This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Seven of Seven: Episode 11 Commentary

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Collage of Seven of Seven screenshots.

It’s now revealed why Kamichika takes so many photos. While he started taking photos to help an artist friend of his, it’s obvious he’s fallen in love with his town’s architecture, and especially the cherry tree which blossomed the day Nana separated.

It was quite nice of Kamichika to take the blame after Nana bumped into him. It seems they both space out (but surely Nana far more than Kamichika). Kamichika gets points for being amazed to find Nana is going to school on such a hot day, and for telling her to work hard. Nana gets points for telling Kamichika his photos are wasted if they’re just for someone else to draw from, as they are art as well. It’s still uncertain how Kamichika feels toward Nana (he asks her out, but backs off when she doesn’t respond, assuming she already has plans), but he does mention he takes photos because of this girl artist whom he’s inspired by. That sounds a little like how Nana is studying because of her crush on Kamichika. It sounds dangerously like it. It doesn’t help any when Nana bumps into a girl with a sketchbook at the festival, and thinks about how if she, Nana, were as beautiful as that girl, that Kamichika might notice her. It’s painfully obvious where this is going.

Teachers are always teaching something relevant to the life of their student. At least the student who’s a main character in a television series, that is. Much like Mr. Feeny in Boy Meets World, Mr. Handa is teaching the summer school class something which Nana would relate too if she understood it. He speaks an English phrase about trying to catch two hares, and profiting from neither. It’s the same as the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” If you try to be in two places, you’ll find yourself in neither. Nana can only be at the dinner or at the festival.

Incidentally, the Japanese title for this episode is “二兎追うものは二兎を得よ?”, which translates roughly into “Can you chase two rabbits, and profit from two rabbits?” Thus the English title of “have your cake and eat it, too”. Actually, this cake phrase is a bit off, as it suggests eating cake, but still having the cake to eat, which suggests getting more of the same, rather than two different things.

The trio and Nana are in the same summer school class. This might be quite the demotion for other fast-track students, but I figure Nana is enjoying the easier material. Too bad even Morinuma from the bully trio is understanding the class better than Nana (or so Morinuma says).

As a fan of detective stories, I most enjoyed the detective scene in Nana’s room, if nothing more than for the different getups they wore and the simple deductions made.

I know Nanakko takes her Billy pillow with her everywhere, but even out to the festival? She reminds me of Linus, from Peanuts, back when he always had his blue blanket. At least she makes good use of Billy, putting that clock inside to keep track of time until the dinner at Hitomi’s.

There are a few cultural items seen in this episode. A cotton kimono, the light-weight yukata is worn to festivals during the summer. There are yukata for men and woman alike, although Kamichika does not wear one. The Nanas, Hitomi, Mr. Handa, and Mr. Maruoka all wear yukata.

The festival is a bonfire festival (the Bon Festival), which is be seen in other anime as well. Detective Conan had a Bon Festival episode, for example. At the Bon Festival in Kyoto, the 大文字焼き, or “大-letter burning”, is an event where a large 大 (meaning “huge” or “great”) kanji character is made of bonfire, covering a mountainside and seen from far away. Typically five letters are lit, five to ten minutes apart, and the bonfires last for about half an hour each. Three characters are seen in Seven of Seven. I do not know the first, but the second and third are both 大.

Alongside Hitomi’s family’s restaurant is a river from where the mountainside bonfire may be viewed. This looks much like the Kamo River of Kyoto, and I wonder if it’s not a coincidence that Hitomi’s family’s restaurant is called Hamo. It would be nice to know if the river in the cartoon isn’t called the Hamo River.

At one point, Nana is talking with the others, with the 大 bonfire on the mountain in the background, the river directly behind her. There are candle-lit paper lanterns floating along the river. This is the 灯篭流し, or “lantern floating”. These lanterns may have messages written on them, and they sail to guide the way for spirits.

The inclusion of the Bon Festival dates this episode as being mid-July. The bonfires and the lantern floating take place on the final day of the festival, meaning the date is July 15th. The first episode took place on February 14th, putting this a month short of half a year since Nana split into seven, and leaving seven months for the Nanas to become one again. (Going by the lunar calendar, it would be mid-August, but I’m assuming Seven of Seven does not use the lunar calendar for dates.)

Yukata episodes are a favorite of mine. It would be nice if each Nana had a different yukata, as well as if Kamichika wore one. Oh well. The rabbit-print is quite cute. (Come to think of it, the sketchbook girl didn’t wear a yukata, either.)

I haven’t mentioned Hitomi’s family’s restaurant in detail yet. It seems her parents run a well known restaurant called Hamo, and Hitomi helps out there. Since it’s traditional for Hitomi to invite Nana over for a dinner there each year, it’s probably been in the family for some time. With Hitomi helping out, will there be expectations by her parents for her to take over Hamo when she’s an adult?

It’s rather convenient for the bully trio and the teachers to each see multiple Nanas, and be able to chalk it up to “it must be the heat of summer” or “I think I’d had too much (wine) to drink.”

Kamichika gets a photo of Nana, with the Seven Rangers in the background. Or at least six of them. Will he notice that Blue Seven Ranger is often missing? He must remember that it was Blue who was missing when he wanted to take their picture back at the school festival. Now if only he could take a good look at the photo and say, “Hey, the all have hair the same-looking as Nana’s…”

At the festival, while each Nana carries cherries to take to Hitomi, they each get something which shows their individualism. Nanacchi has a snack (I’m not sure what kind, but it looks squid-shaped in design). Nanarin has goldfish. (Probably be dead by morning…) Nanapon has baked corn on the cob. Nanappe has a water-filled balloon yo-yo. Nanasama has a statue figurine. Nanakko has cotton candy. Nana has a snow cone.

Favorite line from this episode: drunk Mr. Handa’s, “Stay not to try out too late.”

Comments are closed.