「謎の流行風邪」 (Nazo no Hayarikaze)
If you haven’t already noticed, I am experimenting again. For those of you who won’t put up with my antics…the post has been reformed below. The rest of you: start off by clicking on image one or two and use the left and right arrow keys to navigate. The text will appear below the pictures as you progress.
To begin, it’s interesting to see the episode develop the aspect of ‘ownership’. Normally, it can be a VERY problematic thing, as it leads to becoming too clingy, restricting freedoms, and loss of individuality. However, it doesn’t seem to apply here, as Urabe seems to have dedicated herself to Tsubaki and desires no one else. Ironic, since Tsubaki’s number of hugs STILL counts at zero. Strangely enough, this concept of ownership works for the following reasons:
One: Urabe and Tsubaki both lead very conservative social lives. From what we’ve seen, no other friends challenge their time together. The fact that Tsubaki desires her to come to him only doesn’t bother her; she has nothing else to do besides be with Tsubaki anyways.
Two: both, at this point, desire to be the other’s ‘only’. Tsubaki explicitly tells us so, but from Urabe’s perspective we can guess the same. The promises and declarations from episode one hint at that strongly; it’s only a matter of time before it’s said explicitly.
Three: There doesn’t exist many signs of attachment. Sure, they share spit, but they still are VERY far from feeling close to one another without it spiking all over the place. Thus, this attitude the two adopt actually serves to strengthen their current bond. Yes, this is arguable, but even though it might not work in other cases, let us remember this is a VERY atypical bond these two share.
However, despite the benefits of this almost ‘clinging’ attitude, there are some subtleties to notice. For one: Tsubaki’s looking out for Urabe. The episode does point out his half-heartedness in his altruistic words: an honest observation. However, this isn’t a bad thing: it’s only natural. As the seasons roll by, it’s expected or Tsubaki to look out for his mysterious girlfriend. After all, a lingering part of him still sees having some ‘normal’ as being beneficial to their relationship. Tsubaki sees the opportunity for Urabe to succeed and have friends, but that may challenge their relationship, and tears him between two sides.
One side truly desires for Urabe to lead what he thinks is a ‘better’ life, because her success and happiness are directly linked to him. The other side, the one many of us don’t want to admit ourselves, is a desire for Urabe to reject those opportunities and stay ‘his’. Hell, we might lie about it (like to Oka) and say that we 100% want the very best for our partners, but when given a choice, we want them to come home to us and say that we are more important than all of those activities, which ultimately brings us a smile 🙂. Of course there are exceptions to this, such as excessive self-sacrifice, but in my experience, I feel that this is a real conflict that the show illustrates well.
It’ll be interesting to see how this changes as the season progresses, which is now in it’s second half; to see how their lives begin to develop from here on out, to see whether it’s away from each other or even closer. Oka for instance could be a prime player for changing the field on Urabe’s side. She’s managed to become a unique friend for Urabe and is quite devious and cunning: enough to even fool and outmaneuver her mysterious friend.
I also think that this will not be the first time Urabe gets an opportunity to progress in life. This episode was perhaps a test run to start the gears running inside each other’s heads on the concept of ownership, something Tsubaki’s ogling classmates have started to challenge ^_^. Urabe’s parents, while still mysterious and unknown, could possibly be a driving force in pushing her in new directions, whether that’s beneficial to the relationship or not.
However, for now, let us rejoice at all the wonderful full-screens that this episode has brought us! Next episode looks to be quite the kinky one, however, from what we’ve seen so far, pure fanservice is the last thing we should expect.