「誰なんだよ、こいつら」 (Dare Nanda yo, Koitsura)
“Who Are These Guys?”
Things have taken a turn for the worst in this week’s RE-MAIN. Not only has Minato regained the worst parts of himself, but he also lost everything we’ve grown to like about his character. Memory loss is a mysterious phenomenon, but it would seem that Minato’s greatest fear has been realized. From a few episodes back, he mentions his fear of losing the new memories he has made with the Joujima crew at Yamanami, to which everyone laughs off in relief of how near-impossible that would be to happen. After all, the doctors stated that regaining his old memories would not interfere with his new ones.
What nobody saw coming was another accident that would erase these new memories with the Joujima gang while retaining everything Minato has now remembered leading up to the coma, as seen from the doctor’s explanation. As the worst possible outcome for Minato and his loved ones manifests itself, everyone is being put through a trial of fire where bonds, trust, and loyalties are put through the ultimate test. Here’s what we know so far:
Chinu’s True Feelings
Before the downfall of Minato’s character commences, an insightful conversation with Chinu reveals her motives aren’t all that simple. Her tale of an innocent childhood friendship with Hiroshi Ichinose is met with a bitter end at the hands of Minato, whose actions led him to not only quit the water polo team but also leave the school, abruptly ending an otherwise beautiful water polo journey alongside Chinu. Thus, we come to find Chinu’s interest in Minato’s water polo journey is not so much a romantic one, nor one of admiration, but rather a pent-up ill-will and distaste for what he has done to her senpai. It’s a case of “you drove away someone important to me, so you better not leave too” type of attitude.
Strange, yes, but not entirely. At the end of the day, Senpai Ichinose’s decision to leave water polo is still on him, despite the ugly feeling of being in Minato’s presence and the very understandable reasoning as to why he did so. Chinu is still searching for that special someone to be by her side on the journey of water polo, and the fact that Ichinose abandoned her because of Minato acting up does not put the blame entirely on Minato, but also on Ichinose for not having the strength to be there for Chinu and work things out. Kindness and a good heart aren’t always enough to be a good partner, but nor is strength alone.
Ichinose and Minato are like two opposite ends of the same coin, and while Ichinose has lost his chance with Chinu because of his lacking strength and mental fortitude, there is still hope for Minato to be by her side if he can come to terms with his dark side and continue to step into the light, where his pure, kinder self awaits. I believe Chinu sees this in Minato, and this is what I feel is the core of her motivation and actions. Now she must hope that Minato finds that kindness that is so potent in Ichinose to complete the perfect partner she seeks for water polo and for life.
The Dark Lord has Returned
It was always worrisome to think what would happen if Minato regained his memories of the dark times. Would he revert back to some of his arrogant, short-tempered ways? Or would he make amends to those he has wronged during his glory days? Sadly, Minato isn’t so lucky to have both sets of memories to contend with, at least, not for long. An unprecedented bicycle accident in the rain has erased what little good he had left in him to fight against the demons of his past, and now, all hell has broken loose.
From the immediate change in tone towards his parents and sister to the utter disgust at his new teammates at Yamanami and his impeccable thirst for power and self-gain, the protagonist we once knew is long gone. Indeed, the dark lord has returned, and he is wasting no time destroying the relationships he has built up since awaking from the coma. Bursting out in anger at his family for “ruining his life” and putting on a smug face as he talks down condescendingly to those he considered his closest friends, Minato is exhibiting bad vibes all around.
The final scenes of Minato utterly destroying everything in his room were disturbing, to say the least, not to mention a sad spectacle. Nonetheless, there is hope to be found in this moment of destructive behavior. Earlier, Minato converses with his old coach, finding out he is no longer cut out for their elite team of high schoolers. A feeling of lostness and confusion overwhelms him upon returning home, as he wipes all his possessions off his shelves in a fit of rage. As we see through the symbolism of the two cracked photos, Minato not only harbors anger towards his new teammates but his old teammates too, as his photo of his old team winning the Junior National Cup is shown to be in ruins.
The symbolism of the two cracked photos reveals something insightful about Minato’s character. As much as we all love the happy-go-lucky Minato, the truth of the matter is this was never the real Minato. Yes, the 3 years of the “dark lord” Minato was a phase that led to the destruction of his character, but losing your memories of those dark times is not the right fix here. It is no different from running away from your problems or ignoring your dark side. The Minato we’ve got accustomed to is much like a newborn baby, completely innocent of darkness and ego, and this is because he hadn’t been put through the same trials as the “dark lord” Minato.
Predictions Moving Forward
Looking ahead, I believe Minato will not lose this dark part of himself due to another accident, unless the author wants to keep playing games with us. No, I think Minato is going to now fight to regain his new memories in the same way that he fought for his old memories. Minato’s tears at the end show a potential feeling of remorse for what he has done, and I believe this is the author hinting to us that despite his new case of amnesia, a small piece of good has re-mained (see what I did there) with him from the year spent with Joujima and the boys.
Only when all pieces of the puzzle are put together will we get the strong, kind, and oh so wise leader we are longing for. The strength and leadership of his old self and the kindness and compassion of his new self will be met with the wisdom and experience of his complete self, that is, the Minato Kiyomizu that encompasses all memories good, bad, and ugly!
What are your thoughts on this sudden turn of events? Let us know in the comments below!
I’ve been blindsided. I didn’t expect that to happen. Goes to show you that no one is irreplaceable. To become cocky and arrogant just because your good at a sport or good at your job or you happen to have more money is inexcusable.
From the looks of things middle school and water polo changed Minato’s personality…. and not in a good way. I’m anxious for next week. BTW…. yep ..I got that little pun… ^_^
That makes the two of us because I didn’t have a clue this was even possible!
Absolutely, it’s like the difference between a bad boss and a great leader. There’s no excuse for making those around you feel on edge or anxious,
And yes definitely agree it was the middle school period where he took on this horrible persona, otherwise, he would’ve stayed that away after the car accident.
Thanks again for commenting Anifani (and getting the pun xD). Anxious for next week too! D:
I think they did what they did in this episode so the next Episode or two will lead to Redemption for Minato. and O by the way I got the pun.
Yes definitely agree Henry, the next couple of episodes should focus on Minato wrestling against his demons and (hopefully) working on regaining his lost memories of the past year with Joujima and co.
Thanks for commenting! (And good job getting the pun) 😉
What do you mean by the next couple of episodes?
The next episode or two. Haha
Right I hope you’re right with next episode