There is no doubt that this episode is mainly focused on exploring Sumika and Kanoko and what drives them. However, to really understand what causes the episode’s biggest crisis, it’s important to first dive into a third character: Hime. Hime has built a personality designed to attract everyone he meets in order to pave the way for his idealized (and probably unobtainable) life. He’s basically manipulating everyone around him. That’s not to say that Hime is a sociopath: she has empathy and cares deeply for her loved ones. The problem is that she’s actually only close enough to two people to personally invest in: Kanoko and Mitsuki.
That being said, Hime’s relationships with Kanoko and Mitsuki are quite different. Kanoko is a follower. She will generally do whatever makes Hime happy. She has no greater drive or goal in life other than to be with Hime. Mitsuki, on the other hand, is stubborn and driven. Despite how much she cares for Hime, she will not let her own desires and responsibilities get crushed by Hime’s whims.
Because of this, Hime is unable to manipulate the situation to become Blume; in fact, all of her attempts to make it her own make Mitsuki the clear favorite of hers (as the customers see them as a pair with Mitsuki being the most responsible). For the first time in a long time, Hime can’t get a crowd to do what she wants. However, instead of disappointment, she finds a different kind of happiness.
Mitsuki, the girl who was always reviled because she couldn’t be more than blunt and outspoken, is now popular and capable of acting like a totally different person than she is on the inside. Hime is proud of both her friend’s growth and her own role in helping Mitsuki gain the recognition she has so often been deprived of. She or put another way, she is realizing that she can find happiness outside of being the center of attention. This is a positive coming-of-age moment for Hime. However, to Kanoko, he is a threat to everything she holds dear.
Kanoko is pathologically dependent on Hime for her own happiness. She has built her own identity around the simple idea that she is Hime’s only real friend, the only one who knows the real Hime and would never betray her. This was fine when it was the truth, but now that Mitsuki has re-entered the equation, she is losing control of her established reality, panicking as she tries to force things back to the way they were. The problem is that “the way things were” was based on a misunderstanding between Mitsuki and Hime. Now that it’s cleared up, there’s no way to put the genie back in the bottle.
While that was bad enough for Kanoko, Hime’s growth in new ways pushes her beyond her limits, especially since the catalyst is Mitsuki. After all, if Mitsuki can cause positive changes when Kanoko couldn’t, what is her purpose? Where does she fit into Hime’s life if Mitsuki takes the place on Hime’s side? At first, she decides that preventing Mitsuki and Hime from becoming even more special, i.e. becoming a “Blume Schwestern” couple, is the way to protect her relationship with Hime. So she asks Sumika to help her change the votes so that Sumika wins the election. However, that doesn’t work out as expected, so she wants to go nuclear: completely destroy the special relationship between Hime and Mitsuki by erasing the concept of Schwestern from the cafe. And it is with this action that she turns a cautious ally into an outright enemy.
Although quite mysterious in the previous episodes, this episode makes Sumika’s motivations clear: she is out to protect the cafe. In the time before even Mitsuki joined the cafe, there were two other workers. Those two got into a romantic relationship and, in Sumika’s opinion, drastically damaged the cafe. The fallout from her left her and Mai as the only remaining cast members. To prevent something similar from happening again, she is forced to resolve behind-the-scenes conflicts before they externally affect the cafe, especially those of a romantic nature.
Of course, it’s best to do this in a way that leaves everyone happy. If you have to step up and be someone’s friend or confidante, so be it. That is why he agrees to help Kanoko. As long as she can get Kanoko to not act on her obvious jealousy, Sumika is more than willing to play along, especially since it works well in terms of the ongoing election story taking place in the cafe.
However, when Kanoko asks Sumkia to remove the Schwestern concept from the cafe, Sumika sees it as an attack on the very core of the cafe and what makes it unique. In a way, Kanoko has announced that in order to assuage her own personal insecurities, she is willing to destroy not only the enjoyment of the client, but also the livelihood of her co-workers. So Sumika responds in kind: by blackmailing Kanoko by threatening to drag her kicking and screaming out of the proverbial closet in front of the object of her affections. With this, we have the beginning of a cold war in coffee. Now the only question is, how long before the war escalates and everything comes crashing down?
• Poor unconscious Hime. He’s so happy that her friend suddenly has something outside of her that she cares about, but he has no idea what’s really going on.
• While I’m sure we’ve never seen the woman with wavy purple-pink hair in the flashback before, we’ve met a character with straight silver hair before…
• So many scenes with Mitsuki in this episode are her cute struggle not to break character and give Hime what she wants.
• How oblivious is Mai to the things that happen in her own cafe? I know she’s doing all the administrative work, but a manager’s job is also to make sure everyone gets along.
Yuri is my job! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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