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Tsuki ga Kirei – 10

「斜陽」 (Shayō)
“The Setting Sun”

After making memes about fidget spinners last episode, I never imagined I would need one myself as tensions ran high. We started where last week left off – dealing with complications resulting from Akane’s revelation to Kotarou that she was moving away from Kawagoe. Even with the couple exchanging the cutest night-time reassurances by the train tracks, all the apprehension remained up in the air. It wouldn’t take a Sherlock to guess that something was about to go wrong, maybe because Byousoku 5 Centimeters has addled my ability to feel ease in these kinds of situations.

KAWAGOE FESTIVAL

Nothing seemed astray, as the festival headed towards a conclusion which could be considered a resounding success. Akane was having fun with club friends, while admiring her man for taking the festival spotlight by dancing some hayashi. Only Chinatsu or Hira were possibly waiting on the wings to perpetrate some trouble. And oh boy, Hira’s persistence finally rears it’s ugly head, when he privately took Akane to eat imokoi in spite of knowing about her relationship with Kotarou. What’s worse, he held ulterior motives of wanting to pry her away from Kotarou. Let me make it clear I never doubted Akane for one second. But that’s easy for us to say when we’ve pretty much got the whole picture. Kotarou, not so much.

Akane was happily stuffing her cheeks full with imokoi, like a squirrel feasting on autumn nuts, vaguely unaware of the winter waiting to strike. The irony of the situation was the fact Hira may as well have been a brick to Akane. Her mind was awash with excitement, and her eyes buzzing around at the anticipation of meeting up with her beloved Kotarou. She might not have realised that her moment of reckoning was upon her, but I sure as heck did. Akane’s utter rejection of Hira provided a brief respite, but the damage was done. Maybe I even died inside a little, when the camera panned out to reveal that Kotarou was watching Hira and Akane spend time together by themselves. And as it crept closer, I began to fidget non-stop. I hated it. I hated that Tsuki ga Kirei came to this – playing the misunderstanding trope to fiddle me timbers. My jimmies were extremely rustled. Even more so, as she ran in her unassuming happiness to finally meet up with an irate Kotarou, like a lamb going to the slaughter. That said, I actually actually loved it all – the fact that Tsuki ga Kirei has me so emotionally invested. No other show this season has taken me on a similar sort of wild rollercoaster.

I sure could have done with a sweet potato plushie or a light switch pull cord to relieve my stress. Seeing Kotarou and Akane headed towards a collision course filled me with unprecedented dread. Relationship issues in anime are typically a sign that things are about to get ridiculously overblown, possibly requiring a good few episode maybe even a whole season to smooth out.

Akane did the right thing, explaining to Kotarou exactly what happened in a rational and relatively calm fashion. I felt Kotarou was in the wrong for readily brushing her off, and refusing to effectively communicate with Akane on why he was feeling so aggravated. If you don’t tell the a person why you are so upset, how are they going to have a chance to explain or rectify the aspect of their behaviour that is upsetting you? Maybe it was his teenage hormones going haywire but I found Kotarou’s selfish behaviour to be downright unacceptable. I’d go further and say Kotarou really disappointed me.

Seeing Akane being so heartbroken tore my heartstrings to shreds. All she wanted was to have a memorable festival night with Kotarou. Instead of having a wonderful time, the night ended on such a sour note. However, it is important to understand Kotarou’s perspective, which is why I’m careful about not laying into him. He saw Akane hanging out with a guy who he knew was interested in her, despite Kotarou showing his discomfort by acting like a territorial apex predator. I wouldn’t say Akane was at fault for hanging out with someone she regards as her friend, since Hira never explicitly confessed to her, so there was no surefire way for her to truly know about his feelings. Though I wasn’t quite as devastated as her, let me reveal I was almost on the verge of tears. Oh Studio Feel, tell me it ain’t so!

Fortunately, Akane and Kotarou sort out their differences pretty quickly and in a way befitting of relatively normal people. A lot of teenagers ordinarily wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of situation, and would instantly hit the panic button by breaking up. But you know, when you’re that kind of age and fall in love for the first time, you’re allowed to make mistakes. Nobody can be perfect and its all a matter of learning. You can tell Kotarou didn’t understand how badly he hurt Akane’s feelings, and felt remorse for his actions. He will surely be more sensitive and attentive towards her needs the next time around. Communication and working things out together are really important aspects in a relationship, so I’m glad that they put behind their misunderstandings and make up. The cherry on the icing was when Akane aggressively went in for the kiss! Nice going, Akanecchi!!

