「一握の砂」 (Ichiaku no Suna)
“A Handful of Sand”
Everything feels so genuine about Tsuki ga Kirei; it is not afraid to depart from many conventional anime stereotypes in providing a heartfelt portrayal of adolescence.
Okaasan (to Koutarou): You’ve been staying up late every night writing.
Zaiden: Me too ;_;
You would expect Japanese parents insist that their children abandon extra-curricular activities to focus on studying, only both Kotarou and Akanes’ parents are extremely supportive of their extra-curricular interests. As someone who is not athletically inclined, I don’t have much to say about Akane’s parents, but they seem unwavering in their encouragement towards her pursuit of track and field.
However, it was the wise words of Kotarou’s father that spoke to me on a personal level: ‘Do what makes you happy. That’s the whole point of being young’. That said, I can’t help but wonder if I will have as much time to be happy and enjoy my life later on in life. Blogging for Random Curiosity makes me incredibly happy, so I guess I can appreciate what Kotarou’s father has to say for now, as well as empathise with Kotarou’s love of writing.
Before we move on to the main topic, here’s our flavour of Dazai for the week:
‘One cannot influence another, nor can one be influenced by another.’
‘Be laughed at. Be laughed at, and become strong.’
The darkside is a pathway to many abilities that some would consider to be unnatural. So hopefully, Kotarou won’t be falling for Dazai’s cheap imitations of Nietzsche.
Other than Akane winning her race, Kotarou’s awakening to his sexual preference of asses made the girl’s 200m race well worth watching. Roman’s smirk made the moment even better.
As Confucius once said: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. I mean, it was quite clear that Hira would win the boy’s 200m race but there’s no shame in cheering for the underdog. However, Hira’s close interactions with Akanecchi give off a dangerous vibe, especially if you consider he has had lascivious eyes on her since last time. A thing to note is that Hira’s character design looks quite similar to Akanecchi’s father. Hopefully, we won’t have Freud flaring up too much here.
Fate seems to be actively conspiring against Kotarou. Akanecchi’s friends are even providing wingwomen services for Hira by leaving him the perfect opportunity to comfort Akane, knowing she was feeling down about her costly mistake. But it soon becomes apparent that I never needed to be concerned. She doesn’t tell Hira her honest feelings after he checks up on her. Instead, Akanecchi spills out her feelings of anguish and relief to Kotarou after he finds and returns her potato plushie. Beyond winning and being embarrassed about huge crowds, Akane reveals that she runs because she truly loves it. The best part was when Kotarou told Akane she was fine the way she was! I can’t have been the only one who was incredibly ecstatic about that.
These kinds of human interactions were what I personally wanted to see in order for their relationship to develop. The cherry on the icing was that Akane’s sheepish outpouring inspires Kotarou to rethink Dazai’s nihilistic quotation and possibly kickstarts his literary career. My live reaction must have been somewhere along the lines of: “YEAH BOI, FORGET THAT OVERRATED MISANTHROPE”.
The text message exchange was the highlight of this episode for me, importantly underLINEing a more confident and interactive side of Akane. Seeing Kotarou get so excited over a text was cute and hilarious. The way he’s awkwardly shy but tries his utmost to contact her in his own way feels super relatable. For example, hearing Kotarou give off contented purring noises at receiving text messages is something I do as well! Hopefully we also see the other side of the spectrum where he lies on the floor in emotional agony, while holding his phone up in the air waiting for a text notification. Totally not speaking from personal experience by the way. Kotarou was also getting some fairly good exercise between the text messages. Looking forwards to seeing how it pays off in the future.
Back to the problem of Hira, the issue lies in the fact that Akane is meek and might have a really difficult time turning down his advances or making it clear that she does not reciprocate his feelings. Another danger looms on the horizon. Despite the fact Chinatsu is really nice, her encounter with Kotarou where she patched up his injured hand sent my alarm bells ringing. Between Freud’s Oedipus Complex and the Florence Nightingale Effect, I’m fairly certain the latter presents a greater risk. Not to mention if Chinatsu started competing with Akane for Kotarou’s affection further down the LINE, a greater confidence and ability to express herself compared to Akane could prove troublesome.
Any immediate conflict will likely come from the girls who are supposedly friends with Akane, since it sounded like they were the ones laughing behind her back in the toilet. I understand that drama is inevitable at this point but I’m hoping it won’t be blown out of proportion because the lack of melodrama is part of what makes this show so special. Tsuki ga Kirei is honestly so endearing and I wish more people were watching it this season. It truly is a wonderful, hidden gem.
Setsuko and Nagahara – Setsuko gives off a bitchy vibe similar to Tsuneki from last season’s Seiren in that they both elaborate on their romantic escapades in a way that is far from the truth. Then again, her relationship with Nagahara seems fairly good, and I suppose that’s what matters.
Ryouko-sensei and Roman – I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic to see a teacher and student relationship in this series, and it would ultimately depend on how they choose to play it out. So far I’m quite enjoying the comedy of Ryouko’s internal struggles, though I hope she’s not actually serious about feeling attracted to Roman! Seeing her get teacher-zoned on the other hand was hilarious.
Aira and Kaneko – Usually I’m not a fan of the kabedon but on this occasion it was played out to near perfection. No complaints here. It was hilarious seeing the girl get flustered and exasperated, while the guy tried to play it off as cool as a cucumber. Aira’s take on a tsundere was certainly refreshing.
To conclude, I enjoyed all these short omakes and can’t wait to see what new ones they will have in store every week, in addition to the actual episodes themselves!