「Declaration； 告白」 (Kokuhaku)
So I take back almost everything I said about Kuroyukihime. I can see why so many people love her now, and I don’t disagree, she has her own style of getting her point across. She was very subtle about everything before, but this episode totally pushed her over the edge. Previously, I questioned her motives and doubted her (much like Haruyuki) since she never made herself very clear… but you can’t get any more clear than a slap and self-sacrifice to realize that a girl likes you.
Personally, I thank the school reporters for interfering with Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime’s relationship. I’m not usually one for gossip, but in this case, it really got the ball rolling and left some interesting thoughts for Haruyuki. Even though he completely misunderstood them, at least it got him thinking. I can understand why Haruyuki would doubt Kuroyukihime’s feelings though (I would too). He never thought of himself as someone whom people would genuinely be attracted to. He grew up overshadowed by Chiyuri and Takumu, and up until the last episode, he even hid these insecurities from Chiyuri (who is supposedly his best friend). I’m not sure if he was in denial or ignorant and oblivious to Chiyuri’s feelings, however if he can’t even see that… it’s no surprise that he can’t read Kuroyukihime’s feelings.
If jealousy wasn’t an obvious enough sign, then I don’t know what is. Usually this would suffice as a good indicator that someone is interested in you; however in Haruyuki’s case, Kuroyukihime had to purposely buy shorter direct-link cables, slap him AND confess to him all in one go. It must have been difficult for her to hear all that self-doubt and denial coming from him. I can empathize with all her frustration since the sudden change in attitude coming from him IS very out-of-the-blue. The last thing you want is to realize that the guy you like, doesn’t think your motives are pure. In fact, he thinks you’re using him! That slap, in all fairness, was well deserved by Haruyuki in my opinion.
To make up for it though, the confession was very sweet and I admit that I did not see it coming (at least not this early on). If I mentioned that Accel World was predictable in the past, this episode definitely proved me wrong. Not only do we get a kiss/confession, but to risk your own life (and your points) for someone, is the ultimate sacrifice in my opinion. That act should speak volumes, and if Haruyuki didn’t feel indebted to her already, well… he really has no excuse or reason to doubt her anymore. The hospital scene (with the returned wallet) was so emotional and touching; anyone else feel like they were watching a K-drama? The music, the atmosphere around the ICU, and the realization that you would do whatever it takes to save this girl’s life… that pretty much screams K-drama to me (not that I mind, I love watching them too!).
Of course, other stuff happened this episode too. Cyan Pile finally showed up! I thought they were going to reveal him next week and leave it with Chiyuri’s back door, but ending on cliffhangers seems to be an ongoing trend with this anime. Next episode seems to focus more on the battlegrounds in Accel World, and Haruyuki gets wings! We’ll see how long Kuroyukihime stays in her slumber, although I doubt it will be for long. The story relies heavily on Haruyuki now to carry on his duty as her “knight”, so I hope he lives up to it.