“Girls always have a heavy load to bear.”
~That quote has become a favorite of mine, for some reason. Maybe it’s the truth in it? Anyways, it’s time for the other females in this show to take the spotlight!
Daikichi and Rin’s afternoon snack is interrupted when Haruko and Reina suddenly drop by. Once getting the girls settled elsewhere, Haruko says that they actually ran away from home, only leaving a simple note to her husband and in-laws about their whereabouts. Daikichi, while a bit uneasy about the situation, lets them stay. They all go grocery shopping together where they run into another unexpected person: Kouki’s mother. Suddenly Daikichi gets nervous and frantically explains to her that Haruko is only his cousin, at which she surprisingly looks at ease.
After dinner, Haruko and Daikichi have a talk alone, where he tells her that he called her home when she was in the bath. When she gets mad, he explains it was for Reina’s sake, and that she should be considering her too. Haruko starts crying, saying she’s been having to bottle her feelings up ever since she got married and thinks she deserves to cause them some trouble. Once she finishes her sudden outburst, the two decide to go to bed and discover Rin and Reina sleeping together.
The next morning, during breakfast, Kouki comes over as usual, but upon seeing Haruko, thinks Daikichi got married! Suddenly Reina asks Daikichi if he wants to get married, and if being single is better for her mother. Rin and Reina innocently innocently discuss that and divorce, causing some uneasiness with the two adults. Before taking Reina to school and even after, Haruko ponders on how hard it must be to a woman on her own as she thinks of Kouki’s mom and sees other solo woman with their kids.
Later that evening, Daikich and Haruko have another talk alone, this time about divorce. While Haruko says she has no intention of divorcing her husband, she’s thought about frequently. She finds that her situation is better where it is now, since she knows all the trouble she’d faced if she were to be on her own, and it would the only way to protect Reina. After putting up with her situation all these years, Haruko vows to keep doing her best, together with Reina.
The group gets another surprise as Haruko’s husband comes to pick them up while they’re playing cards. Reina hears his car coming and rushes out the door, where he appears, coming early from work. Haruko takes it a bit negatively, seeing that he can indeed come home when he wants to, but Daikichi tries to steer her away from that idea. The two thank Daikichi and he tells them that they can come back whenever they want since Rin is always asking to see Reina. With that, the two leave; Haruko, even stronger~.
End thoughts: First off all, can I just say that Daikichi has some of the most epic bed hair? I couldn’t help but laugh at how it just STUCK like that for the whole morning. Anyways, despite some of the serious subject matter this time around, we did get that cute, innocent comedy as we usually do. Rin and Reina talking about being single, being married, and divorce was so cute and pretty funny when seeing the adults’ reactions. Oh, so innocent~ My favorite part through was when Daikichi started freaking out over Kouki’s mom seeing him and Haruko together. It was hilarious, especially when seeing that Kouki’s mom felt more at ease after knowing. Haruko’s teasing was funny as well.
I was quite surprised Haruko and Reina came by; definitely did not expect that to happen at all. I love how these supposed minor characters all kind of get their own spotlight, bringing their own message to the Usagi Drop table. Even Reina got to redeem herself after her little bratty incidents in the beginning of the show. With Haruko in this episode, I got this feeling that this was the female parent empowerment sort-of episode as they showcased Haruko’s situation with her husband and in-laws and that even though she’s been suffering all this time, she’s managed to keep strong for Reina’s sake.
I liked the fact that she didn’t rashly decide to get a divorce just to be done with her problems, unlike her rash decision to run away from home and stay at Daikichi’s house. Haruko actually took the time to decide whether she should or not. She looked at how being a single mother would be like, realized it would be quite a lot for her, and figured out that while living with her in-laws and having her husband not be there for her a lot basically…sucks, it wouldn’t be the wisest decision for her to just skip out like that, at least at this point in time when she’s not prepared to take on the single mother life. I think it does make her just that much stronger to be able to grit her teeth and continue to bear with her situation just for Reina.
I can imagine living with your in-laws would feel quite isolating and lonely, especially for Haruko with her husband not paying attention to her all that much. Reina really is the only family she has, so I can understand why she’d feel an even bigger need to be with her and protect her. The only thing I didn’t really get was her wanting to go back to being a girl, at which Daikichi later mentions that she was such a crybaby when she was younger. I’m guessing maybe she just wants to go back to being able to be weak? She did say she didn’t choose to be strong, that giving birth and raising a baby makes you naturally like that. But, that’s just a guess from me.
It’s a bit of a bittersweet ending, in a way, to see that Haruko will have to go back to a place she feels quite uncomfortable with, but there is a change in her demeanor, looking just a bit stronger than before. With that, until next week then~!!