“With You Again”
Thanksgiving Break was great, but it’s back to the writing board for this blogger! This week is in a rush to get the ball moving for next episode, which produces mixed results that may or may not depend on which ship you’re rooting for.
The Koko cheer squad should feel…conflicted at best about this episode. On one hand, there’s finally a kiss between our current couple, but on the other hand, that kiss is quickly passed over as a transition into a flashback completely unrelated to her. Frankly I saw no signs of Koko having these insecure moments until the show decided to place these not-so-subtle signs into the mix–the show loses pacing points for this, though it is good that they finally arrived at this junction after our couple has been together for a relatively long chronological period. After all, in relevance to the other characters on the show (especially compared to Linda), Koko and Banri’s relationship hasn’t had near enough time to have developed properly. Hence, the scenes with reconciliation seem a bit forced due to the short supply of previous conflict, but the overall feeling of Banri protecting Koko and looking out for her was well-expressed.
Linda fans on the other hand should feel massively glad that the show could easily lead down a path where Linda is soon to show her true feelings towards our now-corporeal old Banri. The flashback, though tragic for Linda’s brother, does provide us with some important insights into Linda’s attitudes and affections towards Banri. Once again, Linda shows to us her strong tendencies to protect the people she loves as much as she can, even if it involves questionable ethical issues. She’s done it once to protect new Banri from afar through ignorance and she’s done it again with her brother in order to protect her feelings. Though we can really have no guarantee that justice was indeed served, Linda’s protectiveness of people’s feelings (even to a fault) has become her definitive character trait–one that we’ll no doubt see more of or see radically change as the story progresses.
Now, there are some interesting events in this episode which foreshadow much of the future, both in terms of revelations and events. First, the male in the affair this episode seemed awfully, AWFULLY shady. Though it is a bit of a stretch, there could be a possibility that Banri’s motorcycle assailant was actually out for revenge–revenge for a boy who was insolent enough to interfere in the affairs of adults. If this were the case, it’d make for a nice connection of events that ultimately have lead to Banri’s current fate.
Second, old Banri is no longer a ghost, via a Natsuyuki Rendezvous-esque style. Ghost who passed into the spirit world in an untimely manner decides to possess a body that is close to his former love interest, mainly to tie up loose ends. Though the intentions and characters are different, the core premise is the same for both stories, and anyone who’s seen both would agree. However, undoubtedly so is old Banri’s time in a solid form limited–it’d be too much of a game-changer for new Banri to simply disappear while old Banri completely unravels the mysteries of his past for us. No, I believe he’s going to stay only for an episode or two before he departs–willing or not–back into the spirit world.
Unfortunately for those of you who wished to interpret old Banri as a symbol rather than an actual person, that theory was crushed today in the last minute of this episode. This in itself is an iffy sort of direction for the show since it introduces possible deus ex machina resolutions, but at the same time it can serve as an important plot device in shaking up Koko, Banri, and Linda’s love triangle. We’ve already seen Koko as feeling insecure in the relationship, but what possible instability could be in store if Koko were to see old Banri and Linda in such an intimate manner? What possible emotional strain would Linda have to go through if her feelings for Banri were impossible to hold back? All of these are good questions that we hope to see answered in the next few episodes, before the halfway mark is reached.