「守護の想い」 (Shugo no Omoi)
“The Guardian’s Feelings”
Oh, Hiiro no Kakera, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. This show spoils me too much, really. First it gives me a level-headed, likeable heroine. Then it went on to give me an equally likeable cast. And now Hiiro no Kakera has been kind enough to treat me to an almost-kind of-confession and the start of some classic romantic hijinks. Suffice to say, I love this show in every way a fangirl can!
This has to be my favorite episode by far because it’s a collection of moments that highlight the show’s strength: its characters. Really, it’s the simple touches that put a stupid smile on my face and the fluid progression of the characters’ relationships that make me squeal like the fangirl I am. I don’t know what it is but Hiiro no Kakera responds to my mental commands so well – every time I feel like the show could use a bit more of this or that, lo and behold: I don’t have to wait more than an episode or two to get what I want. This is why I enjoy Hiiro so much, right up there with Fate/Zero or Tsuritama – as a viewer that prioritizes sympathetic characters and natural interactions between them above all else, Hiiro no Kakera seriously hits all the right spots. Nothing is overstated, the dialogue is well-written and carries the confidence of a writer who knows what they’re doing. Conflicts are never dragged out for too long and the resolution always occurs in a manner that’s true to the characters.
And speaking of responding to mental commands: this. SCENE. Thank you, thank you, thank you Hiiro no Kakera! I talked about how the romantic situation is complicated by the issue of duty vs. personal feelings before, and when the show first started out, I wondered how they would choose handle it. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a resolution (I apologize for my lack of faith, Hiiro no Kakera. Never again!), or for one to come so soon. Here’s some unprofessional fangirling depicting just how much I enjoyed this scene:
Show Spoiler ▼
The romantic connotations of Takuma’s speech aside, the scene really delivers on all the points I was hoping it would – it’s an acknowledgment of Tamaki as a comrade, and it defines her as her own person instead of her role as the Tamayori Princess, which is something I’ve been really wanting to see. It’s also something that needs to be settled properly if a romantic relationship should start – do the guys want to stay by Tamaki’s side because she’s Tamaki or the person they have to protect? The clarification really made my cold and dead heart flutter in excitement because it also resolved something else I hadn’t been expecting at all. It’s something minor that had been bothering me (and some of the commenters, I think), but Hiiro no Kakera, being the satisfying show it is was already starting to resolve it little by little. It was the matter of Tamaki’s efforts going unnoticed, and how she was always the one extending the olive branch first and trying to rally the group after every defeat. I wanted some more effort from the guys’ end since it wasn’t fair for Tamaki to be the only one to show some desire for change.
But man did it ever feel satisfying watching Takuma set that little problem right. He gives her the assurance she needs and it was just… so good to see her get the acknowledgment she deserves. Thank you Hiiro no Kakera – nothing you do from here on will make me hate you, barring some sort of super long angst-fest and derailed characterization in the second half.
Enough fangirling though! There was some plot involved, with the dissonance within Aria’s group growing worse. I think it’s pretty safe to say Aria won’t be the final boss; in fact, it’s looking more and more like Drei will be the one to look out for. Not only does he have the creepy atmosphere down-pat, he seemes just manipulative enough to turn everyone against Aria and go rogue. I don’t know what that would mean for Vier and the little girl, but it would certainly make for an interesting twist if they were to end up working with Tamaki.
In that vein, Masataka and Ryou are still the wild cards here, as their motives are the ones most shrouded in mystery. It’s clear Ryou has some sort of negative interest in Shinji, but as of right now, nothing’s really been confirmed. Even Masataka, who claimed to be Tamaki’s ally, is looking shadier by the minute. This is all some nice set-up for the main plot though, so I’ll be leaving everything up to the show’s capable hands to reveal each thread of mystery when the time is right.
P.S. Oh Suguru, you troll. In more ways than one, mind you.
P.P.S. I actually lol’d at Mitsuru’s reaction more than Tamaki’s.
P.P.P.S. On the heels of Mahiro’s “I want to grow bigger” and “I’ll make you happy” line, Ryou continues the innuendo trend with his “I’ll warm you up”, complete with a feral grin and a bath scene. I’ll be preparing a NSFW tag for next week. Just in case.