That Yukihira makes some great soba!
Sometimes when you bag on a show for four straight episodes, it manages to say “Oh yeah, how about this!” and actually give you a surprise.
Didn’t See That Coming
Not everyone’s happy to see Yuu
From an ordinary start to the episode, Charlotte managed to go somewhere that was entirely unexpected. Yuu is trying to get back in the swing of his life now that Ayumi is gone, and that means back to school and the student council. And back to Yusarin’s charms, Joujirou’s fanboying, and Nao’s summons to the student council room. One thing that Yuu just barely touches on, however, is that now he’s become like the others in the Student Council. Having felt kind of bad for the others when he realized that they didn’t really have a ‘home’ to go to, he now realizes that there’s noone waiting for him either.
This is how most arguments about Post-Rock go.
There’s a little break in the routine today, tho. First it’s that Yusarin is putting out a new single, with a PV, and Nao makes everyone watch it. I don’t know exactly why, tho. She’s not a big fan of Yusarin, and she gives it a fair-to-middling score. Nor is Yuu a particularly big fan. And you’d figure that Joujirou would see it soon enough anyway. So this felt pretty tacked on just to get an insert song to sell with the show. But the other thing is that Nao has two tickets to see ZHIEND, the band that’s come up before. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that she’ll go with Yuu. And there’s some minor posturing so that that happens. Again, in the vein of the rest of the show, pretty obvious. But then Yuu meets someone unexpected: Sara Shane (and a continuity fail to PA Works here, having her sign her name “Sala”).
Seeing the Inside, Not the Outside
Sara’s introduction is as kind of a kooky blind woman on the street, but as she spends more time with Yuu, we see her be more and more insightful as to what goes on around her. She can tell that he’s recently sad, and helps Yuu to examine his thoughts about Ayumi and his own self. But having met Sara, Yuu also feels like it’s an opportunity to help Nao and her brother. Given that ZHIEND was Nao’s brother’s favorite band, and that she likes them, he figures that she’d be a fan of Sara personally as well. I liked that they made Nao be not that interested. People can be fans of someone’s work, and not idolize them, just enjoy what they do.
Sara wonders about Yuu’s past
This is something that tracks my own thoughts about most famous performers. I generally like what they do, and am thankful that people make music for me to listen to. But performers are not their music. Liking one does not necessarily mean one idolizes the other. That’s why I always have trouble with those questions like “Who is the one musician you’d most want to meet?” I have no desire to really meet any of them. Would I turn down the opportunity? Probably not. But would I go out of my way? Definitely not. This makes me think about something else as well, with regards to Nao and Yuu in this situation. For Yuu, who has coincidentally met Sara and made a connection with her, the relationship is completely different from how it would be if Nao came to meet Sara. Yuu and Sara met and connected as an unknown stranger trying to be helpful. Nao and Sara would be meeting as performer and listener. But Nao doesn’t want that kind of relationship with Sara. Would she take one like Yuu has? Maybe. But it would be much harder for her to make in the first place. And to that end, I think she even works hard to make sure that Yuu and Sara don’t see her as they ‘miss each other’ at the hospital. Could it be that perhaps Nao even uses her powers to make sure Yuu doesn’t see her…
Helping Those Who Help Others
Think that lady recognizes Sara?
And judging from Sara’s reactions and willingness to keep doing what Yuu asks, that’s something that she craves, that connection to people. It’s not that Yuu is ignorant of Sara’s fame and reputation, it’s just that by the time he learns of it, it doesn’t matter anymore. And Yuu has definitely lost his selfishness, thinking only of helping Nao’s brother, and having someone acknowledge the better person he’s become. Sara says it’s due to someone he’s met, and Yuu’s credit goes to Nao, although I think that Ayumi deserves a little bit of it as well, but it’s certainly true that Yuu has become much less of a selfish jerk since interacting with Nao.
Great lighting, again
At last Yuu’s idea to have Sara meet Nao’s brother pays off as well. Sara seems to understand his “composing”, and though it’s unclear whether she’s singing along to it, or just singing to him, either way he seems to be touched, and becomes more lucid, a state that he hasn’t been since he was rescued from the “scientists”. And there’s one more nice reminder of the ways that Yuu has changed during his conversation with Nao at the end. He doesn’t gloat or take extra credit for helping. He just seems happy that his idea, and he himself, was able to help.
If there was one thing that kind of compressed the high that this episode reached, it was that easy resolution again. Not that they’ve set Nao’s brother back on the road to recovery, but that just 30 seconds of interaction seems to have totally turned him around. That’s the only real concession to the punchlist plot points that this episode seemed to make, tho, as I found the whole work to be wonderfully out of sequence, and a great examination into the changes that our main character has effected in his life. For me, there was more emotional impact in this episode, as I watched the last 5 minutes with damp eyes, than any shock happening from the rest of the show. I’d much rather have more of these.