After the Rain

Discussion in 'Specific Anime Discussion' started by chii, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Gens

    Gens Database Moderator

    Posted by Gens on Mar 15, 2018
    Thought dumping, but I just wanted to say that,
    there was a clover there on the bookmark which is of course a sign of good luck as we all recognize with the soaring swallow, so honestly, the way I see it, it's signifying, there is possible good fortune in their futures, if they choose to pursue those passions. That's what I take away from it, on a symbolic level anyway. Kondo is a bird, refusing to fly, but maybe with a little shove, and encouragement, he'll be able to take to the skies one day again and write that novel and vice-versa. It just takes some work, to get there. There's nothing more disappointing honestly, than not even trying in the first place.

    /end blurb


    It's all good, I appreciate different interpretations. Besides, I think it's pretty much impossible to completely eliminate bias, anyway.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  2. interregnum

    interregnum Well-Known Member

    You swung from yelling at me to telling me you liked my different interpretation--and you worked in the word "baka," thus fully activating my tsundere senses.

    So...I'm in love with you, now. Just so you know.

    As I said last week:
    So: bingo. No matter which way we lean on the swallow story that follows/spawns from it.

    The book it's in, just for context, appears to be about detachment from your surroundings, resigning yourself to that detachment--but then going your own way. If that means anything.

    Also, just a note: the party in the post was the retirement for the third-years. Haruka's leaving the track team. Which is the perfect time for Akira to reconnect with her.

    At least, to my mind, it is.
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  3. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Forum Moderator Database Moderator

    Episode 10:

    For me the big take away from this episode is both Kondo and Akira have a lot to sort out before they can focus on figuring out what is going on between then. During their trip to the book fair their minds kept wandering away to other places. In Kondo's place he literally wandered away. Of course Kondo was able to wander away because Akira was staring at a post Haruka shared of the track team. While our two leads spend a significant portion of the episode together they usually have to forcibly break out of their other concerns to remember that they're supposed to be spending time together. Most of the significant things and symbolism this episode seem to be point out that their time isn't right now. They need to sort their feelings out about the past before they can sort their feelings out for each other.

    Whether this is a story about characters finding their passions again or finding something new because they can't go back, both Akira and Kondo have to come to terms with their past before facing what their future hold. Right now their stuck in holding patterns not able to move forward or backwards. Akira at the very least has to make some sort of amends with Haruka. Track was a big chapter of her life and just leaving it behind without a second glance is always going to leave her with a doubts. Right now her strongest connection to track is her relationship with Haruka and all the emotions connected there. If Akira can come to some kind of peace there, then she should be able to move on, whatever form that may take.

    Kondo's path to moving on is a lot more messy. There's his failing as a writer, there's his feeling that he's wasted his youth and there's his failures as a husband and a father. The show has been slowly parsing through these things throughout the course of its run. He's still got a long way to go though because he constantly feels defeated by it. It does seem that Akria's support does help him a bit this episode.

    As for the swallow story that's where Akira and Kondo are right now. They're avoiding flying and the rain because they are too bound up in their pasts. They've found temporary refuge in each other, but it's a halfassed temporary thing that won't get them very far in the long run and might deprive them both of the sun and the rain.

    Which to me makes the postcard mean that they need to take a rain check (har, har) for the time being and work on themselves. They can still help each other, but as for actual relationship that defines their future it's going to have to wait.
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  4. Gens

    Gens Database Moderator

    Posted by Gens on Mar 16, 2018
    Spoiler tag FAILURE again ZK, get your shit together man.

  5. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Forum Moderator Database Moderator

    Consider me properly chastised. I'll got stand dramatically in the rain and contemplate what I've done.
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  6. Starletka

    Starletka Well-Known Member

    Ep. 10:
    She looks so adorable with different hairstyles.
    Huh. So she can return back to the track. Huh.
    Just return back to the track, Akira.
    A standard cute and fluffy episode.
  7. Taek

    Taek Well-Known Member

    Posted by Taek on Mar 17, 2018
    I've missed so much good discussion. I'll try and catch up with it all today.

    Episode 10

    Caught up with 8,9 and 10 last night, they were a great stretch of episodes to me.
    Just to talk about 9 for a minute, with Akira and Haruka's fight. Akira did not come off well to me through that, yeah she extended the olive branch, but then half assed the friendship immediately when questioned on what the fuck she thinks she's doing lusting after Kondo.

