「まわりにはみんなが」 (Mawari ni wa Minna ga)
“Everyone is Around Me”
While not an entirely new concept, the plot device of losing an ability is usually a humbling plot device. We generally don’t realize how much we appreciate things until they’re gone, but losing the ability to read minds is another matter–it’s like going deaf and staring at a blank wall. For those of you familiar with Moyashimon, the same concept applies here: both lose their ability to hear a part of the world and both realize how uncomfortable it can be at first. It’s all fun and games not having to deal with the random thoughts of others, especially when it comes to watching movies or being constantly bombarded with erotic thoughts, but as soon as that novelty fades…Kotoura realizes what it is like to experience the “silence” that normal people face. As something we learn to deal with, Kotoura has to face it head-on, and if any other person were accompanying her on her date today, she’d probably freak from not being able to tell the maliciously fake from the genuine article.
Yet Manabe won’t let us down…there isn’t a chance he will. Even though the reduced monitoring from Kotoura unlatched his pervertedness a little too much, his dignity and care for Kotoura stand firm. Although we use the term “all talk and no action” often in a negative way, it probably applies beneficially when used to describe Manabe. Even when presented a chance to succumb to his ecchi desires and make his thoughts reality, Manabe understands the boundaries between reality and pure speculation. There is no end to Manabe’s competency: reliable when needed, funny when appropriate, and above all else openly considerate and aware of the situation he shares with Kotoura. His character is a welcome departure from incompetent male leads, yet doesn’t become this sterile symbol of perfection at the same time. We get to see Manabe’s (comedic) suffering to be the better person, which while typical in a rom com lead, is not usually supplemented largely by pure self-restraint. Manabe did recognize that he came off too strongly at times with his manly desires and made quick amends to fix it, all while keeping his date plans in check, all while on a first date he acknowledged that he was embarrassed to go on. Kotoura, Manabe, consider your first date a huge success, as a wonderful way to close off the current trend of the show…
…because hot damn, shit’s going to get down. First, Mifune, if her fairly subtle hints weren’t enough, explicitly states her intentions once again for Kotoura and her dependence on keeping her ESP active. While this may have been a simple reinforcement and reminder for the audience of her actual character, the other set of events that transpire at the end give some possible insight into Mifune’s possible future plans. Considering how Mifune’s mother used to help law enforcement solve cases, the hints of the next arc imply that this simple fact stated earlier in the show may actually play into Mifune’s own plans for Kotoura. We can probably expect some hesitation from Kotoura next episode to participate in this, especially considering how traumatizing it must be to peer into the minds of the truly insane and violently selfish, but as a result we can probably expect Mifune to counter with encouragement in order to push her “plan” forward.
Even when we put Mifune’s plans aside though, investigating crime is a pretty serious and dramatic topic in itself–if the concept of looking into a criminal’s mind doesn’t send shivers down your spine, perhaps the concept of being forced to do so might. Imagine Kotoura having the best day of her life and suddenly…sheer terror. Everyone in this arc is going to suffer as seen in the preview, but how the show will execute it is something to look forward to next Thursday. Now that they lack the element of surprise, how will Kotoura-san amp up the dramatic heartstring pulls once again?