「坊ちゃんと満月の流星群」 (Botchan to Mangetsu no Ryūseigun)
“The Duke and the Meteor Shower During the Full Moon”
When Alice mentioned going out to a town festival, I wondered how they would make that work without mass casualties, but work it they did- with an uncomfortable, if not comical side effect. The plague doctor costume was kind of appropriate for Bocchan, with the imagery of death (and it was so adorable how he wore his hat even inside his costume).
I wanted to applaud Bocchan for the big steps he took in this episode in his courage to go out on the town with Alice and be the center of the party with his piano playing. This was a huge contrast for Bocchan, to go from being in an isolated mansion to being surrounded by people smiling because of him. This was all thanks to Alice. It is starting to show that Alice’s teasing is not just for show, that she is doing it to help heal him from the bad experiences he has had with people, to help him see that it is possible for him to be surrounded by smiling faces.
Bocchan really is a sweet guy-putting aside his nervousness about people in order to cheer up the lost child with a song. Or even the massive amounts of restraint he shows in order to protect Alice, instead of satiating his physical desire at Alice’s expense. Not to mention refraining from using his death touch for revenge against his neglectful family or to subjugate whole towns- which, if given to the wrong hands, would certainly be a possibility. With how kind Bocchan is, I am glad he has someone like Alice by his side, who sees and loves him for who he is rather than seeing only the curse.
Bocchan is not the only one with a painful family history. Alice seems to have something going on with her mother based on her reaction to the skull lady’s question. Maybe it was just the costume, but that woman seemed a bit menacing and there is the question of how she knows Alice’s family. Maybe she was a fellow servant for Bocchan’s family. Whatever the connection, Alice’s mother must have done something that Alice wants to hide-perhaps something to do with Bocchan, since he is the center of her world.
Bocchan is like the moon in Alice’s life-lighting her world with his gentle kindness. Alice is the lake, reflecting his kindness and love back to him-but in a much bolder way. Alice is able to brazenly make her physical intentions clear, asking for a kiss, because she knows she can trust Bocchan to not touch her. If Bocchan were the type to not put others first, I wonder if she would be so bold in making moves on him. It may be his consideration for others that is part of what draws her to him, like the moon drawing in the tide.
Although as I’ve said previously about her teasing having a healing purpose, on some levels it doesn’t seem fair for her to be teasing him like she does. Just because he is in love with her and won’t touch her doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt him every time she arouses him, reminding him that he can’t (and may never be able to) physically respond the way he would like.
I would think that this might be painful to Alice, as well, given her feelings for him. However, she strikes me as an optimistic character. Unlike Bocchan, she may have hope that his curse will be broken and one day, they will be able to kiss and hold hands like a normal couple. Until that time, she tries to give him a feeling of normalcy with flirting and nighttime excursions.
As to her constant teasing, I would speculate that she wants him to do something about his curse rather than curl up into a ball and roll under his bed. So, she gives him the motivation he needs and something concrete to connect to the future. She does so not just with her physical actions but also through her words and deeds, for example, suggesting that they’ll be together ten years hence. Also, I expect that she wants him to know that she isn’t only a servant or only a friend and that she aspires to more with him. He obviously struggles with connecting to people.
As an aside, for a once in a decade meteor shower, this was pretty weak. If you blink and miss it, it ain’t a meteor shower. But sometimes reality must be sacrificed for story.
You do have a very good point that she may be doing it to spur him into action. If that isn’t a motivation for him, I don’t know what is (other than getting rid of a death inducing touch)!
True, it was a pretty lame meteor shower, but maybe they can see it again in 10 years time and not miss this time!