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Kuzu no Honkai – 09 »« Kuzu no Honkai – 07

Kuzu no Honkai – 08

「Sweet Refrain」

After much dithering and buildup Kuzu has finally reached its climax, and as expected things certainly did not disappoint. Although anything could have transpired this week, I’d argue it was known previously that something would screw up the confessions, and that Akane was the most likely culprit. Lo and behold when said hypothesis turned out true as Akane utilized her personality to the most and strung Mugi along just enough for his lust and desire to do the rest. For all his talk and commitment towards change with Hanabi, Mugi still harboured strong feelings for Akane, feelings he hoped would die when she rejected him. Mugi in a sense was desperately hoping Akane would reject him because of these feelings, knowing to a subconscious degree any intimacy she showed could be construed by him as actual interest. Thus it’s no surprise to me that Mugi literally ended up with Akane and spilled his entire raison d’etre to her. Akane effectively gave Mugi’s mind enough rope for him to rationalize the whole thing away while maintaining her “innocence” throughout. For all of Mugi’s experience, he had nothing on Akane, and as he will discover, no serious ability to induce any love towards him within her.

On the other side of things was Hanabi’s confession, and this one pretty well went more or less as expected. As mentioned last time I honestly had a suspicion Narumi might attempt playing dumb, but he really surprised me by not only accepting Hanabi’s confession, but rejecting her gently and without any fanfare. This guy did everything right, beyond a simple thank you—confirming his brotherly relationship to Hanabi—he never said anything and just let Hanabi vent her built up, condensed emotions. Compared to Narumi’s prior encounter with Akane this was incredibly surprising, arguably producing Kuzu’s best scene so far. For the show’s most confused and conflicted character, Narumi’s rejection frees Hanabi from her fantasy and gives her a real chance to experience actual love with Mugi. Given Mugi has also started seeing Hanabi for herself and not as an Akane stand-in, both characters have a good opportunity to find the intimacy they have been seeking with little success so far. Although Mugi’s encounter with Akane seemingly throws a wrench into the whole idea, I’d argue Mugi’s little romp through the motel sheets is temporary. Mugi may have given in to his desires, but once the impassioned high wears off the stark reality of Akane will come back and he will—I believe—make the right choice. Still won’t remove the massive club Akane now has to beat Hanabi with, but I doubt Mugi will suddenly abandon Hanabi for a fantasy he knows is impossible to obtain.

With Kuzu having now got the confessions out of the way, the drama-fuelled fallout fun now begins. Besides the obvious play Akane will make to further torment Hanabi, we also have Mugi who as mentioned has a choice to make, and Sanae who now must confront her own desires. Sanae in particular could prove—besides Akane—the most problematic, given her interest in Hanabi and willingness to take what she wants no matter the consequences. With Sanae’s arguably superfluous cousin introduction though we look set for some additional exploration into Sanae’s mind soon, and probably some sort of accompanying conclusion reached between Hanabi and her. For all that Kuzu has successfully wrapped up, plenty remains for some serious pain and suffering. This ride has a ways to go yet boys and girls.

Random Tidbits

Sanae’s hat has the added benefit of both displaying the show’s title and succinctly describing her personality. Compared with the likes of Hanabi or Mugi, Sanae’s actions well define scum.

March 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm
16 comments »
  • March 3, 2017 at 11:53 pmMentar

    Good review :) … I’m with you on everything but one little thing: This isn’t the climax yet. There’s still 4 eps to go, and we’re in for more treats.

    Being Hanabi is suffering. My my my.

    • March 4, 2017 at 12:25 amPancakes

      Heh thanks Mentar, at least I know someone reads–and enjoys reading–these things :P
      As for the climax, personally I consider this the start of it. The confessions are done, things can now start moving properly. Getting Hanabi out from her brother’s shadow really opens this show up to some serious development.

      • March 4, 2017 at 9:19 amMentar

        I have no idea why there’s relatively little discussion on this show on RC. On MAL or Reddit, there are literally hundreds of comments each episode. A shame, really – because KnH offers enough material for debate. For me, it’s easily the anime of the season.

