「真夜中のチェリーボーイ」 (Mayonaka no Cherībōi)
“Midnight Cherry Boy”
After revealing her intentions to blackmail, Shoko Inari certainly wastes no time in delaying what she wants, and quickly uses the photographs to force Shuu for a meetup with his father. I’m not too keen on what Inari’s game plan is, but so far she just wants to introduce herself to Keiichirou. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Kuranosuke and Tsukimi also take place in the scene, causing an affliction that affects Tsukimi for the rest of the episode. If I were to give a metaphor, I’d say Tsukimi seeing Inari would be like one of you walking in on your parents trying to make a baby. Yes, I just reminded you that your parents had sex before. How’s that for making you feel like Tsukimi?
Meanwhile, Keiichirou isn’t too worried about Inari, and rather than fumbling around her reason for being there, he’s only curious whether or not they had made it to home base. The question sends waves of shock to everyone except Hanamori, and reveals the big secret that they’ve hit a home run. Of course, we know it’s all lies, and apparently Kuranosuke as well, leading him to reveal that Shuu couldn’t possibly pull it off being that he is still a virgin. At first, I was a bit confused as to why Inari would care if he’s a virgin, but she later declares that she’s some sort of “virgin-killer” in her hometown, so maybe she’s just frustrated that a 30 year old one isn’t desperate enough to want to have sex with her or even have an attraction to her. Given her egotistical views on her own beauty, and the fact that none of her clients seemed to have an issue with taking their clothes off for her before, Shuu becomes the unique one, probably frustrating her.
Now this is all going to be speculation, but he just may frustrate her enough that she gets obsessed with making him fall in love with her, at which point she finds herself falling in love with him instead. If that becomes true, then their relationship would be remarkably similar to TsukimixKuranosuke, seeing as that both “beauties” have found normal people that don’t instantly love them for their looks. While poetic, when you put it that way, the relationships become a lot less innovative and fresh, which is something very hard to do these days. Kuragehime is probably well praised in the fact that while the core mechanics are old, what’s written over it is a lot more original, especially with how the multiple storylines play off each other.
Anyway, out of frustration, Inari pulls out her blackmail photo, and naively convinces Tsukimi what the truth of the matter was. Tsukimi runs off, takes defense under her covers (I used to do this), and remembers how her mother used to comfort her when she came home from school (those damn kids, jellyfish aren’t gross). However, sleep couldn’t help her this time as Inari even invades her dreams, and so she seeks answers elsewhere, leading to alcohol, which gave me a good laugh. On the other hand, Kuranosuke thinks of Lina, and a certain time when she was talking about wedding dresses. Lina’s stern view that only brides should wear wedding dresses had me thinking that maybe she feels some guilt or shame on what she had done. Perhaps she has wishes that she had married normally, and then had a child, enabling her to wear such a dress and experience purer happiness. Lina’s character has barely been developed since she was introduced, so I can’t say for sure what she actually feels about the whole situation, and it may stay that way if they end the series based on the manga. Kuranosuke then brushes away the thought and soon discovers an inspiration for a jellyfish dress, which I’ve been excited to see since last episode (but only saw one), and heads off to Tsukimi’s. Much like how Kuranosuke wanted to share his own personal connection with his mother last episode, Tsukimi unknowingly does the same, sleeping drunk in the comfort that her mother is carrying her off to bed when it is actually Kuranosuke. I think that subtly screamed, “elope already!”
Honestly, as far as I’m concerned, Tsukimi is nowhere near ready for any kind of serious relationship, and will require far more development with her character before going anywhere. But hey, that’s why the manga is still running isn’t it? Which brings the now glaring problem of “just not enough” for all the characters and story the series has set up so far. With only two episodes left, it should be interesting to see how they’re going to end this. For me, I’d rather they just leave it open for later seasons, even if it never happens. Besides, if they were going for an original, they probably would’ve diverged several episodes ago, but fingers crossed!
And wow, Shuu’s father took “womanizing” as a compliment, and didn’t mind the idea that it “passed on” to his son. Kuranosuke, hurry up and tell him off please.