It’s safe to say we’ve entered the second arc of Yuri Is My Job!. With this episode, Mitsuki and Hime leave center stage and the spotlight moves to the other two girls working the cafe, Kanoko, and Sumika. Now, that’s not to say Mitsuki and Hime aren’t important—rather they serve as the catalyst and central object to the new story that’s unfolding.
When it comes down to it, for Kanoko, Hime is both a friend and the object of her obsession. This makes the cafe a double-edged sword. On one hand, she gets to spend more of each day with Hime. On the other, the cafe is pretty much the most hostile place possible for her. Kanoko is naturally shy—to the point she has trouble talking with even acquaintances (much less customers and coworkers). Worse yet, she has to watch the now reconciled Hime and Mitsuki interact. It’s obvious she is threatened by the rekindled friendship—which incidentally puts her in a state of mind where she needs some serious self-introspection.
The real issue facing Kanoko is that she’s so deep in the closet, she hasn’t even realized that there is a world outside it at all. She’s convinced herself that it’s perfectly normal to take hundreds of candid pictures of her best friend—and to think about Hime constantly. That totally doesn’t mean she has romantic feelings or anything. It’s only when someone else has potentially seen her phone’s photo gallery that the illusion comes crashing down—that she can see how it looks objectively.
What throws Kanoko into such a loop is that she is sure Sumika’s actions are malicious—that Sumika is bullying her for fun after discovering all the pictures. However, Sumika’s actions do not fit that theory. She never threatens to out Kanoko nor does she rub salt in the wound. It’s more like Sumika is trying to teach her something—which is exactly what’s happening.
Everything Sumika does in this episode is to make Kanoko confront her own feelings. Each teasing comment, the act of flirting, and book recommendation is to show Kanoko the truth she’s denying—as well as highlight the new darker side of her obsession. What was once her source of pride—being Hime’s only true friend—has turned into a source of jealousy since Mitsuki re-entered the picture. In a way, Kanoko is a ticking time bomb—and is most dangerous because she herself hasn’t yet realized she is one.
In the end, Sumika is trying to be a friend to Kanoko—but she’s a friend of a different type. Rather than simply telling Kanoko what to do as Hime does, Sumika is all about making her reach epiphanies all on her own. The problem, of course, is that Sumika is absolutely sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong—and that is something that seems destined to blow up in her face sooner rather than later.
• The Blume is basically the Prom Queen.
• Mitsuki is the only one doing the Blume election correctly—i.e., voting as the character would as oppose to how the actor would.
• Nene seems like good people—calling out Hime and Kanoko for talking about a person behind their backs and forcing them to think about why they never see Sumika out of uniform.
• Poor Hime likely doesn’t realize anything is going on with Kanoko—much less why that is.
Yuri Is My Job! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.