「キンギョ・ライフ」 (Kingyo Raifu)
Ah, youth. What a pain it can be.
I won’t lie, as the blogger covering both Donna and Nagi no Asukara, I can’t help but see some unflattering parallels between Kazuki’s dilemma and the behavioral difficulties of the children in the latter. But unlike Nagi, where Manaka and Hikari are very young and just learning to come to terms with their hormones and with their new emotions, it’s a little harder to go easy on Kazuki and her behavior this episode. It’s not that I can’t empathize; being a teenager kind of sucks in general (thank goddess that’s over), and it’s certainly no fun to be dragged against your will from your family, friends, and home and onto a crazy adventure. I can also definitely understand her jealousies toward her younger sister. Believe me, having a talented younger sibling can be just as self-depricating, if not more, as a talented older one, and it can be really hard coming to terms with that. But when it really comes down to it, Kazuki has chosen the worst place to have her issues come to light. Sure, being under stress might do it for anyone, but throwing a tantrum in the middle of a mecha battle? You’re seventeen, my friend, there’s a time and place for everything. That doesn’t make Kazuki a bad character, mind you, but it does make the word “immaturity” spring to mind as a legitimate point of critique.
That doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as a moody, selfish, and immature seventeen year old, because that would be an utterly stupid claim to make. That’s not what the problem is in Kazuki’s character. The problem with Kazuki’s character is that she feels really rather out of place here, and that her spoiled attitude is supposed to be for dramatic purposes. Yes, that’s achieved, but wouldn’t that sort of grievance be better placed once we know a little more about her? Right now all we really now about Kazuki is that she’s a pretty normal, if somewhat antisocial and sullen, high school kid, and that she seems to practice martial arts. We haven’t really explored her inferiority complex toward her siblings much at all yet, so isn’t it kind of soon to throw in the tears and accusations? To me, at least, it would make more sense if we saw more about her and learned more about her relationship to her sisters before hitting this type of drama this quickly, but it seems eleven episodes isn’t really enough to go for that deep of a development.
In other news, I’m pretty hyped with the way the mystery part of the equation is going, and I seem to like Hozuki the most of the three sisters even now. It might have to do with her capability and the fact that she builds really cool things, but of the three, I think she really gets the value of her family, despite its brokenness. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s really smart and well on her way to figuring things out with regards to the Tesoro. I’m not sure what she and Hazuki plan to do about their sister, but there’s definitely some growing up to do in this family, and that goes for everyone.