「トロトロ ルンルン」 (Torotoro Runrun)
“Drowsy and Peppy”
This episode was so nostalgic for me and my college vacation days. Unlike Mitsumi who is stoked to be home, I often dreaded going home for breaks but I do get the idea of getting to let your hair down at home after exams are over, the excitement of traveling, and the gentle joy of spending time with grandparents over a yummy meal, which I do have happy memories of. It also captured the feeling of being like a celebrity, coming home after being away so long- family tends to make a big deal out of that, which always feels nice.
Mitsumi is caught in the stream of time- time passes for everyone around her- for her family at home while she was away and for her classmates during break. It’s this odd feeling of existing in a time warp, going home after so long to find friends in new relationships and overall changes in the people you used to see every day, and then going back to school again to find your friends who bonded in your absence and likewise experienced other changes. Sometimes it makes you feel like everyone’s progressed but you- which isn’t true, Mitsumi’s certainly grown a lot (those Tokyo girl airs LOL) but perception can sometimes be a bit warped when you’re the one outside looking in and you almost get a sense of being lost in time when Mitsumi sees the change in dynamics with her friends- especially a sense of distance between her and Sou.
I don’t think the distance between her and Sou is just in Mitsumi’s or the viewer’s head. After the past pretty much slapped him in the face with that encounter with Ririka, I have no doubt Sou’s intentionally busying himself with other people to avoid Mitsumi. You can tell when Sou’s with her, he’s happy and for someone who believes he has no right to be so, he’s going to try to limit contact with her. That’s not fair on Mitsumi’s end who has no idea what’s going on with Sou and will wonder why he’s suddenly too busy for her. She even mentions the fear that happens when you start to believe someone dislikes you because you rarely talk anymore. It’s a good thing Mitsumi doesn’t let something like that stop her and continues to run after Sou, unabashedly excited to share her school festival news with him. Mitsumi practically runs on joyful energy, whether it be meeting her besties for the first time in a while or looking forward to a brand new semester. A stark contrast to Sou hiding in the shadows, passively floating along- a contrast that I think is key to making their friendship work and instrumental in triggering something inside him, whatever that may end up being.
As much as Sou tries to remain passive, he’s not 100% committed to it- there’s a part of him that wants to strive for something. Notably in his run-in with Kanechika, Sou almost reaches for the script but stops himself at the last minute. Perfect foreshadowing, with the class deciding upon a stage play for their festival project- it’s not hard to see where this is going. Even with Mitsumi, Sou admires both her and Kanechika for their enthusiasm, their energy in pursuing their dreams, which must seem like a totally unreachable paradise for a guy who can’t shake off his past demons.