「Destruction Baby」

After exploring the depths of Akane’s self-inflicted depravity last week, Kuzu decided to pursue a more conventional route this time by showing just what makes everyone tick. Hanabi of course is the fallen star this time around, where we finally learn why she crushes over her brother. I had my suspicions, but it’s still surprising seeing the girl suffering from daddy issues, especially given little foreshadowing regarding the trait. It does explain a lot regarding Hanabi, however, particularly why she has grown infatuated with Mugi these past couple of weeks. It might seem strange at first glance, but Mugi exerts a mature, stoic aura which Narumi naturally possesses from his age difference. For a hormonal teenage girl craving paternal affection and attention, Mugi’s male aloofness and seemingly uncaring attitude fill the void which a missing father leaves behind and Narumi does not provide. This is why Hanabi returns to Mugi even though Sanae arguably provides a more “physical” release—Sanae cannot provide Hanabi the type of emotional connection she desires. No better way seeing the difference than in how Hanabi initiated the latest round of sexual escapades.

Mugi too, however, offers up some surprises regarding his past, particularly his crushing on Akane. Although Mugi falling for Akane over appearances is entirely expected, I did not expect him to actually be aware of what Akane does on the side. This almost makes Mugi revolting—why continue pursuing someone clearly using you for their own ends?—but once one remembers Mugi’s age and his prior experiences it starts making sense. Mugi is blessed with teenage levels of hormones and sexual experience which has let him discern his tastes long before most people even reach sexual intercourse. He knows full well how Akane is leading him on, but cannot help what turns him on. It can be unbearably hard mitigating such sexual desires as a teen, and in a sense Mugi is stuck in a sort of purgatory where he knows he should move on, but continues tripping before reaching the exit. It’s part of why Mugi approached Mei after several years and suddenly found a spark of potential interest in Hanabi: he’s trying to use their presence as a means of breaking his interest in Akane. Unfortunately for Mugi, however, he has yet to realize just how infatuated Hanabi has become. For a girl willing to go all the way, Mugi’s blatant indication that Hanabi was broken is enough to kill the relationship, especially when Hanabi is clearly a virgin (in the penis in vagina sense) and still coming to terms with her chaotic emotions. Personally I doubt this scene is enough to stop Hanabi from growing closer to Mugi, but it certainly puts the ball in Mugi’s court.

For Mugi’s benefit though, he is better than Narumi, who has proven to worse than initially apparent. Hanabi’s brother certainly suffers from the infliction of a vanilla personality, uncertain how to actually go about getting Akane, and bad enough that he asks for permission when permission was already given well in advance. No wonder Akane can walk circles around the poor guy, especially after dropping that name-bomb in mid catch. Although I find Narumi’s personality insufferable, he serves an important function as foil for the black hearts of everyone else, especially Akane and Hanabi. Akane’s sly attention whoring and psychological torment fetish wouldn’t be as disgusting without Narumi’s “pure” personality to play off of for example, nor would Akane’s swipe at Hanabi be as painful. Narumi effectively enhances Kuzu’s corruption by reinforcing just how broken the main cast is.

What particularly interests me going forward, however, is where all of this is leading. All relationships—barring Mugi and Noriko—have now been set up to blow at any given moment, with only the spark missing. Although Akane’s screwing Narumi might seem like the trigger, I doubt that’s the act which will blow the situation up given how personal the act was. No, I think something bigger is coming, something which will finally force our protagonists to confront the darkness in their hearts. I am not certain what it will be, but I’m looking forward to finding out.


  1. Er, no. Sorry, I think this is the first time I can’t follow you, Pancakes. Whatever Hanabi feels for Mugi, it is _not_ infatuation. She doesn’t seek him out actively out of her own volition. Mugi is currently still on the level of “available quick fix against frustration and loneliness”, not Prince Charming. When Hanabi thinks of Mugi, she is rather thinking about how much closer they were in the past, but not anymore. That is not the thought of someone “infatuated” with someone else. In the end, Hanabi is straight – this gives Mugi an advantage over Ecchan – but it still doesn’t enable her to have intercourse with Mugi without bailing out for pain.

    Mugi was absolutely right: They couldn’t have sex painlessly because Hanabi isn’t in love with him – this was when Hanabi’s eyes widened in shock. Stubbornly she insisted “Then I do love you!” as if this was something she could decide on. And throwing cold water on her by (again correctly) pointing out that Hanabi was acting weird dispelled the rest of Hanabi’s forceful make-believe effort, causing her to leave.

    Now Mugi actually has developed a certain fondness of Hanabi. It matters to him not to be hated by her, that’s why he’s keeping the naive facade about Akane. And he is treating her kindly – unlike Mei, whose former relationship he quickly rekindled for some pass-the-time sex, but who essentially told him goodbye (we’re even now).

    So, right now, Hanabi and Mugi have not progressed from the point in time they made their deal the way I look at it… sorry. Where do you see “infatuation”?

