One more memory. That seems to have become the theme of the latest episodes. Just one last moment with your eternal crush before you realize you have to let them go. In this episode, it’s Ecchan’s turn. Episode Focus: The Friend Zone Is a Horrible Place (Ecchan, Atsuya, and Hanabi) Falling in love with your…


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One more memory. That seems to have become the theme of the latest episodes. Just one last moment with your eternal crush before you realize you have to let them go. In this episode, it’s Ecchan’s turn.

Episode Focus: The Friend Zone Is a Horrible Place (Ecchan, Atsuya, and Hanabi)

Falling in love with your best friend. Falling in love with your best friend and making a move. Making a move and not getting denied your advances and being allowed to cross that line. Being allowed to kiss this person you have feelings for, caress their most intimate parts, and express your love in their pleasure. That has been what Ecchan has done so far. But, there comes a point where you want more than simply a person’s permission but you want them to really react. Perhaps, at times, take initiative, take control, and show the feeling isn’t one sided. That you aren’t being allowed access to their body simply because this is a repayment for your time, past efforts, or your friendship.

This is where Ecchan is at and like Mugi and Hanabi, it has become now or never. Though, like Noriko to a point too, there is some thought that if this will be the last time, why not end it on a memory which gives closure. If not just something to give a slight smile as your reminisce. For, as Atsuya points out, Ecchan isn’t going to replace anyone.

But for Hanabi, who was she supposed to replace? Who is her other friend which will take up time with her, listen to her, go shopping with her, and laugh with her? Who is going to replace what Ecchan contributes to her life? It’s almost emotional blackmail. Fall in love with me or I’ll abandon you. Kiss me and touch me as passionately I do you or I’ll walk away.

It isn’t fair for either side. One being comfortable with the way things are and another wanting more. Yet, it will be hard, maybe impossible for now, for both people to end up happy. At least until someone new comes along.

Commentary

I guess what I’m trying to say is, as much as I recognize how aggressive and manipulative Ecchan is, it is hard to not understand where she is coming from. Hanabi will give Ecchan her body but refuse her what really matters – Hanabi’s heart. For anyone, this would have to be confusing. I can kiss you, touch you in intimate places, and we can enjoy each other’s company, but you can’t love me? You can’t romantically be with me? I think you could only explain such a thing as a paradox. Now, granted, things are complicated by Ecchan’s gender and but I think this show really pushes the idea that attraction is much more complicated than we give it credit for. Because someone can be all you’d ever want on paper, but if they aren’t, or don’t have a few key things, then there is this boundary they cannot cross. And even if they do, they’ll never be made to feel at home. They will just be a welcomed foreigner who is neither loved nor pushed out.

Subplot 1: Caught in Akane’s Web (Akane and Mugi)

Mugi is still having sex with Akane and she seems to have got him back under her spell.

Commentary

Mugi is such a sucker for love. This young man fell in love with Mei because she took an interest in him, fell in love with Akane likely for the same reason, but when it comes to Noriko and Hanabi there is something different. It’s almost like, unless he thinks there isn’t something long term or that there isn’t some game being played, he isn’t interested. I mean, relating that to Hanabi, as of this episode, I almost wonder if her finding another guy, her messing around with Ecchan, that is what made him reconsider her. The idea that she could leave him for someone else, guy or girl, at any time, was either appealing or familiar. Familiar in a comforting way I mean. Leading me to wonder, while we haven’t gotten it really kicked in our heads what his family background is, could it be some sort of issue he has, stemming from his parents, which led to him developing this pattern?

Subplot 2: On My Own (Noriko and Hanabi)

Though Noriko still loves Mugi, she has accepted being on her own just like Ecchan and how Hanabi thinks she may have to see life too. But, unlike before, there isn’t so much gloom in the idea of being single. There is almost a slight smile. For, as Noriko states, there is still joy in doing things by yourself.

Commentary

While I know the idea of Hanabi being fine with being alone will be short lived, I feel it is still an important thing to note. Often, in damn near any show, there isn’t any real push to enjoying one’s own company. There is always this need for a relationship or friendship, never a satisfaction with taking yourself out, enjoying a treat on your own. So for Noriko to reach that state where gulping down a piece of bread is enjoyable is something. For it helps you realize, as it does Hanabi, that the sweetness of life doesn’t always have to be shared to make a moment or experience happiness. Sometimes, you just got to appreciate the little things and how capable you are of getting them all by yourself.

Collected Quote(s)

I’d become so fragile that a single touch could break me.


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