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Kotoura-san – 09

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「まわりにはみんなが」 (Mawari ni wa Minna ga)
“Everyone is Around Me”

This episode wasn’t as strong-handed as I would’ve expected for its dramatic comeback, but the dramatic elements have been setup and are rolling in full force. While we contemplate Moritani’s guilt and Kumiko’s motherliness, Mifune continues to press forward her agenda under the guise of supporting Kotoura. The show still works with the comedic elements in an attempt to soften the mood, but such moments are reverting back to how they were at the beginning of the show–comedy with an uneasy aura you can’t seem to shake off. At this rate, we should be prepared for a conclusion that may very well blow the introductory episode out of the water.

For starters, Mifune’s increased aggressiveness at “taking care” of Kotoura is approaching a point where even Muroto is getting shaken. While the subtle hints have laid low during the comedy, the previous episode and this one have shown Mifune’s renewed attempts at keeping everything to plan. The convenient visit by Kotoura’s grandfather, the joking suggestions to find the criminal, even the setup for the date, all of it is silently orchestrated by Mifune to preserve Kotoura’s powers and keep her in good spirits and of course, willingness to cooperate when the time comes. It’d be unfair to label Mifune’s actions as completely hollow–she does harbor honest feelings for Kotoura–yet this eerie falseness she has currently haunts her persona. Muroto is obviously concerned at this point at how far Mifune will take her ideals and will probably intervene when the time comes, though for now he continues to watch from the sidelines, perhaps in hope that Mifune will know her own limits. This seems to be a perfect time for the show to explore Mifune’s character–let her push the limits once more and allow the consequences to expose her inner character, with of course Muroto finally making Mifune happy by giving her the attention she so desires from him.

Today’s episode didn’t close on Mifune’s exposition though, but rather displaying a slowly softening Kumiko. Oh, she’s still very much a cold person who still believes her daughter is a terrible person, but that darkness is starting to crack, just like how Kotoura’s shadow symbolically shattered in episode one. I understand from the comments that she’s not the most popular character, nor one who people believe deserve to be with Haruka again, but it’s undeniable that the two still have some feelings for each other, enough so to possibly grow a new mother-daughter bond. Haruka wishes to show her mother that a supportive group of friends surrounds her now, helping her live a happy life and showing her mother how much she’s grown. Kumiko on the other hand probably struggles with her lingering feelings for her daughter, especially when she is actually in danger. Kumiko may have declared that she wished to never have given birth to Kotoura, her actions this episode tell otherwise, indicating more a hurt mother who’s become embittered by the world than an outright hateful person. Though not everyone will be pleased with the inevitable resolution, reconciliation will undoubtedly be a big topic somewhere in the next few episodes. In defense of this, I’d like to think that both parties aren’t completely averse to making amends, so why not give them a chance to do so.

On the topic of amends, it looks like Moritani will have a hard time with fixing the wrongs she perceives having responsibility over, especially with the incoming misunderstandings next episode. Poor girl…everything she does nowadays is to protect Kotoura, yet her suffering only increases each episode. Although it’s more likely that Moritani hasn’t done any wrong (Kotoura would’ve picked up on it ages ago), it’ll be interesting to see the pressure against her in the following episodes. If it ends up being the cast that Moritani becomes a primary suspect for the cases, it’ll be interesting to see whether Kotoura will volunteer herself to investigate the case, with or without Mifune’s nudging. So far Kotoura has been protected by her friends every single episode, so it would make sense that she return the favor before the season ends. It’ll visibly be traumatizing and dangerous for Kotoura to take on a case, but for all that Moritani has done to redeem herself and be the best friend she could, it’s more than reasonable for Kotoura to be the heroine this time.

 

Preview

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March 8, 2013 at 12:27 am
32 comments »
  • March 8, 2013 at 12:54 amewok40k

    Oh well, Manabe is really ending up on the receiving end of physical abuse, be it from Moritani or Kumiko! I wonder how would proceed that sleepover at Kotoura’s place if not for Moritani’s intervention…
    I am afraid that Moritani herself is about to get into trouble. I guess the entire team will be out in force to help her, which likely will involve use of Kotoura’s power to find the real culprit – and possibly the older detective has some reminmiscence of Mifune’s mother – he seemed to recognize Mifune somehow…

  • March 8, 2013 at 1:08 amYourIdeas

    Would’ve been nice to know what Kotoura picked up from her mother’s boyfriend. There wasn’t a lot of context, even if it was probably something like planning to ditch Kumiko. Also, they’re making the ditsy female officer obviously suspicious, though that could just be her serious face.

