「位置について／号砲は聞こえない」 (Ichi ni Tsuite/ Gouhou wa Kikoenai)
“On Your Marks / The Unheard Start Signal”
Ah school festivals, nothing says romantic development like a little honest and heartfelt performance, and Yagakimi is no exception to the rule. While a sports festival is a funny place to have things heat up at last—that’s what school plays are for didn’t ya know?—any pretense of business as usual has now firmly disappeared between Yuu and Touko. This is one relationship ready for its grand reveal.
As we have seen for a while the primary driver of things between our main pair has been the soft-spoken arrangement of love: Touko shall love Yuu and Yuu won’t fall in love in return. While a weird setup (unrequited love openly accepted is a rare thing) the reasons did make sense considering what both girls were after. Touko would have an outlet for her worry, fear, and overwork from trying to be her sister, and Yuu would figure out how to love—simple enough right? The problem though is what happens when one party decides their limitations are no longer worth obeying, and Yuu is rapidly approaching that point. For all the girl proclaims to be unable to love and feeling nothing for Touko’s advances, it’s hard denying she’s starting to feel something for her sempai, and in a way increasingly hard for even her to deny. Yuu may believe she cannot love, but in reality she is perfectly able to, she simply hasn’t come across the one capable of stirring those feelings within her—and Touko is that one. It’s as Seiji presciently observes: Yuu is not aromantic like him (although I’d argue Seiji is also selling himself short), it’s just she hasn’t yet realized her capacity to love another.
While feelings of love itself will be an interesting development on the part of Yuu, the real turning point will be what happens once Touko realizes the monster she’s created. Touko’s entire persona is based on Yuu remaining an outlet who expects nothing in return; should Yuu suddenly desire more than the current arrangement, Touko then has to make a choice: does she try and accommodate Yuu, or reject her outright? From a student president standpoint the choice is easy (cannot become your noble and publically praised big sister with a lesbian relationship threatening your status), but such decisions are never that easy. Once way or another Touko has come to rely upon Yuu as a source of strength no one else can provide (cries in Sayaka), and if that source disappears, she’ll quickly find her mission that much harder to complete. There’s a crossroads rapidly approaching on the horizon, and the choice of path for both Yuu and Touko will have consequences far beyond the friendship and intimacy they share.
And all in time for the student council play barrelling down the tracks. Never say school festivals don’t pay off.