Suki na Kimochi ga Mukuwarenai kamo Nante Juujuu Shouchi no Ue daro? (好きな気持ちがむくわれないかもなんて重々承知の上だろ？)
Ahhh the title is the story of my life.
It was also very much the story of the last week too.
I have to say this is by far the best episode all season.
Whilst all the other episodes have been too busy forcing a whole load of emotional torture on the group this time we actually got to see them just be themselves. After nearly dying from the pain in their hearts last episode they decide to stay away from each other and their marks just disappear after the summer break ends.
We all know that it won’t last, after all Katsuhira’s mark that bonds him to Nori shows up now and again but for the majority of the time is not there. I’m already anticipating them all being joined for life but not in such a full on way. More on that later though.
Some things of note this episode.
First off I’ve always felt there was something MORE about Hisomu. I didn’t know what but it felt odd that all his character seemed to be was a joke. He doesn’t really belong, he has always been marked out as being completely different from not just the rest of the Kizna guys but the whole cast of support and background characters too. His time to shine is now as the person who doesn’t really have a strong emotional feeling to anything other then his enjoyment OF pain he’s the only one that wasn’t really moved by the last episode. If anything the experiment worked on him because he seems to have felt bonded to people for the first time in his life. So it didn’t surprise me that he became the bridge between Katsuhira and, for the time being, Nico.
Secondly my anger at Nico being made to fall in love only grew in this episode. Why? Because it showed the perfect way Nico had to be. SHE WANTED FRIENDS! She wanted to belong. Her emotional torture now is that she HAD friends and now she can’t have them. If you take away her feelings for Tenga what are you taking away? She would have still been so very heartbroken seeing Tenga attack Katsuhira and realising that all they’d done together was for nothing, she’d have still sought out Katsuhira and Hisomu in this episode and gave the impassioned speech about wanting to be friends with everyone. She’d have still gone with Katsuhira and Hisomu to see Nori… What it would have done is stopped a pointless story and given Chidori something real that they could have given her at the end of the season.
Why is that so important to me (or else thirdly) because I always knew that Katsuhira and Nori were going to be bonded in such a way that ANY ending other then them two being bonded would be hollow. In this episode sure it looked like Katsuhira finally started to realise the importance of Chidori in his life (when he heard a noise outside on the balcony he ran to see if Chidori was there) but for me after everything that happened if he now goes off with Chidori it just won’t be right. For me its like Gray and Juvia in Fairy Tail, at one point I was all behind them as a couple but the longer Juvia stalked him, fantasied about him and was completely ignored the more I realised that getting them together would be cruel. Gray never showed any true romantic feelings to Juvia, he’s always been so cold to her, he might have had his reasons but this has been going on for so long that if they end up a couple it would be cruel and would try to hand wave away the fact that Gray was a total ass to her. Its the same with Chidori and Katsuhira with one exception….
At least Katsuhira had been experimented on and lost his ability to feel.
It still doesn’t mean that since the beginning of the Kizna experiment and finding out that Chidori is in love with him that all that can be forgiven just because Chidori gets her man in the end.
But they are young and it would be so sweet if she realised that she might love Katsuhira but she also grew closer and her bond grew stronger with Tenga. Tenga is constantly doing things to make Chidori happy, to force Katsuhira to just react. Because that is the thing. Katsuhira hasn’t reacted at all, having no feelings doesn’t mean that you can’t do the right human thing for someone else. Tenga is constantly forcing Katsuhira to do SOMETHING and it can’t have escaped Chidori’s notice by now (it hasn’t, she knows what he’s doing and now knows how he feels) so it would make sense for them to bond.
That is enough of that though.
What made this episode so good though was the second part of it when we really got down to knowing more about Katsuhira and Nori.
We learnt that there were 19 kids in the experiment when they were kids but it went wrong, instead of 19 people feeling each others pain Nori felt everyone’s pain. Its so bad that even now she has to be sedated so she doesn’t feel it all. When they then severed the link some people never got their feeling back and became less then human whilst others could be put back into society.
Katsuhira was obviously one of the ones put back into society therefore there are people WORSE then him. Really worse. I wasn’t sure if they were actually alive until one of them was seen eating, they just sat there expressionless glaring into nothingness.
It was so sad.
It actually was enough to make Katsuhira feel emotional pain.
You got a glimpse of little Katsuhira and Nori too and man were they different. Which makes it even more sad but also makes you want them to find a way to live in society together. Hence why I want Chidori and Tenga together so badly.
For the first time the anime balanced it out. There was a good explanation with enough being shown on screen for it to work. It also played to the characters actual strengths. Tenga’s anger, Chidori’s emotions, Nico wanting friends…. The characters were SHOWN to be characters, the experiments failure was SHOWN to us. It wasn’t just a load of talking there was actual visuals to prove it too.
It also will probably show how the experiment could be a positive.
I feel the pain that Katsuhira is in now WILL reopen their wounds. They’ll feel his pain and it’ll open the door for them to understand.
You see a experiment like this could benefit the world. I wrote about it a few weeks ago. Imagine being able to feel the pain of someone with depression, or someone with a chronic illness, or a guy feeling what a period felt like for a girl just once…. Being bonded to someone that you can’t understand and actually feeling that pain, opening a door to understanding it. Not only that though you open the door to SHARE that pain. That person’s pain is then halved and you take some of it on for them.
That COULD work.
I feel where the experiment has always been wrong though is they opened this bond with strangers, with people who didn’t want to understand, and then forced them to open up psychological scars so much that even sharing the pain was enough to nearly kill them. They didn’t bond two people to see if they could understand each other, they didn’t work on one emotion at a time (or they did in some cases I guess) they just kind of forced each of these teens into a corner and made their life hell. It never was a experiment. It was torture in the face of desperation to get a result.
After the initial bond has disappeared though I think the left over bond could make the experiment a success. Now that they’ve forced them as far as they could physically go I feel like we’ll see them being able to come to terms with what happened and work together to understand and help each other.
Then again I’m so often wrong when it comes to this anime that maybe I’m just hoping the ending will be positive and good. Can’t blame someone for hoping!