REVIEW: ‘Insomniacs After School,’ Episode 7 — “The Fireworks Star”

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Insomniacs After School Episode 7

Despite taking a few episodes to find its most assured footing, Insomniacs After School Episode 7 is a firm and confident installment demonstrating the series’ most effective attributes. As Isaki (Konomi Tamura)and Ganta’s (Gen Satō) relationship develops, the series finds its greatest strength in their potential romance. By forgoing the need to drag it out, “The Fireworks Star” is another strong episode because it allows the romance to blossom at its own pace as the two’s dynamic strengthens. In its first season, the series has a confident grasp on the bonds that happen when sharing similar trauma, even if that trauma is the inability to sleep and the havoc it wreaks on a person. In “The Fireworks Star,” the show takes pains to depict the intimacy of shared secrets and how by divulging truths otherwise held close to the chest and in the middle of the night, Isaki and Ganta are beginning to know one another better than they could’ve imagined.

The main drive of Insomniacs After School Episode 7 takes place as the group tries to promote the meteor shower viewing party by handing out fliers during the firework festivities. The pacing works wonders by allowing that portion of the story to take only a small portion of the episode, the meat of it happening on the roof of the school where they’ve been allowed to watch the fireworks in exchange for handing out the fliers. Ganta slowly allows himself to loosen up in front of others, admitting to Isaki in a show of vulnerability that he always used to look at his peers who smiled easily and feel frustration and envy, assuming it meant that they didn’t have their struggles.

His admittance comes on the tail of looking at photos from the night they just shared, and the embarrassment he experiences seeing himself in them makes the moment all the more real. Along with this season’s Skip and Loafer, Insomniacs After School does a wonderful job crafting teenage characters who are realistic in how they talk and engage with one another, as reflective as they are naive. Ganta shares with Isaki that she’s the one who made him realize that just because others have better poker faces doesn’t mean they don’t have struggles allowing him to behave as a teenager would — too absorbed in his troubles to recognize others — while also giving him a chance to grow.

The moment also allows Isaki to have one of her most revealing moments. She confesses that she was born with heart issues as a child, meaning she had to undergo surgery as a young child. This explains her past comments about hospital stays while also leading her to divulge that it’s the reason she can’t sleep at night. Despite being encouraged by doctors to participate in sports and being told that she’s healthy, she worries that if she sleeps during the night, her heart will just stop, leading to anxiety that she won’t make it through the night if she closes her eyes.

Evident by the name, insomnia is a running theme of the series, and yet it still manages to surprise just how well the affliction is handled. As someone who, in my teen years, also feared falling asleep due to thinking I’d never wake up and who could sleep much more peacefully while the sun was up, the anime does a beautiful job of capturing universal realities while making them personal.

Even with the considerable character work done in this episode, the closing moments resonate the most. Merging their growth and the bond they share, we witness as Ganta makes his declaration of sorts. It might not be him professing his love, but it’s tremendous in its thoughtfulness. Creating a private radio station so he can communicate with Isaki at night to help her fall asleep inspires her to do the same. Ganta’s glee that it allows her to finally succumb to exhaustion, which allows him to sleep, is a poetic note to end the episode.

Insomniacs After School Episode 7 continues to prove that this slice-of-life anime is one of the more unassuming triumphs of the season. By capturing the main characters’ inquisitive, youthful, and determined energy, Insomniacs After School creates a series that is engaging and revealing of both its characters and the viewers.

Insomniacs After School Episode 7 is available now on HIDIVE.


Insomniacs After School Episode 7
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10


Insomniacs After School Episode 7 continues to prove that this slice-of-life anime is one of the more unassuming triumphs of the season.

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