    • March 9, 2013 at 1:18 amKF

      Somehow I imagine bondage … explains the pale reaction from Kotoura…

      TQ

  • March 8, 2013 at 2:02 amDualash

    I don’t know if I could go back to sleep after seeing that face *shivers*…………

  • March 8, 2013 at 2:03 amjake

    school girls being attack while kotoura all better yet still bit scared get manabe to stay at her place til manabe get chance with fear level on manabe over 9000 cue demon-mori to box’d manabe.

    police arrive at school give asking students if any info going give kotoura read criminal’s mind but can’t say give got other students “HMM” on kotoura so esp idea go like scooby-doo to catch the crook.

    well at kotoura’s grandpa call in invite them to dinner give all formal to a small food place to really a hotel til yikes it that “mom”.

    give “mom” still bitter while kotoura try to show to try patch but “mom” not notice til enter manabe perv power it still show bit something within the “mom”

    & oh mori in shock cause beaten school girls with blood on mori hands?

  • March 8, 2013 at 2:35 amScruffy

    The weapon that was used in the attack looks to be one of those quick extend police batons, although I guess that any thug could get a hold of one. So my guess is that it’s a cop, and in particular that female cop. I suspect the girls are something to do with ‘compensation dating’. Perhaps the cop’s BF cheated on her with a school girl?

    • March 8, 2013 at 6:43 ambara

      I feel like I’m one of the few people who felt sympathy for Kumiko but not to the degree I did Kotoura. To have those kind of eyes, it must have been VERY painful on her having to watch everything fall apart along with the stress of trying to raise a child with such an ability. Hopefully the break has softened her a little. I cheered the moment she got all protective of Haruka and completely owned Manabe, was a great moment. I’m really hoping she softens up more and Haruka is able to form some sort of bond with her.
      As for the attacks, I, too, noticed that it was a police baton that was being noticed as Scruffy said above. My partner and I immediately jumped on it being that female cop but it could be a red herring that she’s introduced so quickly and seen so much and it could actually be someone completely different. My bets are still on her, though.

      • March 8, 2013 at 10:37 amYourIdeas

        The thing that makes her less of a character to sympathize with was the way she went about dealing with her problems.

        Your daughter is able to read minds. So what do you do? Pretend she’s sick and pretty much ignore trying to find a cure, instead of teaching her to control herself and stop blurting out everyone’s thoughts. Then, she has the nerve to cheat on her husband and chew him out for doing the same, and then continues to mentally break Haruka down, because she’s still yet to be taught to stay quiet. The only thing I really found sympathetic about her was that her initial husband (Haruka’s biological father) was an asshole who was probably gonna leave her anyways, but that hardly excuses her behavior.

        She’s redeemed herself a little but from what I’m seeing, she’s still a rude character.

    • March 8, 2013 at 6:44 ambara

      I did not mean for that entire thing to be a reply, I apologize. Still getting used to this system here.

  • March 8, 2013 at 3:37 amdaikama

    I like Zanibas’ comment about the this episode not being as “strong-handed” as one might have expected given last week serious tone. Once again, Kotoura-san takes a less obvious route, and IMO does it well. Up until the end, it almost seemed light-hearted (well for Kotoura-san), but I never lost that impression of a serious undercurrent running beneath.

    Poor Mari… Fate does not seem to look upon her kindly. Not sure what to make of this. I can’t see her consciously harming another student (other than Manabe of course XD) let alone a classmate. Plus when you’re schooled in the MORI system, there’s no need for a police baton (or whatever that is). Hypnosis? Someone else with psychic powers? It does seem that the set up is as Zanibas suggest – to prove Mori innocent, Holmes & Watson Kotoura & Manabe take the case.

    That’s certainly what Mifune hopes to happen, but that kind of ending strikes me as a little too formalistic by Kotoura-san standards. I also think mom’s (Kumiko) got a bigger role to play in all of this than just a chance meeting. Throwing out some wild (very wild) speculation, maybe Kumiko’s boyfriend is the criminal. You could tie up everything neatly that way. Kotoura’s powers help solve the case thus proving Minfune’s mom wasn’t a “fake” and at the same time save her mom from psycho BF resulting in Kumiko viewing Kotoura in a different light and reconciling. Meh… hopefully the actual ending will better than that.

    Along with a “gold star” for Mori continuing to be a stead fast friend, IMO Manabed deserves some extra credit as well. I can’t be the only one (right?) who thought his well-timed introduction and poor attempt at “C’est si bon!” as really intended to divert Kumiko’s attention away from verbally traumatizing Kotoura. He even got an “typical” mom response out of her for all of 3 seconds. Progress is progress I suppose. As for Kumiko… even if she and Kotouta reconcile, it’s almost impossible for me to have a positive opinion of her. Blaming Kotoura-san for her problems is like a bank-robber blaming the person who called the police. No, Kumiko, it’s really YOUR fault. Be an adult and stop blaming your mistakes on a little kid – especially your daughter.

