「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!
This series understands very well to do, not tell. There’s very little exposition in this series, very little time spent on the characters saying aloud (or thinking aloud via their VAs) what they’re feeling. It’s all conveyed perfectly well just by watching them.
It’s actually quite refreshing.
Hey hjerry, you hit the nail on the head! This show has so much substance as well as style, and does an amazing job with its characters. I look forwards to seeing how the rest of the important characters (presumably Hira and Chinatsu) get built upon and slowly incorporated into the storyline. They will definitely be welcome additions that continue to exemplify the qualities that makes Tsuki ga Kirei so good.
You got that right. After Kuzu no Honkai, this is definitely gonna calm my heart. But I will admit, as unpopular as this opinion might be, I’m a bit tired of the obvious romance trope between the MC and the main girl being basically shoved in my face, and I mean that not in a hostile or obnoxious way. It’s very cute and nostalgic to watch, because all of us have been there at some point. But it’s so obviously endgame that it kinda turns me off from the romance aspect of this show, unless they take a massive left turn down Unexpected Avenue and pair him up with Chinatsu
Even during the PV, I was already more in tuned with the idea of Koutarou and Chinatsu rather than Akane, but everything makes it more than clear that that will not happen.
Think Shounen anime. Everyone knows MC is going to win in the end. The point isn’t WHETHER they win or not, but HOW they win. The enjoyment comes from watching it all unfold.
Yeah, I hear that. Regardless this is still gonna be a great anime to help me relax 😀
It’s not unpopular, rather contrarian. To each their own opinion!
If the members of the main couple have given me no reason to dislike them, then I see no reason to dislike it. This series seems to be less concerned with drama so far, which is why I think it’s trying to define its main couple from the start.
Although Chinatsu is cute, I don’t feel she fits Kotarou in the way Akane does in the sense of two jigsaw puzzles perfectly sliding together.
I know that as we get older, doing whatever makes us happy gets harder to achieve. But when Kotarou’s father said ‘Do what makes you happy. That’s the whole point of being young’, I couldn’t help but to say in my mind “Hell, that’s the whole point of being alive in the first place”.
Age shouldn’t matter when it comes to the pursuit of happiness. Happiness, after all, can come from anything we do. And on that note, Kotarou is succeeding, but is Akane?
Problem is, the older we get, the more responsibility we’ll have. Think about the father who have a stable job. Should the father sacrifice his job and his son’s future to chase his dream of becoming a new writer without stable income?
Like it or not, the older we get, the more responsibility we have to our surrounding and sometimes we do have to sacrifice doing something that makes us happy for something that is even more important to us, like our family happiness.
Hahaha, I think you pretty much captured my thoughts on this XD
Have an upvote!
Like I said, happiness can come from anything we do. It’s not about more responsibilities, it’s about whatever makes us happy. Starting a family makes us happy, nurturing them makes us happy as well. Perhaps some of our adult responsibilities can make us happy and that we’d be content with it. Chris Gardner is a good example. And who knows, one day we may even find a suitable balance between pursuing our dreams and taking care of our family and other responsibilities.
Yeah this show was literally me when I was young haha *sob*
The LINE thing was me dealing with MSN Messenger a decade ago, and I was literally Kotarou who had to participate in a running event in a sports festival and failed miserably. However, I didn’t have that much guts to speak my mind in front of a girl. Well, not back then.
You win, Kotarou. You bring the cringe in this show. I’m satisfied. And yes Zaiden, count me in on ecstatic because this show got it. Very impressed thus far, and it’ll get better, hopefully without too much negative drama. Also, didn’t expect the short stories even though thanks to their official Twitter I got spoiled on the kabedon thing lol
Glad to have you in Kaineng! Let’s hope the ride is smooth and gentle. None of that wild, lack of reservation we got from Kuzu no Honkai.
You do kind of grow out of it, being shy and everything. And you can’t really go back to those days, but they form good memories including all the laughter and tears. Special memories that make me feel fluffy.
Oh Zaiden I’m totally in! I haven’t been this excited to watch the next episode of an Anime for a long time coming.
Sorry for the “random curiosity” of comments though. I know I had a blog post to say all I like, but still. Haha
Damn you Zaiden. I came to Tsuki ga Kirei with a clean mind but now your post has corrupted it. I haven’t watch Kuzu no Honkai though.
But with all the Freudian references that you’ve made, I won’t be surprised that it’ll go that way. Beyobd the fuwa fuwa doki doki of the art style and story thus far, I kinda suspect that the plot runs deep… REAL DEEP.
Another trap gets added to the list.
Apologies Velvet Scarlantina, I’m sure the show is meant to be mostly pure, aside from Kotarou’s awakening inner perv. That said, I don’t think the plot will run too deep, if the ED theme is any indication.
I wish I can meet a girl just like that.
OMG, so true. I want to be smiled at like that! I have a friend in real life who was sleeping on the public transport, and he had a girl he knew lean her head on his shoulder smiling JUST LIKE THAT. So vanilla sweet and kawaii and diabetes inducing. Told him she was a keeper.
Yes, the slow pace in Tsuki ga kirei is enjoyable. i don’t find a problem the main characters not immediately comfy like usual romcom anime but the other 2 main characters need a proper spotlight too.
It’s hard for now to see Chinatsu and Takumi as part of main leads due they portrayed so far being more side characters than main leads.
Indeed Roxis. Slow and steady wins the race.
I would like to see Chinatsu and Takumi be integrated and phased out of the story where relevant. Hopefully the transition will be smooth and gentle.