You have no idea how freaking excited I was at the start of this episode, as it looked like we might get a bit more of Yuki and Shi-chan than we have thus far. It still wasn’t much, but I loved what little we got anyway. Yuki is pretty atypical for a character in a manga like this, honestly, which is to say we generally do not see much of adults in manga with LGBT themes that is focused on adolescent and child characters. Or, rather, adults who are themselves LGBT. And, honestly, that Yuki just exists as a level-headed, happy adult who happens to be trans is really huge, not even taking anything else at all into account. Good thing Yuki is also just a good character too =)
Yuki’s memories of high school as sound pretty bad, but her behavior while recalling them demonstrates pretty explicitly that it really doesn’t bother her any more. Damn, that whole scene could just be snipped out of the episode and put up for the It Gets Better project!
Which really leads into something that occurs to me fairly frequently while watching this, although I don’t mention it a huge amount: for all these kids having some pretty massive identity issues, this show just feels so good. Nitori and Takatsuki obviously are dealing with something big, but no one is crying their faces through pillows or trying to kill themselves. They’re surrounded by lots of good people who care a lot about them. You never feel like they aren’t going to get through adolescence and be happy adults themselves – and, overall, they seem pretty happy in the present, too.
Some may argue that this is unrealistic. I disagree, because while there are a lot of folks who have/are having bad experiences due to being a trans kid or teenager, there are people who are finding that they’ve got people who love them no matter what. I can understand people wanting to see the bad as well, since it holds resonance for a lot of LGBT people and also simply because, hell, maybe someone who is being shitty will sit up and actually take notice. But that isn’t the whole story, and it also doesn’t have to be. Yuki alluded to having been treated poorly (and there is a bit more with her family that I’m not sure the anime will get to), so it isn’t a full-on whitewash.
I also would point to the manga, particularly the material that comes before the anime does, as Nitori and Takatsuki do take a lot of heat from their classmates. But this is only in the manga, so I don’t mean it to exonerate the anime – just felt it warranted mention.
Changing gears drastically, while I dislike Ninomiya, again, for seeming like such a flat character for a Shimura effort, the contrast between his public and private personae is pretty funny. I love how much Saori snubs him, and I think its great that she gave the flowers to Mako.
Ah, Mako. He took a bit of a beating this episode, although it turned out alright in the end. I’m happy he was able to overcome his lack of confidence when on the stage. And I’m sure that a certain SaorixMako shipper out there was pretty happy about their interactions in this episode, although I myself remain of the opinion that such a pairing just isn’t possible 😉 I definitely think that they make for very good friends, but I don’t see anything other than that at all.
Chi-chan’s sparkling confession to Maiko was really funny, as well as her forgetting of her lines as a result. But my real question for that scene is what their teacher was doing with that student. Its a girl who was also in every shot of him throughout the episode. Just look past Anna when she’s getting all mad at Chi-chan:
Neee~ sensei, what’re you doing?
Might I remind everyone that at this point in the story the kids in the core cast are twelve years old? Uhhhhhhhh….
I don’t remember this being in the manga, but its been a while since I’ve read this part, so maybe it was. Who knows.
Some kid at the maid cafe ordered orange juice and a chocolate chip cookie. What the fuck is wrong with this kid? That is just disgusting. Everyone knows that acid and sugar are shitty together. Yuck. I was beyond disgusted by that kid.
Random, but: I looked into who the music composer is for the series, as I noticed this episode that it sounds similar to Natsume Yuujin-chou’s soundtrack. Not so, but, hysterically enough, this guy (Satoru Kousaki) did the Milky Holmes soundtrack, as well as Working!!’s OP. WAN WAN.
Yeah, I’m out.