Is there really a way to change somebody, and if you can, would you still love them the same way? If there is a natural way to approach that idea, this series is doing it.
“Fragile and Empty”
After last episode’s yuri escape it’s time to jump right back in to the situation with Mugi and Akane, and it really delivers. In the first few moments we get Mugi’s thoughts on how ridiculous his situation is and Akane admitting to just playing with him like the toy he is. No other episode has yet to develop so much over the course of twenty-two minutes like this one has though, and the shift in tone by the end is quite interesting. Akane gets thrown around a lot despite her usual level of control, and both male leads arrive in different places than they were in the beginning. Mind you, they aren’t exactly better places.
The date with Akane and Kanai-sensei is kind of cute, despite the messed-up subtext of their relationship. Seeing someone so calculating and bereft of basic emotions get frustrated can be a wonderful thing, and it is handled quite well here. Sure she tries to break it off with him once she starts having some kind of emotional reaction, but it doesn’t go as easily as she hopes. Seriously though, what is with all these guys so willing to love her despite the fact she is so unfaithful and openly manipulative – is a question I would be asking if I and many others have not been in a similar situation. The advice of “the best way to change others is to start with yourself” rings somewhat true, and it can be seen in both the male leads here. Kanai ditches the naiveté by accepting her polyamory and Mugi goes oddly in the other direction.
There is very little of Hanabi in this episode, and the actual moment spent with her is rather shallow. But that’s the place she is in right now. Yes, that is your teacher’s desk, and you are touching it. On the other hand, her presence in Mugi’s mind is far more powerful. It seems like for a moment that Mugi is coming to some realization about his relationship with her and the emotional help she has given him, and then he throws it all out the window to become even more lovey with Akane. He figures out that she is a lot more childish than he thought and gets caught up in situations like this easily, but it doesn’t seem to change his outlook on things – yet. The ending lines are wonderfully ominous with only a couple episodes left to go.
Summary: Mugi finally lets us in to his thoughts about Akane and their relationship, while she keeps messing around for fun.
– “Your extreme selfishness turns me on.”
– And of course Akane is playing him.
– I love aquariums.
– Now this guy has found a proper girlfriend.
– How is one born a slut? Please don’t answer that.
– Better late than never.