May 14h, 2015.
Why We Can’t Have Nice Things:
Post Episode Thoughts:
tl;dr: (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻)
Slightly longer tl;dr: This episode (and by reflection the show) was enjoyable, but it wasn’t good.
Let’s start with a visual metaphor from the episode for “the big conflict” in this episode and the last one. It just sort of fell flat, and then it sort of rose up and kept on chugging.
One of the big issues with the show is how much of a non-character Yamato is. It’s par the course for the love interest being a non-character cipher, but “I’m cute and nothing else” Yamato is an extreme case of it. I know some people expected “the secret” from last episode to give her more depth, but what I feared will happen did – it was just another excuse to make her cutesy and oh-so-innocent, that her lack of “purity” manifested in how she was willing to make a move on a boy and wanted to hold hands!
This is why we can’t have nice things in animanga romance, because this is considered “a major conflict”. This is something that would’ve made me roll my eyes as a trope I have to deal with as an animanga consumer if it were raised and resolved within 5 minutes, or as part of something bigger, but not as the engine behind two episodes. This isn’t even a big misunderstanding that’s plausible, it’s just “ooooh, so cute, so innocent!” trash.
Which brings me to something else, where Takeo read shoujo manga to learn about girls. Except often, romantic media doesn’t teach you about people, but about how people want to see themselves. But give them enough such media, and this is what they use to learn how to look at the world through. I did like that Yamato actually made a concerted effort to meet with Takeo, but I dislike the way it’s portrayed.
Suna’s sister, Ai, she did get sold by the show as “the good girl”, whose only true goal is for the one she cares about to be happy, just like Takeo who tried to hook Yamato up with Suna. This show really relies on having the same method/tool to prove the same thing, rather than drawing different characters as different people.
Now, the final scene. I’ll admit it, I laughed, a lot. But this sort of behaviour is still eh in the extreme. Girls holding down boys in anime, girls holding down girls in anime, and now boys holding down boys in anime are all things used for gags, and that’s a bit of an issue. Also, the wrapping plastic made me think of a condom, and that this is a show marketed for girls makes it quite the subtext for yaoi ships. I laughed, but it was meh.
As always, incredibly cute, but this episode just wasn’t good. It’s not just the messages it contained, but that these messages just couldn’t support the length placed on them. The last two episodes should’ve been a single episode, if that. This whole show’s feeling padded. Takeo can support his weight, but can this show?
So, Yamato has a secret. Let’s see.
- Worrying whether the other side is trying too hard? Not what you usually see. “Don’t hold it all in” – Says the one who doesn’t know how to hold it in, so he’s giving advice based on his nature, not Yamato/Suna’s, who might be more introverted.
- Reading shoujo manga to learn how girls think, a very manga/anime thing to do. Also, it doesn’t teach you about girls, but how girls see themselves. There’s a difference.
- Of course, Takeo’s friends want to help, and they all love shoujo manga. Many boys do :)
- Coming right out and asking Yamato, and when Suna is there as well.
- That surprise on Suna’s face is the most expressive we’ve seen it. He hides his face while laughing.
- Describing Takeo’s lips as sexy? You’ve gone too far, Ore Monogatari!
- “I’m so impure! I want to cuddle and hug and hold hands and stuff!” – I knew it. The “secret” is only going to make Yamato even “cutesier”.
- “If I told him, he’d stop liking me.” Mixing up wanting to keep you pure because he likes you, and liking you because you are pure. Also, means Yamato likes Takeo for his physical assets.
- Big sister’s true love, helping her rival cause it’d make Takeo happy.
- Now we know why Ai looked at that flower, in case people actually remember she did.
- So, Ai likes Takeo because he said something nice to her/liked her, not for his personality or anything. Ok.
- Oooh, forgot the cell phone on purpose. All to prove how much she used to be into Takeo from first sight, and set her sights on him.
- “How the hell do you fail at holding hands?” – Well, Takeo managed.