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.