「幼なじみの涙で修羅場」 (Osananajimi no Namida de Shuraba)
“A Battleground Over the Tears of a Childhood Friend”
Oreshura, despite its chuunibyou skits and catch-all Chiwa-moe attempts, has been a tightly restrained and (purposefully) awkward experience for myself. For the last three episodes, there has been this lingering air of tenseness that seeps into all the comedy–almost every single bit of extravagance thus far has an unsettling purpose behind it, weighing it down. It is understandable if this mood has turned away a good number of people, but at last, at long last have the fruits of this setup begun to bloom, which I myself have only begun to appreciate. Finally this web of lies and misunderstandings between Chiwa and Eita have begun to dissipate, revealing underneath some meaning and depth behind Oreshura’s childhood friends.
Chiwawa, who secretly hoped that this entire plan would fail and instead grow closer to Eita, suddenly faces an unexpected turn. The boy she thought would never give her a chance…just did, which obviously shocked many. Combining both the stress of having to put up yet another facade with her new ‘boyfriend’ and Eita’s insufficient sensitivity to the issue has resulted in an understandable crack in her smile. The artists have done a remarkable job in painting the strained and false smiles of Chiwa throughout the episode (explaining the abnormal amount of caps dedicated to her), which results in a persona that at this point, you can’t help but sympathize with. Of course she could be more direct, but it’s understandable that she has this desire for Eita to notice the source of her torment all by her darn self, to save her once more from her sadness.
During the flashback, it was very sweet to see Eita take up the ridiculous, naive, yet heartwarming life goal of returning Chiwa to kendo through medicine, especially without any goals of his own beforehand. Suddenly Eita’s studyholic attitude isn’t some character trait randomly assigned, but instead is now an empathizing plot device–the fact that he fights on with his studies even now for Chiwa’s sake is admirable, though he himself expresses regret at articulating such lofty dreams. Although thick as a doorknob, and irritably so, his impartiality towards love actually has allowed him to become altruistic in his care for Chiwa, which ironically pains her more than providing comfort. How could she hate on him, despite his blockheadedness, when much of what he does actually is out of pure and beloved friendship?
Equipped with the inspiration of Eita’s studying and Chiwa’s affections for Eita, it’s hard for me not to see them as a couple deserving of one another. Through this new lens, it becomes clearer why the two put up with each other’s embarrassing antics. I feel that despite the slightly choking and embarrassing atmosphere of the show, all of that was merely pre-setup to show just how much crap these two will put up with for each other. We can argue all day on the effectiveness and relatability of such tactics, but it is undeniable that this was a gambit the show was betting on all along.
Masuzu, who has taken a backseat this episode, also recognizes the bond the two of them share, both through Eita’s notebook and womanly instincts through observing Chiwa. She too probably bet on this whole charade collapsing despite the troll backfires, and as such, we will see her trying to repair any damage done, or at the very least observe with confidence that Chiwa and Eita will find a way to fix it themselves. Although the backstory of Eita and Chiwa have been properly fulfilled this episode, a lingering curiosity towards Masuzu’s past and her intentions with all of these charades is yet to be revealed. Why does she insist on continuing this fake relationship even though she recognizes the bond that the other two share, and why did Masuzu suggest for Chiwa to go for this fake relationship of her own? The former is still hazy, but the latter could be guessed upon. Perhaps by accelerating the process of Chiwa’s confession, Masuzu would cleanly end this tension she created, fully expecting a rejection. There is the off-possibility that she was actually serious in trying to hook Chiwa up (like how serious she was in thinking her script was comedic), but I find it hard to grasp that Masuzu is that oblivious or cruel.
Wrapping it all up, I believe that Oreshura has finally begun its late bloom. I’ll admit that the comedy has been hit or miss for me thus far due to the lingering dramatic veil and the characters lacking in depth, but I feel that the turn for the better has begun today. The recurring theme of ‘fake relationships’ has been a fascinating topic that the show has constructed; it’ll be interesting to see how one fake couple will react to the actions of a newly constructed one, as we’ll most likely see next episode.