Standing at the turnstile is not quite like running from the altar
This show! It glues me to the screen, and engages me like very few shows have ever done! I’m always saying I’m cool on ‘action’, but this type of drama is really what pulls me in.
Setsuna Comes Roaring Back
Setsuna wears her emotions plainly
After two nights of their sleepover, Setsuna’s really feeling down in the dumps, not because Haruki isn’t progressing on her song, but because she’s worried about finding his travel set in the bathroom. So when they leave, she’s really not gonna engage him. “Sou da ne.” “un, betsu ni.” And then her recitation of his qualities on the bridge, a pretty noble attempt at convincing herself that he’s not really a great guy, that he’s not someone she should be in love with. And even after that, she has to run away from him, to try to reinforce the idea that he’s a jerk.
Setsuna trying to convince herself that Haruki’s not that great
And then he does the worst / best thing of all: calls her all night on the phone! How is she ever going to forget about him if he won’t leave her alone? But finally, tired of his not giving up, she talks to him, and finds that he learned why she was upset from Kazusa. And even though Haruki is a guy who’s oblivious, who’s stubborn, and who doesn’t really know what the right thing to say is, he is right up Setsuna’s alley. Even if she’s mad at him, she can’t stay mad at him long, because he really is an honest, straightforward person who wants to do right by everyone, including her.
I didn’t realize the importance of the placement here before
Haruki even gets filled in on the friend drama that caused Setsuna to hold herself apart from having friends for the past three years, which Haruki sums up in two sentences to Setsuna’s consternation. And those exchanges are what really make this show feel authentic, that when Setsuna and Haruki are talking to each other, they don’t get mad at each other, even if Haruki says something questionable about her. I find those moments absolutely cute, with Setsuna’s “I don’t know how I feel about that…” retorts, and her embarrassment even over the phone, and her giggling when she finally gets Haruki to call her Setsuna.
Happiness at confiding, and getting back in the game
Nobody Wants To Lose Friendships
Setsuna does move fast on friendships, tho, for someone who hasn’t had one in 3 years. And she works on Kazusa about it as well, although the best she gets out of her is “We can’t get rid of you until the school festival”. But Kazusa has her own problems, trying to comply with Takeya’s request about Haruki’s actual dream, which seems to be writing a song. And when the teacher takes away the notebook with his notes, she loses it, yelling at the teacher and leaving class in the middle of a test.
Haruki passes the “Setsuna” event
Kazusa also won’t accede to Setsuna’s request to use her given name, and is somewhat amused and annoyed at the same time with Setsuna’s friendliness, but that’s to be expected from a girl who hasn’t had any friends, or wanted any. But when the crisis comes, both Haruki and Setsuna back up Kazusa, skipping class to practice with her, and promising to drag her studies up after the school festival so that she can graduate. As a group of friends, they’re coming together pretty well, but even if Setsuna is riding high with Haruki, there’s still romance drama to come.
Coming to support Kazusa
I found everything about this episode captivating, really. The conversation between Haruki and Setsuna, her reactions to the things he said, his promise that he’d stay with her until she left him, all of it was great. I don’t know how long they can hold off the relationship drama, or the fair performance, but we look to have some anime-style collapsing drama next week.
Something else I wanted to mention that’s really impressed me about this show is the instrument recording. The piano that’s used, especially, is very well mic’d and recorded. It could be an electronic piano (there are some very good ones), but the way it fits into the show, along with the other instruments, adds a richness that most music just doesn’t add. It really makes you feel like you’re in a room with a piano, which is something that sounds different from most recordings. Also, the OP and ED songs are out now, so you can listen to the full version of the excellent Todokanai Koi ’13!