So, we’ve arrived at the penultimate episode of the Kanya Festival arc and the answers to all the mysteries are starting to slowly unveil themselves (some courtesy of Oreki). The Classics Club is still functioning as four separate units, but their moments of togetherness are starting to outnumber their moments of separation. Of course, that doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing…
If you’ve come this far with Your Lie in April, now might be your last chance to turn back. That’s the feeling I get. We’re standing on the edge of the precipice of the deepest valley this show has yet looked into and, well, it looks to be pretty dark there at the bottom. And I’m really not just talking about Kaori’s frightening final line of the episode, but about the whole direction of the show.
Well, to be totally honest, this episode would have been a total disappointment if not for the post-festival scenes and, even then, this was probably one of the weakest episodes Akatsuki no Yona has produced. Unlike the comparable comedy-laden, mostly plotless episode spent in Ki-ja’s village, there were not cultural constructions at work until the very end—meaning that, due to the relatively dull nature of the war games, the episode was relatively boring, something Yona‘s never really fallen to even in its weakest moments.
I’m starting to remember just why this show is so painful and so amazing. The end of this episode was pretty much emblematic of what the fundamental story of Toradora! is: this is a show about young people trying their best to be good and hurting themselves and each other because they don’t know any better. This dualism of childhood versus adulthood that is really starting to make itself felt is thus all the more relevant because we’re watching our main characters in a liminal state—fluctuating (sometimes in a single moment) between acting like children and acting like adults. But the reason we can’t hate them is because they’re trying. Really hard. So, let’s see how their struggle occurs as we finish off Kitamura’s arc.