「ヤミアキラカニ」 (Yami Akiraka ni)
“Clearing the Darkness”
Continuing on from episode two, the story takes a drastically different turn when Motoka doesn’t show up and Haru gets to talk to Akira instead. As a result, Haru doesn’t have to go around town questioning everyone about her past, since Akira is more than happy to tell him about how she’s Kazuha’s half-sister. What that led to though was something that I wasn’t really anticipating — growing very fond of Akira’s playful personality. By that, I’m not referring to her willingness to flash her underwear to Haru and not make a scene about it either, but how she uses that spirited front to hide the sadness she’s bottling inside. She exhibits all the traits of a girl who I wouldn’t be able to leave alone upon discovering that, especially given how she’s genuinely a good person who doesn’t deserve the cold shoulder that Kazuha’s mother (Murai Kazusa) gives her. She’s also ridiculously cute when she’s in love, which this episode really opened my eyes to when Haru finally remembered that he played with her when they were younger. As such, I could definitely see why Haru would search aimlessly to find the pendant she lost then, as I can picture myself doing something similar if it meant there was a chance of putting a smile back on Akira’s face. I can’t imagine everyone feeling the same way, but it wouldn’t sit well with me if the world was so messed up that a nice girl like her can’t be happy. I don’t know how many people will take me sincerely in light of the nude scenes shown subsequently; however, the sight of her tears flowing out just for such a minor gesture on Haru’s part made it clear in my mind that Akira was worth going out on a limb for any day of the week.
Now before people get ahead of themselves and deem these impressions another dairy entry of mine, the reason why I was so happy to see Haru try to help Akira out the way he did is because I have a soft spot for acts of chivalry. He didn’t do it because of any intimate feelings towards her at the time, but simply the feeling of wanting to do something for her after seeing the sad expression she had on while staring out the classroom window. Much like Haru, I was captivated by that look to a certain degree, but still wouldn’t have been expecting anything to come from reaching out to her. Be that as it may, I wouldn’t have been foolish enough to up an opportunity either if it presented itself either. This of course is in reference to Akira’s feelings towards her childhood love pouring uncontrollably out of her to the point that she’d boldly enter the bath with him. Aside from Haru’s interesting way of entering the bathtub to hide himself and divert his eyes from Akira’s naked body, I actually found that the scene played out pretty believably. Yes, that includes the nudity itself, which I felt wasn’t done in poor taste whatsoever given the prior build up surrounding Akira. In fact, I found it a lot less awkward to watch than the screen captures probably indicate, which includes how she felt Haru’s erection poking against her, and went on to place his hands over her breasts. Understandably, most people would be focused on her body than anything else, but as fairly sentimental person, I was more fixated on Akira’s actions and what was probably going through her mind.
Taking that into consideration, I was actually relieved to know that Haru didn’t take advantage of her troubled state, as going any further definitely wouldn’t have been for the right reasons. Some may argue that “comfort sex” would’ve done Akira wonders, but I personally like a more respectable approach. For the most part, Akira’s story has been very agreeable in my eyes, so it’s nice to see it working towards just that. Akira is clearly still troubled over something, which is likely linked to the truth surrounding her mother’s identity. She’s taken the notebook containing birth records from Haru’s grandparents’ clinic after all, suggesting that her mother will be the focus next time when Haru talks to her about it. Akira’s final episode next week should be good. In addition to all the emotions and tasteful nude scenes, I’m finally starting to get a good taste of the drama side of things in this series and I like it! 🙂
* It occurred to me that the episode breakdown for each of the girls’ arcs means that the fake-out at the end of episode one likely won’t be one in episode seven. What’s more, all of Sora’s feelings of unrest towards Nao should come into play more, given that their arcs will share that episode.
* It looks like the music box that Haru gave Kazuha was Sora’s. What are you doing Haru!?
* In case you missed it, I put together three full-length shots of Akira and one of Kazuha’s mother for this post.