「 トンネル」 (Tonneru)
House is probably the only other show I’ve ever seen this happen, where Wilson does pretty much the same thing Tsuruko did to Yukiatsu, and that’s knowing the other so well to the point where they’re controlling situations to “fix” them, because telling them directly would heed no change. There were multiple scenes like this throughout the episode that seem so damn sophisticated because they’re essentially higher tiers of character manipulation in writing. It’s these types of things that make me question why I should ever excuse poor writing when plot is supposed to be the main point of the show. But when you’re in an industry where fanservice is the main drive for sales, what can you expect? Blame the fans, but I think I’m repeating myself here.
It did come as a shock that Yukiatsu would also be the same as the others, in that thinking Menma’s death was also the fault of his own. However, it easily fits into the picture as the flashback is told, even if there’s the slight hilarity of the show possibly extending the flashback just a little bit further everytime it needs to delve into a new character. The development also finally nudged Menma to reveal her existence in a rather old-school style with secret dialogue that only she knows, and should put to rest all speculation of her entity, despite having sufficient evidence for a while now that she’s pretty much a ghost anyways. Stubborn people gonna be stubborn.
While Yukiatsu’s coping style was extreme, Tsuruko’s slowly starting to change my mind about who’s got the real issues. Like the disturbing fact that she went out of her way to find that hairclip, and then putting it on to compare to Menma, all the while holding a solid expression. There’s also her multiple drawings of Menma, which are pretty good considering the variety in style, but can also be a symptom of obsession. Actually, I think the drawing she did at school might actually be Yukiatsu, which would be weirder. She’s worse than Anjou in the obsession over Menma department, and worse than Yukiatsu in the deflecting apartment, as her cold words towards others contrasts her constant thoughts on Menma at home. Maybe this is just her weird and ultimately harmless way of coping. Or, the show saved the craziest for last.
I thought drama was gonna hit the storm, but Yukiatsu bounced back almost completely. Just simply shedded his deeds, quit cold turkey on obsession, and proceeded to save Anjou from a potential rapist. Pending transformation into a bro? The cool guy then starts intimidating Anjou, poking at her weaknesses, and eventually comes to a conclusion that they share the same problem, being “left behind” by their crushes because their crushes fell for each other. It’s a great scene that resonates the character manipulation I mentioned earlier, and forces Anjou to come to terms with the audience what she actually feels about our MC, a surprisingly mature response of, “I dunno if I love him, he’s just on my mind a lot.” Man, if we had those kind of characters all the time, shoujo would become nonexistant!
And so with the establishment of her entity, the question that follows is the purpose of her existence, a presumptiously much deeper issue, or at least I’m willing to hope so. Near the end was probably the first time Poppo made me extremely uncomfortable watching him continue on over Menma’s dialogue. Menma’s physical appearance in front of key emotional scenes finally conglomerated through her tears of frustration, and I’m finding it difficult to pinpoint exactly where things are going to go. The show charges forward strong, continuously keeping its pace and emotions in track, still pulling off what made the first episode so great, which is a damn near miracle these days.