「アキラメナイヨ」 (Akiramenai yo)
“I’m Not Abandoning You”
Thanks to the overlap between arcs, the conclusion to Akira’s story has already arrived only two episodes after Kazuha’s. Despite the relatively brief feel as a result, I actually like how the story comes at us fast and “heavy” without all the introductory preamble again, which is seen here when Haru confronts Akira about the missing birth records. First off, for those wondering if Haru and Akira actually made love to one another in the bath last time, the uncensored scene at the end of this episode should make it pretty clear now that this series doesn’t intend to leave such things up to one’s own interpretation or imagination. In true eroge style, Yosuga no Sora’s been about rewarding the protagonist with an bedroom scene ending, and they delivered just that again in what was a fairly erotic yet understandably sensual night between Haru and Akira. Much like Kazuha’s one, there was nothing shown that degrades Akira nor any indication that she’s an “unwilling participant”, so I really can’t see how someone could lump this into the “hentai” category unless they have a very naive and narrow-minded view on sex in general. Either that, or they perceive sex as taboo, in which case, I’m just going to end the discussion there and let them ponder where they came from. 🙂
Getting back on track, I must say I found Akira’s night with Haru much more meaningful and passionate than Kazuha’s, simply because she was still wearing the pendant that she got back from Kazuha’s mother. It was very symbolic in a sense, seeing as her story revolved around it and the sight of it around her neck signified that all her lifelong sadness from feeling unwanted had finally ended. To top it off, she found Haru as both her supporter and lover amidst those difficult times, leading to a meaningful relationship that goes all the way back to their childhood. As such, I find it hard to imagine the consummation of their feelings for one another would be perceived anywhere near the levels of a spur of the moment, one-night stand, especially with all the drama pertaining to how she’s always felt like an unwanted child. On that note, I was admittedly at a loss on which direction the story would take when the hospital records indicated that there might have been a mix up between Akira and Kazuha at birth. With the way the story was progressing, I felt they could have spun it either way and reached a heartfelt ending, so I didn’t find myself leaning towards one possibility more than the other. In retrospect, I do prefer the outcome that we got though. The DNA results completely turning things upside down with Kazuha’s mother turning out to be Akira’s would have undoubtedly led to a much more dramatic finish, but the thought of it was just too “messy” in my mind with all the emotional baggage that developed over the years. It definitely wasn’t something that I saw concluding well within a single episode, so that ultimately became the reason why I wasn’t a fan of the idea.
In comparison, Kazuha’s mother attending to Akira when the newborn’s own one didn’t (probably from illness) made for a much better ending when everything was cleared up and Kazuha’s mother reconciled with Akira. Incidentally, I couldn’t help but take notice to how a lot of the unsuspecting details made this story work to begin with. In particular, the pendant that Haru was frantically searching for last time seemed rather fruitless after all the years that had passed, but its importance to Akira shown here puts new meaning on the tears she shed and the feelings towards Haru that grew. Then there was the whole illegitimate child aspect, which put a very interesting spin on the potential mix-up revealed this episode and is what prevented Kazuha’s mother from clearing things up with Akira earlier. In connection to that, there’s also the fact that Kazuha’s mother has brown hair and brown eyes like Akira, whereas Kazuha has black hair and purple eyes. With regards to anime characters, hair and eye colors usually mean very little, but for a story that puts illegitimacy into question, I really doubt that those hereditary traits were merely coincidental. (i.e. They were there to mislead us into thinking that Akira is the real daughter.) To all that, I have nothing else to say but, “Well played.”
When looking at the two story arcs seen thus far, there’s no doubt in my mind that Akira’s one is the “happier” ending. Instead of simply being neglected and still feeling like an unwanted child while Kazuha finds her own happiness, Akira addresses all those issues in her one and reiterates that she needs Haru much more than Kazuha does. There was little to no indication that Kazuha was upset about Akira ending up with Haru (albeit there was no indication that she knew either), but even if there were, I can’t foresee her being upset about that when she was willing to acknowledge that her own mother was actually Akira’s all this time. Between Kazuha and Akira’s stories, the latter’s is definitely the better of the two endings in the grand scheme of things. Of course, that doesn’t apply to everyone, as the one who’s been shown to be losing out in either case is Sora. Right when Akira told Haru that she was afraid of being alone, it was none other than Sora shown all alone in an empty house. With all the indirect build-up Sora’s been getting in these other arcs, I’m sort of expecting big things from her one. I’ll reserve opinions about the prospect of a bedroom scene between her and Haru for now, even though I can see it happening regardless of how many wary eyes it’ll draw.
In the meantime, we have Nao’s story next, which hasn’t got any trickle down signs in comparison, but I suspect none is really needed given that she’s Haru’s childhood friend/neighbour. I am interested in seeing how the whole Nao/Sora tensions play out though, given that they share this next episode in their routes. We’re going all the way back to episode one this time, which most people will remember ended with Sora stripping in front of Haru in the middle of the night.