「灰色の世界を切り裂く修羅場」 (Haiiro no Sekai o Kirisaku Shuraba)
“A Battleground of a Broken Gray World”
Oreshura has yet to fail in making each episode challenging to watch. Not challenging in the sense that the quality is bad, but challenging in the sense that the plot always stirs the right emotions that hit right in the painful feels. Yet for every painful feel, there arises an equally comforting event that gives me hope for the characters of this show. The show holds back no punches (literally) in portraying some of the nastier traits of the characters, but at the same time uses those same liberties to show the unrestrained emotions that uplift the soul. Each week, I find myself having to mentally prepare myself for the raw bitchiness, yet I look forward to it…not because I’m looking for a feel-good romance, but rather the gripping character interactions that have become the signature of this show.
I’ll freely admit that I entertained the idea of stopping the show when Mana was in her terrible prime. The fact that she hides herself under the protection of her bodyguard and her family to step on everyone is absolutely disgusting. That smug look, that elitist attitude, that sense of entitlement…it sends shivers down my spine. I am aware of the fact that Masuzu and Mana have equally shared the sadness and troubles of their family issues, which showed in the cracks in Mana’s surface persona. I note that Mana is probably using this mean facade as a way to protect herself and distract her thoughts away from how said family issues affect her. Nonetheless, Mana acted terribly this episode as the cowardly messenger who delights in delivering the bad news, hiding behind a bodyguard to shield herself from the repercussions.
Yet a bodyguard only shields against physical repercussions, for even Mana is susceptible to insults that strike truthfully and weak against displays of the best of humanity that make her look well…even more terrible. Thanks to Mana’s repulsive behavior, Hime began her debut episode with a bang, and a really big one too, making her quite the admirable character.
Okay, so Himeka is shy, asocial, and borderline lost in reality. During the beginning of the episode, the Princess paints herself as a girl whose admiration for Eita’s fantasy life causes her to fall for him and makes her believe in a supposed previous relationship they shared in a previous life. Alright, so Hime is a bit delusional and wants the companionship of Eita by joining a club. She’s clumsy, quick to be manipulated by Masuzu, and has no interest in gaining popularity. So far, she’s simply acting as a thorn in Masuzu and Chiwa’s sides, as a convenient side character to create conflict.
But as we advance through the episode, things get much deeper much more quickly. While the first deep dive was typical in how chuunibyou romance usually pans out, the second and more honorable dive is much more uncommon and powerful, not in Hime’s reaction, but the situation that Hime had to react to. It was nice to see Hime admit her deeper reasons for liking Eita, which make sense entirely. Eita, despite wanting to blend in and focus on his studies, has an honorable and brave heart that can’t stand to see injustice play out. While he may not possess any actual powers, the bravery and integrity of his fantasy character resides within him. Basically, he’s cool. Hime aspires to reflect that coolness in her own life, and in her own way tries her hardest to reach that point. Although as Eita points out, that her backstory is an inflation of the ego, it becomes the vehicle of which allows both Hime and Eita to shine, so much so that every other main character is floored.
Mana, intent on causing harm to Eita for his insolence, is stopped by yet again another public display, but this time not just from Eita. While Eita still his his rash self who will get himself hurt, Hime shines to become much more. Her admittance of her deepest honest desires and the purity of it all causes everyone to stop in their tracks…literally. Standing firm, looking intent on taking any rough handling meant for Eita, Hime defends with a strong backbone what she treasures and aspires to the most, causing both Mana and Masuzu to seriously take a step back on their courses of action. Although at this point I couldn’t help but be dissatisfied that this was all compressed into one episode, I couldn’t help but feel teary for Hime’s display of bravery. Despite being emotionally stepped on by an untouchable opponent, despite all the danger she put herself into…she did it. She now joins Eita in being a great defender of the people and places they love, despite the hopeless disadvantage against them.
Thus, at the end, when Masuzu decides to stand her ground despite the future consequences (while somehow making Mana apologize) and allows Himeka into the club…I couldn’t help but feel that Himeka completely earned her initiation into the Maiden’s Club and as a result, into the main cast. While I still dread having to go through emotional beatings in the weeks ahead, I now look forward to seeing each of characters display their best and bravest moments. It’s been a rough battlefield so far, with moments where I question why I still watch this show, but watching these intensely wonderful character interactions reminds me why. It’s not the show for everyone, especially those who can’t digest the worst of humanity, but I look forward to seeing what amazing feats will be achieved next, all without the help of magic, technology, or skill. While the plot might not be anything amazing, it is the feats the characters pull off solely with sheer human will that truly makes Oreshura, at the very least, an interesting show to watch.
While I was expecting that this week would show the hall monitor make a proper entrance, her small appearance this week is justified due to Hime’s large one. I can’t wait to see what kind of surprises our final fifth character will bring to the table, and even more so what amazing character dynamic she can bring to complete the group. Until next week!