Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru – 08
On one foggy morning, Yukari is out running and sees a figure far ahead of her. She strives after this person until she arrives back at the dorm, where Mizuho is waiting for her with a towel. With Mizuho reminding her of a certain someone, Yukari looks wistfully back at the path from which she came. Later during lunch, the group learns that Kana was chosen for the leading role in an upcoming play by Kei, who is the president of the drama club. As Kei personally describes it to them, it’s going to be a fantasy featuring a journey of love and hatred. Kana isn’t so sure about her own ability to perform, but Mizuho’s encouragement makes her vow to work her hardest. Sitting beside her, Yukari is clapping for Kana like everyone else, but her face shows that she’s also got something weighing on her mind. At track practice, the coach urges her to work harder since she hasn’t been doing so well recently. She heads to the gymnasium, but the drama club is holding practice there and Yukari sees Kei instructing a struggling Kana.
At dinner that night, Mizuho notices that Yukari seems to have no appetite, but Yukari denies it. In contrast, Kana is quite hungry from working so hard on the play. With Kana’s performance and Yukari’s upcoming track trials, Mizuho, Mariya, and even Ichiko have high expectations for both girls. However, Mariya learns from the coach the next day that things aren’t going so well. A depressed Yukari arrives home silently later and ignores Ichiko on the way up to her room. When Ichiko voices her concern in Mizuho’s room afterwards, Mariya reveals that Yukari has been making little progress on her running times recently and suggests that maybe she lost her self-confidence. This topic stays on Mizuho’s mind, and, in class the next day, he asks Takako if there are times when she loses her confidence. Surprisingly, Takako says that she never has confidence, but she also knows that no one would follow such a person, so she doesn’t hesitate with her decisions.
Mizuho decides to go see Yukari afterwards and suggests that have some tea and take a break, but Yukari apologizes and runs off. Coming up from behind Mizuho, Mariya explains that Yukari is a short-distance runner, but she had a relative who used to come to this school and ran long-distance, which is why Yukari is doing that instead. With thoughts of her sister on her mind, Yukari shows up at Mizuho’s door that afternoon with a tea set. It seems that making tea was a hobby of her elder sister-in-law, and Yukari learned it from her before her death. Yukari had looked up to her sister-in-law, who was beautiful and elegant – a little like Mizuho. It was because of her sister-in-law that Yukari came to this school, and Mizuho realizes that Yukari really loved this person. But when Mizuho then asks about the track team, Yukari starts crying. At the same time, Ichiko had happily stuck her head through the wall, but saw what was going on. Ichiko later hears Yukari crying in her own room, saying to herself that it’s impossible.
The next day, Mizuho practices a scene with Kana and praises Kana afterwards. Seeing Kana’s success makes Yukari even more depressed, but Mariya keeps Mizuho from going after her when she runs off by herself. At dinner that night, Mariya rewards Kana and then talks to Yukari. Yukari feels that she’s different from Kana and can’t be as amazing as everyone else. Taking a hard line on the subject, Mariya questions what that has to do with Yukari not putting her heart into doing track and thinks that, in the end, Yukari just doesn’t like it. When Yukari seems to agree, Mariya then says that in any case, Yukari has to decide herself. Ichiko follows her back to her room where Yukari reveals that she was only chasing after her sister-in-law. Ichiko points out that Yukari is crying now because she doesn’t want to stop doing track and that she should continue running and doing her best if she likes it.
It is on the following day that Mizuho finds Yukari watching a group of runners. After he invites her on a walk, Yukari admits that her true self might not be completely devoted to track. Mizuho in turn says that he feels its ok for Yukari not to force herself to chase after her sister-in-law. Yukari then explains that she always wanted to become like her sister-in-law, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t succeed. Hearing all this, Mizuho decides to reveal to Yukari that before his mother died, she asked his father not to allow his hair to be cut. Mizuho tolerated it, but later realized that his mother wanted to give him the choice when he grew up of what hairstyle he wanted – to allow him to choose his own path. Keeping the long hair was his own will, his own decision, after thinking about what suited him the best. He believes that Yukari’s sister-in-law was the same: she didn’t encourage Yukari to come here to tie her down – she did it so that Yukari would have different paths to choose from. She wanted Yukari to be happy, and Mariya and Ichiko feel the same way. As Yukari is taking this all in, Mariya comes running to them with bad news: Ichiko is attempting to leave the dormitory on her own. Ichiko believes that Yukari really does like running and that she shouldn’t stop because of her current feelings. Hugging Ichiko, Yukari apologizes and says that she’s ok now.
It is sometime later that a running Yukari finds Mariya, Ichiko, Mizuho, and Kana in jogging wear, ready to run with her.
Ehhhh…I think I liked Yukari’s story even less than Kana’s story last week. I didn’t find the story that interesting, and the only surprise – if you could call it that – was that they involved Ichiko in helping solve Yukari’s problem. Still, I think they could have done more to build up Ichiko’s feelings and how it compelled her to try to escape the barrier to tell Yukari not to stop running. And there was also the fact that Yukari’s angst and self-doubt should have been more apparent earlier. It’s hard to believe that she suddenly went through all this just because her track times were suffering.
Having said that, this episode did reveal that Mizuho’s mother was part of the reason that he has such long hair. Now if only they could explain the breasts too…and the hips…
Next week, it’s Mariya’s turn to be the focus of an episode. I’m really hoping that the feelings mentioned in the title refer to Mariya’s feelings for Mizuho. This show could use a little more love/relationship drama.