Thinking hard about what she wants to do
The backstory for Kazusa continues, with hardly a view of Setsuna this week.
How does Kazusa love Haruki?
Haruki gives some thoughtful, but still terrible, gifts
That’s not asking ‘how can she love him’, that’s “what are the ways?” I thought this part of the flashback was a lot better than last episode’s second half, because this one actually filled in new information that wasn’t just basic stuff like “How did they meet.” This episode also focused a lot less on Haruki’s obstinance and a lot more on Kazusa’s dere side. From Haruki giving a terrible gift with the best of intentions – a middle-school grammar helping book to help Kazusa learn – to the secret kiss she gave Haruki after he fell asleep, this part of the flashback really showed more how many opportunities Kazusa missed.
How things could have been different, if only Haruki woke up
And it becomes clear that she had her chances. She never had the same thoughts that Haruki did, that he didn’t care for her. It’s more that she just dithered, failed to execute, or just couldn’t bring herself to do it. And it’s not that Setsuna was playing the jealous girlfriend for them, either. I can understand that Kazusa would back off after Haruki told her he confessed to Setsuna [aside: oh really? I was kind of surprised at that. Maybe he followed up her confession with one of his own, but it's pretty clear who took the initiative there], but before that, even right before that, she could have locked him up tighter than a drum. But she didn’t, and it’s to her current regret. (And while I thought I saw it the first time through, the second time through confirmed it: *someone* saw Kazusa’s kiss, and I think we all know who).
Was stopping on Christmas because she was trying to stop herself?
So What Happens Now?
Not making this any easier
We’ve now had Haruki’s dramatic reconfession, that Kazusa was “the one he’s always loved”, but what will he do about it? That’s right, it’s pretty much up to Haruki now. Will he break things off with Setsuna and pursue Kazusa? Even though she’s now planning to go to Vienna with her mother, I think it was pretty clear that her mother would approve of her staying in Japan to be with Haruki.
Youko has an interesting perspective
Youko’s apparent mindset is interesting to me, in that she desires to hear the passion of the performer come out in the music. And that’s what it seems she hears in Kazusa’s music now, both playing in the recital and on stage with Haruki. And that she’d allow her daughter to continue practicing on her own, with the supposed ‘distraction’ of a new boyfriend, is something I find very understanding and trusting. To me, that means she would trust Kazusa to continue to practice and try to elevate herself, which is the opposite of what most people would think would happen in that situation. But it’s also evident that Kazusa has worked with that distraction so far, and it’s been to her benefit.
But also her extreme pain
With the flashbacks done now, and all the feelings out in the open, now it’s just time for the fallout. And as I said, it’s primarily up to Haruki. Will he break up with Setsuna? Would he start dating Kazusa? Would she start dating him, even staying in Japan rather than go to Vienna (apparently one of the worst words for Japanese to try to say, boy that’s terrible every time, kind of like Germans saying “squirrel”) with her mother?
And what effect would it have on Setsuna? Since the very beginning, she’s welcomed the challenge from Kazusa, though I don’t know if it’s because she wants her friend to be happy, or because she just thought it was fair. But would that still be the case? Or would she dislike Kazusa for stealing the boy she loves (but who doesn’t love her as much)? I really don’t see Setsuna starting to hate Kazusa, especially the way this has gone so far. I think she’d be far more unhappy if everyone ends up unhappy.
Even if it’s a terrible gift, it’s still from him