「誰のせいでもなく雨は降る」 (Dare no Seide mo Naku Ame wa Furu)
“No One’s to Blame When It Rains”
I feel so burnt out, spent. I’m getting flashbacks, of my own failures, of sinking into despair, of curling up on my bed after someone or something or life in general socked me in the gut, and then didn’t stop until I was down for the count. Or did that really happen? I don’t know. Characters that I’ve come to love, all put through the ringer, one after the other and then another again…ouch. I’ve said it before, but good storytelling can hurt. I’m hurting now. Not as much as Nanami, Sorata, and Mashiro, but still.
Though the intro was sad, with this sense of borrowed time subtly woven into every action and narration, the episode only truly started when Nanami began to cry. I’ve said it before, but here it is again – this is what happens when you bottle up your emotions instead of experiencing them when the bad news hits. Nanami should have cried deeply and openly long ago, but instead she held it in. She kept going for as long as she could, kept trying and smiling for as long as she could…until finally it as too much, and everything that had built up slammed into her all at once. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
And she thought it was all a waste. This too I have written about before, but I don’t begrudge her for feeling as she did. In that moment, when it all hit her and she thought back on all the things she sacrificed, it must have seemed like a waste indeed. But it was not. The experience will change her, and the journey has already made her into who she is today. That she can put in so much effort means that she can do it again, either for this dream or the next. It shows her youth for her to think it was a waste, but I don’t begrudge her that.
As for the setup of the whole critical scene, it was very artistic of Nanami to stand in the rain as she cried. But before you judge that scene for being cliche, have you ever tried it? Have you ever gone out to a park after your heart was broken and screamed to the heavens with all your pain and rage? I have. That second one, that is. And I have to say, it feels totally, and completely, embarrassing. Maybe I don’t have it in me to express myself that way, or in any way other than typing words on a screen. I don’t deny the desire, though. Stories influence us, enough so that when things are really crappy, some of us genuinely do go stand out in the rain and feel sad, weather permitting. And it feels kind of good, in a way. Maybe. For some people, perhaps.
Finally, Nanami calls herself a bad person for using Sakurasou’s plight to hide from her failure. Bullshit. It wasn’t particularly wise, but that doesn’t make her a bad person. It’s actions that define us, not the secret thoughts that go on in our heads, and her actions show her to be a good person. It’s as is said about courage – courage does not come from the absence of fear, but from conquering of it. Good people conquer the bad thoughts. Nanami is one of them. A good person, that is.
Ouch. I was hoping he would get it this time, hoping it would go his way, but it was not to be. And to lose to another rhythm game, and one that didn’t sound as innovative or interesting (but is probably a whole lot cheaper to make and easier to sell, natch). That hurts. To quote Fujisawa:
“Sometimes, your future is already set, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are some things you just can’t change, no matter how hard you work. Unfair, don’t you think? It isn’t an easy fact to accept, and I’m not telling you to, but that’s just how life is. Unfair.”
That’s the story of this episode right there. Even so, I hope Sorata takes this loss to heart. Though it’s unfair, the most interesting game doesn’t always win, at least when you’re depending on other people to foot the bill (learn to program, Sorata!). He did get high praise from Fujisawa though, both as a designer and a player. That counts for a lot.
What’s more, Sorata hugged the girl! This was the kind of scene where Sorata proves himself to be a great male lead. I wish we could have this Sorata all the time. I’m reminded of a scene in Love Hina, between Keitaro and a distraught Motoko. Motoko threw herself at Keitaro, crying at the mess her life had become, and he couldn’t bring himself to hug her (though he did make her laugh, which helped). I always thought, why? Even if you don’t love her, she needs someone now! Hug the girl, dammit! Well, Sorata did. She needed someone, and he was there. He manned up when it really counted, no matter what was happening in his own life. Well done.
I must say though, Sorata had the right attitude about his failure. He was glad he tried, but pissed that he lost. It’ll take a while for him to try again, but he will. He was right – a break is exactly what both he and Nanami need right now, to recharge their creative batteries and get ready for the next attempt. After all, it’s only if they don’t try again – at this dream or another one – that all their efforts will really have been a waste.
And then the letter came.
Of anything else this episode, the letter at the end hurt the most. Maybe it was because I wasn’t expecting it, but when Sorata was already hurting (and hanging on admirably well), it arrived to deliver the knock out blow. All his faith in hard work, everything he believed in, torn asunder when the company he wanted to work for offered Mashiro a position instead, when she was only trying to help him out. Ouch, ouch, ouch. That really sucked.
“Because I’m here?” says Mashiro. I may have screamed aloud at this point. “Tell her that’s not the case!” I yelled. “Tell her it’s not because she’s there! Tell her it’s only right because she’s there! Dammit Sorata, TELL HER!!” I’m unsure if this signaled the return of idiot Sorata, the Sorata they always trot out when they want to amp up the drama, or whether we’ll keep the good male lead Sorata instead. He didn’t turn on her and get angry as he has in the past, so that was good. Yet he didn’t stop her either, didn’t try to assuage her feelings – but would it have worked anyway? It feels to me like Mashiro already made up her mind. Whether we have bitch Sorata or not will only become clear once we find out what he does next. Don’t screw up, shounen.
We’re in Empire Strikes Back territory here folks, at the end of Two Towers, where everything is going badly and it looks like there’s only darkness ahead, and how can this all possibly turn out alright? (For this arc, I mean.) Nanami is crushed and leaving, Sorata is broken, and Mashiro is gone in an attempt to save her beloved Sakurasou. How could there possibly be a happy ending after all of this?
Three more episodes. By then, we’ll have found out.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It does not let up. Nanami breaks down, Sorata suffers a critical blow, and Mashiro…Mashiro, NO!! #sakurasou
- Nothing, nothing. There is no levity this week, not after that. There is only pain. Oh gods, I need a drink, and maybe a hug.