Dark Gathering sets the stage for Keitaro to recognize Eiko’s feelings for him as they join Yayoi in a laidback camping trip gone wrong. But in the midst of this camping trip, tensions are high enough to compel Eiko to let her feelings be known and confess to him.
I CAN KEEP UP WITH YOU
It was interesting to see the trio capture ten ghosts who were making unlucky campers re-enact the Country Mac bridge stunt, the real stars of the episode were Keitaro and Eiko. It was cute to see how they bonded throughout the trip as their pinkie promise and confession came about so naturally. Even with the unsettling undercurrent of Eiko’s private life, it’s hard not to be happy for Keitaro since he was elated to know the childhood friend who helped him reintegrate into society loves him as much as he loves her.
That being said, there’s this odd ambivalent feeling I have about his relationship with Eiko. Yes, she is very creepy and controlling, but everything kinda worked out in the end? She wound up being obsessed with a boy who actually genuinely loves her, so it feels odd to see her Machiavellian scheming and slasher faces when things would’ve worked out naturally as he hung out with her.
At this point, she could feasibly stop being weird since she got what she wanted in the end. From Keitaro’s perspective, the girl of his dreams is in love with him, so that’s all he’s currently focused on. Because he doesn’t know about her creepy side, I’d imagine that she no longer would have to worry about letting him slip from her fingers. At the same time, she could also take down Keitaro shrine now that she has full access to the real deal.
I know the elephant in the room is that she was disrespecting his boundaries to begin with, and that Keitaro would feel betrayed if he knew that Eiko’s motives were entirely rooted in having him all to herself no matter what. But I can also see a scenario where Keitaro would be quick to forgive her under the right circumstances. If she removed all of her creeping material, she could easily chalk up her yandere tendencies to being immature and worried about not knowing if he liked her back.
It’d take time to forgive her, but Keitaro already loves her and sees her as a friend who he owes so much to. His feelings were always there, so it feels weird how, even though the relationship is working out, it’s currently at risk of being on thin ice because of her yandere behavior. I suppose that’s the tragedy behind it. Everything should work out normally, but Eiko’s behavior behind closed doors starts their relationship off on such shaky ground.