What I thought was going to be an arc about Suppon’s illness doubled up as one about Lily as well. It was unexpected but not a bad thing whatsoever, as it draws upon their past together and how Lily got Suppon the black market job he’s been getting by on all this time. Now it’s the time for him to repay that favor, seeing as the American military officer she’s been living with left her with false promises about taking her as his wife and living together in America. What’s more, he even took the money she was secretly stashing away in preparation for this happening, meaning she has no place to live and no money to get by on. The shift of focus in that direction and talk about how Lily would be back on the streets as a prostitute made this feel like her arc more than Suppon’s; however, the latter’s firm resolve to prevent that from happening bridged the gap between the two subplots. After learning that Suppon lives in a small two tatami room and how he’s suffering from the after effects of the atomic bomb that killed his family, the concern he showed for Lily and his consideration of her as family were even more pronounced. All this time, I assumed he was making a good profit from all his dealings too.
Admittedly, I’m still a bit wary of the old man, Sugi-san, who’s taken Suppon under his wing as a money lender who charges one percent interest per day (i.e. the freelance banker), but hope he proves to be the chance encounter he’s been made out to be. With the way things have gone terribly wrong for Lily, the last thing Suppon needs is to be in a financial pinch of his own when he wants to help her. The one reassuring thing is that all the guys are in on this one right from the get-go and there’s nothing preventing Suppon to continue asking them for additional help. I always find conflict or lack of trust within the group the worst kind situation for them to be in, so it’s good to know that isn’t the case this time around. One thing that I do see becoming a problem as this mini arc moves on is Suppon’s health condition. I threw out the idea in my last post that he’s suffering from radiation poisoning, but the story hasn’t made it conclusive as to whether or not he is. All we do know is that when his body locks up and he’s about to collapse, nightmares about the bombing and how it rained blood (i.e. nuclear fallout) afterward fill his mind.
So far, Lily and Suppon’s predicaments don’t seem nearly as messed up as the ones seen before. No one seems to be out to make their lives even more difficult than they already are, which is why I’m a bit suspicious of one of the prominent character introduced here — the old man. For now, that will remain nothing more than a suspicion though. The preview indicates that the new soldier who took over the officer’s house will be the problematic individual next time, so the other possibility is that he wants to make Lily his plaything.