    • March 8, 2013 at 5:43 amBear

      Absolutely agree with you about Manabe. He may be a pervert and an idiot, but he did that with malice of forethought. He was banking on Kumiko’s motherly instincts kicking in and was willing to take the physical abuse for Kotoura’s sake. I also loved it that when Kotoura started backing up at her mother’s verbal abuse, the gang stopped her to stand together.

      While the audience may have a hard time forgiving and accepting Kumiko’s repentance, Kotoura would give anything for her mother to return her love. In that sense she’s damn near a saint. Both Moritani and Kumiko have their own problems that exacerbated their reactions to Kotoura (Kumiko’s SOB husband for example), but that doesn’t excuse what they did.

      The reaction that Moruto has to some things that Mifume says are troubling. He may have seen her do things in the past to exonerate her mother that he feels are immoral. Obviously, the detective either knew, or knew of, Mifume’s mother. Anyway the storm is about to break it seems.

      • March 8, 2013 at 5:59 amdaikama

        @Bear: Agree 100% that Kotoura would love to get back together with her mother, and I must admit that would be best IF Kumiko can do a lasting “Mori-style” change of heart. It’s like she realized after a split-second she showed motherly concern for Kotoura and then hastily “corrected” that behavior. My comment was more towards her (IMO) ultra-weak argument that everything is Kotoura’s fault. Like Kotoura “tricked’ her dad into having an affair and then the same for her mom. Yeah, right. Kotoura was what? six maybe? Bah. Not worth going into.

        As for Mifune, anytime you see Moruto’s pupils more than once per episode, you know something’s up. It’s like forest animals suddenly becoming dead silent. Pretty clear that Mifune’s actions are right on the edge of what Moruto thinks is acceptable. He’s in a tough position, but I’m confident he will pull her back before she goes over the edge/too far. (at least I hope).

        The storm is about to break as you say. I just hope Mori can ride it out. I don’t think I’ve ever had a character I disliked so much early in a show become one of my favorites by the show’s end.

      • March 8, 2013 at 10:46 amBear

        The only one that I changed my opinion of that much I think was Sui Shijima from Hanasuka Iroha. I almost stopped watching because of her character.

        For a character that doesn’t get much screen time nor action, I really like Moruto. I think he maybe the one to save Mifume from herself (and Kotoura from Mifume). I wonder if he’s seen something like this before with Mifume?

        Whether deserved or not Mori is definitely taking a pounding emotionally. Hopefully, she won’t be crushed by it or Kotoura will catch her when she falls.

      • March 8, 2013 at 3:28 pmdaikama

        @bear:

        Just to clarify, I while I like Mori – she’s not my absolute favorite. It’s more that (1) I really disliked her at first, and (2) usually I my initial impressions don’t that much. That being said, I do like her character and think she deserves a lot of credit for realizing her mistakes and honestly trying to make amends. She might make mistakes along the way (as shown when she let slip Kotoura’s encounter with the criminal which resulted in the rumor), but she means well nonetheless. From other comments it appears I’m in the minority when it comes to liking her character, but to each his/her own as the saying goes.

        As for Moruto, I agree with you there. He’s on the sidelines for the most part, but is ready to step in when Mifune is about to self-destruct. I get the impression that he and Mifune have been friends for a long time so I’m sure he knows her quite well. He’s probably not scene something exactly like this before since Kotoura’s ability is very rare, but in a general sense, I’m sure he’s seen Mifune in other situations where her desperation to clear her mother’s name causes her to cross the line.

        P.S./OT: 10 days until GuP EP 11 :D.

      • March 8, 2013 at 4:37 pmBear

        @diakama

        “P.S./OT: 10 days until GuP EP 11 :D.”

        Oh, boy! Can’t wait!

  • March 8, 2013 at 4:41 amGiorno Giovanna

    I thought I was watching Psycho Pass for a moment when I started this episode…

    • March 8, 2013 at 6:08 amsadakups

      At the end of it, Haruka’s brain will be part of the Sibyl System.

      You, sir, have made my day. :)

  • March 8, 2013 at 5:23 amsonicsenryaku

    just a thought, but when Haruka saw her mother’s boyfriend, I think she noticed him as the guy Kumiko was cheating around with when haruka’s father started becoming distant to the family. I think that’s why Kumiko started getting all riled up and was quick on the defense.

  • March 8, 2013 at 6:23 amsadakups

    Manabro does it again. Not exactly the way I thought he’ll do it, but of course, he can’t just shout at his future mother-in-law like what he did to Moritani in episode 2. Nevertheless, he had the balls to actually have lascivious thoughts of Haruka in front of her, kicking in her motherly instinct (and his balls) to protect her daughter. Whether he did that intentionally or not, it made for Haruka feeling better about her mother.

