After spending time with his baby sister Hinata, Hiro realizes he needs to tell Haru about Akito’s abuse of Rin. This spurns Haru into a rage at Akito and he storms off to find Rin. Meanwhile, Kureno finally finds some agency and takes Rin out of the Cat’s cell so she can recover in Hatori’s hospital.
I watched this episode twice before I sat down to write this review. Now that the thoughts have settled in my brain, I’m feeling better about what I want to say. But first…some backstory…
Out of the four of us, I think I am the only one who likes Haru. His quiet support of Yuki, and his endless kindness towards the younger members of the zodiac win him major points in my book. Yes, he’s super monotone, but I like the humor that he brings to situations and seriously…when is the last time you saw a cow get excited, huh? That being said, I had reservations about his overall relationship with Rin.
From Rin’s angle, I understood that she was pulling the classic anime “I love you so much that my love is clearly going to hurt you so I’ll leave you without telling you anything in an attempt to fix all the stuff and then we can be together kthanx”. From Haru’s angle though…I…had less understanding. He gave her space because he thought that was…supportive? This whole time he’s not ONCE wondered if she’s been up to something , or running away from him because she’s in pain and didn’t want to burden him?! Are you really that naïve Haru?!
Alright, backstory complete.
Before I get into what I liked and what I didn’t, let’s just address how rapidly this episode’s conflict comes into being. Hiro magically decides to change his ways as a tight lipped “keeper of the dark secrets” because he’s inspired by the innocence of his infant sister. Uhhh…okay sure…I guess…
This could have been handled better but I suppose we’re on a speeding bullet train to the finale so…we gotta have people blurting out important information NOW! Shout out to Hinata for being the MVP in Haru/Rin’s relationship this episode. Someone give that girl a medal.
The first thing this episode gets right, is really selling me on Haru’s angle of things. I have personal experience with love in relation to someone difficult. It is hard and it is complicated and it takes so much emotional energy. Too close and you smother, too far away and you neglect. There’s an endless balancing act to be performed. Haru is enduring that balancing act. We finally get his inner monologue on the whole situation with Rin. He thought the mere act of internally loving someone, of sitting back post-informing them they are wanted, was enough to provide the necessary support. When he finally catches wind of all that’s transpired in his foolish absence, he shows visceral emotion. It was very moving, and I love the complexity that whole sequence brought to his character. I also like that the show didn’t hand me the explanation above easily. I had to infer it from all that we’ve watched up to now.
The second thing I loved was seeing Akito lose her sh%t as Haru walks out on her and his curse starts coming undone. Oh what a satisfying feeling. I’m also appreciative of this scene because it’s a reminder that Akito is a terrible terrible person. I, like Dan, am not even remotely sold on the idea of Ren being our real antagonist. Akito’s done way too many terrible things. I like that her character isn’t consistently reverting into someone pitiable, so the show can sell me on how bad I should feel about her upbringing.
What this episode gets wrong…is numerous other items. Let’s start with Rin. There’s a two-fold problem here, in my opinion. Fold one is that she is played for a complete fool in this episode and her personality changes on a dime. Did she REALLY believe Ren was going to just give her the secret to breaking the curse? The Rin I’ve known seemed more shrewd than that.
To prove my latter point, we have her go from this:
within minutes. Yes, I know Rin used to be a gentle person, but this wonky emotional shift in her mannerisms gave me whiplash. Child you’ve been abused six ways to Sunday. There’s no way in hell we should be getting a resolution right now. I’m waaaaay more irritated by this than anything the show has done with Machi.
Fold two is that there is such an intense hatred of Rin. Her parents, Akito, and Ren treat her like she’s the scum of the damn earth. Crimety show…I have always admired how grounded things have felt. This just feels…unbearably melodramatic to me. Why exactly does Ren hate her so much?!
My last complaint circles around the final sequence of the episode. I complimented this episode regarding Haru’s intense emotional reaction to Akito’s abuse of Rin. When he finds Rin pseudo unconscious on a sidewalk he’s suddenly lost all of that interesting character development. I’m gonna just ignore how stupid it is that he was able to find her in all of…ten seconds with no knowledge of her whereabouts. I am gonna complain about how stupid his reaction is to finding the love of his life finally and KNOWING what she’s been through. Yes, yes I understand that him saying “I will carry you” and “You are not a burden” is supposed to be a big deal, but it wasn’t enough for me. I’ve seen Haru get emotional. You gave me a taste of that show! Now was the time for an emotional reunion for both these characters!!
As a final note I want to solidify that I think Kureno is a worthless wet blanket. He learns of what Akito has done to Rin and is all:
Oh yeah Kureno…she’s really learned her lesson alright. God you are such a pathetic loser…
I’m gonna drown out my annoyance at this episode by thinking of Kisa. That girl is a cinnamon roll wrapped in a cinnamon bun.
I think there’s too much crammed into this episode. I loved seeing the emotional side of Haru, but that beauty was drowned out by poor character writing for Rin and that finale scene. Somebody bring Tohru back! I need to balance out my dislike for Kureno!
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I also had to rewatch this episode before I could write about it. The first viewing had me so focused I didn’t take a single note or screen capture. The episode was just brilliantly done.
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*Internet high five for having to think out what you want to say!
Yeah there were some really powerful emotions in play in this episode. Also I knew it wouldn’t happen but I so wanted Haru to punch Akito…
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I want anyone to punch Akito. Just once. She very much deserves it.
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