February 20th, 2016.
Bon and Bonita:
Now, this show had even more off-model/not nicely drawn faces than usual, but on the other hand, this episode’s use of colours, lighting, and just beautiful moments was also higher than usual. Especially in the scenes involving Miyokichi, while and after her meeting with Bon in the street. So pretty!
So, some thematic plot discussion, right? That’s what I’m here for after all (and yes, this post is going up late, because I had a headache that forced me to bed last night after 5 minutes of the episode, and then I woke up to it still being there… but you’re not here for that, are you?).
Did you notice when Miyokichi really felt betrayed? After she told Bon that she doesn’t want to upset him with her selfish demands, which is an opening for him to say she’s not really bothering him, but instead, he just accepts it and walks away after she calls for a promise from him. Miyokichi is desperate, she’s not putting on any masks, she’s telling Bon that he’s her choice, not someone she had to settle for, unlike the performance in last week’s episode.
So, why is Bon acting this way? You’ll note Bon has always been rather passive in his life, in how he accepts what’s given to him, how he interacts with others. He went out with girls who were there, or who went for him, rather than choosing them himself. He goes with what Shin suggests. Just last week he finally began truly giving his all to rakugo, and to his audience, rather than expect they’ll give him their love without him giving them his.
But here he is, taking Miyokichi’s love, and not giving her his. Is it because he doesn’t care for her, or because he’s not sure what he wants? Well, he knows he wants rakugo now, so everyone else comes second. You’ll notice how buoyed he was by the Master’s words, finally he allowed himself to verbalize his agreement to Shin’s fantasies, of seeing himself as a master, rather than a journeyman (futatsume). Finally he felt the acknowledgement of others and allowed himself to believe that he’s progressing, and is worthy of it.
But in that meeting, there was also the question on his relationship with Miyokichi, where the Master appeared like a young and bashful child, and Bon is forced to consider how he feels about someone else. Forced to admit to the world how things are, and to himself. He’s called on to make his own decision, rather than go with someone else’s. And for all his scolding of Shin-chan, Bon is afraid of making decisions, of making his voice heard.
“But if you’re going to be lovesick, it better be for a beautiful woman.” And Bon is the beautiful woman who holds Miyokichi’s heart. And Bon is afraid of his fantasies. He’s not sharing with anyone, because he’s still afraid of being left behind. And so, he leaves others behind.