A familiar face reenters Rikuo’s world, and with their presence comes renewed questions in Shinako’s mind.
|Directed By||Fujiwara Yoshiyuki|
|Written By||Fujiwara Yoshiyuki, Tanaka Jin|
|Introduced This Episode|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
A Familiar Face – Yuzuhara, Rikuo, Kinoshita
Yuzuhara, Rikuo’s high school girlfriend, comes breezing into town thanks to a lack of friends, the rest of her exes having girlfriends, and no job. But, with her stalking of Rikuo implying he didn’t have anyone, she knew she’d have a place to stay with him – and she was right.
However, what has happened since 2nd year in high school? Well, the diligent student and trained piano player has been a bit of a heartbreaker. In fact, as a musician, she is known as “The Great Destroyer.” A name Kinoshita tells Rikuo is what she is called due to her breaking up every band she was ever in due to relationship drama.
Rikuo, Who Is This Woman? – Yuzuhara, Rikuo, Shinako, Haru
But, is Yuzuhara really all that bad? No. Granted, she did break up with Rikuo after four months because she found someone new, and used him, but she does cook and clean. Also, when Rikuo gets sick, she takes care of him. Hell, in a misunderstood moment, when Rikuo pins her down, she even seems willing to have sex with him. Which really tells you a lot about her desperation. Luckily, what appeared to be a drunk Rikuo was him with a fever.
Though, with him not working for days, this leads to both Haru and Shinako visiting and being shocked to see a woman in Rikuo’s apartment. And as you can imagine, Rikuo, upon returning to work, gives Haru a callous answer about who Yuzuhara is and Shinako? Well, despite what he says, he gets a look that scares him to his core.
The Way Forward – Yuzuhara, Rikuo, Shinako
Now, as for whether Yuzuhara could or would stay? The answer is no. While kind, she still recognizes Rikuo and her aren’t a match, and she tries to convey that to Shinako, who still finds herself lingering towards where Rikuo is.
Also, with her finally getting over her last crush, not ex but crush, she finds herself forced to realize she didn’t date anyone because of him. Yet, here is Rikuo, who finally seems like he is getting his life together, who is always available and seems like a good guy. But can she bring herself to like him? Heck, after rejecting him, does he even still like her?
What “Sing ‘Yesterday’ For Me” pushes that other anime with such an everyday guy don’t, is a reminder of the value of that basic, nice guy. For other shows, how that person ends up in a harem, with the most interesting person you can imagine, and so much more is often a mystery even when the season ends. With Rikuo, you get it is because he is a nice guy. Yes, nice in a boring way, that may lack a “Wow!” factor, but he can be dependable.
So for Haru and Yuzuhara, that dependability is attractive. Yuzuhara since it meant a place to stay and for Haru, someone who speaks as if consistency isn’t necessarily a thing in her life, Rikuo’s ability to give that is attractive. Heck, I’d submit the reason she gets so mad at him is his inability to give her that when he does so for everyone else freely. Yet, with her being young, maybe she romanticizes the idea of having to work for his love? Who knows.
Then, when it comes to Shinako, I think after being passively rejected, she is still dealing with the idea of being desirable, and with Rikuo showing his desires for her are beyond the superficial, it is confusing. I mean, take note, the way she talks about her former crush, you’d think he was the love of her life. Someone she was married to, or at least engaged, and not some guy who passively tolerated her and wasn’t that kind as she tried to act as his nurse. Making Rikuo coming over to fix some audio equipment and who knows what else, it is just foreign. It’s like Shinako has to learn how to date from the beginning and what it means for someone to show interest in you.
On The Fence
Wanting To See More Of Yuzuhara
With Yuzuhara having knowledge of Rikuo as a teen, and him seemingly not changing much since then, her absence feels unfortunate. Primarily because, it would be nice to know if maybe she is the reason he always seems down, maybe something happened before her and, just for kicks, how was he as a boyfriend? Because the likelihood of Haru breaking through is slim and with Shinako likely having to make a move, that will take forever. So Yuzuhara seemed like the only means to really get to know Rikuo, and yet she left as soon as she felt she could threaten something real for Rikuo. Leaving us with this man who has potential, yet hasn’t really shown much of it beyond an open door policy of sorts.