「芋名月」 (Imo Meigetsu)
“Autumn’s Potato Moon”
There was a significant parallel in this episode, once again Deaimon utilizes folklore to mirror whatever is happening in its plot, to give its characters more depth. Kaguya-Hime is referenced throughout the episode, at first when Itsuka’s mom joins her for lunch after Mitsuru gets a not so conspicuous text message, and steps away for a moment, leaving Itsuka’s mom to take center stage, thankfully Itsuka realizes it’s her and she jumps into her arms. However, the conversation that follows flows into the Kaguya folklore.
Itsuka ask’s for Tsukimi Dango, however, this is the Kansai variant which is meant to resemble a Satoimo Root aka Taro, a fruit resembling sweet potatoes but has a coconut-like interior. Dango resembles the moon, made to be into a white ball. Itsuka explains this in detail as her mom listens intently. The conversation that follows happens off-screen. Itsuka’s mom was worried that Itsuka wasn’t getting the proper attention she deserves and was even ready to take her back to France, but upon hiring a PI, she finds out the Ryoukshou family has been treating her like one of her own. Itsuka still feels like she’s not part of the family, but Nagomu does something really nice and lets his friends know ‘it’s not like that,’ Itsuka is indeed part of the family, meanwhile she listens close by. I believe Nagomu’s friends were coming from a place of prejudice, but he shut that down immediately, and gracefully. Go Nagomu!
I don’t know if the intention here is to make Itsuka the princess who was left behind and indoctrinated into a family in the countryside, in feudal Japan that meant the moon princess was now a beggar, from rags to riches. But the parallel was only meant to be in passing so I’m not sure if I might be reading too much into it. But Deaimon has not shied away from using Buddhist mythology and tradition in past episodes, even to the alienation of western viewers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this allusion was also meant to be on purpose.
I’d rather enjoyed this episode, the district sports festival was underway and it allowed for some time for Nagomu and Itsuka to bond, even going as far as making it official, as Nagomu officially declares to Itsuka that he’s the one who’s going to be filling in for the role of her dad. Itsuka just stares him down, as right now I bet she sees him more like a big dumb brother, rather than her dad.
She has this idea of her father being some kind of holy saint or something, only because so much time has passed, and to justify herself, she makes up some kind of story, an illusion of what she wants her dad to be. Galant, noble and heroic, just to name a few traits, it’s the only way to justify her abandonment, a way to justify her trauma, and a way to not deal with it. She puts him on a pedestal, even though she shouldn’t, it’s a psychological thing. And thus she gets annoyed when Nagomu just flat outs says he’s the new dad, because he doesn’t meet those standards, not by a long shot. Itsuka has already convinced herself of what the image of her dad is. But hey, reality is a bitch, and someday she’ll have to come face to face with those feelings.
I also loved that Itsuka’s mom showed up, and after a long chat with Nagomu and Itsuka herself, she has decided that it’s better for Itsuka to stay at Ryoukshou because it is sort of like her second family. They even go as far as to participate together in the district sports festival, they already have a big bond, that can’t just be broken all of a sudden. I do hope Itsuka’s mother comes to visit her from time to time, or stays in her life one way or another. So here’s hoping their relationship deepens.
To such an extent, we’ll have to wait and see what comes next week!
Full-length images: 36.