「ラブレターの真相は修羅場」 (Rabu Retā no Shinsou wa Shuraba)
“The Truth of the Love Letter Is a Battleground”
Masuzu’s little sister is a terrible person, Himeka “Himekashizuka Heaven’s Rain, Burning Princess Saint Dragon Lady of Dawn” Akishino (Kanemoto Hisako) would make any nerd’s heart flutter with her confessions, and man oh man I’m pretty sure that is NOT how you do CPR! That’s all I have to say.
Alas, for the sake of healthy discussion, some further elaboration is needed.
Masuzu’s development as a deeply conflicted and perhaps unstable character has reached new heights with the introduction of one girl…perhaps one of the few people to make Masuzu tremble and lose control. It was plain to assume that Masuzu had some life events that caused her to be this way, but never was it imaginable that it’d be something this well…terrible. Natsukawa Mana (Touyama Nao) carries this aura of subtle intimidation that scares the mahjebus out of me and by extension, Eita and Masuzu. That one line, that lick of the lips, Gochisousama…*shudder*. Although Masuzu is still pretty unpleasant, it’s hard to not sympathize with her situation against such a manipulative and forward sister. Despite that, I won’t make any judgments about the true intentions of Mana just yet, as characters often categorized in this situation often have an alternate deeper reason for their cruelty (though their actions are still just as twisted). For those who had watched Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, this situation is similar to Yuuzan and his “brotherly love” towards Haru. Until we see more of Mana and Masuzu’s interactions in the past, it would be unfair to rage on Mana blindly, though rage with a grain of salt is acceptable.
Mana’s presence must be potent against Masuzu though, as a few minutes of her antics caused her cool face to shake significantly. Masuzu was high content on pressuring Eita to divulge information, yet became quite hypocritical when questions are aimed at her own past. Unfortunately, this leads her to make some wise decisions that almost cost her life, with only a really bad case of CPR to save her. The series has made a good case so far in melting down the ice queen to a more bearable and complex form, as Masuzu once again shows her less antagonistic side.
It’ll still be some time before Masuzu haters can see substantial evidence to convert them, since the sandwich headdesk maneuver was a pretty dick move despite any justification, but at least the anime is moving in a better direction of fleshing out all the characters each episode. Chiwa’s fight against time has become more of a platonic sadness than a lazy effort and Masuzu has shifted from anti-love to well…anti-loneliness. While the actions each of the cast members do are still as awkward as ever, a new sense of…justification behind those struggles is arising.
It was a good move for the show to develop the main three characters before introducing the final two characters in Eita’s inevitable harem. The battle between Masuzu and Chiwa has been a tough four episodes long that still is ongoing (as well as the comments section following suit), with each competitor becoming significantly layered in the process. Forestalling the last introductions though won’t last forever; now is the time to bring in more challengers who wish to dethrone Masuzu off her throne and cockblock Chiwa. We may not have new information about our pink haired character other than her authority in the school, but we do finally see ourselves with a chuunibyou whose power level may match or even exceed Eita’s. Eita at least acknowledges the artificial nature of his alternate life, yet Himeka seriously believes, or at least is putting up a good act, in her past life as a princess of magic. It may have been quite a cute nerd confession (though I’ve seen similar ideas done with Pokemon), but she kind of tips over when she outpours her unlocked memories to Eita, even with her cute embrace. Her chuunibyou nature will probably define her character outline, one has to wonder at this point what the deeper side of Himeka will end up looking like. Considering the fairly deep introspection we’re receiving for Masuzu and Chiwa, I expect no less from Himeka. Though I can’t imagine Masuzu slamming Himeka’s head into a sandwich, her role will probably be of a pure character nature, whom no one can touch, which that in itself could tie into the source of Himeka’s problems, which will probably arise in the next few episodes.
At first, I was very uncomfortable with watching Oreshura with all of this constant tension, but I think the characters have had their backgrounds explained enough such that the tension no longer stings as much. Though I still wrack my head that some characters in the show have the gall to do the things they do, I am given hope that everyone in time will show off their positive and heartwarming sides, though expectations for such facets to dominate their personality are zero. I’ve come to accept that it won’t be easy to digest some of the daring choices that the characters make, but the tension makes all those heartwarming moments so much more rewarding in the end.