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Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episodes 10-11 Review

Akebi's Sailor Uniform Episodes 10-11 Review

Episode 10, “Fight On! Fight On!” opens with the sound of cicadas and Komichi’s brand new summer uniform, which carries the rather dreamy vibe of being pure summer fashion, even when paired against the modern uniform most of the students wear. There’s something very middle school about the whole getup and more specifically, there’s something that signals the hot and humid season of Japan’s iconic summertime as well, which is perfect for a sports festival.

Post-OP, we’re in the thick of festival prep with Komichi and crew making some pom-poms from vinyl tape, but they’re not the only girls getting excited about the upcoming events. There’s this distinct air of the kind of excitement you really only experience as a kid: completely unfettered, competitive excitement, the kind where you get excited about watching kids play table tennis or about a group of girls making pom-poms. It’s really one of a kind and is infectious.

But that’s unfortunately not enough to make Komichi and crew good cheerleaders which is what they need to be for the sports festival, given that’s her task. It’s also, conveniently, the focal point for this episode and is genuinely super sweet.

The beautiful thing about a kid like Komichi is that she just never gives up. There’s no such thing as an obstacle for her. Instead, she continues, head held high. There’s a lot to learn from her willingness to endure, especially as she finesses her non-existent cheer abilities into something quite charming with her classmates, and quickly inspires dang near everyone she encounters over the course of the school day.

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There’s not much of a “plot” in episode 11 if you got by a very strict definition. However, broadening that to a more encompassing, more engaging definition gives you the plot of Komichi continuing to grow into her own via supporting her friends and learning how to cheer. It’s a beautifully simple plot, a peek into a new season with her, and just like episode 9, I cherish it.

That said, what I don’t cherish is the return of the camera oogling and ogling these kids. Maybe it’s because this is an episode with the kiddos in their athletic uniforms, but those kinda sleazy leering shots have returned. Not full force, but enough that I was like, “How many pre-teen thighs/butts/stomachs/calves/etc… Am I gonna have to see this episode?” Ideally, I’d say none, but… I think this is just the source material crashing into a series that should be much more benign than this.

That all included, however, episode 10 is—by and large—another good episode that is largely about tweenagers being tweenagers and teens coming into their own. I’m thankful for that. I’m not sure I could have hung in here if the lewding had gotten more prominent. Thankfully, the show largely elides a lot of opportunities it could have taken to sexualize the girls and instead, treats them like authentic humans with their own thoughts and feelings… for the most part. There’s still fraughtness to be found, though it isn’t with the climax of the episode, which focuses on body growth, particularly when it comes to breast development, and how that alters the ability to play sports or move the same way as before when you’re a pre-adolescent.

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Episode 11, “Sharing This Time… With Everyone…” continues the festival fun by introducing the afterparty event, which speaks for itself: it’s a final hurrah to the sports festival for the kids, and will feature dancing and all manner of fun. Naturally, Komichi will be a big part of it. But this episode isn’t really about Komichi, it’s much more about Eri, who’s still coping with her desire to play the piano again, though, of course, we do pop into the lives of Komi and crew quite frequently. We also get a bit of tension around preparing the volleyball team for the festival itself, which entails a good degree of tension because not every student sees eye to eye.

And it’s here that I swing back to how lovely these peeks are into Komichi’s life. These are very everyday, minor concerns, in the scheme of life, but as a middle school student, being better at volleyball, or anything you’re passionate about is a powerful motivator, and in episode 11, it serves as the vehicle for an Eri-centric episode that actually opens up to be about a bunch of girls being girls. Only… it quickly becomes about them taking their clothes off when they get sweaty, and ensues in a scene that had me very discomforted. Thankfully, once again, the show veers back to the plot and ends up resolving on a quite powerful note about how beautiful friendship is as a vehicle for encouragement and just generally vibing with your best self. It’s a promising end to this episode, hinting at a very emotional finale that my heart’s not ready for.

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There’s this lovely everyday tension in episode 11 that really makes it a solid penultimate episode. It’s subtle, almost mundane, yet is the cream of a slice of life this season because of the emotionality of Komichi’s world, and how she affects others with her abundance of joy. It’s genuinely nice to see such a good, nice kid being embraced by the community and generally just getting to remain a good nice kid. I think it’s safe to say that the finale episode will sum up the penultimate prep for the festival with a bang. And sad as I am to see Komichi go, I’ll admit that this felt like a proper setup for a fantastic sendoff. Now, all we have to do is see things through to the end!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episodes 10-11 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

by Mercedez Clewis

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