「雨男、じゃないぞ」 (Ame Otoko, Janai zo)
“I’m Not a Rain-bringer”
This is a good romantic setup. When I was previewing this series, I called out how there were four main male characters and four main female characters—convenient. But that cast list did not contain Charles. Now the equilibrium has been thrown off, and it adds needed uncertainty to the series. Pin x HINA and Yui x Yamashita Ken are still potentially fine (though Yamashita Ken’s current crush of an older woman still means trouble ahead for that one), but Teresa x Mitsuyoshi now has a major roadblock, and we can’t be sure how it will end up. Will Teresa go back to Larsenburg and marry Charles as she planned? Will she date Mitsuyoshi for a while? Will they want to but never do? Something else? The suspense is killing me! Which is a spice this series needed. An excellent addition.
Better yet, it appears I was completely wrong about one pairing. Alec x Kaoru was never working for me, and it now appears that they weren’t meant to be—or, if that’s going to develop, it’ll happen later on rather than them being forced together due to plot. No, there’s a new ship in town, and it’s Alec x Charles, and I’m so on board! Anything that can get Alec blushing is a good thing, but they also have such great chemistry. (And Kaoru knows what’s up, and looks poised to act as a shipper on deck (trope!), yeeeesss!) Not that there isn’t some for Charles and Teresa, but it really does seem more like that of childhood friends, or perhaps cousins (I’m still giving odds to them being somehow related, especially after Kaoru’s comment about the two looking somewhat alike). They seem like platonic friends, and while friendship is an excellent foundation for a married relationship, “platonic” ain’t ideal. There are far more sparks flying between Teresa and Mitsuyoshi—and if he were a ruffian, I’d say that Teresa should stick with Charles. But Mitsuyoshi is a good man too. Chemistry is important.
And they really do have chemistry, which is why I wish Alec hadn’t crapped all over the moment by letting her fears get the better of her. She’s being ruled by both her duty and her fear for Teresa’s safety, and in doing so she’s putting Teresa in a cage. She’s unable to see Teresa as the adult she is, to truly internalize that, because she’s still afraid of the almost-drowned girl she once was. The sad thing is that Alec’s fear is bending Teresa’s life in a direction she may not want it to go, and though Alec is doing it with the best of intentions, they’ll both end up less happy if Teresa can’t break the spell. It’s like when your parents urge you to take the safe job rather than the fulfilling (but riskier) one you’d be better at. They’re doing it because they love you, but they’re still wrong.
Next episode looks like it might be a Yui x Yamashita Ken time. Hopefully, because I suspect the Teresa x Mistuyoshi angle will remain on a slow boil until it suddenly boils over.
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Full-length images: 14.