「言葉は閉じ込めて／言葉で閉じ込めて」 (Kotoba wa Tojikome / Kotoba de Tojikomete)
“Words Kept Repressed / Words Used to Repress”
There’s a saying out there that when the truth comes out, it comes out in a rush, and Yagakimi certainly took that comment to heart. Wanted to really know the reason(s) behind Touko’s action, cared to think on where this wholesome love story is going to go next? Don’t worry Yagakimi has got you covered, because after this week nothing here will ever be the same.
Once past the shock and awe of Touko’s family history (if in a more figurative than literal sense), it’s pretty easy to come to one conclusion: this girl is sad. Not only did a young Touko have to live through her elder sister suddenly dying, but she had to come to grips with the collective grief others also had, grief which wound up twisting her into someone wholly devoted to being someone else. It’s easy to see the wrongness of Touko’s way of course: she is her own person, she should be living for herself, it’s not her responsibility to replace her sister. Yet this thinking also overlooks how Touko saw the world at the time. If you haven’t made a name for yourself yet, why not try to be like someone else? And if your older sibling was perfect in both your eyes and others, why not try to be like them? This is a challenge many people face at some point or another and it’s one which once invested in is very difficult to break out of. It’s why for example Touko won’t broach any idea of changing her ways, why she’s determined to see her goal through. Since she’s decided to live for others more than herself any repudiation of her “accepted” image would only result in tarnishing her sister’s name, and Touko isn’t about to let that stand.
Once beyond base idealism though, it’s also easy to see how badly Touko’s personal mission is starting to affect her. While Sayaka may see herself as helping, in reality Touko has no real means of pressure relief, no true release. Except for Yuu. Yuu is the one person who actually saw through the façade and—most importantly—accepted Touko for who she was. Thus the crush starting it all. What the reveal shows most however, is that it’s not so much romantic love that Touko feels for Yuu, but rather a sense of camaraderie and brother (sister?)-hood born from shared circumstance. As Yuu cannot feel love (in Touko’s eyes), she’s the best person to jointly dabble around with it since there will be no expectations of more after the fact. If Yuu wound up actually falling in love (which she is now determined to try), Touko’s carefully arranged life would quickly fall apart as public demands on her would run headfirst into personal desire and relationship requirements. It is this dichotomy which will fuel Yagakimi going forward, because no matter how hard Touko may try to keep things the same, somewhere something keeping it all together will eventually give way.
And when it does, well, you better hold onto your hats boys and girls because the aftermath is going to be crazy.