「謎の文化祭」 (Nazo no Bunkasai)
“Mysterious Culture Festival”
The greatest challenge in facing your enemy is to not see the enemy, but the person within.
Last post, I saw in the comments that many of you immediately made an enemy of Hayakawa, something that is both understandable…yet at the same time a little brash. To pass judgment quickly on a character that wants to get in the way of favored couples is a gut reaction which more often than not works, but as Urabe points out to us this episode, sometimes examining antagonists at face value makes us miss their true intentions.
That’s not to say that any of the negative feelings towards Hayakawa are unjustified. Quite the contrary. Even as Hayakawa apologized for her mistakes and walked away a more light-hearted individual, even as Urabe continues to be understanding and dull her emotions for the sake of stability, it is understandable if any of you still feel contempt for the girl that went to great lengths to steal Tsubaki’s heart. Heck, even some of you may be angry at Tsubaki for being a spineless and perverted kid, but let me try to reason with both of those emotions here.
Love is a crazy thing. It makes us do stupid things which completely go against our logic and even our own emotions. At its worst, we abandon any sensible thoughts about the well-being of others, honing only on that singular emotion, that amazing thirst for companionship and affirmation of intimacy. Hayakawa, having felt the companionship but never the affirmation of intimacy, probably felt devastated when she lost one half when hoping the other half would turn around. During the rebound, when she encountered Tsubaki, she thought maybe, just maybe if she could take the person who’d always given her affirmation but never a chance at companionship, then everything would work out, emotionally and socially.
Urabe showed her otherwise. Instead of terribly lashing out in a catfight of proportions, Urabe saw behind the desperation and instead went one step further. She decided to think, “Why is she in desperation?” I like Urabe. A lot. Although she may be dishonest about her emotions, that dishonesty and resilience to submit to them helps out at the right times. Like many of you said: Urabe could’ve pulled a Panty Scissors (well, she did) and quickly ended this fiasco assertively. However, for the sake of Hayakawa, she decided to set up a scenario where Hayakawa would have to be honest with herself and stop chasing the wrong means to the wrong end. I’ll admit, the means to get to that conclusion is weird to an epic level, but as with all the weird things in this series, if you put that aside, an honest message and moral about relationships is what’s left behind. That is what I truly admire about Urabe. It takes a lot of patience and control to deal with someone who just tried to steal away your boyfriend, something I’m sure most of us would deal with more…brashly. Hayakawa, instead of feeling defeated, ends up being relieved and optimistic, and Tsubaki ends up knocked out. Everyone wins, right?
Yes, even Tsubaki wins. As we’re all aware by now, Tsubaki is a kid. A perverted, spineless 90% of the time kid. Hell, even Tsubaki acknowledges that he’s a kid, a boy, an excitable piece of what could be a man. However, this acknowledgement, something that Tsubaki has been constant with throughout this series, makes him a semi-admirable lead as well. To be aware of your own faults is the first step to fixing them, and although Tsubaki is slow to change up any of his characteristics, the fact that he is at least aware of his faults is great in my books. He’s growing a little at a time along with Urabe, a needed trait in relationships today. Hence, he has potential to be a very good boyfriend as time passes on, and even now, considering the cloud of emotions from his crush that were impairing his judgment, he did an amazing job resisting temptation… comparatively of course :).
But alas, we are nearing the end of the line, and so finishes up the last major arc of this show’s season. It’s going to be hard writing out the final impressions for this show, but I’ll say this in advance: it was a real pleasure to cover it, and I hope they release a season two to continue this story. However, until then, see you next episode!
Note: since I am on a family vacation right now, alt-texts will not be immediately available. Also, thank BakaMochi for taking screencaps and linking the text for me! 😀
Mochi’s Note: I only did the caps – the content is all Zanibas’!