Kimi ni Todoke – 5
Haha, you know a series has me wrapped around when my immediate reaction to the end of an episode is, and I quote, “OH HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO DON’T TAKE THAT SHIT, SAWAKO.” Definitely enraging to see these assholes be all, “lol yankee” and “lol whore” when Sawako was this close to setting things straight with her buds and then having a nice study party afterward. (And by “this close” I mean she was 20 minutes away from deciding to go to Yano and Yoshida and talk to them.)
On a less infuriating note, I love Yano and Yoshida going back to using their brains and empathy and really finding out where they stand in this tangle of misunderstandings. They understand that it is not easy to know people at all, even someone like Sawako who seems like a simple, straightforward person at first glance. But unless someone speaks up and clears the path, there is always going to be haze between people. That’s just how it is — nobody is a mind reader, and nobody can completely understand another person, given how truly random life is. The one detail I really like is Yano saying that even after knowing Yoshida for all these years, there are still aspects of her that surprise Yano. Everyone has something they lock away and hide, whether purposefully or subconsciously.
It’s also appreciated that they recognize how difficult it is for someone like Sawako to all of a sudden process and interpret all these feelings — from herself and from other people — she has never felt before. We know Sawako is a social n00b; they know Sawako is a social n00b. But it seems as if this is the first time the reality of that has truly penetrated Yano and Yoshida’s minds. Not that I really blame them too much. When you interact with people randomly everyday, it’s just normal stuff, not really thinking about how you or anyone else is going about it at all. It’s just easy to assume everyone can get at least some of their feelings out in a relatively normal way, even though everything comes out jumbled for Sawako. But now they understand, and hopefully everything can be rectified.
Sawako is also pulled out of her funk by Kazehaya. While I don’t necessarily disagree with psgels that Kazehaya is still a bit bland, I think he is at least showing his love strongly as much as he is used as a plot device in this episode. The way he gets Sawako to understand empathy does not feel forced or too much like an Aesop to me. Kazehaya is just simple and straight with Sawako — if he did not want to be with her, then he would not try to be with her. That is all she needs to take into account. It is the same with Yano and Yoshida. If they did not want to talk with her and be friends, then they would not bother with the exercise of being friendly with Sawako. And with that in mind, if Yano and Yoshida purposefully distancing themselves from Sawako would hurt Sawako, then the reverse is probably also true.
The thing about empathy is that it seems easy when the logic of it is laid out after the fact. But really understanding people can be a crapshoot — sometimes it’s simple, and other times it is complex as hell. There are so many emotions, circumstances, biases and so on that enter the equation when trying to read people. As Sawako, Yano and Yoshida find out, reading the surface isn’t too tough, but reading between the lines can often be painfully difficult. I try my best to really know how people feel; however, it ain’t easy for me, haha. I envy those who can be truly empathetic seemingly at will. It is tough to master.
Hilariously, Ryu seems to have half mastered it, although his advice to Yoshida can basically be boiled down to, “Fuck it, just see where everything goes,” which is appropriate, given the source, haha. And, uh, damn, Ryu is energetic as hell during that scene — at least for him, anyway. That has to be at least quadruple the dialogue he has received during the previous four episodes. Ryu should give advice more often, maybe write a column for the school paper. I’d read that all the time.
Anyway, circling back to the beginning, my hope is that someone throws down with those douchenozzles, though I cannot imagine Sawako doing this at all, and if Yano and Yoshida were to do that, then it would further cement their reputations. Then again, it would also be a declaration that they just don’t give a shit, and that their friendship with Sawako is more important than bathroom chatter.