Fuuka
Episode 7

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Fuuka ?

After what I presume to be days of off-screen practice, it's finally time for Yu and his friends to make their musical debut. Unfortunately, the event is derailed by a sudden crisis - a photo of Yu and Koyuki together leaks online, and everyone assumes that they're dating. In a reversal of how this situation plays out in real life, where the women tend to receive the bulk of hate for these sorts of things, it's Yu who finds himself the target of an online hate mob for the assumed crime of taking their beloved idol off the market. In response, Koyuki is forced to publicly deny that she's in a romantic relationship with Yu. However, she also announces that Yu is her unrequited love, rendering the entire “denial” moot. Yu is left confused, and the hate mob gets even worse. Soon, they're even threatening to mess him up IRL. As an army of trolls coalesce on their concert, our heroes have to decide whether they'll go through with it or allow themselves to be intimidated into silence.

Of course, they decide to perform, since the band means so much to all of them and so on. We don't actually see the outcome of this decision – the climax has been put off until next week – but the episode does spend some time recapping what the experience means to all our side players. Guitarist Sara says it's her first experience having friends – which is a shame, since she's easily the coolest character on the show. Keyboardist Makoto is rediscovering his love for music, and drummer Nachi is just there, I guess. That's literally his scene – saying he doesn't know why he's in the band, but deciding to go through with it anyway. Well, whatever. I'm just happy that the Koyuki storyline has finally intercepted with the forgotten “let's start a band!” main plot.

Besides just being sort of dull overall, Fuuka's biggest problem at the moment is the lack of focus on its titular heroine. By this point, a good two-thirds of the show's content has been dedicated to the story of Koyuki's doomed feelings for Yu. Mostly, this has been an uninterrupted bummer. Koyuki is sad all the time, her feelings aren't leading the story anywhere compelling, and it's taken up time that could've been used on more pertinent material. (Wasn't this show about starting a band?) Fuuka, meanwhile, isn't having much reaction to the guy she's dating spending time with the world's biggest pop star. I like that they're avoiding a cliché “two girls fight over the lead” plot, but you have to replace that with something. because the narrative needs some sort of interpersonal tension.

By now, I just feel bad for Koyuki – she's so incapable of making her feelings known to this poor sap, and it's so unlikely to work out, that I mostly want this storyline put out of its misery. At least she's finally confessed, albeit in the worst way possible. Putting everything out there like that is just going to confuse him and antagonize the trolls even more. The Koyuki stuff has finally served to complicate the main plot in the form of Yu's hate mob, but it still feels like time wasted, even if it's finally turning into something now. It's hardly thrilling, but at least it looks like the narrative is moving on. At least, I hope so.

Grade: C+

Fuuka is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.


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