A goddess so powerful that NO ONE (with pollen allergies) will stand a chance against her.
|….Well would you look at that – Izumiko is already starting to prove her worth! She’s finally ceased to be the frumpy-looking girl Miyuki yells at all the time. He might still get mad at her, but for now he’s playing nice. Maybe it’s because he realizes she has magical powers now? I’d be pretty impressed if my friend used magic to make flowers bloom too.|
As much as I like how Miyuki and Izumiko stopped having a bully-victim relationship, I feel like something is missing in that transition. I feel like the events of last week’s episode are barely enough of a catalyst for Miyuki to just toss his grudge into the garbage and suddenly act like Izumiko’s new buddy. It would have been an easy pill to swallow if we had gotten at least a peek into his head and what he was thinking after seeing the Himegami and dragging Izumiko around all day. What I got from watching that episode was that he couldn’t be more pissed dragging around a borderline-asthmatic girl around. Even his reaction to the Himegami is a bit of a mystery, as it’s hard to read someone with a deer-in-headlights look on their face. What did he feel about these events that lead him to change his mind so quickly?
There’s so much focus on what Izumiko is feeling that Miyuki just seems like a mystery box. We see the input and the output, but have no idea how the hell it happens. It’s weird that someone whose entire personality for their life has been ANGRY YELLING MAN (or ANGRY YELLING BRAT as a kid) would ease up so easily. If you have anger issues, you can’t just waive them away because you suddenly like someone. If you’re always angry, you hurt your friends too. I’m sure a lot of people felt it was time for him to get over his childish anger. I just wish it happened more slowly, as I thought it would. In the end, he’s a much better character when he’s not blindly reacting to things with rage. By no means am I begging them to bring back the old Miyuki, because jesus christ was he ever an asshole.
Now that Miyuki is nicer, he is able to hold actual conversations with Izumiko. I would count their heart-to-heart while looking at the ocean to be their first genuine conversation. It’s a much nicer dynamic because it allows for them to bounce ideas off of each other and learn what the other is thinking. I don’t think Miyuki even realized that Izumiko was capable of having feelings before – he just saw her as some nondescript entity he had to devote his life to. When Miyuki explains not being particularly attached to any one school, Izumiko realizes she was being stubborn by refusing to transfer to Tokyo. She did it for the sake of disagreeing because she thought it would prove that she wouldn’t let others control her life. In reality, she’s no more attached to her home school than Miyuki is. It’s kind of like when your parents like rap music so you try desperately not to in order to rebel and prove yourself as an individual…even if you secretly don’t think it’s so bad. But that’s not acting on your own, that’s still using other people’s behaviour as a guide for your own.
I really liked seeing how their conversation had such a lasting effect on Izumiko and the way she mulled over it all day. Now that they’re on good terms, Miyuki is much more capable of changing her. However, as we’ve been learning, change can be dangerous as well. Wamiya reacts negatively to this change in Izumiko and tries to stop any further “damage” by controlling some students and getting them to attack Miyuki. Even worse, he threatens to destroy the entire shrine grounds with a thunderstorm if she transfers to Tokyo.
“HEY! No one threatens Izumiko but ME, so back off chickenlegs!”
There are multiple forces in Izumiko’s life that seem to either promote her desire to change or challenge it. Wamiya challenges it, and Izumiko is forced to either go back to how she was or press on. You can tell she had really made up her mind because she refuses to just obey Wamiya. Instead, she stands by her choice to move to Tokyo and reasons with Wamiya instead. By recognizing him as a familiar, he has no choice but to obey her and let her do what she wants.
What I find funny is that although he tries to kill her for changing, it is only due to her changing that he exists. If she had never cut her hair, he would never appear to her in that form. It’s interesting that the message of the show isn’t “change is good” or “change is bad” but “well, change is complicated.” Izumiko is such an important person that all of her choices have a severe impact on everyone around her. What she decides could determine what the Himegami does, what other lesser Gods do, and who gets hurt just by being around her. She has a ton of responsibilities, and she’s handling them amazingly well.
She dances later on to release him, because she has no need for someone to be her friend. Wamiya says he became her familiar because Izumiko was lonely and wanted a friend, so he filled that void. It’s a bit like Sasami-san@Ganabarani where Sasami had to be careful about befriending others because if she simply desired to be friends would someone, her godly influence could automatically make that happen. In that case, how would she be able to distinguish between real friendships and the one’s her powers created? Izumiko doesn’t seem to have this effect on humans, but the fact remains that her actions and desires can affect lesser gods and make them unruly.
The glorious moment you realize you have a fetish for shrine maiden cosplay…
We’re finally beginning to see Izumiko’s true powers. She not only has the Himegami possessing her, but she can make flowers bloom, tame familiars, and see shadow monsters. Miyuki can….well, I guess he can do some ineffectual chanting and isn’t too bad at schoolyard fights. I was surprised that after all this hemming and hawing how useless Miyuki was in the face of danger. His training must be extremely limited or just incomplete. I wonder if he’ll really be able to protect her when he can’t even see her pursuers and can’t exorcise for beans. Nonetheless, his strong resolve to protect her is promising. He cares about Izumiko while Yukimasa (presumably) only cares about the Himegami. Miyuki wants to stick around to make sure he doesn’t abuse her in any way.
Preview: Izumiko and Miyuki get used to their new life in Tokyo. It looks like we get introduced to a boatload of new characters, including the aesthetic “cool guy” version of Wamiya.
Following the OP and what happened with Wamiya, this guy is an Inugami