[Ascaloth] True Tears, Episode 10

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.

9 Responses to “[Ascaloth] True Tears, Episode 10”

  • I believe that Hiromi feels she has to leave is to “start again” with Shinichiro. The years spent living under the same roof didn’t allow them to grow closer, like she had hoped. With her living away, but still being close at school and everywhere else, they can start anew, this time doing things properly.

    But with three episodes left I guess anything can happen.

  • Her name isn’t Kanae.
    Shinichirou’s dad said 家内 -> Kanai -> wife

  • I dunno. Looking at those last two screenshots.. it looks like someone might be doing something stupid by the last episode.

  • If you were expecting Jun to simply roll over for Hiromi then you underestimate his love for Noe. Given that his bike got wrecked and Noe is now heart broken do you honestly think that as a loving nii-san Jun should have simply let bygones be bygones and accept the money? Is money even proper recompense for all that has transpired? No it is not and for Hiromi to simply say that she just wanted to sort out her feelings was a lie. Her intentions were as plain as day. Jun is a smart guy he already knew what it was that Hiromi wanted. I think that he has accepted what is going on to a degree. He just doesn’t have to nor should he like it.

    Don’t be silly Jun is no doormat he will not simply allow Hiromi to walk all over him. Hiromi was a bitch for not answering her phone. Shit during their time together Jun acted with civility and courteously while Hiromi pouted. Were Jun a lesser man Hiromi would have had a broken nose by now. Sure you may want Jun to go “Oh Hiromi thank you for leaving and helping break my dear Noe’s heart. Dozo, here have a star fish!” Jun is not one to openly display his emotions but when he does it is plain to all. Hiromi went to him to absolve her self of responsibility for the eventual heartbreak. Jun is under no obligation to smile, he did not escalate to violence, but just because he rejected Hiromi’s scheme with resolve does not mean he is being a bad guy. It was Shin-chan who agreed. It was Shin-chan who confessed Noe using rocks. When Hiromi had no one else to turn to and truly believed that she was Shin-chan’s sibling it was Jun who listened to her it was Jun who stood by her. Now his reward is treachery, he did not ask to be lovers nor did he try to do what lovers do. Hiromi wanted Jun to be the guy who would break the deal thus sparing Shin-chan the blame for the eventual heartbreak of Noe, no man of principle would agree to be an oath breaker to their own kin.

    Jun is a bike riding stoic, if Hiromi was expecting him to be able to stab Noe in the back at her desire she was sadly mistaken.

  • maybe it’s time for Aiko’s arc..well, Noe and Hiromi did have their moments.. ^^..

  • @Crusader,

    I’m not sure how you see it, but the fact that Jun was so eager to make such a dubious deal with Shinichiro in the first place makes me wary about him as a character. Sure, it was Shinichiro who suggested it, but it was merely a part of his ‘good boy’ routine; I would be quicker to lay blame on Shinichiro if he officially agreed on the deal, but the fact was it was Jun who took Shinichiro’s suggestion and ran freakin’ far away with it before the latter could reconsider.

    Besides, I hardly think Shinichiro actually intended to go through with the deal in the first place; the only reason he decided to involve himself further with Noe was because he was actually flattered by Noe’s interest in him, and being clearly inexperienced in love, he obviously mistook that as the stuff romances are made of.

    Basically, the main sticking point I have with Jun is how he apparently believes that love can be the subject of a backroom deal; the way I see it, that’s just not how it works. If Shinichiro truly loves Noe, he will go back to her in time; Jun trapping Hiromi in a loveless relationship will not cause Shinichiro to develop real feelings for Noe, however he might think otherwise. It’s not so much that he loves his sister enough to do anything for her; what really gets me is that he’s willing to hurt everybody else around them just for that sake. IMHO, that’s skirting pretty close to anti-social tendencies here.

    I have nothing against Noe; if the story execution is good enough, I won’t mind a Noe ending by the end. It’s Jun and his behaviour I have qualms about.

  • They sure caught my attention for the last scene. They’re on top of each other and panting without having sex. Plus the “Do it properly…” Okay, maybe it’s just me.

  • I have noticed from the beginning of the series that somehow, when the view point is from inside the chicken coop, the characters faces seem to “bypass” the barrier and appear as though there was a hole.

  • Though I hate to admit it. Jun’s behavior is kind of outlandish. He cannot honestly believe that keeping up the charade will have any long term positive benefits. It’s only a matter of time before #$% hits the fan and everything goes down hill. I think Jun’s intention, although be it ever so noble-i think, is to keep Noe’s from being harmed, he actually sealed her fate with his back door dealing. I believe that the damage has been already done to Noe, she has some to the realization that the world is filled with untrustworthy confused people. Next she will be more careful about being suckered by the nice guy routine. Shin and Hiromi deserve each other for obvious reasons. Nobouse is the man and should run for president. Ai-chan!? Who’s that?

    I am G-man!!!

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