「バラバラと崩れる」 (Barabara to Kuzureru)
Well then… that was quite a depressing episode wasn’t it? Up to date, I felt that this episode was one of the most realistic approaches to the happenings of our little group. And when I say realistic, I mean… as realistic as it can be with Heartseed in the picture.
When the episode opened up with Taichi’s “hidden desire” to sleep in, I thought I was in for a more lighthearted episode. After all, who loves sleep THAT much? Was this intended as a joke? (Because I took it as one.) But when the episode turned to talk about Yui’s absence from school, I realized that there could be a better reason than sleeping in. Although I don’t necessarily think I would’ve locked myself up at home to avoid trouble, I do empathize with her. Not only was she taken to the police station, but for someone as caring and innocent as Yui, harming other people can do just as much psychology damage to you.
What I disliked about this episode was how the issue with Yui was never truly resolved – she still didn’t go back to school. At the same time, everyone’s issues with one another (or themselves) only escalated and made their “thoughts” easier to unleash. I found this was most obvious coming from Himeko. Considering that our protagonist is Taichi, I liked seeing him “switch” on and off and it makes sense since he also seems to be the most observant of others. This way we get to see his insightful conversations with Himeko, whether that be about going to the extreme (which is dying for others) or being selfish/less. In fact, Taichi’s confrontation with Himeko made me realize that although Himeko looks out for people and even sacrifices herself in ways to avoid trouble, I still cannot (and probably will not ever) like her approach with dealing with situations. Her avoidance (like Taichi mentions), whether for her or other people, bothers me because I can never grasp her true intentions. At the same time, this makes me pity her because she’s always distancing herself from others. In a nutshell, I don’t know what she wants!
I think it’s also worth mentioning that so far, most of the characters’ “hidden desires” and thoughts deal with anger or frustration. Thus, a lot of the confrontations and issues involve people arguing or being terribly blunt to others. Aside from a few jokes, there hasn’t been much evidence of other desires that cross our main cast. I’m sure people experience many moments where they want to spontaneously gorge on food (like Yui has) or sleep in a lot (like Taichi). Less dramatic and angst moments like that would make the show more carefree. However, I can see that one of the largest appeals to the show IS the fact that it takes itself seriously and it’s not just a romantic comedy for shits and giggles. Maybe we’ll see more breaks in-between all the tension next week.
As for the direction of the story, your guess is as good as mine. I doubt the anime will finish with an original ending, so that means that it’ll likely finish at the end of this arc with an open-ended finale. I can definitely picture a bittersweet moment thrown in with hope for the bonus episodes to end happily. For the readers who don’t know, I believe there will be a total of 12-13 episodes for this season – however since the budget was for 17 episodes, the remainder may be released on blu-ray or online.