“Just as They Met”

「出会いの矢先」 (Deai no Yasaki)

What Makes a Good Friend?

Adolescent friendship can be so complex and irrational. But that’s the beauty of it all. Masa-san made an excellent point during the previous episode. You can overcome personal struggles by yourself, but having reliable friends along the way certainly helps. So what makes a good friend?

Just when I thought I had a better grasp of Seiya’s character, he begins spouting a load of contradictory things during his conversation with Ryohei, that muddled my perceptions. Allegedly, he didn’t want to forcefully drag Seiya into things… or pester him too much? Well, you could say he hasn’t been a direct cause, because he’s never been the one to actively rope in his reluctant friend. But he clearly facilitated many incidents, that it would be disingenuous to say that he hadn’t interfered whatsoever. To me, it like he’s used Ryohei as a proxy to indirectly achieve these precise goals. That said, I feel that Seiya is a genuine friend at heart. When Minato needed help timing his shots, Seiya was still his first port of call for help. And Seiya also obliged to the request when he didn’t have to. Teenagers tend to be irrational, and things that could simply be resolved through better communication are skirted around because expressing one’s thoughts and feelings could be considered as lame. At least that aspect is relatively true to life, where folks fail to be straightforwards for whatever reasons. Also having a nasty confrontation the day before, then pretty much forgetting everything by the next day. Anyhow, I’m still curious to find out two things about Seiya. First off, whether he’s possessive of Minato. He seemed uncomfortable rather than happy after realising that Masa-san was likely to be the driving force behind Minato’s revitalised form. Secondly, whether there was complexity in his decision to initially remain detached from Minato’s target panic issue, since I felt spikes of jealousy in a couple of those flashbacks when people whispered of Minato’s superior prowess in kyudo. I don’t particularly like him that much, considering all the weird stuff he’s done in the context of ‘friendship’. Yet I find him to be an intriguing character with room for more adequate explanations, where the vague justifications for his actions are concerned.

Ryohei on the other hand proves to be an indisputably fantastic friend. There are times where we’ll be down in our lives, and we’d all need a Ryohei or two in our lives to restore belief in ourselves. He immediately parses through any resource he can get his hands on about target panic, and although he doesn’t find any kind of quick cure, it’s the effort that counts. Not to mention that he came much closer to understanding the demons that haunt Minato, helping him to empathise with the latter’s plight. And we can’t ignore the person who tried to help him. At first, Nanao annoyed me with his flakiness. He didn’t seem like a sincere person, so much as a shallow and irresponsible playboy. But his efforts to assist Ryohei in reconciling hostilities between Minato and Kacchan went beyond what I’d expected, and he actually proved himself to be a person of substance who clearly means well. As such, I gained a lot of respect towards Nanao. His professed envy towards Ryohei’s openness suggests a greater depth to his character than I’d previously believed, specifically a self-awareness towards the flaky aspects of himself that he wants to improve upon.

For both Ryohei and Nanao, if everyone is destined to have shortcomings, these are some of the qualities I’d like to have in a friend as well as shortcomings that I could easily live with. With Seiya, it’s a bit more difficult to see where he’s coming from, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until the context becomes clearer.

Concluding Thoughts

Towards the end of the episode, KyoAni threw me for a loop there. Who knew that Masa-san would continue to find a way of being relevant, by becoming the Kyudo Club’s supervisor? What’s more, he shares some history with Kacchan too – which I expect to further facilitate some rivalry with Minato. This deeply pleases me, because I had just been commenting that it’d be a shame for such a promising character to remain on the periphery. And now Minato and Kacchan have a reason to interact positively – so as not to disappoint this influential figure in their lives. Thanks to this development, Masa-san has become a core part of the journey. I expect that he’ll continue to oversee Minato’s battle against target panic, and help him along the correct path. And having overcome his aversion towards the bow, Minato is taking baby steps back into Kyudo, winning over the respect of many peers in the process thanks to his sheer tenacity. Cleaning up the dojo entirely by himself, at early times every single morning? That requires willpower and dedication, which understandably endeared his fellow club members towards him, and will no doubt hone his mentality. He hasn’t quite gotten over his target panic, but I expect progress to be gradual over the course of the series, and it will be extremely rewarding when he finally reaches the point of becoming fully cured. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. Thank you for reading my post, and see you next week to find out what ‘The Poor Fit’ will be!


  1. I think rather more than jealousy, Seiya sort of regrets of not realizing before his friend’s problem and doesn’t really know what to do but make him cronfront his problems directly. I think we have seen 3 ways to help someone from 3 different characters: from the experience of someone older, from the kindness of someone who genuinely wants to help him and does whatever thing he can think of and from someone who made him look at reality and told him to get his act toghether instead of keeping running from it.

    I don’t think it things would have worked out if Seiya didn’t tell him anything, the best friends are the ones who value friendship to the point of telling you when you are doing things wrong, and I think Seiya is his best friend precisely because he can confront Minato. Still, they are teenagers, of course it looked very clumsy and sometimes mean looking at it from outside. As for the Masa situation, I don’t deny it there might be some sort of jealousy but I think you are too harsh on Seiya.

    Still, I can’t like Kacchan at all. That guy has a problem, he might be the serious type but going to the extreme of almost bullying is something I can’t stand.


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