      • March 4, 2017 at 10:23 amZen

        Lol, maybe RC should conduct a reader demographics poll- would be interesting to get some idea of what the average RC reader is like. I’m guessing that RC reader demographics are likely atypically skewed compared to other anime sites, or posts about this show would garner far more attention. Well, skewed reader demographics are probably a foregone conclusion anyway- the more interesting question then becomes why…

      • March 5, 2017 at 12:40 amPancakes

        In my experience readership can fluctuate by the season, especially if the totality of series offerings is weak. Masamune-kun no Revenge isn’t also attracting a lot of comments for example, but that might be because it arguably isn’t as bad as Seiren. Hell just look at the discussion Hand Shakers generated here.

        Still an interesting question though, might mull this over a bit more once I get some free time.

      • March 5, 2017 at 5:01 pmZen

        When one searches for a place to discuss their favorite anime these days, it’s usually megasites like Reddit and MAL that top the list. Private boutique blogs like RC don’t tend to make the first page (or likely even the first 5 pages). They are still relatively popular, but their following is dwarfed by that of these gargantuan megasites. So unless one is invested in anime enough to specifically go looking for private boutique sites like RC, or to randomly surf around (re anime) for long enough to stumble upon them, s/he’s relatively unlikely to ever discovery them.

        In other words, I think acquiring knowledge of the existence of a site like RC in the present ecosystem usually requires an act of active discovery- for which a certain advanced level of investment in the hobby of watching anime is prequisite. An advanced level of investment that may also often be co-morbid with certain preferences and proclivities. To say nothing of the level of investment prequisite to emergence from the legions of lurkers- to actual active engagement in communities like RC through regularly leave comments. While a group that discovered RC and like sites at random without ever engaging in any active discovery certainly exists, I’d wager that they’re a rare minority…

      • March 6, 2017 at 12:26 pmCherrie

        @Zen:
        I don’t often Google RandomC since I’m always on the site and it pops up all the time for me =X but now that you mention it, that brings a lot of concerns for me. Thanks for bringing it to our attention =) Div and I appreciate it and will look into it.

      • March 6, 2017 at 3:33 pmZen

        No problem. I’ve never actually rigorously tested this or anything, so, there is always the chance that im totally wrong. Just going off of what ive seen when i sometimes search for anime stuff using generic non site specific searhc terms.

      • March 6, 2017 at 3:48 pmZen

        E.g. “kuzu no honkai 01 discussion” or “konosuba 01 discussion,” etc.

  • March 4, 2017 at 1:42 amPO

    Ahhhh this is all familiar ground to me.

  • March 4, 2017 at 3:40 pmKiraboshi

    I hope someone reports that STD, HIV infested thing for sleeping with a student.

  • March 4, 2017 at 11:36 pmtheirs

    Poor Hanabi. Even knowing what will happen, it still shed a tear in my eye.

    http://randomc.net/image/Kuzu%20no%20Honkai/Kuzu%20no%20Honkai%20-%2008%20-%2028.jpg
    Almost accurate description of what Mugi went through. Id say he’s level ten or maybe three, but definitely not level one.

    Curiously, from everything that Mugi knows about Akane, he still expects to get rejected. Sure he doesn’t know her real reasons like us viewers, but hasn’t he seen her with a wide variety of guys? I think the only real conclusion he could have is that she’s straight. Still a lot of hope there.

    • March 5, 2017 at 12:43 amPancakes

      I think he doesn’t expect it as much as he wants her to reject him. If Akane rejects him, Mugi can move on, but if she doesn’t–or hesitates–he’ll lunge at the chance to fulfill his fantasy. This is why he followed her to the motel, Mugi still wants Akane. He knows it’s wrong, but he cannot stop himself, so he hopes Akane’s rejection will snap him out of it.

      • March 5, 2017 at 7:04 amtheirs

        Do you think it was inspired by what happened with Moka last week? A chance to move on or a chance to fulfil his dreams, all in one stroke. At least it does mean he sees Hanabi as her own person.

  • March 5, 2017 at 8:05 amornehx

    Starting to really like Hanabi’s voice when she is self-narrating

  • March 5, 2017 at 8:10 amonion warrior

    Lets all believe in Hanabi who believes in Mugi who believes in himself that he and Hanabi can move forward together. :)

    That said, im right with you Pancake, Sanae is a total scum no matter how people see her as “yuri tools” to excite yuri shippers. I have nothing against yuri and i myself into yuri as well but Sanae is a bully…and nobody likes bully no matter what. >:(

    Akane can get STD for all i care. Let her enjoy her glory days as one hot smoking bitch while it last.

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