「明日架とアスカ」 (Asuka to Asuka)
“Asuka and Asuka”
After diving into fragments for the past batch of episodes, Akanesasu Shoujo takes a well-earned break by giving us more insight on the relationship Asuka has with Seriousuka, or Siri Asuka if you want to go by her new pseudonym. It’s a relief to see the show want to give its characters some time back in the regular fragment as we learn about the issues Asuka and Yuu have with their families as well as Siri Asuka grappling with her experiences in a fragment that has a future. Kurosawa Tomoyo does such a good job at differentiating the behavior and tone between Asuka and Siri Asuka that it’s impressive to see the performances she gives off when emoting as the two dramatically different versions of the same character.
The highlight of this episode was how great it was to see Asuka and Siri Asuka bonding with each other. The dynamic they have as a duo is very amusing with Asuka’s bubbly demeanor acting as a counterpoint with the shy, nervous, and straight-forward attitude that Siri Asuka has. It was funny to see the Broadcasting club girls fawning over Siri Asuka’s looks as a refined maid while Asuka stews in jealousy during their volunteering efforts for the café. Beyond her tough appearance, it was also hilarious to see how much Siri Asuka is dedicated on eating her family’s miso at any costs, often trying to coax Asuka to get some for her or have her stay over to have some. Their bond is as humorous as it is cute with how attached they’ve gotten to each other and how they try to navigate through a tough situation with the help of Asuka’s creativity and Siri Asuka’s pragmatic approach.
While the episode was calm enough to not have the girls immediately traveling to another fragment from the get-go, there is a storm brewing based on the concerns the girls have. With an urgent alarm triggering in Siri Asuka’s fragment, a sudden farewell is given as Asuka is left in the dark about almost everything about her other self’s fragment aside from the role a small boy played in her fragment. In addition, Asuka’s own future is challenged when she’s being encouraged by both her dad and Siri Asuka not to pursue keeping the family’s miso-making background alive out of their desires to keep Asuka’s future open and free. It’s especially apparent on Siri Asuka’s end since she comes from a future where such a choice isn’t something to decide right away. The episode concludes with her finding the coordinates to Siri Asuka’s fragment, but with the underlying dangers that come from her world, they are about to have a rough time. Yuu also finds herself worrying that she’s missing out based on how relaxed Ero Yuu is, and ended up trying to skip out on her studies to make time for her friends. Whether this will play into Yuu’s development or how she will fare as the next episode’s link could play into how they are able to get out of the trouble they will face in Siri Asuka’s fragment.