    Now Kondo isn't quite the loser I thought he was, and I'm glad he's forcing this friendship thing, but Akira's chat with the blonde girl whose name I can never remember at the restaurant made me think that she's just expecting this friendship to blossom into romance. Not a great game to play, Tachibana.

    Anyway, onto the episode, JUST GO TO FUCKING REHAB YOU UTTER DOUCHEFUCK. Christ on a bike how infuriating, she has the resources there to get fully healed, whether she goes back to track or not, and she's not taking it? What is her problem? Why live with a permanent injury when you don't have to?

    But please Akira, just return to track. Once again you need to start pushing for your ambitions. The show seems to me to be saying that romance is overrated, friendship and ambition is far more important. Kondo got married, missed out on a trip to India, and never got published, Chiro describes novels and writing as his lover and has become successful. Akira is currently forgetting track to focus on a (bullshit) romance that she will probably regret.

    The idea here is that you can have both, if you manage yourself correctly. There was no reason Kondo couldn't have gone to India and married on his return, there's no reason Akira can't have a girlboyfriend and still be successful on track. There is balance to be had here and no one is getting it.
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  8. interregnum

    interregnum Well-Known Member

    I'm re-watching episodes 6-10, at the moment, and I've noticed a few things worth mentioning. (One of them has to do with the moon.)

    However, not that your hopes were up or anything, this is not that.
    Well said, sir. Well said indeed.

    Well, Haruka was being a dick, at the time. She was shocked, which is understandable, but her shock quickly went to jealousy--which quickly went to judgment. Because she was being disingenuous: she just wants Akira to herself. And she doesn't want to accept the past is over.

    Hee hee--no, sorry, this just made me laugh. I don't think I've ever heard that before.

    Right, so, actually relatedly:
    But...what if she doesn't want to? Like, genuinely doesn't want to.

    I'm playing devil's advocate (I guess) with this one, but all the same: why is giving up on this the wrong thing to do? (Yes, there's the practical side of having an injury she doesn't need to have...but the injury itself is nebulous, as far as I can tell, so I'm willing to go along with the conceit that the rehab would almost be specifically to make her track team-worthy again, rather than part of a basic healing process.) We all made certain assumptions about her crush on Kondo, both in terms of our social moralities and her character motivations, and those haven't quite panned out the way we'd assumed. Aren't we just repeating the same fallible presumptions, here?

    What if Akira doesn't want to go back--not because of Kondo or laziness or fear of the hard rehab process but because it just won't be the same? What if she knows her natural talents are no longer going to be the thing that carries her, and she just isn't interested in doing it another way? OR--what if she's just...done?

    And what if giving up is...well, kind of the point?

    (Oh, in case anyone thinks I've forgotten, this is related to Haruka. (And, no, not just because she presumes a better understanding of Akira in much the same way we do.) Just...stick with me. I'm getting to it.)

    I've been saying that I think the point of the show is that there is...well, that there's more than one way to skin a cat, essentially. Each of our protagonists has a thing from the past that they can't seem to have now. And I think the lesson is that they don't want those things but things within those things, which they can actually find elsewhere. That they need to forget the past and see the present. That they need to reorient themselves.

    Think of Yoshizawa: he works at the restaurant to get closer to Akira. He is not going to get closer to Akira--but he is on a clear shot to dating Yui (the blonde--and, importantly, Akira's opposite). What he thinks he wants is Akira, but what he really wants is to connect and fall in love with a girl. Putting aside the unfortunate "any girl will do" implication therein (which I absolutely do not mean to imply), he can get what he wants with Yui--a girl he's obviously got chemistry with--if he can let go of his preoccupation with Akira.

    In other words: you can get what you want without getting what you (say or think you) want.

    But, fine, Yoshizawa's small fry. So let's look at Kondo: he's wants to be a writer, but he's a failed writer, which is why he's so broken. But what if he doesn't actually want to be a writer? What if what he wants is just to lose himself in literature?

    Think about it: his whole everything is his love of the written word. In Episode 10 he's wandering off in search of books. In Episode 6 he describes the library as an ocean of books--that is, something he can splash around in. Writing may be his way of connecting himself to this love of literature, it what he wants, or just a way to get what he wants?

    I think it's the latter. I think Kondo should, say, teach. Or edit. Or review. I think we never see him more comfortable or alive than when he's talking about books. And what is that if not connecting to the literature, splashing around in it, immersing himself in it.

