Serious Kouko is Bad News
Just a few episodes left, so let’s screw everything up!
Apologizing for screwing up everything
Between Chinami and the guys, Banri’s been pretty standoffish lately, because he can’t figure out how to tell everyone that about his past. And even worse, after what happened at the festival with their club performance, the Festival Club is losing support from pretty much everyone, disinvited to further exhibitions, and having help with costumes pulled from other college festival clubs. Now, Banri’s not the sole reason for that, but he’s gotta be a huge reason. They say the poor preparation on the part of some of the other members was part, but seriously, how hard is it to do that ‘dance’?
Kouko’s openly questioning Banri’s resolve and methods
It also seems that Kouko’s losing patience with Banri. I think she’s feeling like he’s hiding things from her, not just about his past memories returning, but about things like his trouble sleeping. She seems supporting, but she’s always had doubts in the back of her mind, and she’s always afraid of Banri running away and leaving her. But it seems like she buries these worries and wants to help Banri, so finally they plan to have everyone over for beef (because it’s super expensive) to soften the blow through pricey food.
Chinami finally pours out her heart
And in the vein of coming clean, Chinami is the first person to arrive, and spills out her heart to Banri. Her jealousy of Linda, her regret over cutting her hair because she thought she’d lost Mitsuo to Linda, her realization that she actually did like Mitsuo when she first saw him together with Linda. She was even kind of happy that Banri might take Linda away from Mitsuo, because then she could have him. Finally she apologizes to Banri for doubting him, for lashing out at him. But when Banri tries to be honest himself and tell Chinami about his past, he has another memory episode. And this time it’s caught on camera. I think that fact directly leads to what happens at the end of the episode.
Asking for Help
Running away… again
Banri’s so afraid that his current self will cease to exist. But I think it’s important to realize that his memories of the person he’s been since the accident come back as soon as he is reminded of Kouko. He keeps thinking he’ll disappear, but he hasn’t yet, and just seems to need the reminders. And that’s exactly what Mitsuo and 2D-kun say when he tells them, that they’ll help, and of course he’ll have Kouko chasing after him. Because that’s exactly what she’d do, isn’t it?
Bros on the Bench
Or not. I think she was broken by the combination of him running away and telling Chinami and Linda to not tell her. So all Chinami says is “He ran away.” The thing that Kouko seems to fear most of all, the thing she specifically tells him she’s afraid of, that he will run away and she won’t be able to find him, because he’s running away from her. And that’s exactly what he does. At what point does she try to do something different? At what point is she finally pushed too far? I think we’ve found that point, and even as Banri tries to promise her with the ring that he’ll always return, I think that’s what the key problem is. Kouko can’t live with him running away and returning. He needs to stay. He needs to be with her. Because running away plays on her biggest fears. Is she supposed to just wait for him to come back, worrying the whole time? That’s certainly not fair to her. I think she’d be overjoyed to be Banri’s support, if he didn’t run away. But he does, and that’s the problem.
I was stunned. That ending was just stunning. Truly one of those “wait… what just happened?” moments. But thinking about it, especially thinking about it as I write this post, it really seems to make a lot more sense. How much can Kouko be expected to take? And is this the kind of notice that Banri needs to make him take charge of himself, to focus on dealing with his memories better? Not to hide things from her, not to run away, but to face things and be with her? We’ll find out.