「涙の真実」 (Namida no Shinjitsu)
“The Truth Behind the Tears”
Oy, oy, oy oy, Grandma. I don’t even –
The ancient fossil is exactly the kind of plot crutch – and grandmother – that no one wants. Everything else is proceeding along at a respectable pace… except the main conflict. The issue of the Onikirimaru and the Tamayori Princess is at a frustrating standstill precisely because the old woman just plain refuses to let the farce end. Like I mentioned this week, this is an issue present with the original material, but some fault does lie with Studio DEEN for not considering the transition the story would have to make from written material to a visual medium. In an otome game setting this would be far less aggravating, but in an anime where the storyline moves at a different – often faster – pace, this non-movement of the plot is grief-inducing, especially when there is such an obvious solution.
It has never really been revealed why Grandma doesn’t just tell Tamaki what to do, as one would think a predecessor naturally ought to do. At this point I’m just inclined to think she’s withholding information out of spite. Perhaps the real enemy isn’t even Logos or Ashiya or even the Onikirimaru but Grandma herself. She certainly seems to like standing in the protagonists’ way while parroting the same thing over and over again. But without a proper solution and guidance, how are the heroes supposed to know how to act? Tamaki literally has nothing to go on, and there is only so much pure resolve can accomplish without the means. It seems plain silly for her and everybody else to be held back simply because a higher power isn’t giving them the information they need.
Takuma and Tamaki’s separation is a nice direction for the relationship, as Tamaki’s feelings were confirmed as a consequence – in that aspect the forced parting might be a good thing, even though how it came about is utterly irritating. Mitsuru’s and Shinji’s farewell, which is supposed to serve as a parallel to Tamaki’s and Takuma’s, is slightly better in terms of execution as they have a more valid reason for their inability to be together. The twist came out of left field, but it’s rather in accordance with Grandma’s penchant for ruining lives. It would figure she’d reveal the tidbit at the worst of times, destroying poor Mitsuru’s heart. She’s a rather pitiful character, completely bound to her duties with no will or dream to call her own. It was always a little melancholy to watch her interactions with Shinji since it was painfully obvious her feelings were unrequited. The moments where Shinji rebuffed her was even worse because of this, and his rejection would have carried the same sting even without the incestual component. Her one-sided love is painful enough all on its own and it was nice to see Mitsuru and Tamaki bond over their mutual heartache. Their friendship has been rather understated throughout the series so focusing some of the spotlight on them was an effective way to divert attention away from some of the more frustrating aspects of the episode. Another positive thing that will hopefully result from this is more honesty on Mitsuru’s part – she seems a very repressed individual, whose internal grievances will most likely turn into a very sharp knife one day unless it becomes placated. So far there is no indication of her snapping, but it still remains a likely route.