Adding Restraint to Awareness
One can argue that Koko’s been getting better this entire time, but this is the first time I’ve personally been pleased with seeing her growth thus far, starting with last episode. She still is the Koko we’ve been introduced with, but the self-control she’s been slowly developing has finally become noticeable enough to notice. Her needs of doing things with Banri become second to Banri’s actual needs, precisely because of her growing self-control coupled with the self-awareness that she’s always had. She’s always had the ability to reflect on her mistakes–we’ve seen that several times throughout the series–but rarely have we seen her stop her mistakes before they happen. When she visibly restrained herself from suffocating Banri with a strong desire to go, it was touching–she understands Banri’s desire’s for holding up his share of work, but she’d go to any lengths to have him come despite that. The way she pieced those words in that cafe, the way that she moderated between her own feelings and her considerate tone were great to hear. I consider it a great step forward in their development, since it reveals a Koko that doesn’t have to be so…reactive. In fact, both of them are working quite hard in their own ways to serve each other and it’s something that I eagerly look for in each episode. She still places her limits on Banri’s interaction with other girls in isolation–cheating as she calls it–but this fairly reasonable fault will regrettably be the trigger for the next series of events.
The Beach May Never Come
With the party right after those steps forward in KokoxBanri, we are now heading towards a course that drifts away from that happy ending, perhaps even to breakup. After all, Banri’s heart now yearns for two people now, which never means well…for anyone. Though we were all excited to see Banri and Koko just kick back and relax for once without interference from anyone else, perhaps that was not their fate. In the process of trying hard for Koko’s sake, Banri has instead landed himself in a hot situation that will not end well. Whether it’s the overwhelming guilt that Linda and Banri will share after this episode, or Koko finding out about this eventually, someone is going to have to do some explaining and face the ugly side of “cheating.” Frankly, it’s a terrible idea to have this kind of development before Koko and Banri can share some stable ground, since this already puts a strain on providing likability for a relationship that’s barely begun to come off the ground (though I can say that about almost every other bond except for Banri and Mitsuo’s). At the very least, we’ll see how maturely Banri can handle the situation and if he can be dependable for both a pressured Linda and a worried Koko when the time arises.
I’m crossing my fingers here for a clean resolution.