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

With the way things panned out by the end of this episode, hopefully it’s an indicator that we won’t get Shinkai’d – for lack of a better description. If you think about it, the fact they both felt deeply hurt demonstrates how much they care for each other. I really want Kotarou and Akane to stay together, but I wouldn’t be too keen on a convenient situation where he passes his exams with flying colours. With only a few episodes left, I can’t wait to see how Tsuki ga Kirei manages to wrap things up. I promise, my inner fanboy shall be truly unleashed when the time comes!

Sakura and the Graduation Album Omake

Glad there wasn’t too much this week to take steam off the way the episode concluded. I think that the graduation subtly indicates that Tsuki ga Kirei is coming to an end and will prepare us nicely for the upcoming finale.

June 17, 2017 at 5:55 am
26 comments »
  • June 17, 2017 at 7:27 amseltzermx

    Come on, you say you don’t want to lay into Koutaro, and then lay into him:
    “…despite Kotarou showing his discomfort by acting like a territorial apex predator.”

    I’ll agree that his reaction was probably more than it should’ve been, especially him not openly discussing what’s bothering him, but I can’t blame him too hard. There’s no way Akane didn’t know Hira was interested in her, friend or not. This applies to guys or girls, you don’t go hanging out 1 on 1 with someone you know likes you when you’re in a relationship. Yeah, obviously the confession thing is not on her, but the setup/situation that led to it is. How do you think your own bf/gf would feel if they saw that themselves.

    And come on, its not like she didn’t get annoyed and Koutaro whenever Chinatsu managed to find herself alone with him. This was despite the fact that she knew that Chinatsu was intentionally going after Koutaro despite them being friends. And she kept being friends with her afterwards! There Koutaro really did not have any idea, there were absolutely no indications, yet Akane was annoyed with him.

    To me, the sum of all these parts does make the blame for these events a 50/50 split.

    Glad it got settled quickly though. Screw you 5 cm/s!!

    • June 17, 2017 at 7:44 amZaiden

      Come on, you say you don’t want to lay into Koutaro, and then lay into him:
      “…despite Kotarou showing his discomfort by acting like a territorial apex predator.”

      Hey seltzermx! I actually wanted that description to make Kotarou sound cool, and hadn’t intended it as an insult . I thought it was awesome of him to step up, and tell the popular to jock to proverbially piss off. I was considering photoshop lions fighting for this week, pasting Kotarou’s face onto the lion that seemed to be winning the fight, while putting Hira’s face on the losing lion. Unfortunately, not many pictures with this exact scenario had the lioness watching in the background, which I would have photoshopped Akane’s face onto.

      But yeah, in hindsight I did lay into Kotarou more than I realised. I didn’t want to lay into him for feeling jealous, because that’s understandable, but it still didn’t excuse lashing out at Akane.

      As for the whole Hira thing, Akane just comes across as really naïve. Either she genuinely didn’t know about Hira’s feelings for her, or pretended to not know so that she could skirt around the issue and preserve a friendship. For many people, they would rather live an uncomfortable status quo, than outright lose a dear friend.

      And here, I’ve criticised Kotarou for effectively lashing out at Akane. Akane might have shown her irritation towards Kotarou in past episodes, whenever he got chummy with Chinatsu. However, she never overstepped the line so far as to brush him off, or deeply hurt his feelings. Perhaps I would be willing to ascribe a 50/50 split, in a scenario where Kotarou didn’t lash out. Unfortunately this was not the case, and I felt he went beyond what could be described as reasonable.

      Otherwise, I’m also glad as fuck that things were settled quickly. Yeah, screw you 5cm/s!!!!

      • June 17, 2017 at 8:12 amseltzermx

        Ah, alright, i’ll give you that I misinterpreted that line of yours.

        And while I do get that she does come on as naive, before the whole Kotaro thing started, I feel there were enough signs from everyone else around her for her to know how he felt. I mean, even Kotaro picked up on it with no one telling him after seeing them together at the amusement park just that one time. Even she should’ve picked up on it then.

