With everyone passing the first round, the second round begins. Of course, this round reveals something that Suzune is hiding that can affect her performance this round.
As expected, the second round is the round that most viewers are excited for. Yes, it’s the beach round as each girl need to earn 100,000 yells to make it to the next round. You know what this means, right? Girls will wear swimsuits, participate in beach activities, and perform a song together.
Of course, it’s nice to see what swimsuits the girls pick out this time. Yes, Shiori is right that swimsuit chooses the wearer, except for Suzune. What is surprising is that Suzune comes out with a school swimsuit. This causes the girls to become worried as this isn’t going to fly. This make it seem like Suzune is not taking the competition seriously. Then again, is she hiding something?
While she changed into a more revealing swimsuit, she wore a hoodie over it. She also reluctant to participate in activities. Rena becomes worried when she saw Suzune’s low yell count. It’s obvious that something is wrong, and she doesn’t want her rival/friend to lose this round without trying. She went back to the building to see what is up.
As expected, Rena questioned Suzune if what she said is a lie. The promise that Suzune will not lose no matter what. Of course, Suzune doesn’t want to lose, but insecure about something else that deals with swimsuits. While it’s not for the reason that Reika made a big fuss over wearing a swimsuit, it’s a bit more serious. After all, swimsuits are a big deal with idols.
I can see why people are making strong comparisons to Idoly Pride in this episode. Suzune revealed the truth about why she is afraid to wear a swimsuit. It’s because of the scar on her chest. Apparently, she had to have a heart surgery during her childhood because of her weak heart condition. The surgery saved her life.
We don’t know if it’s a complex heart operation or a heart transplant like Sakura. One thing we know for sure, Suzune has self-esteem issues or survivor guilt that might affect her performance in this round. Still, Suzune continued, and it seems like she probably made-up some lost ground. However, she can’t keep going on like this, especially with the group performance that make up most of the yells for the round.
With that, I understand why Rena is acting strangely and the others noticed. While Suzune is her rival, she probably views her as a friend, but won’t admit it. When Rena asks if the whole group should do the performance without having to wear swimsuits, Suzune declines. She also brings this up in the talk session after dinner.
It’s obvious that Rena really wants to see Suzune make it to the final round. Deep inside, she becomes worried about Suzune’s well-being and becomes quite protective of her. After all, Rena probably believes that her older sister, Akari faced challenges of her own during the competition. In a way, she is trying to return the favor to Suzune. After all, she did help resolve some difficulties Rena was facing in the first round together.
Of course, the other girls eventually become worried about Rena and Suzune. They had a talk section. Eventually, Rena tells the crew to turn off the cameras as Suzune reveals the truth about her heart surgery. She becomes upset, blames herself, and said that she doesn’t deserve the support and the yells before she ran out of the building. This makes me wonder if the other girls are being insensitive or that they simply didn’t know.
In the end, I feel that this is something that Suzune needs to resolve, but I don’t think she should do it on her own. I have a feeling that the other girls will help her out some way. Maybe to change Suzune’s mind. One way is to rebel against the rules and have everyone not perform in swimsuits. After all, if everyone is breaking the rules, you can’t disqualify everyone, right?
Another way is probably Suzune to come into terms with her surgery. She can spin it in a positive way as a good survivor story that she recovers from the surgery that saved her life and managed to get into the final round in Selection Project. This is while not letting her scar bother her but being proud of it given her achievements. She might receive enough sympathy votes and make it to the next round. After all, there is no one strategy one needs to take to get to 100,000 yells.
Whatever happens, I think it’s something that Suzune needs to figure out. Of course, giving up or not putting an effort is not an option. She will let down her parents and friends (Seira and maybe Rena) that supported her.