Last episode, we had a relay race and a smile by Hacihmitsu. Good episode, I think, but we’re almost at the end.
We start out with something, I believe, at a much later point in the manga, unless I’m crazy. We get to see a bit of Izumi before he met Shikimori. You know how everyone seems to think he’s a flat, boring character? Well, this is where he starts to get developed a bit. His bad luck causes trouble for those around him, so he’s always forced to be alone for their sake. Something I understand to a certain extent.
Not for the bad luck part, but I tend to keep my distance from people if I feel like I’m just causing them problems. I’m a very awkward person sometimes, so if I think I’m bringing the group down, I won’t get involved. So I understand him as far as that goes. Izumi is not a flat character. We just see him after he met Shikimori, who helped even him out a lot.
While it’s clear we’re getting backstory, this episode is also starting that part of the story I mentioned that’s super intimate. Basically, Izumi wants to take Shikimori to Disneyland. I mean, it’s not Disneyland, but it’s similar, and he wants to do a romantic boat ride with her. To prepare, Shikimori goes shopping at the mall with her brother, who is oddly shy and also cute. The girls love him.
We then get some Shikimori backstory which has a little bit to unpack. Basically, she didn’t know how to be her own person for a long time. She spent her time either trying to be like her mother or brother. She joined karate to be like him, and got umbrellas that were popular with other people. She had no individuality, as her brother very harshly put it. That’s a rough insult.
She didn’t particularly have a problem with this, but as you can imagine, constantly doing things for everyone but yourself will eventually wear you down, and you really won’t be your own person, and your whole mood will rely on others. The way Shikimori changes this is with a manga. She sees two people in love and decides that’s going to be her new goal.
So she starts trying to be a traditionally “cute” girl. She grows her hair out, tries to dress more feminine, and, in general, just acts more girlish. She finally gets to the exams to get into a high school she wants but immediately breaks the cute girl thing and starts climbing a tree to help Izumi out, which is their first meeting. They meet again after getting to high school for real, and they hit it off.
By that, I mean they flirt with each other a bit, get embarrassed about it, and Izumi messes up his own name, saying he’s Ijumi instead. That’s about the extent of their interactions, but you kind of know the rest. They become friends, fall in love, that whole mess. Well, a beautiful mess, but love is always a mess.
This is a pretty good episode. Not only is it setting up for the series to end exactly where I guessed it would, with the romantic boat ride, but it also gave us a lot of insight into why Izumi and Shikimori are the way they are. Izumi and his bad luck causing him to always be alone, and Shikimori wanting to be loved for who she is essentially.
Yes, she changes everything about herself, but that’s because she believes she has to in order to be loved. Yes, Izumi loves the cute side of her, but it’s the strong, kind, heroic side of her that saved him. If he causes problems and puts everyone in danger, he just needs someone who will fight against it. Shikimori was just that. It’s very sweet.
Next time, we’re ending this thing for good. This is great for me because I’m so behind on things. Please help me catch up.
Thank you very much for reading
Onwards! To the end.