「君じゃないんだ」 (Kimi janai nda)
“It’s Not You”
Know what’s better than the beach episode? Why the pool episode of course! With ever more fan service and just a touch more drama, MnR continues apace and arguably delivers best episode yet.
After last week’s beach-time adventures, it only makes sense under the romcom format for something to pop up that “resets” the Aki-Masamune relationship. Initially we had this, with Masamune brooding over the recently noticed missing picture, ignoring Aki, and ending up destroyed by the mind of a child. It was the perfect—if typical—setup for ridiculous drama, misconstrued words, and serious overthought. Instead of the playbook, however, MnR broke with convention by exploring the background behind the ever mysterious Neko.
Although we still frustratingly still lack knowledge on Neko’s history with Masamune–at least until next week–that part was more than filled in by the literal bedroom developments occurring in tandem. While I always thought Neko never gave up on Masamune, I never anticipated her actually kissing him and professing love for a second time, at least before Masamune got Aki. Among some choice moments so far, this was arguably MnR’s strongest scene, buoyed by the good background music, the choice of lighting, and Masamune’s seriousness throughout. Instead of the usual half-hearted development where male MC awkwardly attempts playing dumb, this moment—as with Futuba before—ended with a polite, yet firm rejection and renewed commitment to the chosen
girl path. Future romcoms take note.
What particularly got me during this scene too was how Neko actually broke Masamune’s vengeance and almost had him abandon Aki. Besides showing Masamune out to be like any other guy when it comes to love (i.e. never questioning an interested, attractive girl), it also highlights how superficial his revenge is. Masamune knows his plan is incredibly selfish and rationally stupid, but cannot back away because the plan is as much for him as knocking Aki down. Masamune in part wants his past accepted, believing that hurting Aki will achieve this goal by showing how drastically people can change. This is why Masamune formally rejected Neko here. While Neko has a clear love for fat kids—just look where the picture was kept—she boldly lied about her history with Masamune. Accepting Neko’s love now would not achieve Masamune’s goal because under these circumstances her love would be fake. Until Neko can answer the reasons for her love and explain the hole in Masamune’s memories, vengeance for Masamune remains his ideal method for throwing off his past.
How that revenge plan continues, however, is again up in the air with Neko pulling some serious drama and disappearing. Although the whole thing is probably overblown—seriously, I’d laugh if Neko went somewhere like a friend’s house—given Neko’s newly revealed seizures and Aki’s revitalized struggle between love and jealousy over Masamune, you can be sure some big developments are not far off. With only four episodes to go, it’s about time MnR decided if Masamune’s revenge is something which will finally be realized.