    Same thing with Akira and track. (Not that she failed at track, but she isn't able to do it anymore--at least not in the way she used to, which might be enough.) I think she has to figure out what about it made her "melt into the sky." And I think she needs to find another way to get that feeling--that whoosh.
    I also think the romance--like track and writing--is kind of a misdirect. In that I think all of these may be things our heroes find their way to, ultimately, but I don't think finding their way to them is the point. (They might, though, be resultant of the point.)
    Hmm. I'm starting to think my perspective is structurally couched in Substance Theory, wherein that which something is made up of is not necessarily the thing itself.


    So, right--Haruka. (I told you I'd get there.) I mentioned my episode re-watching, and there's a point about the moon that, I think, is relevant, here. So, despite wanting to hold it back for that ludicrous post, I'll mention it now:

    Episode 6 ("melt into the sky," library trip, etc.) ends with Akira walking home from the library. She's thinks about Kondo telling her that a book might be calling to her. We then get a look at the track photobook. Then Akira looks at the moon. Then the wind blows and she gets a whoosh in her ears.

    So, to recap:
    1. thoughts of Kondo
    2. implications of track
    3. THE MOON
    4. the elusive whoosh
    ...y'know, pretty much all the stuff from the last few episodes all rolled into one 15 second clip. (Kondo's even reading a book called Friendship, earlier on.)

    Now, importantly, recall how Episodes 9 and 10 inextricably tie Haruka to the moon (symbolically). And also recall that Haruka's brother (in Ep 6) comments that she and Akira haven't talked much in a while. So...given our new moon symbolism, perhaps 20/20 hindsight-rumination might tell us that it is Haruka, not track, that is calling out to Akira in that moment. And that, further, the balance Akira needs is not between track and romance but Haruka and Kondo.

    It's just that, for this to happen, Haruka has to complete her arc and give up the past (that is, her infatuation with Akira), as well.

    Or maybe this is all just about everyone getting what they say they want. (Except Yoshizawa. Of course.) What do I know.

    That said:

    I want to correct something I said, initially--I think:
    Haruka and Akira aren't third years, are they?
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  9. Taek

    Taek Well-Known Member

    Posted by Taek on Mar 18, 2018
    I guess she is kinda being a dick, but at this point, they're definitely both being dicks to each other. It wasn't judgement I saw from Haruka, but it was definitely jealousy, perhaps not "why don;t you like me, not him" style jealousy, but as she says in the episode, a "why don't you talk to me" style jealousy. Her anger, to me at least, felt sincere and at least founded in positivity, she just wants to be closer to her friend. Akira on the other hand, she just shuts her down entirely.
    It's a favourite of mine, so you might see me over use it in the future...
    Ooooookay, lets get in to some deep personal shit
    So before I get into personal stuff, my main feeling that Akira want to go back to track is from 3 things. Firstly it's the "melting into the sky" conversation, secondly the renting of the track book (even if it does get kicked off the bed), and thirdly, her initial eagerness to help the team out, before she leaves abruptly again.

    So what we've seen is an older conversation pre-injury where she is passionate about running, and with nothing to hold her back, we see how much she adores the sport. The other 2 instances are post injury, and, rather importantly, almost instinctual. She picks the book up and rents it, it's not until later that we see she has consciously forgotten about it and kicks it off the bed, she instinctively agrees to help the track team out for a short while, it's a conscious decision to then leave when she see's that things have changed. The initial love of the sport is still there, she is consciously pushing it away.

    So part of me wanting her to go back is definite projection from me. It's how I want the story to turn out, I want this to be a story about Akira finding her way back to what I perceive to be her true love, not Kondo, but the track. I want this because I tend to dislike romance stories because I find them entirely unrelatable. I don't have much time for romance either in my day to day life, or within my mental thought processes, so I feel if the show takes a turn away from the track and deep into romantic territory, it will distance itself from me. Not something I want as I'm enjoying it so much. Now I refer to myself as aromantic, so I would much rather see this turn out as a friendship between Kondo and Akira, because it's a belief I hold that having friends both older and younger than yourself can really enrich your life. It's also why if there is to be a romantic pairing, I'm on the spectrum of wanting Akira to get with Haruka, not just because YURI LOL, but because I personally feel I physical attraction towards women, but no real romantic attraction to anyone, I can find a shoujo-ai romance actually relatable.

