any sense? And just when you think they can’t drag this fake choice out any longer, they throw in a Makoto scene.

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Just to make Saku feel worse, Makoto talks about how it’s always been the three of them – Saku, Kota, and her – and how she misses telling Kota about things. She essentially says that his absence makes her heart grow fonder for him, and every word she utters seems designed to deal maximal pain to Saku.

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I had to laugh when she said “hidoi desho” (I’m terrible, right?). Yes, yes you are.

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She compares Kota’s unrequited love for her to her own unanswered love for Saku. She kept talking and talking . . .

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. . . and ultimately she told Saku to answer Kota’s feelings. Uh . . . what? This all sounded like total drivel to me.

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I mean, Kota’s feelings were that he wanted to dominate Saku and the group, and now wants revenge for . . . I guess for their inability to adhere to his sense of musical purity. I don’t think there’s any way for Saku to answer those feelings.

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Snipey boy is snipey.

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The best part of this, of course, is the performance section at the end.

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We also get to see BtS in the backroom while Cloud5 play, but get little to nothing from the scene except from a little snarl from Kota.

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So, will one of the bands really emerge victorious in this?

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Sure seems like they have to find a way to drag this out for more episodes somehow, which means either there’s no result or Cloud5 loses.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the BtS performance, by the way. I was certainly not expecting such a solid rock style from them.

The real story of this series has finally arrived, but I don’t think they have enough time to tell if properly. We’ll see.

I have to give credit to Yasui-kun for his acting. Kota is a total asshole, and Yasui-kun successfully makes you absolutely hate the character, never putting on a facial expression that is anything short of loathsome.

As for the rest, they barely introduced BtS in this episode. We got to hear them perform, but the only member names we know are Kota and Asahi, and they’re the only ones who got speaking roles (and Asahi just barely). So, once again, the writers padded this episode to delay as much as possible.

The pace, therefore, was horribly slow. It’s reasonable to just skip to the confrontation between the bands at the end, since that’s really the only action.

Nothing for it – on to the next episode!