「war of love」
You know what’s better than a single helping of drama? Why two of course, topped with sprinkles of only the best kind. If Matsuri wasn’t demented enough previously we got the full view of her unique (but not entirely unique) mindset as the inter-sister games got into full swing. Sure it’s predictable, of course we know how it’s going to end, but with scenes like this, does anyone really care? Well, best mama Harumin cares, god bless her soul.
As briefly highlighted last time, Matsuri is a terrible girl all round, but she is not far removed from Mei. Both of citrus’ two (sexual) aggressors are naturally void at heart, they are lacking in emotional connectivity and seek to fill the hole through intimacy. Both use lust and desire to garner whatever catches their eye (in this case personal attention) as it has consistently worked for them, but there is one key difference separating the two: intention. Mei as we have seen—and Matsuri quickly caught on to—uses intimacy only on those who have shown an interest in her, giving a taste of affection to hold onto that which she never had when her father disappeared. In effect, a weapon with strict limits. For Matsuri, however, intimacy is used for anything and everything. Money? Dirty work? Sisterly attention? All valid reasons to flash a little leg or hint towards something naughty. Mei, while oblivious to the issues surrounding her abrupt moments of best love, at least implicitly understands where you shouldn’t use affection (see her interactions with Momo), but Matsuri and her application of intimacy is dangerous. When that pink hair implodes (and it won’t take long) the collateral damage will not be pretty.
Part of the reason will the fallout will be bad is that Yuzu is going to be caught in the epicentre. Whether from time away or personal classification Yuzu is largely oblivious to what Matsuri is after or why she is pulling stunts like these. All Yuzu sees is an honorary kid sister too clingy for her own good, and not a girl jealous at being seemingly replaced. Matsuri may be able to induce some shock and doubts from it once that little snapshot of Mei going throat deep in the pink hair comes up for example, but probably not in the way Matsuri expects. For better (or worse) Yuzu has some measure of Mei, she’s built up trust and understands why she acts the way she does. That trust is also increasingly reciprocal as evidenced by the handholding and the bed talk. Mei has been primed enough already that when Matsuri pulls her stunt she will come out and admit her own love for Yuzu, if just to prevent her new sister from feeling further regret. Make no mistake, Matsuri is going to solidify one relationship here, but it’s not going to be her own. Once the dust settles and all the games are over our little troublemaker will be left out in the cold as two new lovers grow ever closer. Mama Harumin will be so proud.
Before we get to happy endings though, first must come the suffering, and that means some Christmas time drama. Pictures, cake, mistletoe kissing—and maybe a bit of tearful heart to heart. You know we are going to get it all and enjoy every lasting minute, because where would we be without a smile or three? Stick around boys and girls, it’s party time.