REVIEW: ‘Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie,’ Episode 8 – “Cultural Festival Part 2”

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Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie Episode 8 - But Why Tho

Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie is a romantic comedy anime produced by Doga Koba. With the first day of the Cultural Festival wrapping up Shikimori arrives at the library. But rather than asking for Yuu, she’s looking for Kamiya. What does she need from her one-time volleyball opponent? And what new revelations will their interaction bring to light in Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8?

Sharing Yuu’s attention with anyone has been the biggest struggle for Shikimori throughout the series thus far. So when she shows up to ask Kamiya for her number at the beginning of this episode, I expected her to go into her least endearing self, her jealousy mode.

What happens next, however, creates a focal point for Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8‘s narrative I didn’t see coming but is beautiful. It develops Shikimori in an unforeseen way that fits well with her personality overall. We see her display an insightfulness and compassion that has always been there, it’s just that up till now, it’s only ever been directed at Yuu.

As the episode explores the situation, it spends a bit of time following Kamiya after her initial interaction with Shikimori. As I type this, I’m realizing that I’m pretty sure this is the first sequence in the show’s run that involves neither Shikimori nor Yuu. The brief, yet meaningful exploration of Kamiya’s character leads to a truly wonderful moment of acceptance and validation for the character. It displays a level of maturity and understanding that I wish I had possessed when I was a teenager in high school.

The episode wraps up by returning its focus on the show’s core couple as the Cultural Festival comes to a close. Seeing as it is both Shikimori’s birthday and their first anniversary, Yuu has prepared a surprise for his super cool girlfriend.

While this moment is coated in a generous layer of sweetness, there is also a bit of struggle in it. As Yuu continues to grow, Shikimori continues to see just how wonderful he is and just how wonderful he is likely to become. With these thoughts in her head, she cannot help but have some fears about what may be in store for them. Will she always be what he wants? Will some other girl whose cooler or cuter than her sweep him away?

While from a viewer’s perspective these concerns feel ridiculous, Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8 does a great job of delivering them in a way many can relate to. When we are in love, there are times when we can feel little but fear of losing the person or thing we love, no matter how securely in our lives they seem to be fixed.

There are a couple of genuinely powerful scenes in this episode and much of that power is derived from the animation’s excellent work. The visuals do a great job of letting the emotions of these moments loose onto the screen, while not letting them run so wild that it becomes too much. No fountains of tears or chibi transformations weaken the genuine heart and impact of this story.

Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8 delivers a phenomenal story for this series. The surprises and emotion are woven together in a way that makes this one of the most impactful and engaging episodes of the series thus far.

Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie Episode 8
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    Rating - 10/10
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TL;DR

Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie Episode 8 delivers a phenomenal story for this series. The surprises and emotion are woven together in a way that makes this one of the most impactful and engaging episodes of the series thus far.