January 21st, 2016.
Growing Up is Hard to Do
Director Itou Tomohiko, why are you doing this to me again? The last time was when I caught up your Sword Art Online’s first season, just after the Aincrad arc ended, and the wait each week for the next episode was physically painful. We’re not there yet, probably because I haven’t marathoned this show, but dammit, do we really have to wait an entire week for the next episode? Fie! Foul and fie!
Anyway, this episode was really good, once more. Yuki Kaijura’s music is the most similar to Madoka than all of her other soundtracks, especially as Satoru walked away from Yuuki Jun’s place, with the air of impending dread it has given. Direction, such as when Satoru came upon the beaten Kayo, and then as she left him in the distance, was very good, again. Yuuki Aoi’s voice acting, fully dialed back, just complements some of the shots very well. I mean, just look at this shot, look at it, and listen.
Of course, as a liar and a fake, Kayo wants someone to be real with her, with whom she could be real, but is Satoru that person, can he be? He called a second girl a brat in as many episodes, which should make sense, because as he himself kept reminding us, he’s 29, but surrounded by a bunch of 10-11 year olds. But is he really 29, mentally, or is his maturity just a mantle he put on, as was expected on him? Yuuki Jun, his older friend called him mature for the way he put on his coat, not for anything deeper than that.
But let’s look at the other meaningful scene in this episode, the most meaningful one, that is, after him coming upon the beaten Kayo, when he threw the race. Did he make a “mistake”? He was just true to his nature, a nature that has him erase himself from the scene, which has him pull back into the background. The same way he is as an adult. In other ways, he was frozen in time after Kayo’s disappearance and Jun’s arrest, and he never really grew up. He’s an 11 year old kid trapped in a 29 year old’s body, who’s now trapped in the 11 year old kid’s body again.
It’s time to grow up, and time to look towards the future, which is the hope he gave Kayo, and the one he has for himself, and for her.