        And I don’t think of the silent treatment as straight up lash out or being an unreasonable response to the situation. Its just a non-confrontational way of expressing to someone that you are unhappy/annoyed with them. Come on, be honest, it just hit you harder because she cried (and yeah yeah, it hit me a bit too, I’m not that heartless ;) ). Her feelings were probably hurt more than either of them were expecting by that situation. I’ll stick to my guns on the 50/50 blame!

      • June 17, 2017 at 8:41 amZaiden

        I think Kotarou knew a long time before the amusement park.

        In the third episode, Kotarou is spurred to confess precisely because he overheard Chinatsu and Aoi talking about how they knew about Hira’s feelings and would work to support his efforts. Plus, from how you can see them discussing everything outside of Akane’s earshot despite the three of them being really good friends, it seemed to me like she was being kept in the dark.

  • June 17, 2017 at 8:14 amOne Pinch Man

    http://randomc.net/image/Tsuki%20ga%20Kirei/Tsuki%20ga%20Kirei%20-%2010%20-%2036.jpg
    I’m SO glad Akane took the chance and went aggressive. That’s a nice way to end an episode.

    • June 17, 2017 at 8:30 amZaiden

      The subsequent blush fiesta was adorable! Too bad I can only put up 36 screencaps, not to mention Kotarou’s blushing face was always semi-obscured by Akane’s head.

  • June 17, 2017 at 8:54 amlunascha

    The kiss!!! Kyah~

    • June 17, 2017 at 9:16 amZaiden

      I didn’t think they could top the first kiss. Guess I might be wrong.

  • June 17, 2017 at 9:09 amMaou

    http://randomc.net/image/Tsuki%20ga%20Kirei/Tsuki%20ga%20Kirei%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2034.jpg

    Kotarou:so I think about this and that, I want to be with you

    Owahh! So manly…a fresh breath for male protagonist, be proud kotarou because many of your predecessor always screw-up in this kind of situation.

    • June 17, 2017 at 9:14 amZaiden

      LMaou. The valiant sacrifices from oblivious anime protagonists won’t have been in vain. *cough* Ichika *cough*

    • June 17, 2017 at 11:24 pmkurt

      YOROKOBE SHOUNEN!(with kirei voice)

  • June 17, 2017 at 9:51 amAructer

    there’s 2 episode left…what could ever go wrong?

    this ep beats ep 8

    • June 17, 2017 at 4:34 pmZaiden

      Still prefer Episode 8 because the visual and sound were exquisite even by Tsuki ga Kirei standards. Not to mention a happier time spent together at the Wind Chime Festival. But this episode is probably the best storywise.

  • June 17, 2017 at 11:23 amyoloalchemist

    I’d want the show to end right there, but with 2 more episodes left, I don’t know what might happen. I’m scared. That was beautiful.

    • June 17, 2017 at 4:36 pmZaiden

      The future is a bit uncertain, but I need just a bit more closure.

  • June 17, 2017 at 5:29 pmKana-chan

    Thanks again Zaiden for this lovely (and very long post this time! I’m so happy there’s so much to read!). This episode delivered for me and in my opinion the kiss was one of the best kisses I’ve seen in a long time.
    However as much as I loved most of this episode I have the same amount of criticism to talk about.
    Where do I even start? I guess I start with Hira since he was finally able to confess but Chinatsu still couldn’t. I wonder if Akane will remember that later and change her view if it’s okay for her to do it afterall.

    I have to be honest here…I thought Hira would suit her better in terms of what they have in common as well, I mean they’re both in the track club (they like what they’re doing), knowing her longer etc. He was right when he said those things but it sure wasn’t right to tell her as justification that he would be the better boyfriend.
    I always thought he was quite supportive and wasn’t such a bad character to begin with. I guess he regrets it that he took so much time to make a move earlier. I’m glad how Akane handled it. She sometimes acts more mature than those typical shoujo characters in high school don’t you think?

