So finally getting around to posting this. Finals got in the way and things just began to pile up. Hopefully I can pull off a Last Friends marathon this week and catch up before the series ends.
So to recap this episode:
- Sousuke plays off his abuse of Michiru as a misunderstanding
- Takeru gets a phone call from Shirahata Yuuko and alludes to his past with her
- Ruka meets Michiru to talk about Sousuke’s abuse
- Michiru says that Ruka is making it out to be worse than it actually is
- Sousuke punishes Michiru for making him wait for her to come home by locking her outside the apartment and burning himself with cigarettes
- Michiru cuts a male customer’s hair and Sousuke goes mental when she asks what would happen if she did cut a man’s hair
- Takeru moves into the sharehouse
- Michiru meets up with Ruka and along with Takeru go to the pier to see the view of the city for some cheering up
- Michiru loses her position at work as the boss sees her making selfish requests such as “leaving at a set time” and “not taking any male customers”
- Not being able to sleep Michiru takes a look at her yearbook in the living room and is surprised that Ruka’s face has been blacked out
- Sousuke comes into the room and Michiru confronts Sousuke about Ruka’s picture
- Sousuke says that Ruka looks at Michiru with the eyes of a man and continues to forbid contact between them
- Michiru is upset that Sousuke wants to prevent contact between her and who she sees as “my Ruka”
- Sousuke gets upset at Michiru’s phrasing of “my Ruka”
- Michiru shows up to the sharehouse black and blue, asking Ruka to help her
So I feel like nothing really happened in this episode. There were revelations, but on the whole I felt like the episode moved really slow. From the looks of the previews for the next episode, things will be moving along though.
First off for a revelation that I found interesting: Takeru’s past trauma. I thought it was a woman that traumatized him and the phone call from Shirahata Yuuko solidifies that hunch. Well, it wasn’t really a hunch since her name was shown at an earlier episode and I just thought it was her. I’m still curious about what happened, and from their conversation I deduced that it is going to be something pretty horrifying. Shirahata mentions Takeru as a child and in one of the monologues Takeru mentions a wound from childhood. So, I’m guessing that Shirahata is a pedophile on one level or another. For some reason I find female pedophiles a lot more disturbing. It’s like taking the beauty of maternal instinct and the sort of thing that people feel that females just come equipped with and twisting it into something so ugly. That and when someone says the word pedophile I imagine a creepy middle-aged man with an ill-fitting polo shirt and a baseball hat, not a housewife taking about cookies made with butter and orange powder. Well, actually I take that back, pedophiles might talk about cookies. -_- But Shirahata is definitely giving off creepy stalker vibes and I think we’ll see more of her later. Takeru’s talk about violence wearing the mask of love with everyone in the sharehouse at the beginning of the episode was really heart-wrenching, especially since it screamed “survivor of something equally horrifying”.
Another revelation that I thought was interesting was Takeru’s cup. He brings out the cup that he had bought at the beginning of the series and begins to use it at the house. On a cup tangent, I think I’ve said this before, but apparently all Japanese people drink their coffee black, at least in dramas they do. I hardly ever see people add sugar or creamer to their coffee. Hard-core… anyways, back to revelations on Takeru’s cup. At episode 1, I thought the cup that Michiru used at that beginning was Ruka’s cup, making them a pair, but it’s actually Takeru’s. For some reason, once I made that connection, my immediate reaction was “wait, Takeru dies?” Someone from the sharehouse definitely dies, especially with the beginning narration and Michiru asking if she could have prevented the incident and the death, then cut to a picture of all those living at the sharehouse. Oh, and the revelation of the keys: key to sharehouse, but honestly, do doors these days sport such antique and elaborate looking keys? That revelation didn’t really give me anything to run with, just that Michiru is going to live there, but that wasn’t really a secret to begin with.
I thought that the cuteness factor of this episode was also boasted considerably with Ogura’s antics. That and Takeru had his cute moments as always. Ogura, love his nickname Ogurin, was so weird and random in this episode. He makes that weird comment at the beginning about being jealous, jealous of what I’m not sure. Maybe jealous on a strange level because Michiru is getting a twisted form of affection while he has nothing? Or jealous because even if the affection is twisted, Sousuke is showing something while Ogura doesn’t show any? Well, whatever the case, his cuteness is too great and so I seem to have forgiven him making that sort of comment. Ogura’s reaction at Takeru’s welcoming party is funny too. “How come Takeru-kun gets a welcoming party, but I didn’t get one? Ah, it makes me sad all of a sudden…” And his desire of getting matching cups with Eri and then her ignoring him is too funny. ^_^ In tandem with this scene, Takeru’s too-many “thank you”s is great. On the whole Ogurin brings the fun in this episode. First this, then the drunk karaoke with Eri, drunk sex with Eri, and then pushing for matching cups again. Yeah for Ogurin! \(^_^)/
The revelation that Michiru was part of an abusive household makes me sad though. And it makes me understand her actions a little more. It’s sad that Michiru has gotten herself caught up in this cycle of domestic abuse that perpetuates itself. Her saying that she never felt loved, but feels loved by Sousuke, also speaks to her willingness to continue being with him even though she knows in her heart that it’s wrong. I’m glad that she finally made a stand at the end of the episode though. Even if it did have devastating consequences for her. Make-up artists are truly amazing.
Once again, Sousuke’s creepiness factor went up a notch with his behavior this episode. The bipolarness of Sousuke and consequently Nishikido’s acting is growing on me and I actually like it more than the past episodes. Maybe because Sousuke being bipolar seems natural now instead of feeling awkward. His attempting to smooth talk over Michiru’s abuse at the beginning was creepy. But I think the all-time-creepiest thing he did this episode was locking Michiru out of the apartment and then saying “now you’ll be on time” after Michiru sees the cigarette burns on his wrist, it gave me chills. That and his happy smile while he was saying it. I feel like Sousuke is being rounded out more as a character and that makes me happy. Before his character felt a little flat, but the consistency of his bipolar nature makes it much more believable (that sounds like such an oxymoron, consistent bipolar nature, who knew). The end of the scene where Michiru hugs him after saying that he is of course more important than male customers also builds his character profile. He seems to be fighting with himself as there are close-ups of his hands. It seems like he isn’t sure if he wants to hit her, hug her or something else in between. I think that it makes him out to be a much more troubled character than originally shown. Not your average psycho who beats his girlfriend it seems, or at least I’m hoping. It would be too boring if he was.
Speaking about acting, I find that I still don’t buy a lot of Nagasawa’s acting. Especially when she’s supposed to be happy. I understand that some of her smiles are supposed to look forced, but when she’s supposed to be genuinely happy, I’m not feeling it at all. Maybe its all relative though; maybe I just loved Ogurin and Takeru too much this episode.
I find it weird that the only thing I have to say about Ruka this episode has to do with the end. Ruka was Awesome Ruka this episode but I find that I don’t really have anything to say. I felt bad when Michiru said that she never felt loved, because Ruka was obviously hurt by that, but that’s about it. It’s just that Takeru’s last comment makes me confused on who I think is going to die. He’s words of “Ruka, at that time, you had already decided in your heart, hadn’t you? That from here on, no matter what happens, you’d risk your life to protect Michiru.” Those foreboding words of “you’d risk your life” never have happy consequences. So then like déja vu with Takeru, “wait, Ruka dies?”
Sigh -_-… for thinking that nothing happens during this episode this post sure is long. Well, hopefully I’ll see you soon. Onto the next episode!