    1. Hmm likely needed to use a different phrasing there because I agree completely with you Mentar. What I was aiming for wasn’t that Hanabi loves Mugi himself, but that Hanabi likes Mugi for the function he serves (i.e. Narumi fantasy stand in). She initiated this time because she wanted to dull the pain through the fantasy, she wanted the feeling of intimacy missing from sleeping with Sanae and thought true sex with Mugi would provide that. She definitely does not see him as a Prince Charming, but she does like him for how well he (on the surface) fits into her fantasized version of Narumi. I blame the 2am me for using improper words.

      I do disagree slightly with the pain though, part of it is definitely physical here and comes from Hanabi—as far as we know—never having experienced penetrative sex up to this point. What that pain did was strengthen the deleterious effect of Mugi’s words and reinforce how fake their relationship actually is. Mugi I think has accepted the falsity of their “relationship” long ago (given his experience with Mei) and learned to live with the temporary satisfaction, so it particularly affects Hanabi here because she’s naïve regarding the ability of sex to fill her void. If Hanabi wasn’t a technical virgin that painful moment wouldn’t have made as much sense and showcased how fragile their personal fantasies are.

    2. Yeah, “love” isn’t a cure for physical pain nor is pain proof of lack of love. Hana’s willingness or lack thereof to experience that pain might be worth considering. Virgin pain is not guaranteed and it is possible to lessen it but love isn’t the answer. The answer isn’t suitable for this blog.
      Women are completely capable of having pain-free sex without any love involved. I’m pretty sure that’s part of what this show is about, unless I was watching something else.

      I think Hana feels tied to Mugi because she feels he truly knows her. Her brother sees her as a younger girl and her friend sees her as a fantasy. With Mugi, she an be “terrible”. I think she is becoming dependent on that in a way someone in love would feel but, at this point, it’s still about Hana dealing with her own confusion.

      Mugi’s become interesting. Adolescence is tough. I’m of the opinion that Hana and Mugi only imagine themselves to be terrible because teenagers have been offered terrible, unrealistic role models and cultural standards which deny what’s common for teenagers (but not universal). I’ve yet to see anything in this show suggesting the cast is “terrible” or black-hearted other than Akane. Just a lot of typical confusion and inner heart-over-head stuff. This show is just blunt about it.

      1. I’m inclined to agree that Akane is the only “real” villain here. Hanabi and Mugi (and Sanae) simply suffer from unreciprocated crushes and a confusion how to handle and treat such feelings. I think people label them terrible characters because a focus on this side of relationships is uncommon, especially when the entire show emphasizes it. Without any practical experience, it can be difficult empathizing with these characters, let alone understanding why they are acting the way they do.

        I don’t think Hanabi feels Mugi truly knows her though, more like she wants him to. Hanabi in a sense wants Mugi to replace Narmui, but doesn’t know how to go about it. As Mentar described, Hanabi naively believes love is something that can be easily decided on, and was shocked when it was not the case. Unlike Mugi—who otherwise has accepted his circumstances—Hanabi still is uncertain how to go about handling her feelings. All her actions up to this point have largely been attempts at tackling that problem.

    1. I hope you also ask where the parents are in a typical anime offering underaged kids running around on grand/dangerous/saving the world adventures.

      BTW, we saw where Hana’s mom is/was: too upset over her own romantic problems to consider her daughter.

      I think the only unrealistic part of this show is how much free time these kids have. Shouldn’t they be in cram school instead of each other’s beds?

  2. I’ve always a fan of Mugi and Hanabi’s moments, and thats the very reason why i fell in love. I love both of them, when they are together, fake or not. Even thought they are just standing there with no dialogues. Thats how i love these two. I know im gonna regret this soon or later but i wish Mugi and Hana will ended up together even though my brain is telling me to kill myself for believing such shits XD but my heart yearn for these two every new episode. Sigh. Oh me :’)

    Welp, whatever it is, i kinda liked the first few minutes of this episode when Hanabi waking up next to Ecchan and only to “find” Akane’s “sleeping” next to her. Im like, damn. Just how deep shit Hanabi is getting herself into only to see herself becoming more and more like the only woman she truly hates, just like Akane.

    Whether Hanabi managed to dig herself out from this pathetic circle of scums, manga readers please dont tell. Im looking forward for Hanabi’s little steps to realization and enlightenment to help herself outta this messy and hopeless situation. And as for Mugi, im not very fond of him anymore, considering how similar he is to Akane’s situation; the problem is, hes a willing-victim here. He knew about her, but he cannot seems to help but to fell and be in love with such women. Idk if he sees some kind of similarity between Akane and Hanabi or even Mei, but i get the feeling hes slowly wanted to ruin but cherish Hanabi at the same time only to find the vague lines in between. :/

    Oh well. I bet next week is Noriko’s screen time considering how long shes been abscent from the show. Im not sure if im even ready for her since i dont really like this type of character, how cliche they are. But idk, maybe she’ll surprised me heh.

    Till then, keep blogging Pancake! :3

    onion warrior
  3. This episode had me hearing that Eurythmics song playing in my head..
    “some of them want to use you
    some of them want to be sued by you
    some of them want to abuse you
    some of them want to be abused”


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