「X次元へようこそ」 (X Jigen he Youkoso)
“Welcome to the X-Dimension”
As a character dissection, Kuzu never fails leaving lots to discuss, and this week is no exception. For me this episode marked a sort of tonal shift in Kuzu, where we go from simply feeling around the blackened room to actively seeking an exit. Here of course I’m referring to Hanabi, who has arguably seen the largest change since the season start. Originally Hanabi was a confused girl beset with an unrequited love certain to never materialize. She still is confused, but Hanabi now realizes what she wants and is tentatively feeling around for a method to obtaining it. Identifying her desire for love (i.e. having others love her) and a fear of emptiness is critical for Hanabi because it lets her sort out her emotions and ideally gain a handle over them. Hanabi’s main problem, however, is choosing Akane as her success model.
I’m not particularly surprised Hanabi has latched onto Akane given the rapidly escalating grudge between the two, but it is quite sad seeing Hanabi actually try emulating Akane. What Hanabi fails understanding is that Akane is not some wellspring of self-respect or self-worth. Akane’s entire existence centers on the validation of others. So long as Akane is wanted, she has self-worth, but without the attention she falls away into nothingness. It’s why Akane’s modus operandi—and Sanae’s advice—is potentially catastrophic for a girl like Hanabi. Seducing others into love is a valid strategy, but it will not engender the lasting, permanent affection which Hanabi actually desires. This is easily observed from Hanabi’s sexual encounters. As evidenced last week, Hanabi here continues remaining under the impression that love (i.e. her image of it) will result from sex without ever considering sex can occur in the absence of true love. Mugi for example proves the point because the passion Hanabi feels with him arises out of her fantasy, not affection for him, while Sanae and Akane’s boy toy only reinforce the difference further. Until Hanabi can recognize that love is not something which is simply decided on or results from specific actions, she will continue tearing at herself when her desires remain unfulfilled.
While Hanabi’s personal change is surprising, the true eye lifter for me this week was Sanae. I originally had some empathy for Sanae given her situation, but her actions this week question all that. Sanae will likely generate some significant disgust now, particularly how open she is to manipulating Hanabi further towards the abyss. She is forthright in her desire to take as much as she can while she can, and increasingly uncaring towards the consequences. That heavy petting in the library is a good indicator, but with Sanae now putting doubts in Mugi’s head, it’s evident she desires being Hanabi’s sole form of release. Sanae will be one to watch going forward, because more than Akane, this girl has the potential to do lasting damage to Hanabi given their friendship, especially if Sanae can get to Mugi.
Where we go next for the moment, however, is to the last unexplored relationship of Kuzu: Moca and Mugi. With Moca joining the ranks of sad and broken in accepting a date from the uninterested Mugi, it will be interesting seeing just how their relationship ends up folding together with the rest of the dilapidated bunch. Given what Mugi is now thinking of Hanabi thanks to Sanae, you can be sure the impact will be greater than initially anticipated.
This series makes me sigh heavily every week without fail.
Hanabi is being a huge idiot taking stupid decision at every turn, I can see it because I’m older and twice or thrice more experienced than any character. However if I look back to my 15-17 years old I hardly did any better than her in decision taking, so most cases like her improve when they age.
“My Slut Girl radar” comment from Mugi is clearly an indicator that he’s into NTR on the losing end LOL.
At the very least, Hanabi is very much self-reflective and self-aware throughout this caper (to the viewer’s help). Her competitive streak is the primary driving factor in making her do what she does – she wants to BEST Akane, to take revenge by beating her at her own game. However, she not only realizes that she does not find any fulfillment in doing so, she also understands _why_ she is a bad match for mirroring Akane: Because she doesn’t have Akane’s emotional setup. If you’re a frustrated vegetarian, simply mirroring the life of a happy beef lover won’t bring you happiness. However, while she is “looking for an exit” (I really like this description, Pancakes!) she’s still going through the motions regardless of her doubts.
This is the phase when watching KnH is getting more and more heavy, because normal “rooting for characters” comes with a price now. If one can’t take the step back and watch on the relationships as an abstract character study, the drama will begin to sting.
That said, I’m still finding myself rooting for Hanabi, regardless of the fact that she is currently moving into the wrong direction. At least she’s beginning to realize it.
on a side note Sayuri’s Heikousen rocks!
She reminds me so much of now-on-hiatus YUI and miwa. Beautiful voice with a guitar!
Honestly speaking, all character development aside, even as a female this show leaves me sexually frustrated after each episode even though I don’t really look at it that way.
I guess all this tension and the feeling of desire and longing that goes stronger with each episode is what Hanabi’s feeling.
I guess everybody hates this show now considering how the comments getting fewer and fewer every week XD
I think i will stop shipping or pairing anybody in this anime now. I wish they will finally be released from this circle of toxic soon. Hanabi, please come home…you’re mother is crying.