「絢辻詞編 第三章 プライド」 (Ayatsuji Tsukasa-hen Dai Sanshou – Puraido)
“Ayatsuji Tsukasa Chapter 3 – Pride”
Holy crap Tsukasa snaps. This episode could have easily been titled “Faces”, as she gave us quite a few different looks afterward. Surprisingly, Junichi isn’t the recipient of her initial verbal onslaught this time, as a trio of classmates who like jumping to conclusions puts her over the edge. With the level of drama seen here, it’s easy to see why Tsukasa’s arc was saved for the very end. I can just picture how everyone’s expectations would’ve gotten completely out of whack if the series kicked off with this, only for it to be followed up by ones that involve kissing behind the knee and doctor fish. Personally, I’m confident I would’ve stuck with it regardless of the order, but I do like how it gives the series a bit of an edge by showcasing a complicated girl like Tsukasa at the very end. Compared to all the other girls, she’s definitely been the hardest one to figure out. In fact, I still have difficulty understanding exactly what’s going on through that head of hers, though I do have a prevailing idea.
First off, yandere isn’t it. Last episode, I was already ruling out that possibility after seeing her interact with Junichi more. Manipulative I can definitely see, albeit I’m not entirely convinced that she’s putting up an innocent facade simply for personal gain. Instead, I sort of see it as the result of her ongoing struggle to find her true self (as corny as that may sound) and becoming a model student in the public eye. Just recently, Junichi’s provided her with a new outlet to vent all the frustration that she bottles up inside, for which I imagine she’d been relying on her notebook for up until now. Call it an “emo diary” if you will, or something short of a “death note”, but regardless of the name, this would explain why she was so concerned about Junichi reading it, and why she doesn’t need it now that he’s accepted that side of her.
Assuming that’s the case, I can understand why she sprung a very forced confession on him soon after. While I still feel there could have been a transitional scene to bridge Tsukasa snapping and her asking for a kiss to make their relationship official, the abruptness reiterated to me that she’s fumbling around to discover who she should be. It’s almost as if she’s grown tired of putting up the “good girl act” for so long and realized how nice it is to have someone who she can speak her mind to without worrying about being judged. I dare say it’s even liberating for her, hence why she’s so quick to confess and really hoping that Junichi will accept her “terms”. She never did say that she likes him after all — just that she needs him — which reaffirms my suspicion that this is a relationship founded on feelings of dependency more so than intimacy. Of course, that doesn’t mean it can’t head in that direction later on, which I imagine it will. Incidentally, there was a huge upside to her abrupt confession though, as it never hurts to have an independent girl say she wants to make you hers and offer herself in return as “compensation”. Her unique choice of words added to her cuteness too, without taking away from that brash side of her personality when her nose started bleeding from the kiss.
The rest of the episode seemed to support the self-discovery idea as well. Once Tsukasa started receiving backlash from her classmates for arrogantly telling them off, Junichi’s suggestion to apologize to them left her in tears. The very next day, we find that she did just that and even cried in front of the class. Based on what we know about her manipulative nature, those could have very well been fake tears to get her way; however, the scene at the end where she tells Junichi that the stubborn girl who thought she could do everything on her own is gone left me thinking there’s more to it than that. Namely, it could be that Junichi opened her up to the idea that she could be her true self (or what she thought was her true self at the time), and now he’s confused her by saying this isn’t like her. In other words, it’s as if he’s denied the very person she’s finally comfortable being and now she’s regressed to being a good girl to deal with it. The change could be due to her insecurity and wanting to be the person he’ll accept, or simply just her way of coping with this kind of thing. I wouldn’t quite call it an identity crisis (or schizophrenia), but perhaps something along those lines that stems from loneliness.
Whatever the case, Tsukasa’s shown that she’s a complex individual, so I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt when it comes to simply putting up another act. Her eyes were kind of scary at the end there, but didn’t seem to have any ulterior motives. In addition, the preview suggests that she’s become someone that Junichi doesn’t know anymore, so it’s very possible that she’s changed her personality completely. If so, it’ll be interesting to see how they wrap this up with only one episode to go. I see Tsukasa in a Santa outfit at least, like I suspected she would be.