mfw I find out my crush who disappeared 5 years ago is back
Things in our lives change rather slowly, but looking back on it, years go fairly quickly. Something to remember as life passes is that we adjust to small changes very easily, but our ability to adjust to small changes may make us less able to deal with big changes, or at least make it appear that way.
Enough, old guys!
So it’s no surprise that Hikari is overwhelmed by the changes that have happened in the 5 years he’s been frozen. Miuna and Sayu are at first unrecognizable, Akari has her own child, and all his former classmates have grown up. And it doesn’t help that everyone wants to swarm him when they see him. But despite all the time that’s passed for most people, for Hikari it’s no time, a fact that he has to keep repeating.
Isn’t that enough? Isn’t that good?
And something else that weighs on him is the fact that none of his usual cohort is around. Kaname and Manaka are still missing in the sea, and he can’t get close enough to them to find out anything (just like Akari and the scientific divers). And Chisaki and Tsumugu are seemingly avoiding him, Chisaki because she is, and Tsumugu because he’s just that kind of patient guy. But the very thing that Hikari is reeling from is the thing that Chisaki is so afraid of: that she’s changed. Her reflection in the window, her style and thinking. As Tsumugu mentions, it’s always been something she’s feared, change in their relationships, change in their status. And now she fears she’s become the embodiment of that thing she feared so much. How reassuring Tsumugu’s analysis of her change is is hard to tell but, as he says, shouldn’t it be a good thing that she’s gotten more beautiful?
The More Things Change…
The same Hikari we knew
It certainly does tick Hikari off to have Tsumugu tell him that he hasn’t changed at all. Perhaps the return of explosive Hikari is something that he needed, to burn off his uncertainties, to voice his frustrations and fears. And Tsumugu has always been the perfect target for that, despite (or perhaps because of ) the oft-piercing insight that he brings in response. But perhaps having that opportunity getting angry at Tsumugu for saying that he should have come to see Chisaki, rather than the other way around, gives him the chance to get out in the open how devastating he fears it will be to see Chisaki changed, especially after Akari’s been telling him how grown up and pretty she is.
Finally they meet
So when they finally do meet (somewhat inexplicably up the hill at the speaker pole… a jarring bit of plot convenience that brings them together in a spot that neither has a reason to go to), Hikari’s attitude has rebounded, and is further supported by seeing exactly what he wanted to see in Chisaki: the same girl he knew. And she even reverts a little to more like she used to be, getting frustrated at him, letting some of her own fears out.
What do Miuna’s hopes look like?
Now that those two have finally reconnected, the real question is what will happen between the three of Hikari, Chisaki, and Tsumugu. I continue to think that even if Hikari is the Hikari that Chisaki wished she could have forever, the reality will be something different. I don’t know what to read into her encounter with Tsumugu at the end. Is she worried that she is somehow betraying Tsumugu? It seems likely that old feelings she had for Hikari are resurfacing, but I wonder what she thinks of her relationship with Tsumugu. It’s hard to tell how much he even feels for her, and to me it never seems like he connects with Chisaki the way he did with Manaka. There really seemed to be an obvious mutual fascination between Manaka and Tsumugu, and with Chisaki it has always seemed more like Brother and Sister, especially now that they’ve lived together. I also wonder if Hikari can come around to the fact that Miuna has a crush on him. It will certainly be easier for him to deal with an unchanged Chisaki than with a more grown Miuna, but how will those two girls be able to deal with it?