This episode is literally on fire and I’m not even in fanboy mode yet. Putting that awkward plot twist at the end aside, Claudine and Maya’s performance in this entire episode is just sublime, especially when accompanied by brilliant directing. From the revealing of the root of their rivalry to that majestic tag-team at the stage to the dramatic conclusion with tear-jerking moments at the aftermath, everything was done almost flawlessly.
To me, they really nailed the competition between these 2 “side” characters, while on the surface they always seem to be vying for supremacy on the “battlefield”, deep down there each respect and admire the other in their own way, which makes it feel rather intriguing and even rich without being constrained in methodical execution.
Claudine while being a bit bitchy on the surface eventually turned into a very respectable character in this anime, which is a bit weird because I never expected her to have this much development.
Maya, on the other hand, proved her worth by earning the no.1 spot in my ranking. One of the best things about her character is how her “brilliance” is always accompanied by a sisterly aura. Not only is she always caring for the girls from the shadow, but she also does her best to keep her emotion in check in order to retain her dignity, which truly lives up to her title as the head of the 99th class.
That 2 vs 2 matchup was really insane, I enjoyed every single moment of it, the lighting, music to action, well damn, how could a supposedly “idol show” manage to blend so many out-of-place elements seamlessly.
Maya and Claudine’s teamwork was just like yoooo. Tbh it really kept me on edge most of the time, so many badass scenes in just the 2nd half of the episode.
During that whole fight, I got a feeling that it wasn’t just a 2 vs 2 “dance” anymore, but more like Claudine and Maya were having their own sub-battle deep inside, trying to show the entire stage that even in such a critical situation they still remained their usual selves, constantly competing against each other, a perfect example of endless evolution regardless of the circumstance.
The result of the match wasn’t outside of my prediction, I mean it’s quite obvious that they were going to lose because of "plot", I don’t mind that. However, what surprised me more was the outburst coming from Claudine at the end, her being in denial of Maya’s defeat felt very heart-warming and sad at the same time, I really understand why she had it that way, to witness your gawd taking an L is really something you don’t wanna admit with your own eyes, hence it should be quite a great shock to her.
And that wasn’t just all, Maya da gawd really showcased her badassery and took that L like a boss, without even getting salty about it, and even revealed her hidden french knowledge after all this time to Claudine, constantly bombarding her with the blushy blushy talk lmao, I really lost it at that moment yet at the same time felt very satisfied with all that sudden development between da 2 gawds of this show. Whew.
To wrap it up this episode is probably the best one that this anime can offer, not that I hate other girls, Claudine and Maya just simply “outshined” them all in many ways, not just simply from inverse perspective.