“Must Not Lose”
After a timeskip, the moment of truth has arrived. There’s no place to run away to or hide behind, as these aspiring designers exhibit everything they have on the stage, putting everything onto the line so that they can have a chance to get a foot into the doors of the fashion industry. And you could just see the passion oozing from the stage. The other standout designer would be Kaoru – who put out an intense and fiery motif with her unorthodox traditional Japanese dresses – fashioning them out of vibrant leather.
However, it was just a prelude. That is the defining moment of the manga so far, right there. Ikuto’s show focusing on harmony of the genders across the world, where he’s come in guns blazing, determined not to lose. And it’s about his family. It’s a lovesong to his beloved family. The music featured was Honoka’s favourite song, the runway lights were blue like Aoi’s name, and the final design featured trousers similar to the very first ones he ever made for his mother. I couldn’t help but choke up with tears – especially when his mother began sobbing.
His mother has clearly felt guilty all this time for depriving Ikuto and his sisters of a carefree childhood. Though her health issues have made life more difficult for her children, they never blamed her once, even though the economic burden reached an extremely serious point. That’s gotta sting. Yet for all those feelings of guilt that she carries, she doesn’t realise why they don’t blame her one bit. Because they know and appreciate that she’s already given them so much. Her health issues arose because she was utterly dedicated to her children as a single mother, trying to give them the absolute best upbringing that she possibly could. Ikuto only came up with this theme and concept because of her, because he loves her so much and appreciates everything she’s ever done for him. And that’s why all of this is so frickin special. All these years she had to stay strong for her children’s sake, never crying, overworking herself into a health crisis for their sake. But Ikuto’s display of love towards his mother was just that moving to the point it made her cry. And me too, I guess. To surmise, an extremely beautiful episode. And more than ever, I want to see Ikuto win everything.
I’ve tried to hold back from commenting on adaptation differences, but I’m a bit disappointed that the adaptation couldn’t leverage a greater emotional impact. Which isn’t necessarily the fault of the anime staff, mind you. Sometimes there are unavoidable limitations in the manga to anime transition – specifically the shadowing, detail and intensity. Plus we have the coronavirus interfering with production too, causing the likes of established shows like Railgun T to suffer setbacks. So not ideal. If people have the chance, I would definitely recommend going back and reading this whole arc in the manga, playing ‘September’ by Earth, Wind and Fire during Ikuto’s show. That’s the true way this was meant to be experienced.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post – and see you all next week to find out how Kokoro, Chiyuki and Toh do with their shows, and whether Ikuto’s done enough to surpass them at the end of the day.