Kuzu no Honkai – 02
「そのぬくもりに用がある」 (Sono Nukumori ni Yougaaru)
“I’m Here for that Warmth”
This week’s episode wasn’t nearly as impactful as the last, but still leaves a lot to be deserved with that cliffhanger. We’re introduced to two important characters this week – Ebato Sanae (Tomatsu Haruka) and Kamomebeta Noriko (Izawa Shiori) or Moka for short. Sanae is a friend of Hanabi’s (and possibly the only female friend she has) and if you’ve seen the entire episode, the cat’s out of the bag… she
might have has a crush on Hanabi. Maybe “crush” is putting it simply, I think it’s closer to deep infatuation. On the other hand, Moka doesn’t try and hide her feelings by jumping straight between Hanabi and Mugi when they’re together. Moka makes her motives known by trying to drive a wedge between Hanabi and Mugi but what she doesn’t know is that they’re not in that kind of relationship anyway. While I was reading the manga, I thought Moka was a very stereotypical childhood friend with a crush on the MC that tries everything to get his attention… and if you feel the same way, I’d definitely put aside those impressions and try and keep an eye on her. While she might be annoying, I also think that she’s the most honest with herself and I give her full credit for that. She knows what she wants and goes for it (same with Sanae actually) and she’s very straightforward later on when it comes to confronting Mugi. I know that Sanae has the same straightforward approach to Hanabi, but she doesn’t exactly behave the way I think most people would.
At this point in the manga, I thought that Mugi was the hardest individual to read because his facial expressions (even in the manga) don’t say much about what he’s thinking. His seiyuu, Shimazaki Nobunaga does a great job at keeping his voice flat and indifferent too. While he likes Akane, he’s in this “relationship” with Hanabi and not receptive of Moka’s advances at all. He doesn’t straight-up turn her down either (which is something I never understood even when I was younger). If you know that someone likes you but you don’t return their feelings, why do you keep giving someone hope? Back-up potential? Having read all the manga now though, I can probably get a better sense of what Mugi is thinking but it still doesn’t excuse him of his actions. Hanabi is a lot easier to understand and read (she’s also the MC though) and I feel like her path in the story is a lot more direct. You also get a better idea of how she’s feeling and what her true intentions are as people start interacting too. Whereas Mugi… well his storyline gets a lot more twisted and his past is all sorts of interesting.
This week’s episode was relatively more tame than last week’s; which might have turned off everyone thinking that this is “hentai“. Let me help redefine the word hentai for people that might not understand. In Japanese, the word actually means “weird” or if you read Wikipedia, it means “perverse or bizarre sexual desire or act”. For some reason, in America, the meaning of the word seems to be associated with a genre or type of manga/anime which is more like pornography. Kuzu no Honkai is neither hentai in Japan OR in America because I don’t consider this word reflective of the story’s plot or meaning at all – NOR is it a genre. A better way to describe its demographic would be to label the manga as a josei or seinen because it deals with more mature topics in a relationship that adults or older teens might understand. There will obviously be more “detailed” images of kisses or implications of sex and sexual activity but that’s not the intent of the story. These scenes are created to demonstrate this side of romantic relationships; and if you’ve been in a romantic relationship, the physical interaction is indeed a part of it. It’s not like Mugi and Hanabi simply want to bang their teachers and move on so don’t misunderstand. I hope this clarifies things a bit for people that are turned off. I’m not saying it to defend Kuzu no Honkai because it’s not the greatest anime ever, but it’s a shame if people didn’t give it a shot for those reasons. I think it says a lot for people that might have been in similar situations where they feel like they’re in one-sided relationships and they may or may not be oblivious to others that like them.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: What a cliffhanger for #KuzuNoHonkai! Well obviously you can’t just have two unrequited feelings…but four now! Oh the irony is real. Two new characters- both in love with our MCs with unanswered feelings. This will surely complicate their relationships.