「気が付けば息も出来ない」 (Kigatsukeba Iki mo Dekinai)
While pretty much a guarantee Yagakimi is going to leave off in a “read the manga” ending next week (ongoing series are hard to conclude didn’t you know?), it’s not to say the show is determined to make the most of its recent developments in the time remaining. Yuu is at the breaking point, Touko is openly doubting her mission, and there’s a pretty hefty script overhaul on the horizon for our star crossed non-lovers—oh yeah, something is going to give.
Probably the most intriguing aspect of Yuu’s and Touko’s relationship for me is the relative openness of it and their willingness to actually talk about things. Touko learning about another side of her sister just as she’s ready to “become” her? Normally a cause for some serious character drama (especially with Sayaka involved), but far from the results in action. While true Touko’s admission is born from the role Yuu plays in her life, it’s still not something easily revealed, especially when such revelations affect the image Touko is trying to project. There’s a good deal of trust which goes into such moments and it shows just important Yuu has become for Touko’s wellbeing. Without that outlet it’s self-loathing all the way down, and no matter how badly Sayaka wishes to think she’s helping, all President junior is doing is prolonging the inevitable breakdown. Touko will eventually have a crisis of confidence affecting her persona, and when she does there’s only one who can get her out of that logjam.
The interesting thing of course is that Touko doesn’t really hate herself—she hates what’s she’s doing. As the play script shows Touko’s fear is choosing the wrong image to be, the wrong person to become; she’s concerned she’ll make the choice which disappoints everyone around her, which is an unfortunate mindset because it’s completely wrong. When it comes to personalities there is no one “right” model, the image one person has of you is just as right as the one another possesses. Our public face is a veritable kaleidoscope where a slight shift in impression or feeling can colour the image one receives. You can certainly pick one image to be, but such a choice will ultimately leave out some aspects which make the individual true to themselves. As Yuu gets to the right choice is not to search through the past for an answer, but embrace the present and its actions. Touko’s personality right now, her quirks, strongpoints, and weaknesses? They are her real self, and it’s simply up to her to realize this and understand choosing between perceived vulnerability and perfection is a false dichotomy. In truth Touko can be both at the same time; she can have her Yuu and eat it too.
All it will take for such an ending is for the student council president to finally see the forest for the trees. Whether Touko gets there though is definitely going to come down to Yuu. Will the play’s changes switch a mindset? Can a probable confession overwhelm the defenses? We’ll just have to see what next week’s finale brings.