Aoi Hana – 8

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So, Fumi and Sugimoto are broken up now. Not entirely surprising, but it is a shame.

About the very end . . . I believe Fumi and Sugimoto are definitely finished, and Fumi does not have an unrequited love for Sugimoto floating around in her heart like Ikumi does. Acchan jokes that Fumi is putting up a front when she says she does not love Sugimoto, and she is to an extent. However, that front is not protecting love Fumi still harbors for Sugimoto so much as it protects Fumi from really feeling what she has lost. But when she speaks to Ikumi, someone who truly loves Sugimoto despite all the pain it causes her, all the good memories come flooding back to Fumi, and it really hits her for the first time that she has really lost something. But she will get through it.

It is good that Fumi has Acchan around to help her get through tough times. What I really like about Acchan is how considerate she is. She thinks a lot about how people act around her and how she perceives them, and she always judges people fairly. Take the scene where Sugimoto basically kidnaps Acchan for a day out. Acchan is ready to bite Sugimoto’s head off for how she treated Fumi. Why shouldn’t she be, after all? Sugimoto dumped Acchan’s best friend, and now matter how much Fumi tries to hide it, she is feeling some pain. So Acchan wants to give Sugimoto a piece of her mind.

Acchan is direct with Sugimoto. “Do you like Kagami-sensei?” she asks, after Sugimoto tries to deflect an Acchan comment by half-mockingly mentioning how scary Acchan is. But Sugimoto’s response is more frank than Acchan anticipates, I think: “I loved him,” she says, and goes on to say that she has always “illicitly” loved the man who was to marry her sister, Kazusa. (I like getting some quick confirmation that Kazusa and the drama teacher are getting married!) Acchan can fleetingly see how melancholy the subject makes Sugimoto — that, perhaps, Sugimoto dumped Fumi as much for Fumi’s sake as for her own. I cannot say exactly what Acchan thinks about as she decides not to attend school and instead looks out at the sea for a while, but I bet that is a part of it, because that is just who Acchan is. When she learns something new, she chews on it and sees if it will change her perspective of things.

Then she visits Fumi to cheer her up, because she is such a good friend. ^_^

IkumiSugimoto

Something that really surprises me, though, is how Sugimoto completely unloads on Ikumi. I mean, damn, she is downright vicious! Half of it, I think, is because she is trying to show Ikumi that she has absolutely no hope of capturing her heart, and half of it is probably just an enormous amount of frustration that has built up in Sugimoto over the past few days. That still does not excuse Sugimoto being, frankly, a total bitch to Ikumi.

It is pretty terrible how cold Sugimoto is to Ikumi. This would not be so bad if Sugimoto had not led Ikumi on so much. I mean, she doesn’t give out any hints that she would like Ikumi romantically, or anything, but she pretends to be nice to Ikumi a lot, and it’s just . . . disconcerting. My view on Sugimoto has admittedly softened, but the way she deals with Ikumi has consistently been one aspect of Sugimoto I have never liked. She always seems to be stringing Ikumi along, making a show of flirting with other girls in Ikumi’s presence and generally making her feel terrible.

Ikumi is a nice person in general. She has shown in her interaction with Acchan that she is a smart, gentle girl. It’s only when it comes to Sugimoto that Ikumi gets a bit wacky. Hey, love does it to us all at times. Of course it would be smarter for Ikumi to just drop the thought of being with Sugimoto and just avoid hurting herself. But she just cannot make the feeling disappear. It’s just too intense for that. Even if Sugimoto kicks dirt in Ikumi’s face, Ikumi will still love her. That is what makes Sugimoto’s behavior more cruel. It’s like continually kicking an adoring puppy that does not know any better.

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The series seems to be presenting Acchan x Fumi as a serious possibility, but I am not sure how I feel about that. There are just three episodes remaining in the series. That’s three episodes to turn Acchan into a lesbian. Not sure how the series could do that without seeming really silly. It’s not unbelievable on Fumi’s side, obviously — I could totally see her falling for Acchan. But Acchan has said repeatedly that she is not attracted to girls. So . . . maybe what I am interpreting as hints are just moments of really strong friendship. Who knows.

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