It was a little strange how, last episode, it was Sayaka and not Yuu consoling Touko over her epiphany but it turns out that we just needed to wait a week to see how Yuu will address things. There was certainly no way she wouldn’t notice something was going on in Touko’s head. Not only has Yuu established herself as a very perceptive person, Touko’s behavior has gotten rather telling. Her turmoil is proving to be a good muse for her acting (I sure hope we get to see the real performance next episode…).
I don’t know about you but I got a bit frustrated with Sayaka this episode. In one scene, Yuu asks Sayaka if she knows anything about what’s wrong with Touko but Sayaka decides to dodge the question and assure Yuu that everything will be alright. I doubt this is Sayaka trying to hog Touko all for herself but it’s still a bit rude, don’t think you think? Mind you, I don’t think this necessarily makes the scene “bad” per se. Wanting give Touko the benefit of the doubt and not trouble others seems perfectly in character for Sayaka to do. However, I do think this scene serves as a another contrast in how different Yuu and Sayaka are when it comes to wanting to help Touko. The latter’s heart may be in the right place but it’s the former that grows more assertive in eliciting a change in the girl they both love. And if I’m being frank, it’s also why Yuu seems poised to “win”.
I write win with quotation marks as truth be told, it remains to be seen if Yuu will finally make girlfriend status official. Sure, the line between platonic friendship and romance has blurred quite a lot. First, you have Yuu and Touko reminiscing on their relationship at a level crossing. It’s a stunning scene visually, specifically with how everything slows down and streaks of light from a train’s windows pass over them as they flashback to previous moments of intimacy. Suffice to say, Yuu is aware on some level that she is attracted to Touko. But following that, Yuu invites Touko to her room and persuades the latter into doing so by bringing up her committing of neither hating or loving her senpai. Because again, Yuu just sees Touko as a really, really, really close friend. And believe me, I really liked seeing Touko decompress in Yuu’s room and feel so at ease again but come on. Yuu lets her rest on her lap, gives her a Popsicle (though not like that), the two of them kiss, and then they lay in bed together (though not like that). But again, they’re just friendssssssssssssssss.
For all that’s good in the world, I just want Yuu to finally admit that she is in love with Touko. Maybe the manga has or is getting there though with what little time we have left in this anime adaptation, it’s looking unlikely we’ll get there. Then again, when you consider the pacing of this story, it would serve it well to tackle one problem at a time. I’d like to see Yuu change her outlook on romance but first she needs to elicit a very important change in Touko’s outlook on herself.
Looking back, it feels a little silly now to question the point of the student council play. I still find the concept bizarre but it has proven to have an important purpose for Bloom Into You‘s narrative. Koyomi’s play is a reflection of Touko’s own turmoil. Just like the main character in the play, Touko is convinced she must use an identity laid down by others. But now that she’s learned that she has maybe strayed from the template, she seems lost, confused, and frustrated and Yuu wants to tell her that she doesn’t need to feel that way. It’s very meta if you think about it. Yuu argues that Koyomi’s audience only truly know the present personality of the play’s main character and so it makes more sense for said character to go with what she believes is best for herself. The same could be said about us, the audience of Bloom Into You, and Touko. I can’t necessarily speak for every viewer but we do see what Touko is like as a person right here and now. She doesn’t need to pick a facade and ideally, the audience wants her to accept that truth.
Asking Koyomi to change the ending, especially this late into production, is admittedly questionable. No doubt, there may be some resistance to that decision from the other characters. But you know what? I’m glad that Yuu decided to go with her guts this time. She stood by Touko’s side as best as she can but in the end, what really needed to happen is a big, fundamental change. It’s about time Yuu took matters into her own hands.
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