    I guess that’s it and it just gonna be a little awkward between these two in the future though..
    You already said pretty much everything about Kotarou. I felt so disappointed too. That’s what only jerks do, and he really was a jerk. I know I shouldn’t be mad because his behaviour is actually quite accurate here but still…Akane wasn’t even thinking about the confession at all, in fact she really was looking forward having a great time (including that super cute imokoi candy thing) and it didn’t bother her and it shouldn’t have bothered either. I guess this festival got ruined by both boys and Hira may have gone too far with his unfortunate choice of words but he didn’t put her in a position to feel bad about her decision. Kotarou on the other hand…man what would Dazai say? He would be disappointed too!

    And again: The terrible communication with the phone is back! I’m really not a fan of it I just don’t like it, sure it’s easy and fast but still the amount of time they spend on their phone is (I have to admit is indeed very real) yet, it really starts to feel too much even for an anime. Maybe I just not used to it because most anime series still don’t really rely on it or pretend smartphone doesn’t exist. It sure was sad when they couldn’t send any text to each other because it’s really tough after a fight (was it really a fight?) Again, Koutarou beeing a complete idiot for ignoring her feelings.

    I’m not sure if the tears, and the hug and that glorious kiss are really going to make it okay. For now they made up but I’m sure something bigger could come in the last episodes.
    I can’t really imagine how this show will end, maybe with a dramatic goodbye scene and farewell party for Akane?

    That omake was quite funny, did they join just to skip it anyway? haha~

    ps: I can’t believe you made me google sweet potato plushie just because I have no idea what they would look like until I remembered that you are probably refering to that thing Akane and Koutarou own. MY BAD

    • June 17, 2017 at 6:02 pmZaiden

      Yo Kana-chan. Sorry about the late reply last week, but I did get around to finally responding today if you’re up for reading it.

      I do think Akane handled the situation better than most female protagonists within animated fictional medium, so props to her. Also agree upon the point that Hira provided some pretty terrible justifications as to why he would be a better boyfriend. But you know, impending rejection can give desperation that drives you up figurative walls, and makes you do the crazy.

      While it’s easy to say ‘X’ and ‘Y’ would make a better fit, it would be akin to an arranged marriage, where we are not considering the feelings of those involved. I do see your point that having similar interests in track and field would be extremely useful, but you don’t choose who you get to fall in love with. The fact of the matter is that Akane is not attracted to Hira, not to mention Kotarou also provides her sincere feelings of security, that are difficult for her to find in other people. Why? Because he is really mature and thoughtful as far as people of their age go, and his edgy nihilism resulting from his admiration of Dazai have been mellowed out, through his personal growth over the course of their relationship.

      Everyone has different modes of communicating, since the age of technology has given us so many options. Shy people are now given an option to communicate via phone, and you have to remember that Kotarou and Akane are still meeting up in real life lots when they can. As for the post-festival communications being terrible, I personally expected it considering the fallout from their lover’s spat. I think it isn’t out of the ordinary to have a day or two of no communication following these kind of couple fights – call it a cooldown period if you must. Nothing is perfect and this extends to couples, with most people having a fight or two in every relationship. What matters is that Kotarou and Akane love each other despite their flaws, and were willing to work in a productive way to fix the dysfunctional aspects of their relationship, which I need to point out were otherwise non-existent.

      Kotarou and Akane are struggling with being straightforwards with each other due to their respective guilt, needing time to gather and recollect themselves. So for me, the tears, the hugs and the kiss make it okay for me. They made up, and were able to communicate with each other to resolve the issue. Hopefully, this show won’t end in a dramatic fashion. I’ve come to care about how down to earth it portrays first love and drama would sully its legacy in my eyes.

      • June 18, 2017 at 9:02 amKana-chan

        Don’t worry about it! I actually did read it already from the last post and tbh I just don’t really know what to reply anyway without writing unnecessary walls of text so you should reply if you have enough time so I’ll say it again don’t worry it’s fine. It’s really nice if you reply & doesn’t matter if it’s late or just short.

        but you don’t choose who you get to fall in love with

        Of course. And I do prefer Akane with Kotarou. However I believe that it some cases you can fall in love with a person who has been there for a long time and I’m not talking about the childhood friends trope here or whatever it’s just that you just didn’t notice right away and that’s okay either way.
        I may have been a bit disappointed in the writing of this show. If they introduce characters like Chinatsu and Hira who do have a lot of wasted potential I can’t really understand why just making them fall for the main characters in the first place if they’re not good for anything else.

