「風立ちぬ」 (Kaze tachi nu)
“The Wind Rises”
When the opening theme doesn’t play, you know things are about to get serious. I actually predicted this potential outcome in Episode 3, where Akane’s father hints towards the fact his job constantly relocates him. Unfortunately, Chekhov’s Gun retaliates in full force, possibly shattering Akane and Kotarou’s dreams of attending the same highschool. And I’m feeling naïve, considering my hopes have been crushed for a conclusion undisturbed by dramatic developments. It was only last episode that Akane and Kotarou put up their wishes of everlasting love amongst the wind chimes, yet the sweet moment was ephemeral in passing. With that cheery prospect being thrown into doubt, other worrying storms are starting to brew up too.
Kotarou’s mother is a bit too pushy when it comes to future decisions – the boy is only 14 years old. No doubt she has his best interests at heart, but she is so preoccupied by academic standards that she fails to notice Kotarou’s strengths. Fortunately, Kotarou’s father provides a counterbalance, telling Kotarou to take it easy and go do what he loves. Though Mum may rule the roost, it doesn’t mean Dad can’t offer discreet moral support. Based off last week’s omake, it seems Kotarou’s father also backs up his son because Kotarou’s manuscript exceeded his expectations. He probably believes his son can make it in the literary industry and I’m sure it would mean the world for Kotarou if he knew.
AKANE’S FINAL TRACK MEET
Anxiety has often overcome Akane’s ability to perform. I was definitely feeling nervous for Akane’s sake, since it would be upsetting if she fell at the final hurdle of her middle school track career, with Kotarou watching on no less. However, Akane managed to make the most out of it, even setting a personal record in the process, leaving me happy that she could end on such a high note!
Kotarou secretly went to watch Akane’s race. But contrasting how easily Akane mingled into the shrine community, Kotarou looks like an uncomfortable outsider to the world of track and field. Wanting to congratulate her for her achievements, he instead opts to walk away upon spotting her being surrounded by fellow club members.
Strangely, seeing Akane cry together with her friends wasn’t too sad. I could why it was sad for those involved, but the lack of development between the three friends after the first few episodes meant my impression was ultimately subdued. Not to mention, constant exposure to the negative side of Akane and Chinatsu’s relationship made it difficult for me to take Chinatsu’s tears seriously. I suppose you can be conflicted in really liking ones of your best friends, but still be jealously attracted to her boyfriend. However, a bad taste was left in my mouth, when Chinatsu and Hira conversed on the train about their unrequited feelings. I have no idea what kind of twisted plot they are trying to hatch. But whatever they’re planning, it can’t be good. It’s time for the S.S. Akane x Kotarou to go full steam ahead, and plough through these evil machinations!
TEXT MESSAGING AND CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
I’d venture that Tsuki ga Kirei properly showcases how texting has become an integral part of modern romance, and I’m also sure people would agree that Akane and Kotarou’s communication via emoji is next level. Watching Kotarou and Akane exchanging truly delightful text messages never stops being so adorable. While Akane blushes way more while cuddling her stuffed sheep, it’s interesting to see how Kotarou has mellowed out over time, a stark contrast from taking out his excitement on light switch pull cords.
However, indirect means of communicating can pose a double-edged sword. It can easily be used as a crutch for skirting around issues that require a productive discussion in real life. Akane chooses to break the news of her potential departure to Kotarou over text, and I think that this is important information she should have told him in person. In the near future, they will definitely talk about the problem with each other in person anyway, so the time of reckoning is merely postponed. That said, we probably have another festival episode on our hands, that will most likely culminate into the climax of Tsuki ga Kirei. Times are looking uncertain, so we can only hope and pray for the best.
Ayane’s Boyfriend 2
The story of how Ayane met her boyfriend seems like love at first sight. It was funny witnessing Ayane’s 180 degree turn on her notion of an ideal boyfriend, and her subsequent recommendation of dating guys possessing trade skills to Akane. Speaking of which, can we agree that writing and dancing skills are no worse?
Guys’ Girl Talk
Girls’ Guy Talk
These two were actually one omake, ‘Guys’ Girl Talk, Girl’s Guy Talk’, but I wanted to demonstrate how they mirrored each other almost perfectly. The guys are impressed by Nagahara’s sleazy heroics, while the girls are horrified after hearing the tale from Setsuko. Hopefully Nagahara won’t be a terrible influence on Inaba and Kaneko, especially since I really like Kaneko’s dynamic with Aira. That said, I’m fairly certain Kaneko has ways of smoothly attaining what he wants, without stooping as low as Nagahara.