Yes, I know I’m late again, but once again, I have had to prioritize real life over this. Sigh, trying to finish this article two days after I’ve started is not an easy task; it’s why I always try to do everything in one shot, if possible…
With the source of all the angst that Hiromi has been displaying since the beginning of the series going ‘poof’ last week, this episode we get to see a Hiromi who is far happier than before, as well as a Shinichiro who’s far less emo than before. However, while the two are enjoying being in a relative la-la land, it’s the turn of the other members of the cast to provide all the emo and the angst. The Hiromi fanboy in me approves of the turn that the direction of the plot has taken, but the rationlist part of me cannot help but notice that there’s as yet still 3 more episodes to go. Surely it won’t end just like that?
I’ll think about that more later on. For now, let’s back back to the main topic. True Tears, Episode 10.
With the little misunderstanding between her and the Nakagami household cleared up, Hiromi sees no reason to keep up the charade with Jun any longer. I have to admit, it does look a little callous on Hiromi’s part, but on the other hand, I can’t really disagree with her taking that course of action. After all, she never did ask for this state of affairs in the first place; it was something foisted upon her by Jun (and to a lesser extent, Shinichiro). I personally think that it’s healthier for her not to continue the lie, especially now when there’s no longer any good reason for her in it.
You know, if Nobuse were the type of guy who is adamant in his insistence that there not be a break-up with his girl, I would have lost all respect for him. There’s honestly no good reason to try and lock a girl in an unwanted relationship at all costs; it’s just unethical, if I may say that much.
However, thankfully Nobuse is not that kind of guy, as can be seen in how he tries to cope with the inevitable fact that him and Ai-chan was just not meant to be. Pretty strange how his idea of coping is to ask Noe to curse him, but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.
In the end, Nobuse managed to retain my respect for him, and maybe even increased it. It may have taken Aiko three attempts before he finally capitulated, but that is something I don’t mind overlooking. After all, affairs of the heart are something that’s not easy to get over, and honestly, he could have behaved far worse than that. The fact that he did manage to accept the rejection eventually means he has yet to take leave of all his senses, and for that, I can say that Nobuse is still worthy of some respect.
Hmmm, is this the real Hiromi we’re seeing here? This Hiromi, who angsts no more and now smile and laughs much more often? If this is the real Hiromi, than I can totally see what Shinichiro sees in her.
Ah, yes, the kind of question anybody would want to know about themselves and their past. Of course, these are the sort of questions that always tend to come with the disclaimer "do you really want to know the answer to that?". They are the kind of questions that always stimulate our curiosity, and they are also the kind of questions for which it might be better never to know the answer to.
Jun drops to a new low here, being unable to let go the way Nobuse managed to, and not even because he actually has feelings for Hiromi, what’s more.. It’s one thing for him to act in a particular manner for the sake of his sister, but it’s something else altogether for him to do something that would hurt another party just for the sake of his sister. What a callous guy; I never liked him, and I like him less and less. I wouldn’t even dislike him if he had insisted Hiromi pay for his bike, but this is just unreasonable.
Now this is something I don’t see all that often in anime; the snow actually looks realistically dirty and messy. P.A. Works definitely has the potential to become the next KyoAni; all the studio needs now is to have a blockbuster hit in the vein of SHnY for it to reach the cult status the latter currently enjoys.
Even as a Hiromi fan, I do feel a bit sorry for Noe. She never asked to get screwed over by events beyond her control like that, and the fact that she still can’t do a thing about it doesn’t help either. Neither does the fact that any conversation with Shinichiro at this point only engenders more awkwardness.
And with that, Aiko seems to leave the stage once and for all. Of course, I don’t believe that she’s actually given up on Shinichiro as she said, but by forcing herself to end her pursuit, she’s about as close as she can get, for the moment anyway. The only thing left that she needs to get over Shinichiro once and for all, is time.
Now, this is the part where I’m not exactly certain what she’s thinking. She knows for sure that she’s not blood-related to Shinichiro, she faces no more hostility from Kanae (finally we get a name), and basically, there’s little left to stop her from getting closer with Shinchiro, so why did she still decide to leave? Or, more pertinently, why did she choose to leave now?
