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「LETTER 08」

After a few depressing episodes we get this upbeat and easygoing one, but it all feels like one big lie. The happier these characters become, the harder the struggle will become in the long-run, and the more harsh the final outcome. With only five episodes left after this one, we’re past the half way point and likely heading to the end game: Can they save Kakeru in this new timeline they’ve created? If this episode is anything to go by, then you’d think they’re making remarkable progress and on the right track. But things can never be that easy, surely? The better things seem, the worse the downward spiral that follows must be.

I’m sure Naho’s ignorance is grating on viewers – I mean, seriously, she wasn’t able to tell that Kakeru wanted to hold her hand? I felt like slapping my forehead, but she’s a nice girl who just doesn’t understand the subtleties of flirting, so I’ll give her a pass. But both her and Kakeru should get it into their heads that they love each other and embracing one another in a romantic way would only benefit them both. The thing is, Kakeru’s situation is clear to the audience and the on looking characters, and when he talks about not wanting to go out with Naho it’s obvious that he still has some suicidal thoughts swirling in that head of his. I presume he doesn’t want to bring Naho any closer because he doesn’t want to have to let her go and cause even more pain than he would if they remained friends. But if they managed to break down those barriers, I’m confident things would work out for them.

But then again… what if Naho and Kakeru didn’t work out as a couple? It’s a possibility, but unlikely to be focused on in this story. It’s an interesting outcome to consider, as some people who seem to be made for each other simply don’t work out once the going gets tough. If that were the case, then I imagine Kakeru getting left behind would be akin to the final push to end his life. The boy is clearly depressed and his daily thoughts of taking his life don’t seem to have disappeared – his journey will be made with baby steps, and any miscalculation along the way could result in deadly consequences.

This episode also gave us confirmation that everyone in the group got a letter from their future selves. The level of detail that each received isn’t yet clear, but we can presume they all know about Kakeru’s eventual demise, and they’ve each been working towards fixing it in whatever way they can. If that is the case, however, then it seems like Naho was the only one to read her letter before going to school that first day; if any of the others were privy to that information then surely they would know that inviting Kakeru to walk home with them was the worst thing they could do. They tripped at the first hurdle, and every difficulty since has been a result of that simple mistake.

So far Naho (and recently Suwa) has been tackling this solo – or at least that’s how it appeared to us – but now that there are no lies among the friend group, I hope they can work together to bring better results. But part of me wonders if they will ever tell Kakeru about all of this, whether in a desperate attempt to save him when things get out of hand, or down the line when he’s in a safer head space. If they never tell him the details they’ve learned, they would be keeping a life-changing secret from their friend, yet if they told him might that be enough to send the boy into a spiral of confusion and mistrust? There’s so many possible pitfalls ahead, and while this episode was a fairly positive one, I think Naho and Suwa no longer reading or relying on their letters is the first major mistake of many to come.

 

ED1.2 Sequence

August 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm
9 comments »
  • August 23, 2016 at 5:34 pmRook Dio

    and this pretty much the point where quality starts dropping.

    I can only hope the anime is going to be different than the manga.

    • August 24, 2016 at 5:49 amSamu

      Really? I’ve heard from readers of the manga that the second half is better than the first, but I guess not everyone is in agreement.

      As for the anime being different, that’s not likely. Let’s see how it translates on-screen.

      • August 25, 2016 at 9:36 amRook Dio

        The writing is pretty unrestrained in the 2nd half.

  • August 23, 2016 at 7:07 pmZJZJ

    Things seem so hopeful now, with everyone in this together and Kakeru seemingly stable now. I’m still mentally preparing myself for the last big conflict (there has to be one, right? This show is out to break my heart after all). But I believe there has to be some sort of happy ending where Kakeru will be saved.

    Seems like everyone got pretty annoyed at Naho… except me. I keep seeing variations of “OMG i hate naho she’s so stupid xx” and wondering why I’m the only one who thinks it’s not weird that Naho acted that way. I think she’s trying hard to watch out for danger signs with Kakeru, so flirting with Kakeru, while nice, isn’t what her mind immediately thinks of. If someone stretched out their hand to me randomly, my first thought would be “what, you want me to give you something?” I would normally eventually get the point, but when I’m worried (like Naho) that there’s another bigger problem, I don’t think her reaction is weird at all. I’m just happy that while she didn’t understand Kakeru’s intentions she tried her best to do something about it, and even consulted the others for it (thank god for the others).

    I also liked that Suwa, who seemed to be acting the most “perfectly” when it came to handling the Kakeru issue, finally showed he had some doubts and even made a decision that might not have been the best (i.e. getting Kakeru to pull out from the race). Not relying on the letter sounds great, but I hope they at least read them!

    Thanks Samu for the posts again, I always enjoy reading them after each episode even when I don’t comment!

    • August 24, 2016 at 5:52 amSamu

      Nice thoughts, seems we’re in agreement with a lot of things! And thank you, I’m glad you enjoy reading my posts. Feel free to comment every week – I always read every comment.

  • August 23, 2016 at 9:02 pmAnonymous

    Now, every episode, I think of Tooi hi no Kizuato playing from Suzuka. Give it a listen. In all honesty, I really hope they manage to finish this well. 4 episodes is a tight fit but I think they can do it…

  • August 24, 2016 at 11:10 amPetit

    I’ve just realized there’s a lot of head-shots in this series.

  • August 25, 2016 at 1:04 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    I do hope we get some specifics on the contents on the others’ letters since it otherwise feels weird that Takako and Azusa would support Kakeru dating Ueda before since, from what Naho’s letter read anyway, it definitely played a bit of a role towards Kakeru’s suicide. If not specifics then at least something as simple as like they didn’t take their letters that seriously at first until they really noticed things mentioned being changed by Naho and Suwa or something.

    And yeah, I don’t think Naho is truly that bad. It only SEEMS bad because we viewers have the luxury of being outsiders looking in with much clearer minds, and also because we have watched countless anime do similar things, so the cliched routine of “boy offers hand and girl takes it” is pretty standard for us.

  • August 27, 2016 at 8:33 pmLunascha

    I just kept yelling in my head to hold his hand!!! But nopee that didnt happen. I totally agree with the fact that I feel like the happier they become, it is going to hurt even more at the end. Im even afraid to be happy FOR them because I know something bad will happen. I cant wait to see how this series ends.. Hopefully the group being able to save Kakeru.