「典薬寮の思惑」 (Tenyaku Ryou no Omowaku)
“The Prediction of the Bureau of Medicine”
An angst buffet this week, although the source is definitely not who I expected it to be. The impact on the cast is greater however, since it’s always odd to see the most enthusiastic one of the bunch take on the role of Debbie Downer. Mahiro is really heaping his platter full of angst though, and while I understand most of his frustrations, there’s some inconsistent behavior from him that’s really starting to become an irritation. Takuma is starting down this path as well, but I wonder if his capriciousness is due to his desire to placate Mahiro rather than just being an angsty teenager.
Takuma and Mahiro have always been a pair, much like how Yuuichi and Shinji have been two peas in a pod. Dynamic-wise, they are the calmer souls of the group, quick to try and diffuse the situation while Takuma and Mahiro take on the role of being hotheads. So it’s not surprising Yuuichi and Shinji once again take Tamaki’s side, trying not to get her spirits down too much while Takuma takes Mahiro’s side – and it makes perfect sense. Since they’re so similar, Takuma would be the one who would understand his senior’s feelings the best. Perhaps leaving Tamaki at the end was his own way of keeping the situation from devolving into a fest of who can hurt the other party more; I think he understands his actions would hurt Tamaki, but taking her side at that moment would have hurt Mahiro even more. Considering how close to the breaking point Mahiro was, it’s a smart move and probably the only way to keep the group intact at this point. Hopefully Tamaki has enough pep to bounce back, although a nice pat from Yuuichi isn’t going to fix things this time – it has to be Mahiro that extends the olive branch first, because by all rights, he was one hell of an asshole this episode.
It’s painful to watch because Mahiro is unbelievably frustrated with himself – blind optimism is not something he needs, although it’s all Tamaki can offer. His aggravation is perfectly understandable – sympathetic, even – and it’s angst done right. But his anger towards Masataka and Tamaki “not understanding” his feelings? Bullshit. Unfortunately those are Mahiro being selfish, and shows some pretty inconsistent thinking. For one, he refers to himself as a “monster”, so it’s not that surprising Masataka would refer to them all as the same, stranger or not. What Tamaki says might not be what he wants/needs to hear, but it’s clear she has never once acted without considering them, nor has she shown any indication she thinks of them as “useless”. She does what she can for their benefit – Shinji and Yuuichi understand this. But they have always been the more mature of the group, so it’s inevitable they would have a better understanding of the situation. I’m hoping Mahiro gets a grip soon though, because as fascinating as his outbursts is to watch, angst has to be done right in order to serve a dramatic purpose. While last week’s angry Mahiro was great in bringing out some of the deep-rooted issues that’s always been there like the big elephant nobody wanted to talk about, this week’s angry Mahiro was derailing into “brat” territory, using what is essentially the same arguments laced in different words.
While I appreciate Yuuichi and Shinji taking on some helpful roles, I’m kind of feeling uneasy about Shinji being helpful – there was some foreshadowing regarding him before, but this scene casts even more doubt onto his motives. If he is planning some kind of betrayal though, I sure hope it happens after Mahiro makes peace with Tamaki! Although Shinji defecting to Logos would make for a dramatic catalyst to pull the hothead back into the group, I don’t want that to happen at the cost of losing a shota!
P.S.: Oh hey, doesn’t she look familiar? It’s Vier 3.0 (or would this be version 1.0…?)!