「嘘のない想い」 (Uso no Nai Omoi)
“Feelings Without Lies”
And so it begins, the 100% certified, wholesome, romantic ring around the rosie. KtU might break certain romantic tropes in premise and execution, but there’s no denying it doesn’t fall far from the tree. With Misaki now dropping her feelings into Neji’s lap and Neji himself questioning (if only subconsciously) his owns wants, the show is set for some necessary decision making. And as we all know from other romance series, reaching a decision can take a long time.
While surprising Misaki opened up to Neji right now, it’s a suitable point to start pushing the kid. Ririna’s feelings were never going to force Neji into a choice (at least until she confesses) given the show’s initial setup, so having Misaki bring home the harsh realities to Neji is necessary to get the ball rolling. Our dweeb can no longer simply overlook how Misaki feels, he’s been made aware, and once you acquire awareness, it has an uncanny habit of sticking in the mind. The issue now of course is how Neji actually feels about Ririna, for as his confusion about love shows, he’s already smitten, even if he cannot admit it just yet. Working out who Neji likes more is likely to be the primary focus of KtU’s remaining episodes, particularly given the kid’s weak-willed nature and chronic desire to please everyone—for better or worse, he’s not going to make one quickly. It might take until Ririna finally reveals her love for Neji that his hand is forced, but there’s no doubt his room for hesitancy is rapidly running out.
If things weren’t difficult enough already as well, there’s also the matter of Yuusuke. While the guy is perpetually set to play the tragic loser in this romantic fight, his function as a pairing spoiler has never been stronger. Yuusuke’s hate for Misaki is only too obvious, and while papered over by Neji’s encouragement, I imagine it wouldn’t take much for his sullen brooding to turn into overt rage—too many emotions to simply bury deep inside. Yuusuke certainly knows this himself to some degree, as his deliberate isolation (and the ignorance of his father) indicates he fears his greatest secret coming to light before he’s ready to reveal it, if ever. While Yuusuke preemptively coming out the closet may eliminate Neji’s fears about Yuusuke liking Misaki, that only replaces one problem with another in addition to further screwing with Neji’s head. It really disappoints me KtU won’t explore too far into the societal effects of its matchmaking system because Yuusuke’s dilemma and the continued focus on his circumstances is a perfect opportunity to do so. Neji may have it tough choosing between spontaneous love and prearranged love, but poor Yuusuke has the worst choice of them all.
With all the necessary feelings in the open and the ubiquitous school play ready to hash the drama out, KtU is set for the first round of fun and games. We might not get any resolution, things may become more ridiculous, but you can be sure whatever happens will be entertaining. Hopefully.