「珠彦 死ス」 (Tamahiko Shisu)
Yuzu is not given any more of a personality in this episode either-existing purely to serve and cheer the young master. The one-sidedness of the character portrayal is summed up neatly in the end scenes where Tamahiko is the one reading a book while Yuzu works industrially on the oh so domestic task of sewing a new kimono. Her relationship with Tamahiko is a bit weird, too, with it being more like a maid and master in how she only refers to him with the -sama honorific or like a mother and child, nursing him at his sickbed and going so far as to debone his fish. I don’t really detect anything like that of a betrothed couple between them yet. However, we will see developments on that front based on the constant blushes on Tamahiko’s side.
Tamahiko is seriously spoiled, materially speaking. Growing up, although he didn’t receive much love, he did have his father’s money to pay for everything he needed, including a bride/maid/surrogate mother. Now, with Yuzu, he has someone to clean up after him, feed him, pamper him. The only thing he needs to do is shell out the yen to give her pretty clothing and exciting outings to humor her. With his spoiling her like a little child (they even juxtaposed her excitement at new clothes and food next to a happy child eating omurice) it appears their parental care for each other is mutual, though confined to traditional gender boxes. Tamahiko is finally getting the love and care he has been longing for and begins to change his outlook a bit (even if he tries to deny it). The question is-what impact will he have on Yuzu? Will he change Yuzu in some way or does she not matter enough to the story, except to exist as a plot device to turn around Tamahiko’s life?
We can start to see Tamahiko come out of his pity party, applying his seriousness to making up to Yuzu for spoiling her kimono with his tears. I couldn’t miss the symbolism behind it-a new change of clothes to go along with her new position in life and new home. Through his interaction with Yuzu in noticing her wish for ice cream and holding onto her during her train nap, it appears he is beginning to accept her into his life.
The outing also served to distract Tamahiko from the new distressing downturn of events. The arrival of a letter from his father insists that Tamahiko must pretend to be dead so that his reputation as a wounded dropout would not damage his sisters’ pending marriages. Quite a bit harsh, but I guess that’s the unfortunate pressure of the impossible task of keeping up a perfect public face. I am curious as to how his family’s fortunes will fare as we head further into the 1920’s, with the economic depressions that occurred in Japan in the mid and late 20’s.
I absolutely loved how they incorporated the feel of the Taishou era in their outing to Tokyo, with the 1920’s style cars and the mix of Western and Eastern fashions. Even the food diners were eating at the restaurant were reflective of the period. For instance, ice cream was a relatively new novelty in that time. It came to Japan as a very expensive treat for only the wealthy in the late 1800’s and by the early 1900’s was much more affordable, but accessible mainly to city-dwelling folks. Hence why the poorer, country born (I think) Yuzu, ice cream would be so exciting (although to be honest, even in modern days, at least to me, ice cream is pretty exciting). The omurice that we see a family enjoying at the next table over was also another recent food invention, having been invented according to some accounts in Tokyo in the early 1900’s. In the background, the Ryounkaku Tower was a structure that was built in the late 1800’s. It was seen as an exciting novelty for the modern technology it used for things like electric lights and elevators.
It didn’t take long for a new character to be introduced. With how much Yuzu was talking about Shiratori Kotori, I was expecting her to be the next character that shows up. Instead, it is Tamahiko’s soon to be betrothed sister, Tamako. She appears to be the obligatory annoying family member who never leaves. I wonder if she will have more personality than Yuzu or if she will become the 2D irritating comedic counter-character to Tamahiko’s constant seriousness.