After all, she more than anyone else would have had the closest link to Shinichiro; they shared many happy memories together, and while she hadn’t always been very happy in the Nakagami household, there were now no more obstacles left in the way of her making even more happy memories with Shinichiro. They should have been the perfect couple, having known each other since young, and thus being most familiar with each other.
If I were to make a guess as to what Hiromi was thinking when she decided to leave, I would say that she was let down by the recent chain of events. Or to be more specific, her expectations that Shinichiro would make sure she would never feel alone were let down, no thanks to the stupidity that the latter got up to. Perhaps, she needed some time alone to evaluate her relationship with Shinichiro, because of her perception that Shinichiro wouldn’t give her all his attention after all.
Therefore, it must seemed to her like a regrettable, but necessary decision. It may be that she thought that she needed to get to know Shinichiro all over again, and staying in the same household is not the way to do it, since what she thought she knew about him before were all shattered by her torrid time in the Nakagami household. Still, even if she had felt neglected by Shinichiro, leaving her place near by his side must still have been quite painful for her.
…..argh. I wouldn’t claim to know how a girl thinks; these are just wild guesses from the viewpoint of a member of the clueless male species. Ladies, any insights from the inner circle of global sorority?
Of course, it’s Shinichiro and his wishy-washy ways that caused Hiromi to leave in the first place; at least he realizes it at the last minute, and finally gets up his balls to, as Crusader-kun so succinctly put it, do the right thing
Thankfully for him, he does manage to catch up; in this kind of genre, he could have just as easily failed to catch up before she went sailing off into the sunset. Nobuse said Shinichiro is a lucky bastard; I would definitely concur with that view.
And while Shinichiro promises to do everything properly from now on (which I have a certain amount of doubt about, but that’s another story entirely)…
…the jilted ones fall deeper and deeper into depression, as they reflect on the hand that fate had dealt them.
And that was the end of the episode. To be honest, the feel of this episode was kind of strange; in a way, if not for the extra scenes involving Noe and to a lesser extent Aiko, everything that happened in this episode would have felt more like an ending rather than a continuation. The Hiromi fanboy within me would have been perfectly satisfied with such an ending, but the rationalist part insists on taking precedence; I can’t help but think that there’s more to come. Putting aside the obvious tangles that needs to be undone before everything can be resolved, like the situation between Hiromi and Jun as well as that between Shinichiro and Noe, the other thing is that Hiromi’s behaviour this episode has led me to think that not all is well between her and Shinichiro after all, contrary to what it looked like on the surface. There seems to be signs that Hiromi had lost a significant amount of the trust she originally had in Shinichiro, so unlike what Crusader-kun may think, I do not regard this turn of events as an early (or late, whatever strikes one’s fancy) Christmas present after all. There’s still 3 more episodes, and there’s still some space for the plot to move in any possible direction.
That said, I believe that there are only 2 possible directions for the story to take at this point; Aiko is already GG’d, so I don’t think she needs to be counted. The more likely scenario as of this point, is that Shinichiro and Hiromi untangle the mess the former created with the Isurugi siblings, and probably they will have to engage in some reestablishment of trust between each other before they
consummate re-affirm their relationship. The other possibility, one that would appeal to the Noe fanboys, is that Shinichiro ends up breaking with Hiromi and returns to Noe for some reason. And well, the latter is not a course of storyline I would exactly like very much, and that’s not just because of my Hiromi fanboy-ism. At this point in the story, unless a great deal happens within the last 3 episodes, Shinichiro breaking with Hiromi and going back to Noe would just feel too weird; it would entail him breaking a sure bond with the girl he’s known and liked forever, in favour of an uncertainty with a girl who may or may not even be compatible with him.
Still, 3 episode is still a lot of time in a 13-episode series, and it’s enough time for a great deal to happen indeed. So I would say the Noe fanboys can still hope; and after all, if the story transitions from now to the last episode are well-executed enough, I wouldn’t mind a Noe ending either. After all, my view has always been that it’s the story, not the girls, who takes precedence.
Well then, we can only wait for next week to see what happens next. Ascaloth, out.