true tears – 02
Having just revealed that she gave up her tears, Noe tells Shinichirou that he’s the first person she’s ever told about this. She questions what he thinks tears are, and when he tries to give her the scientific explanation, she decides that he shows promise. Bringing out a small bottle that she’s wearing as a necklace, Noe reveals that she has a mission to get back her tears. To do that, she needs the tears of a chosen one, and she looks at Shinichirou as if he’s that person. Noe comments on how she knew he’d believe her, but after she runs off on her own, Shinichirou isn’t so sure about that. That night, over dinner, Shinichirou’s mother tries to ask him again about what they started speaking about yesterday, but Shinichirou responds by wolfing down his rice and excusing himself. He feels bad about going against his mother even though he’s been rejected by the publisher, however the big question on his mind is what will happen to him if he gets Noe’s tears for her.
In class the following day, Shinichirou happens to look out the window and sees Noe waving at him from the tennis courts. She attracts a lot of attention by doing this, and Shinichirou gets quite embarrassed. Nobuse points out during lunch that Shinichirou is both living with Hirose and getting love from Noe, and the other boys at the school mock Shinichirou for being a stud. Things don’t get any better when Noe visits Shinichirou’s class and tries to give him some of the red bird feed. According to her, she loves looking up at him because he seems close to the sky, and all this causes Shinichirou to think that he’s truly become a replacement for the chicken Raigomaru. Hiromi meanwhile watches this scene between the two unfold in front of her, and her friend wonders if it’s okay for Shinichirou to be taken from her. However, Hiromi claims that she and him aren’t like that. Hiromi nevertheless is curious enough to visit the chicken coop under Noe’s care, and she finds that there’s now a sign on it marking the grave of Raigomaru.
Hiromi tries to tell Noe that she can’t put a grave marker on the coop while there’s still another chicken inside, but Noe ignores her and walks away when Hiromi’s friend approaches to see what’s going on. A little later, Hiromi approaches Shinichirou’s shoe locker and asks him about being acquainted with Noe. She specifically refers to the rumors surrounding Noe, and Shinichirou is surprised to hear the one about Noe climbing up a tree and trying to pick up guys who pass by. What’s also surprising is how Hiromi asks him to introduce her to Noe the next day. In story terms, Shinichirou thinks of his situation as like being trapped inside a bottle by a monster who had taken the form of an angel and seeing a crying girl in different bottle nearby. He feels that if Noe has to take someone’s tears, it could be Hiromi instead of him. With this in mind, he tells Noe that there’s a girl who wants to be her friend and offers to introduce them.
Hiromi is at that moment in the middle of basketball practice, however she has a hard time concentrating on playing defense because she remembers a particular event from her past where she was alone and looking for Shinichirou. Right as she wonders what she wants to do, Hiromi notices Noe standing in the doorway of the gym, and the momentary loss of focus causes her to trip and fall. Hiromi then goes outside to talk with Noe, and the first thing Noe brings up is how she suspects it was Hiromi who moved the grave sign from on top of the chicken coop to its own mound beside the coop. After Hiromi admits to having done so because she felt that a grave should be properly built, Noe agrees and acknowledges her mistake. Noe then changes the subject to how Shinichirou had said that Hiromi wanted to be her friend, but Noe thinks that this was a lie on Hiromi’s part because she doesn’t believe that Hiromi actually likes her. Noe claims to be not angry though, and she walks away without a second thought, leaving Hiromi speechless.
At home that night, Hiromi tells Shinichirou that Noe rejected her, and she apologizes to him because she realized that it was true that she didn’t want to be Noe’s friend. Still, this makes her think that Noe is amazing for being able to see through her.
I liked the second episode a lot more than the first – it didn’t feel slow like the first episode did, and that may just be because we’re past the introductions. I found it interesting seeing how Hiromi dealt with Noe and vice-versa, mainly because it’s true that Hiromi didn’t really want to become friends with Noe. It was really all about Shinichirou – if she hadn’t seen him involved with Noe, then the two girls probably wouldn’t have ever met. Thus, it felt like Hiromi was trying either to gauge her competition or to use a friendship with Noe to get closer somehow to Shinichirou.
What this leads us to is a situation where Shinichirou has feelings for Hiromi, and she has feelings for him (at least that’s what’s heavily suggested, particularly by the short flashback scene), but he’s also intrigued by Noe, and Noe sees him as the chosen one to help her get her tears back. My gut tells me that Noe is the special girl that Shinichirou will end up with (if he ends up with anyone), but it’s still too early in the series to rule out any possibilities, particularly since Ai has yet to play a major role in this.
All this is what I meant when I said last week that I think this series has a lot of potential, and the fact that the animation quality is holding up remarkably well is like icing on the cake. However, given how good Shigofumi has also been, it’s hard for me to settle on which Saturday show to follow for the rest of the season, and I’ll need to see the third episodes of both before deciding.