「奪い切れない未練」 (Ubai Kirenai Miren)
Geeze Engage Kiss you ain’t wasting any time are you? Hot off the heels of throwing Shuu’s family history into the open, we now received the second entre in Kisara delivering the goods to Ayano, all the while hinting quite openly about the upcoming choices to be made as discussed previously. This may be a “seen it all before” sort of show, but it’s proving quite hard to pull one’s eyes away from what’s on screen.
Although generic anime is a veritable meme at this point, Engage Kiss is yet another example showing how execution can easily make up for lack of uniqueness. For example the competition between Kisara and Ayano would often be some dragged out affair, a relationship full of misunderstandings and crosstalk which doesn’t really get anywhere. Shuu would in turn be some static stand-in who’s defined more by the boxes he checks off than any sort of vibrant personality, the reward for a pair of girls whose purpose is winning him completely. While the latter can still be said about Shuu (we’ve only just started touching on his mission), Kisara and Ayano, as oh so succinctly indicated, aren’t the harem girls of yore: sure they loathe each other (at least in Ayano’s case), but they talk, they barter, and they speak honestly about what they’re after.
What they’re after of course remains Shuu himself, but it’s interesting seeing the difference in desires. Ayano for one is still harbouring feelings, proving right the prediction that Shuu deliberately left her in part to avoid to pain of seeing him forget memories sacrificed for the act of revenge. Obviously wrong move in hindsight – Ayano’s attempts at isolating him from fighting are enough reason to show that off – yet one with a legitimate purpose behind it. Likewise Kisara is definitely after love herself (even if only the illusion of it) to fill whatever void exists within her, with Shuu simply being the man of the moment to grant her wish. While it remains to be seen if there’s more to Kisara’s goals and her contract with Shuu than simply being the last girl Shuu physically remembers, for the moment this love triangle is quite literally all about love and definitely will be until we finally catch up with the man who can start pointing Shuu in the direction of his family’s killer.
After all, nothing says love quite like rescuing your romantic interest (or romantic competition) from the enemy of the moment, and something tells me Ayano is going to need such saving in the very near future.