「礼子の夏」 (Reiko no Natsu)
I felt like we were properly introduced to Reiko on this week’s episode. We did experience her through Koguma’s point of view, but this was the first time we got to dive a little deeper into her psyche. What we discovered did not disappoint. Our episode, much like the first introduction we got from Koguma, starts with an important assessment Reiko has about herself:
“Ever since I was a child, I felt like there were walls up. They would hem me in and prevent me from doing whatever I wanted. High unseen walls. I wanted to climb over those walls. So I began living on my own. Then, after that…”.
Reiko grew up feeling constricted. Perhaps by her parents? Society? Both? The source is unspecified, but the outcome prevails and turns into motivation: she wants to challenge herself and see what’s possible for her. I’ve confirmed that my first impression of her was not too far off. She was actively choosing to be alone and now it’s clearer that it was due to not relating with her peers and their interests. School life is mainly orbited around the social aspect of it: the cliques, the connections and these are things that don’t interest her at all. Which is more than ok (and super relatable for me).
THE ACTUAL CHALLENGE
“After my string of failure these last few days, I’d even forgotten how to smile. (…) Why, when I was doing something this fun, did it feel like I was being made to suffer by some despicable enemy?”
Reiko’s character strikes me as goal oriented rather than process oriented. Can you see the difference? I’ve also noticed how Koguma stops and appreciates smaller things more than Reiko. Sure, they’ve had a big difference in screening time, but I think the director is trying to show us something with this. Reiko’s hard-headedness, the rock n’ roll tracks, speed, the crashes, the fixation. She wants to get there, she has the vision, the goal, the finish line and she’s going full speed. To the point that it feels a bit reckless. Could she have avoided a few of her crashes if she hadn’t been in that mode? I think yes.
“You can’t stand yourself up to the mountain. You have to bring yourself alongside it.” said
Shishou The Construction Boss. I really enjoyed his character and how he was looking out for her, asking questions, analyzing and trying to understand her while also giving time and space so she could figure herself out. He’s a hiker who’s climbed Mt. Everest. I think he gets it.
Did she reach her goal? Nope. But she learned something about the process and that was worth it. She will come back and try again.
ACCOUNTABILITY & SUPPORT
Another detail that I liked about Reiko’s character is her integrity and her personal value of being true to her word. While facing her insecurities and thinking about giving up, she’s reminded of her conversations with Koguma and what she told her friend: that she can go anywhere because she has her cub. Since the beginning of this show I have been curious to see how the main cast would challenge and support each other in their own individual processes and when Reiko was introduced, it was very evident how she would do that for Koguma. I’m glad to see how Koguma’s character is doing that for her—even if indirectly in this specific case.
Back to the present time, our lovely girls meet up at Reiko’s incredible cabin house. DIY box bed, mini garage, a to-die-for balcony with that Mt. Fuji view. Kogu-chan brings ingredients to cook Okonomiyaki for Reiko and my heart melted. They had a sleepover and this just reminded me too much of this (so I laughed) and then we got to see Kogu-chan supporting Reiko’s dream by telling her that although the idea is idiotic, she doesn’t believe that climbing Mt. Fuji on a cub is impossible, it can be done. Reiko is happy.
And now an actual motorbike license? I’m interested to learn more about that!
As always, many thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in the comment section. Oh, and a mega apology about my delay in answering comments. Two weeks ago I got my hands on two new projects and since I love spending time here—meaning I don’t like to do it in a rush—I can take a bit of time to answer, but I always do~
Full-length images: 36.