「愛とぬるま湯の日々」 (Ai to Nurumayu no Hibi)
“Days of Love and Lukewarm Water”
I have to say, I now possess a very enlightening view on straight and curve stitching with Japanese and Western clothing. It somewhat explains why yukatas look the way they do, but I’m curious on the reasons behind such intentional stitching (maybe it’s just easy). Of course I could just wiki that information, but I don’t intend to, because I am stubborn.
In terms of character, Tsukimi and Kuranosuke haven’t changed much. This is not Kurage’s fault since if you put it in scale, the amount of development this series has covered so far pales in length compared to the manga so far. And so, Tsukimi is still admiring Kuranosuke for his dashingly good looks, continuously riding an up and down depression elevator that can’t seem to stop completely. This personality is highly symbolic of otaku behavior, causing her to hole up in fantasies and past memories when encountering unpleasant issues. Meanwhile, Kuranosuke is simply dragging her along, turning from self interest into love interest, with any deeper interpretations of his intentions secretly dusted under the rug. Their latest endeavor of creating a jellyfish dress to generate money to save the Amamizu-kan is more than clever except none of them know how to make a dress, creating most of the laughs for the episode. Tsukimi’s biggest torment is still Shuu, and she crumbles in the Koibuchi house, but finds motivation by shifting her usual hobby of illustrating jellyfish to a more physical plane, leading to an impressive result.
On the other hand, Shuu and Inari, the supporting characters at this point, seem to be making a dramatic change with their feelings. While it’s shown that Shuu still hasn’t completely given up on Tsukimi, Inari is a big enough problem in his life to intervene at any chance possible. Although Shuu caring for Inari is not too far off from his personality, Inari’s state of shock from witnessing Shuu’s tears seemed to change her. Now, she may be tsundere for a bit from now on, but she’ll eventually cave in (half joking, but it would be fun to see, except the series is ending next episode ;_;).
After seeing the dress in complete form, Kuranosuke brings up a possible additional explanation to why he cross dresses, but leaves the reason half open typical for Kuragehime, revealing that if he was born a girl, maybe he would have been able to live with his mother. Obviously this begs the question, for what reason does Keiichirou have to do with the separation of him and and Lina? Inheritance is the obvious answer that comes to mind, but couldn’t Shuu have been good enough? Besides, it seems like Keiichirou had already given that idea up a while ago, so it may be another reason.
With only one more episode before the end, Kuragehime surprisingly reaches a climax that I just wasn’t expecting. The jellyfish crew get their first dress completed, Inari and Shuu seem to uncover new feelings, and the Amamizu-kan seems to be in real trouble now, making me wonder if this was all just as planned or if it has already diverged to an original ending. Judging by the choice of only 11 episodes, I’d say the timing was intentional, a decision which I would applaud if true. Either way, it was a nice surprise to get some feeling of movement or closure to what started in the beginning, but now I’m a bit sad that it’s going to be all over next week.