Is there any hope at all for what Ririna may be feeling or has she long succumb to the idea that she should just be happy Yukari is in her life?
Dreams Deferred: Yukari, Ririna, Takasaki
For a while now, Ririna has inched toward the idea that maybe Yukari could fall for her. In this episode, in his internal dialog, Yukari himself wonders if that is possible. After all, watching Nisaka’s brother getting married, 4 years after his notice, naturally makes the fact Yukari and Ririna are destined to do so more real.
Well, at least on paper. For this whole scenario also forces Takasaki to realize she is the other woman of the situation. Plus, with there still being this unconfirmed stigma around those who deny their match for another person, there is this hesitation to really express herself truthfully. So, instead, she asks of Ririna to get to go to her wedding. Especially since they share how much they love being friends.
However, as the bride gets ready to throw her bouquet, Ririna sees Takasaki and Yukari kissing. Mostly because Yukari is trying to reaffirm the idea he is in love with Takasaki. Though, as time goes on, it seems the dreams of both Ririna and Takasaki seem impossible. No matter how Yukari may act on any given day.
Why Go Against Destiny?: Yukari, Ririna
Despite the kiss, and everything else that has been involved, there seemed to maybe be some inkling of hope in Ririna’s heart. Yet, as Yukari reveals all that he has done to be with Takasaki, be it getting good grades, dressing nicer, and etc., it becomes clear Ririna doesn’t have a chance. Yukari has dedicated his life to being worthy of Takasaki and her showing up now, she is barely a distraction. So, just as Yukari reaffirmed to Takasaki that he loved her, Ririna reaffirms that Takasaki is the one for Yukari. Something said with her perhaps dying a little bit inside, but seemingly the friendship she gained from Yukari may be enough for her. If not the kind of love she needs.
A Different Kind of Love?
Something rarely seen or realized on shows featuring teenagers is that love doesn’t always have to be romantic or sexual. You can love someone simply because they make you a better person, because they are someone you click with, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you should date or marry them. Something I think Ririna has been thinking to herself for a while. For while she enjoys Yukari’s company, I think that makeout session and him being aggressive really led her to understand her feelings better.
And while, yes, she could marry and be with Yukari, I think the more she hears Yukari talk about Takasaki, and her about him, she realizes how she wants someone to talk about her. How she wants to talk about someone when they aren’t there. Hence why she decides not to compete for Yukari. She realizes her feelings, be it in passing or when triggered by Yukari’s kindness, maybe due to inexperience more than anything.
Which, come to think of it, that might be why Yukari questions if he loves Ririna.
The Battle To Convince Takasaki To Go Against The System
With Ririna going back to fully supporting Yukari and Takasaki, so comes Takasaki being convinced that she and Yukari could really make a go at it. Especially with there being almost no one, but Ririna, who outright supports them. Leading to the obstacles I’m interested in them facing.
First and foremost, Yukari and Ririna’s parents who adore this pending bond. Following that, you have the social stigma. This idea that has been pushed that job prospects, among other things, can become difficult because you went against the notice system. Then, there is also whoever Takasaki is matched with, who I expect for us to meet soon, and how he reacts. For while Ririna has given in, it doesn’t mean this guy will. He may push whatever laws keep the notice system functional and make it so that Romeo and Juliet play wasn’t just to fill up a few episodes, but represent the love affair Takasaki and Yukari will be fighting for. Just, hopefully, with a less tragic ending.