「ビョーキなふたり」 (Byōki na Futari)
“Two Sick Ones”
Is the sickness truly in loving someone for five years, or is it in vowing not to change to keep that intact?
The universal fear of change, of that which is different, is something we all feel at some point in our lives. It’s an inherently human emotion, the dreading of anything changing, especially when that which you treasure in the moment is something you hope never to part with. No matter how happy or unhappy you consider your life, chances are you, as a human being, have thought at some point that you did not want things to change, whether it is who you are, the way things stand between you and another person, the status of someone ill, or even where you live or how you do so. But if there’s something we can never avoid, it’s time, and change. Especially not when you’re growing up.
The thing about growing up is that it is not solely a physical process. You may grow in size, your body may change, you may develop Ena, you may look taller or more developed as Sayu and Miuna do, but the important part is what’s on the inside. It is a mental process too, an emotional one; you begin to develop who you are, your personality, your unique thoughts and feelings, and the various choices that define the place you take up in the world. This is not something mere willpower can stop; as you live, you experience things and you are shaped by them. You think based on what you have seen and felt, you learn based on your mistakes, and choose based on the options available to you. That too is true for Miuna and Sayu, just as it is true for Hikari, Kaname, Chisaki, and Tsumugu. No matter how much you wish to cling to something, things will always move on with or without you. That is the cruel lesson the sea kiddos have had to learn, and it would seem that now it is time for the new generation to understand it as well.
This, of course, changes nothing about the importance of belief, or about the strength of emotions. The sickness is not in loving someone, no matter how long the period; the sickness is in doing nothing about those feelings and forcing them to remain undeveloped or unchanged. Love deepens, love wanes, love changes in form; it all depends on the experience of the one loving in relation to the one being loved. As romantic as it may seem, it is never healthy to force oneself to stagnate in any way. In, fact, Sayu was quite wise in recognizing that despite her love for Kaname, a day may have arrived when she would have loved someone else or dealt with his loss differently (unhealthily or otherwise); it is the child in us, the romantic and the nostalgic, that tries to hold on tightly to the present, never to a full degree of success.
Kaname and Hikari are in a similar situation despite now understanding better. They do not want to let go of the past or their present selves. Who, after all, would want to lose the bonds and emotions that they’ve held so dear for so long, especially when they’ve suddenly found themselves in this nightmarish situation? But if Hikari has proven anything over the last seventeen episodes, it’s that change is his modus operandi, and that he, better than the other sea kiddos, has reached a point where he can acknowledge the futility and harm in avoiding it for too long. It’s important to follow how one feels, and to deal with one’s feelings and choices properly and see them through in healthy ways, but it’s another entirely to never develop and mature those feelings. That is how Hikari has grown from bratty and possessive to the poignant individual he is now, and this is no doubt something that will eventually come back to haunt the young and their stalwart decisions to stay who they are now.