This is an important phrase that could be used in ANY anime
Ahh, the life of a student. Sumairii’s still stuck with tests or some nonsense, so it’s just me again for Golden Time this week!
Controlling or Caring?
No Jobs for You!
Kouko’s rejection of Banri’s idea of getting a part time job brings up an interesting thing to explore, at least for me. Part of the theme of the show has been Kouko trying to improve, trying to be less controlling, less interfering, more understanding of someone else’s wants. But even if one is trying to be more understanding, it’s still natural to be selfish. And maybe it’s just in my nature to be more understanding of Kouko, but I think she handles this right. Yes, she speaks strongly about it, and even sounds a bit unreasonable, but I think that stating ones preferences is important, especially in a relationship. The important thing is what happens from that point.
Kouko has much less propriety than most Japanese
And what happens is that Banri lies to Kouko. Yes, you might think it’s justified in some part by Kouko’s not wanting him to work, but it’s not a good way to handle it. And of course, given the nature of his lie, it’s probably not going to work out well. One should probably say that Kouko is a little bit oversuspicious, but again, I don’t think it’s necessarily that far out of bounds. I don’t really go along with Banri’s justification of it, tho. Because he feels like he’s ‘cheating’ by having a bit of a crush on Linda, he thinks he should accept whatever Kouko does. In my favorite phrase of the week “sore wa sore, kore wa kore”. The fact of Kouko’s weirdness should be kept separate from Banri’s guilt, because she still needs Banri to set limits for her as to how to act like a girlfriend. Letting her run all over him won’t really help her, either in this romance or in the future. But as I constantly remind myself, these are two people who are very inexperienced at relationships. They’ll learn lessons from this, even if it’s painful to watch or experience.
It’s bad when you get hazed by your senpais for having a girlfriend
Dragging Other People Into It
Flashbacks to the cult trip when Sao and Shi show up offering a job
To me, the biggest problem with Banri’s action is that he wasn’t truthful. And it’s problematic because it’s the kind of relationship that’s gotta be felt out, especially with his worry that Kouko found the picture of Banri and Linda (and probably realizes it’s from over a year ago). If we’re tallying up relationship mistakes, Kouko taking the picture is definitely a mistake, because if you find it, why would you take it? I don’t think it’s really a major privacy invasion for her to have looked through his bookshelf and found it, but at the point of finding it, you just file that information away, maybe to be asked later. And the fact of the picture is obviously weighing on Kouko, because she’s looking at it and now calling Banri. But I don’t think it’s a major mistake or shows anything malicious about Kouko.
Thong or Hot Pants, what a choice
But Banri’s trouble is that he’s establishing, in even a minor way, a reputation of half-truth. The fact that he lies is far more important than the facts of his lie. It really won’t matter that he was just trying to get money to feel more equal or responsible with Kouko. It won’t matter that Linda being there was completely unknown to Banri. It won’t even matter that Kouko was left out of seeing hunky Mitsuo in a thong. What will matter is that he hid the truth, and that’s what is poisonous to relationships, especially ones where someone needs to work on themselves as much as Kouko does. And I think she realizes this, but faced with Banri hiding the truth from her, those niggling voices will get louder, the ones that say “be a good girlfriend, don’t smother him, be supportive, trust him” will lose their punch. And that could really start to corrode their relationship, like a small scratch in the paint of a car letting the body start to rust.
Probably bad news that they’re here together
I thought the episode was really enjoyable this week, even if it was watching Banri dig himself a big hole. The contrived silliness of the party was amusing, even if it elicited too much of our main characters standing around talking to each other. Banri definitely had a cute outfit, too. But you can see trouble coming. How much does Banri really want to be with Linda? He says he does, but is it not enough to break up with Kouko for? Or is it because Linda said that her answer would have been “no”? I really do still wonder what Linda’s true feelings for Banri are.