Ahem. Sorry. I usually try to keep my more, er, effusive expressions of my reactions to episodes to Twitter, but you guys saw the episode! You saw the same things I did! YOU KNOW. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
Usually, I have some sort of idea of what I want to say when I start writing these posts—but I ain’t got no clue what I’m gonna say today. My brain is just a mush of warm, adorable fuzzy feelings. Because that’s just the sort of show Ore Monogatari!! is.
So, where did we start off? Basically, a date—for which Takeo was miserably underdressed and for which Rinko looked absolutely adorable. I do like little touches like that, especially in anime where characters changing clothes somewhat less common/easy to pull off than in live action. It’s a nice expression of their divergent expectations about what exactly this social encounter is. Rinko bringing cakes is normal at this point, but the inclusion of tea made me instantly think of a picnic and, well…picnics are a big deal! Or something. Anyways, neither of them are really on the same page, although Rinko’s hint dropping gets progressively more obvious—”You always eat a lot of my baking. That makes me happy.” It’s just a shame that Takeo is so convinced that she couldn’t possibly like him that none of the signals are getting through.
And again (from last week), there’s an undercurrent of tragedy in Takeo being so certain that Rinko couldn’t possibly love him that such obvious clues go straight over his head. I mean, Takeo is dense, sure, but it’s more like he’s been hit in the head so often by life that he can’t see straight than he’s just outright dumb. To add on to that, it makes Rinko’s tremendous efforts (she almost confesses in the park!) and her subsequent breakdown kind of sad, too. It’s not just Takeo who’s suffered from his past treatment now; it’s spreading out to affect someone else, too. (Side note: the musical score actually does a great job of underlining this, introducing a note of melancholy into what’s otherwise a pretty positive conversation.)
Fortunately, the savior of the day (and namesake of the episode, interestingly enough) is there to straighten things out. It’s pretty telling that Suna is the first person Takeo runs to after Rinko dashes off (and, you know, the same person Rinko goes to), not only because Takeo is still convinced Suna is the one Rinko likes. We’re already established that Takeo relies on Suna quite a lot and cares about his quiet friend with a huge heart, so it’s really nice to see Suna’s character just bask in the light of being a really, really great person.
Actually, now that I think about it, Sunakwa’s crowning virtues are a seemingly limitless store of patience and a great sense of humor, two traits you wouldn’t necessarily associate with his flat-faced exterior. Between Takeo’s intense lack of regard for personal space and exceeding inability to trust Suna’s continued assertions about Rinko’s feelings, Suna really does put up with a lot—but he does so without ever getting flustered or annoyed. Maybe it’s because of the clear affection and friendship he has for Takeo, maybe it’s just his personality. Either way (or both) Suna somehow becomes the strange magnetic force that finally brings our adorable bumbling lovebirds (kingfishers, perhaps) as they make their confessions of love to each other in his bedroom as he glamorously continues on with his reading. Again, you have to wonder whats going on in Suna’s head throughout all of this—and we sort of get to see it!
As for the confession itself, I don’t really have much to say about it. You don’t need me to analyze it or pull out any subtext—because there isn’t any at all! This is just totally honest emotion, laid out in parallel shots, between two high schoolers. It’s adorable, it’s sort of romantic (certainly, it is to them!), it’s hella fun to actually watch and squeal over, and it’s utterly without guile. “No tricks, no gimmicks.” (+1 to you if you can leave me a comment telling me what the reference is from without looking it up.)
And then there’s that stupid, stupid cake! Kyaa! I wanted to give Suna a cake after that tour-de-force of friendship. Despite how great it is to have an actual romantic couple THREE EPISODES INTO THE SHOW, the dynamic between the three of them is still really compelling to me, as is the relationship between Suna and Takeo. And I guess the relationship between Rinko and Suna. Heck, they’re all such nice people to watch and to watch interact with each other…and the fact that they’re doing it in about the cutest way possible just makes it better.
It’s really interesting to me that Suna didn’t remember the Red Ogre-Blue Ogre story (although Yamato quickly chimes in that she remembers) and that he considers the aid he gave to Takeo and Rinko to be entirely unexceptional. Or, maybe it’s more about the way he says it, “That’s just normal, man. There’s nothing amazing about it.” I’ve talked before about how Takeo over-romanticizes things as a sort of function of his over-the-top personality, so it’s neat to see that Suna occupies a position where acts of (really) great kindness are normal, not some great feat of superhuman integrity.
As much as I freaked out over the confession scene, it was the final moments of the episode before the credits with Takeo’s realization of how true a friend Suna has been to him all this time that really moved me and brought me to tears. Romantic love and adorable infatuation is nice and I really like it, but that kind of unconditional love (especially when communicated through friendship) is just something that always moves me. In that note, I thought the post-ED tag actually was a nice little cap to that reflection, showing us why Suna treasures his friendship with Takeo the way he does and why he’s so invested in his friend. These two have been together for a long time and Suna just legitimately appreciates who Takeo is as a person. What a bro. I just pray that he doesn’t have to suffer ala Taichi…