        Because he is really mature and thoughtful

        I have to say though, and I hope I won’t be misunderstood. Kotarou is not mature. Not in that way. To me, he only behaves mature if it’s necessary but in this episode his behaviour wasn’t mature at all. In fact he acted in such an immature way not only to Akane but in the past episodes there were some things that made me wonder if he actually tries so hard just to impress. His interest in reading, literature and trying to write a book doesn’t make him more mature.
        He does know when to apologize and of course he takes care of Akane, I just don’t really see him as so much more mature in his age towards other people. He’s actually quite brave with his actions and most of the time he’s taking the initiative in their releationship. That is something he’s really good at.

        Shy people are now given an option to communicate via phone, and you have to remember that Kotarou and Akane are still meeting up in real life lots when they can.

        Of course you’re right, yet at some point I feel like it’s not really the same if you only rely on the phone. Many people will differ and say that isn’t true and I won’t say they’re wrong. Well and if Akane and Kotarou would only communicate through writing this show wouldn’t be airing! haha just kidding I don’t really hate it. It’s fine if they use their phone or the internet or whatever medium they like. In the end instead of texting they do meet up and talk with each other and aplogize so it’s really fine with me afterall.

        What matters is that Kotarou and Akane love each other despite their flaws

        Absolutely Yes! and they’re doing a really good job on how to portray that.

        I’ve come to care about how down to earth it portrays first love and drama would sully its legacy in my eyes.

        Whatever happens I’m sure this will make it at least in my top 10 shoujo list. Nevertheless I’m really looking forward to the finale.

      • June 18, 2017 at 11:08 amZaiden

        Keep the walls of text coming, and they aren’t unnecessary! Being able to engage with my readers in thoughtful discussion is always a huge plus in my books. You certainly raise some really good points, and I enjoy reading what you have to write. So definitely keep it up, Kana-chan! :)

  • June 17, 2017 at 8:37 pmKaineng

    I sure could have done with a sweet potato plushie to relieve my stress.

    I’ve been trying to do that every episode but I just didn’t have one to do so lol can they just sell those online already?

    God, this episode. Kudos for Akanecchi for mostly taking initiatives and Koutarou at the end assuring her that he still likes her, but yeah, this is pretty much the episode I was waiting for. The body language things is so well done in this episode (especially the second half) too. Very “frazzled” for me this episode (*wink* Alice to Zouroku *wink*), that’s for sure.

    I’m going to be remembering this episode’s plot for a long time. Because seriously, it cannot get any better than this episode. Or can it?

    • June 18, 2017 at 12:59 amZaiden

      They’ll probably sell the sweet potato plushie with the bluray discs to boost the sales.

      The body language is part of the cinematography, which is mostly superb, other than the moments where compromises are obviously made for the sake of maintaining a budget. Otherwise, I’m very frazzled from writing summer previews. *wink*

      And I must be in the minority for preferring Episode 8. I still don’t think that episode has been outdone.

      • June 18, 2017 at 3:44 amKaineng

        Episode 8? Well, I knew something is going to happen, so… And there’s the second half of this episode so it may easily be forgotten.

        Summer previews? My mind is ready haha
        (Oh and sorry for the dislike; my hand slipped lol)

      • June 18, 2017 at 3:49 amKaineng

        Oh also, the Blu-ray release is preparing to give the bigger version of the plushie. But I just want the small one though. Argh… They maybe giving it out at events as I’ve seen from the Anime Twitter account. *Akanecchi sob*

      • June 18, 2017 at 10:42 amZaiden

        Lmao, no worries Kaineng. Episode 8 was when they visited the Wind Chime Festival together. I loved absolutely everything about that episode.

      • June 18, 2017 at 4:36 pmKaineng

        Oh I may have thought of the wrong episode lol it’s all Chinatsu’s fault haha

        Don’t get me wrong; episode 8 was great, and future dates for the couple can only get better. This latest episode I must say easily tops this one.

  • June 18, 2017 at 7:34 pmlunascha

    That is so sweet!!! The fact that he is pursuing his future while wanting to be with her.. I know it’s probably not the easiest decision to make and like he said, his parents might not like the idea but still, the fact that he is trying.. I really see the potential of them being together at the end. Kyah~ his comment though, “I want to be with you”, that was so sweet!

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