June 22nd, 2014.
Welp, finale is upon us! I’d say I’m going to read the manga later, but that very rarely happens, so I’m not going to commit to anything just yet!
So, Hase idolizing Fujimiya, worshipping her, acting selfless in a manner that is selfish. He’s somewhat of a creep, as Shogo kept pointing out. He’s more than a bit similar to Hajime, whom he called a creep. Up until now it was always fear of Fujimiya turning down Hase, or them not getting along, or her memories interfering – but now we see that as with a show about friendship, it’s not about any such plot contrivances, but about something common – Hase is the one pulling away from Fujimiya.
Yes, he does it to “protect her”, or in other words, he doesn’t want to feel his own pain at the thought of causing her pain. So what does Hase do? He runs away from Fujimiya, he grows distant from her, which is the very thing that had harmed her back when she was young. No, it wasn’t someone trying to be close to her, but someone pulling away.
Hase is his own villain, and he needs to grow up. He needs to accept his selfish desire to be with Fujimiya, and he should trust her to make her own selfish decisions. He should accept his nature, because he won’t grow out of it otherwise. Hase is such A Nice Guy™.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Shogo’s Burden of Explanation:
1) “There’s no predicting what might make you lose your memories again.” – The memory loss is a placeholder for “Emotional Harm”. Don’t get caught up on the actual memories. It’s a show about friendships, not losing one’s memories. Also, it’s a really nice shot.
2) “Wouldn’t seeing you lose your memories hurt him more than anything?” – And here we get to the crux of the whole thing, to how Hase is selfishly selfless – He runs away not because he’s afraid of hurting Fujimiya, but because hurting Fujimiya will hurt him. He’s running away to defend himself. Even if he won’t cause Fujimiya to lose her memories again, he won’t be able to see her lose them again.
In other words, Hase found out his limit, that he can’t take the thought of her losing her memories of him again, and that he might be to blame. He’s running not to defend Fujimiya, but himself. Heck, to me it’d seem the running away is the one thing to make her lose her memories again. What would he do then? He’d feel guilty, which he might love, with his romantic notions of romance.
2) Shogo is a Visitor From a Different Genre:
1) Even Shogo is out of ideas. He’s just a high school student :<
2) Saki-chan and Shogo are a mirror of Fujimiya and Hase. She’s avoiding him, not because she doesn’t like him, but because she does.
3) “When I think it’s my fault, I apologize.” – Imagine all characters in RomComs were like Shogo. The series would be over within a single episode. Two tops.
“Usually it’s not my fault, so I don’t apologize often.” – You know, he’s right. He’s not a bastard, he’s just right :P
3) Loneliness Forces Us Apart:
1) Both Fujimiya and Hase lied, they stay alone. They want time away from “friends”. They want to wallow in their loneliness. Sometimes, when you want time with that one person, time with other people doesn’t cut it. Well, it would, but you don’t think it will, so you avoid it.
3) “Forget what I said!” – “Sure, it’s fine!” – It’s like it’s a completely different Hase. He should be blushing and jumping to the sky with “YES!” :P Come on kids, get over yourselves!
4) Loving the winter Fujimiya look. Reminds me a tad of Holo from Spice and Wolf.
4) Reforging Friendship:
1) Fujimiya asking Hase if he wants crepes, a reversal. Judging from this episode’s title, I assume the crescendo would be her asking him if he wants to be friends. She’s trying to act as Shogo told her she must, with agency, to change her own situation when she is unhappy with it. Also, showing Hase-kun she’s not some fragile vase.
2) “You can leave first.” – “No, you.” – It’s the old “You close the phone first” – “No, you” “No, you” :P Might we get a kiss in this series? I can’t believe it! Though it’s actually more than that – no one wants to turn their back on the other. They said “Let’s meet again,” but they fear they won’t, outside school.
4) Fujimiya explains to Hase-kun how things work. She’d rather be his friend without remembering all the details, than being able to remember all the details without being his friend. I mean, wouldn’t that be the worst? To remember all that you’ve had and no longer do, and to feel regret? And yes, that’s exactly the situation Hase is in, of his own choice.
5) Hase sees Fujimiya hurt, because of him, but because she wants to be closer. You can do it Hase. This is the season finale, we know you can do it! Hug her, hug her so you’ll hurt her, and yourself, but it’d be better than the alternative.
5) Growth is Acceptance of the Impossible:
1) “I’m an idiot!” – HALLELUJAH! Yes, he’s now saying all the things I’ve been saying. But it’s what the show had been building to for a long time, and it makes sense, so I don’t feel clever for it.
2) “There’s something even more important than memories – making new ones.” – Awww.
3) “I’d like to be friends!” is this show’s way of saying “I love you.” I’ll take it.
4) Cute. Now Hase’s keeping a diary as well.
Post Show / Episode Thoughts:
This show is something I’d describe as a “light drama”. It’s not a Romantic Comedy. The romance is mostly implied, and incredibly young and undeveloped, which is where a lot of the show’s charm comes from. It’s also not a comedy at all.
I’d call it a “drama”, but these days in anime most of what earns that title is stuff like Mari Okada’s shows, or Welcome to the NHK – very sad, very morose, and often aimed at getting our tears.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there were multiple moments I’ve teared up in this show, but it almost always felt earned, it felt as if very small moments caught me off-guard, or rather, the fact these small moments, the hinted sadness, caught me, was really good.
The first arc was great, especially the finale. Could treat it as a great 4-episode OVA. The other arcs were a bit weaker, but I still smiled and teared up my way through them. This is a show about friendship, and how you must keep working at friendship. Filled with earnest characters, and Shogo, the best bro a guy could have, even if he’d never ask for him.
7.3/10. I’ve liked it. It started stronger than it ended, but it was good throughout.