Futaba Ooki loves to take pictures on her phone. Each picture is a memory and each memory is precious. It captures a time, place and emotion that can never be replaced. When Futaba’s phone runs out of memory and cannot store any more pictures she gets depressed and thinks back to the first time she made real friends.
Futaba takes front and center on stage this episode as we once again dive back into her tragic childhood. Instead of dwelling on her sad-sack self (wooo…alliteration!) we get the chance to meet her two best friends from junior high Akane and Chizuru. These two were the first two people Futaba genuinely felt attached to. She laughed with them, cried with them, made memories with them, and overall they helped her become a full engaged person as opposed to a husk that just moved around aimlessly.
As with Episode 5 there’s a pretty nonsensical issue here. For Episode 9 at least the payoff is beautiful. Futaba is sitting around with the diving club at lunch taking pictures of the sky. When her camera runs out of memory during a group photo, she loses it a little bit because she can either delete photos or move all her photos to her memory card and be unable to randomly appear as her background. Her reason for not wanting to move her photos is that seeing them randomly as her phone background appear keeps her whole as a person. If her photos are on the memory card they cannot be accessed for random backgrounds.
Alright…I’m sorry…I know this is important to Futaba, but seriously…can you not like…store your photos on something else or prioritize what photos make you the happiest? You can’t possibly need all your photos all the time, right? Maybe I’m just not the right person for this episode, but I thought this was a bit absurd. I get that Futaba has a sentimentality towards each and every picture, but she had to know at some point that she’s going to run out of phone memory.
Makoto even tells her she can move the pictures to a memory card where they will be safe. It’s not like she’s forced to delete them all. Futaba can’t seem to function like a person most of the time, and this episode just serves to deepen the whole idea. This type of issue shouldn’t generate depression; there are solutions.
This episode won me over a little bit later on by using deleting and moving pictures as a metaphor for saying goodbye to friends you love. Futaba recounts her move from Tokyo and saying goodbye after a phone call with her friends felt like a final goodbye. I felt for this idea because it’s hard to stay in contact with people you care about, even with all the social media we have today. Life is just busy and people who helped make important memories in your life disappear with widening physical proximity, and are never heard from again.
The gang eventually comes together to get Futaba something that helps her feel comfortable about moving her pictures. I won’t spoil it here so you’ll just have to check out this episode for yourself! The true magic of this moment is Futaba realizing that situations can be happy or sad based on your mindset and how you perceive things. It’s a genuinely heartfelt message, and the first time I’ve felt real emotion from the show. Futaba is growing a lot and a lot of time has been thrown into her character development. Maybe now we can put all this into play in the ocean.
Episode 9 contains a strong message and gives Futaba a new lease on life (hopefully). Let’s all hope that she puts this new mindset into practice and uh…reads more about technology. This was a stronger episode overall but I feel like it was still a mediocre effort. It uses a somewhat unrealistic emotional catalyst to stir up conflict so it can get where it needs to go. Hey, at least we get more of Katori-sensei’s rad car.