“The Setting Sun”
After making memes about fidget spinners last episode, I never imagined I would need one myself as tensions ran high. We started where last week left off – dealing with complications resulting from Akane’s revelation to Kotarou that she was moving away from Kawagoe. Even with the couple exchanging the cutest night-time reassurances by the train tracks, all the apprehension remained up in the air. It wouldn’t take a Sherlock to guess that something was about to go wrong, maybe because Byousoku 5 Centimeters has addled my ability to feel ease in these kinds of situations.
Nothing seemed astray, as the festival headed towards a conclusion which could be considered a resounding success. Akane was having fun with club friends, while admiring her man for taking the festival spotlight by dancing some hayashi. Only Chinatsu or Hira were possibly waiting on the wings to perpetrate some trouble. And oh boy, Hira’s persistence finally rears it’s ugly head, when he privately took Akane to eat imokoi in spite of knowing about her relationship with Kotarou. What’s worse, he held ulterior motives of wanting to pry her away from Kotarou. Let me make it clear I never doubted Akane for one second. But that’s easy for us to say when we’ve pretty much got the whole picture. Kotarou, not so much.
Akane was happily stuffing her cheeks full with imokoi, like a squirrel feasting on autumn nuts, vaguely unaware of the winter waiting to strike. The irony of the situation was the fact Hira may as well have been a brick to Akane. Her mind was awash with excitement, and her eyes buzzing around at the anticipation of meeting up with her beloved Kotarou. She might not have realised that her moment of reckoning was upon her, but I sure as heck did. Akane’s utter rejection of Hira provided a brief respite, but the damage was done. Maybe I even died inside a little, when the camera panned out to reveal that Kotarou was watching Hira and Akane spend time together by themselves. And as it crept closer, I began to fidget non-stop. I hated it. I hated that Tsuki ga Kirei came to this – playing the misunderstanding trope to fiddle me timbers. My jimmies were extremely rustled. Even more so, as she ran in her unassuming happiness to finally meet up with an irate Kotarou, like a lamb going to the slaughter. That said, I actually actually loved it all – the fact that Tsuki ga Kirei has me so emotionally invested. No other show this season has taken me on a similar sort of wild rollercoaster.
I sure could have done with a sweet potato plushie or a light switch pull cord to relieve my stress. Seeing Kotarou and Akane headed towards a collision course filled me with unprecedented dread. Relationship issues in anime are typically a sign that things are about to get ridiculously overblown, possibly requiring a good few episode maybe even a whole season to smooth out.
Akane did the right thing, explaining to Kotarou exactly what happened in a rational and relatively calm fashion. I felt Kotarou was in the wrong for readily brushing her off, and refusing to effectively communicate with Akane on why he was feeling so aggravated. If you don’t tell the a person why you are so upset, how are they going to have a chance to explain or rectify the aspect of their behaviour that is upsetting you? Maybe it was his teenage hormones going haywire but I found Kotarou’s selfish behaviour to be downright unacceptable. I’d go further and say Kotarou really disappointed me.
Seeing Akane being so heartbroken tore my heartstrings to shreds. All she wanted was to have a memorable festival night with Kotarou. Instead of having a wonderful time, the night ended on such a sour note. However, it is important to understand Kotarou’s perspective, which is why I’m careful about not laying into him. He saw Akane hanging out with a guy who he knew was interested in her, despite Kotarou showing his discomfort by acting like a territorial apex predator. I wouldn’t say Akane was at fault for hanging out with someone she regards as her friend, since Hira never explicitly confessed to her, so there was no surefire way for her to truly know about his feelings. Though I wasn’t quite as devastated as her, let me reveal I was almost on the verge of tears. Oh Studio Feel, tell me it ain’t so!
Fortunately, Akane and Kotarou sort out their differences pretty quickly and in a way befitting of relatively normal people. A lot of teenagers ordinarily wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of situation, and would instantly hit the panic button by breaking up. But you know, when you’re that kind of age and fall in love for the first time, you’re allowed to make mistakes. Nobody can be perfect and its all a matter of learning. You can tell Kotarou didn’t understand how badly he hurt Akane’s feelings, and felt remorse for his actions. He will surely be more sensitive and attentive towards her needs the next time around. Communication and working things out together are really important aspects in a relationship, so I’m glad that they put behind their misunderstandings and make up. The cherry on the icing was when Akane aggressively went in for the kiss! Nice going, Akanecchi!!
With the way things panned out by the end of this episode, hopefully it’s an indicator that we won’t get Shinkai’d – for lack of a better description. If you think about it, the fact they both felt deeply hurt demonstrates how much they care for each other. I really want Kotarou and Akane to stay together, but I wouldn’t be too keen on a convenient situation where he passes his exams with flying colours. With only a few episodes left, I can’t wait to see how Tsuki ga Kirei manages to wrap things up. I promise, my inner fanboy shall be truly unleashed when the time comes!
Sakura and the Graduation Album Omake
Glad there wasn’t too much this week to take steam off the way the episode concluded. I think that the graduation subtly indicates that Tsuki ga Kirei is coming to an end and will prepare us nicely for the upcoming finale.