    As for that epilogue with Moritani beating the shit out of her former friend who probably started the rumor mill – talk about her going for violence to do stuff like always. Problem was, her unlucky friend isn’t as resilient as Manabe taking abuse.

    I think that culprit isn’t that important, it’s more of how Haruka reacts to all of it with her ability.

  • March 8, 2013 at 7:47 amCTT

    Still not liking Moritani. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t believe beating up Manabe is necessary or if i don’t believe she’s doing it solely to protect Kotoura and not as some woman scorned. However, it felt more acceptable when Kumiko kicked him. This is probably because he was literally asking for it. I guess the biggest problem I have with Moritani’s physical abuse is that Manabe doesn’t deserve it. He’d never hurt Kotoura, so why beat him up and throw him in the trash?

    • March 8, 2013 at 10:20 amMegas

      Your preaching to the choir here. This show has done a lot of unnecessary nonsense & it seems to me that Mori is just the worst of it. Her BIG mouth started the rumor mill while her crony friend just carried it on, yet she beats her up for it.

      The whole thing with Manabe is just for laughs, which I find unforgivable. I just can’t get over the fact that they’re using such old BS tactics as the “funny shit”. He was definitely asking for it with Kumiko & that’s fine but Mori’s abuse is just BS, not to mention that he could easily take her on (but that’s another thing). That’s why we call it abuse. Pummeling someone & throwing them in the trash is hardly “funny” & it’s seriously crapping all over this show, especially if you take into account what happened in the first 6 episodes (NO SLAPSTICK AT ALL).

  • March 8, 2013 at 9:54 amSmithCB

    I have a couple of thoughts, including a tip of the hat to Manabe, knowing he was going to take some damage when he made his move at the restaurant to shake up Haruka’s mom. One thing bothers me, though in that they’ve carefully made sure these were attacks that did not end in murder. On the one hand, good, but on the other, doesn’t that mean the victims will eventually talk, and a picture can be built around who is doing it and why? The following is not really a spoiler, it’s just how I think things will pan out. Show Spoiler ▼

    . The only character untouched in all this is Kumiko’s boyfriend. Is it a side-note that maybe he’s after the family fortune, or maybe he’s a psychic researcher himself (or debunker) trying to get closer to Haruka. Aaaarrrrggghhhhh! Other than that, I have no idea of what will happen and I anxiously await the coming episodes.

  • March 8, 2013 at 11:37 amkondee

    Being Moritani is suffering.

  • March 8, 2013 at 11:43 amKairoru

    I’m don’t like where this is going.

    So while the police are trying to find the criminal who attacked the girls from their school, and Moritani are trying to somebody about the spreading rumors,

    Show Spoiler ▼

    NOOOO MY FEEEEELLL!!! DDDDD:

    • March 8, 2013 at 11:45 amKairoru

      *typo*

      are trying to do something*

  • March 8, 2013 at 5:55 pmDark

    That Tsuyama dude may have some perverted thoughts swirling in his head and not the same harmless fun kind like Manabe either. I can see him being into Kumiko for her money and just seeing Kotoura as a possible “bonus” in the back of his mind.

    Once again MANabe to the rescue some people here may call his character repetitive but I’d just say he’s comfortable being who he is and theres no shame in that!

    Also it seems Moritani has bitten off more then she can chew this time. Looks likes she’s getting the blame for for the attacks and now someone (namely Kotoura) will have to clear her name!

  • March 8, 2013 at 7:07 pmNoSicko

    Will Kotoura’s mom stop being so bitter to her daughter?

    Will Muroto continue to let Mifune waltz around with a Stepford Smile?

    Will Moritani be able to recover from… whatever she just went through?

    Will Manabe decide to wear a protective cup for the rest of the series?!!!

    FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON KOTOURA-SAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!

  • March 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm†Croos†

    I think Manabe is the criminal.

  • March 9, 2013 at 10:09 amdangerism

    I played Persona 4 and… guess who I’m tagging the culprit as? :3

    • March 10, 2013 at 6:36 pmsadakups

      What you did there – I saw it. :)

  • March 10, 2013 at 7:51 amMeh

    At first I thought that the busty female cop was Manabe’s mom xD

    I think that Kumiko’s boyfurendo is the culprit. Would be really interesting. It’ll sorta give the “Kotoura ruining her mother’s life” feel again.

    Not really sure about Moritani, though. But I guess that the protecting Kotoura thingy turning her into a Yandere. I’ll place my bet that she isn’t the culprit, seeing as Kotoura would’ve identified her while walking.

    • March 10, 2013 at 7:54 amMeh

      Not that there was any speculation that she IS the culprit in the first place, but that was what I thought when I saw her hands ^^’
      And bravo to Manabe-kun. Comic relief AND easing tension. GAH!