Unrequited love is a big theme in the latest episode as someone from Shinako’s past is introduced, and they flesh out what happened in Kanazawa.
|Directed By||Fujiwara Yoshiyuki|
|Written By||Fujiwara Yoshiyuki, Tanaka Jin|
|Introduced This Episode|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
A Familiar Face – Rou, Shinako
It’s the first graduation day Shinako has gotten to experience as a teacher, and she learns a friend, well the brother of a friend, Rou has come by. This leads to some pleasant chit-chat but not much more. Though, it is made clear that someone, besides Rikuo, has feelings for Shinako.
I DECLARE WAR! – Haru, Shinako
With Haru still determined to win Rikuo’s heart, she declares war on Shinako, even though Shinako says nothing will come of her relationship with Rikuo. However, taking note, as long as they are friends, Rikuo will have hope, the fight is still on!
An Unrequited Love – Shinako, Rikuo, Rou
Yet, it is with noting that he will still vie for her, despite her rejection, which is why she thinks about ending their friendship. For with Rikuo making it clear he doesn’t think things can go back to how they were, and he would have an ulterior motive to just being friends, it is agreed things will be over.
Well, at least for now. You see, what complicated things for Shinako is she still is in love with Rou’s older brother, a fact Rikuo didn’t know until Rou confronted him at his job. So, the story goes, as Rou and Haru have unrequited love, so did Shinako. She loved Rou’s older brother, and even when he got sick, she cared for him – despite how annoyed he clearly was. And despite his push back, and his death, her feelings remain. Making it so the idea of loving someone new is difficult.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
Love’s just a trick of the mind. I think once it happens, it doesn’t stop until you see some kind of conclusion.
One of the things which have consistently bothered us when it comes to anime is most shows are very male-focused, and the women, to varying degrees, have their own lives and autonomy. So even if Shinako’s development came in the form of us knowing love for her is difficult because of the passing of someone, it is something more than I expected. Also, add in we got to see her life as a teacher, a story devoid of nearly all but Haru, and it makes it firmly established she is her own person and doesn’t exist purely for Rikuo to fantasize about.
The Pain Of Seeing Unrequited Love & People Trying To Press On
The exploration of unrequited love is often very seedy. Usually, there is some outburst of a person leading the other on, long term suffering, or someone waiting in the wings hoping they’ll eventually be seen as the match they see themselves as. In “Scene 02,” it seems Rikuo knew that trying to be Shinako’s friend, waiting for her to see he is the one, while pretending friendship would be enough, would be a disservice to his person. Much less, could be futile for Shinako is mourning a dead person. How can you really push or try to sway someone to move on from someone dead?
And even with the younger characters, Rou and Haru, there is this question of what can they really do? Rou, who I believe likes Shinako, will never be his older brother. They may look similar, but Shinako isn’t so deeply in her grief that a similar face could be all she needs.
Then with Haru, the trouble is she is competing with a grown woman. One Rikuo has a history with and so comes the question, beyond time and effort, how can she compete? Heck, should she even compete?
But that’s the thing here, the people who are making the most effort keep finding themselves passively rejected, or actively in Rikuo’s case. So you are left to wonder if perseverance will reward them or consistently allow them to make fools of themselves? A jarring thing to watch if you have ever shown affection for someone who just didn’t feel that way towards you.
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