Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii Episodes 9-10: It’s Raining Men
Yup, it’s clear that we’re entering the final arc of Soresekai, and from the looks of things I’d say this is probably the best place to end the series with a decently paced ending. Also, I just titled this post because god damn, we’re seeing a ton of guys out of Nike in the past 10 episodes, it’s almost flooding over here.
Anyways, episode 9 is probably my favourite episode since 1 and 2, mostly since they really took the time to properly establish the relationship between Livi and Nike instead of have a plethora of events take place all at once for a change, and it really works well in the series’ favour. The well-written and properly paced buildup that tipped the scales for Nike and Livi’s relationship – from something of a maternal love Nike has for Livi into something more romantic, albeit cheesy, wasn’t bad at all. I’ve probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, I do enjoy Nike and Livi’s relationship. Seeing an episode finally fully focusing on capitalizing on this relationship is a godsend, because we’ve had one too many detours around the elephant in the room now, and having only one season worth of episodes makes things even worse. It did turn me off a bit at the beginning, but the age difference between Nike and Livi is really well handled, and is definitely a plus in the show’s favour. Livi’s age gives him a certain childishness that is really able to balance out other aspects of his character, and those traits bounce off Nike very well too, so they have pretty fantastic chemistry. I thoroughly enjoyed the moment where Livi saw through Nike’s worries as her family delivers to her a letter that sends her into disarray. Now this is what the whole plot point of Nike’s rain summoning conditions should be used for!
Aaaand of course there’s the kiss. The shoujo sparkles did kind of ruin it for me, but it’s more of a personal preference than anything really – it’s a shoujo after all, and this scene is definitely in tune with what has been set up for us thus far. Seeing the relationship between Nike and Livi finally move to the next stage is something I definitely appreciated seeing.
Episode 10, while not as enjoyable as 9 for me, still kept the momentum from last week, introducing major plot elements for the final arc of this little series. I’m not gonna lie, it did bore me a little. The general narrative of this arc is something we should all have seen coming, really, and is frankly very predictable, but I don’t want to be too much of a wet blanket here. The change in the relationship between Nike and Livi is still what drives this final arc, and the series has been doing a solid job of selling their relationship for me, regardless of how I feel about all the other episodes. Ol’ grandma here seems to have dug a grave for herself – it’s clear that while she cares for Nike she’s still very willing to put aside her granddaughter’s wishes for the country’s (or her personal) ambition, and it’s in that mindset that becomes her undoing. Livi clearly cares for Nike, not because she’s able to summon the rain, but because of who she is and how she’s changed him and made him better appreciate the life he has, however painful it has been.
This is consistent on Nike’s side too, as despite having been locked up and sealed into a tower where she can’t escape and is kept guarded by Kitora who clearly has a serious crush on her (wow, putting this into words made me realise how Disney-esque the whole set up has been, but I digress), her desire to prevent the hypnotizing gave her the will to continuously try to force her way out even without her powers, making her all bloodied up in the process, and driving Kitora into anguish seeing the woman he loves putting herself into such pain and turmoil. It’s clear he will eventually give in and help Nike escape ( further confirmed by the very spoiler filled episode preview), but what I’d like to see most is Grandmother’s realisation that she’s taken things too far to a point where the previously sharp knife she used against the country and her own family has pushed her into a corner.