    With Akira's injury holding her back from track, well we've seen that it isn't a problem that rehab can't fix, so it's not an ACL tear or something, and far more likely an achilles injury. They hurt like absolute hell as anyone who has ever strained it will know, and I've said previously about how being involved in sport myself, I've seen passionate people get seriously injured and still haven't kept away from the sport. There is a difference though, Akira is 17, these guys have all been 25-40. There is a level of maturity there with the people I'm referring to, and for many of them, Judo is a passion that they can't live in. What I mean by that, is that they can't do it full time, they don't get paid to practice or compete, and at their age, they have to accept that they are past the point of ever being at the highest level of competition. So Judo, then, is a small piece of their lives that they have to fit in around work, family, and any other commitments they might have. Take them back to the age of 17, with that same passion they have now, and you wouldn't get them off the mats. I've had a guy come in with a broken neck and one of those massive braces come in, did he fight or practice throws? No, he came on the mats, helped coach the kids, and took notes in the senior session. 6 months down the line when he had his brace off, doing light judo was part of his rehab, now he comes every week still, but only fights on the ground. A broken neck, a potentially life ending injury, didn't stop him from his passion. What Akira is going through with the injury, is a bit of old fashioned teenage moping. And it's entirely understandable, she had a natural talent and now she's staring down the barrel of actually having to work hard to get back to a level she achieved without much (relatively speaking) effort.
    I hope this has gone some way to explaining what I think about the whole thing anyway.
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  10. interregnum

    interregnum Well-Known Member

    I absolutely love that we're all coming at these things from (at least slightly) different angles.

    Oh, don't misunderstand me: Akira definitely slams the door shut. But...shouldn't she? Not, like, in that she was morally right to do it, but...I mean, isn't that what you would expect her to do?

    The whole situation she's in--no matter what your perspective about her romantic pursuits or her injury or whatever--is about her being vulnerable. She's not as...securely tethered as she might have been in the past: her identity and desires are in flux--and, more immediately, all anyone does is tell her how wrong she is to feel how she feels about Kondo. She's not ashamed, but she knows she's opening herself up to ridicule. (Jackass Chef isn't just reviled for being sleazy; she hates him because he belittles her feelings. (And, I mean, look how many of us put her through the ringer after the first episode!)) This is a place where she can be hurt, so she gets defensive. It's not good, but it's predictable.

    And, in that situation...okay, yes, this is a two-way street--undeniably. When two people don't talk to each other, it's on both of them, if no one makes the first move. (And, for the record, it was Haruka who made the first move (of a sort), with Akira eventually responding.)

    But Haruka's gotta be the one to make more of an effort, once they get around to talking. She's hurt about being abandoned, but Akira's hurt about A LOT of things. They both need those lines of friendly communication opened and repaired, yes, but Akira needs more than that: she needs support. She's the one with the injury and the myriad things that have spun out of that. In more than one sense, Akira's broken.

    And I'm not even saying that Haruka's wrong to have reacted like she did, exactly. But it's not like she reacted and then backpedaled. She saw she upset Akira and then laid into her with all of her bull****.

    So if I'm going to point fingers: Haruka.

    (Also: Akira is perfect.)


    Heh, just like I know part of my feeling about the "move on from the past" angle is absolutely me projecting. Just as Kondo and Akira are facing similar struggles, I'm locked into those kinds of struggles, too.

    The other part is structural, of course--and I'll do my best not to repeat the 10,000-word essay that usually follows that statement.

    I don't see eagerness at all, in that section. The girls gang up on Akira and literally haul her to the field. She stays, of course, and she's...somewhat engaged, I suppose, as a spectator. But other than a casual "hey" to an (initially) apprehensive Haruka, I didn't notice Akira being particularly enthusiastic about the development.

    The subsequent flashes of her after her injury show that she misses it--or misses something about it, at least. And she is absolutely hesitant deal with the effects of not having that, anymore.

    To wit: notice how frequently Haruka is present in the all that track stuff? (I know, I know--it's only logical that she would be.) Now look at the moment that Akira gets up to leave: it's celebrating with Haruka--not the team, Haruka.


    I dunno, maybe. Or maybe this connects to Haruka's question about their friendship being more than just track. Maybe Akira just isn't sure who she is without running, and Haruka's too connected to that unsettling feeling.

    It's certainly leaning much more heavily in that direction than it had before this past episode. Which, as I've noted previously, makes me very apprehensive about the storytelling, both up to this point and going forward.

    (And, like...Akira's mom doesn't seem to be bothering her about the physical therapy. And she looks absolutely devastated in the flashback to the doctor's office. I dunno. That's been milling around in my head for weeks.)

    That said...if this is the case, that she's just down about the long road to recovery, I start leaning even further away from the idea that Kondo is a substitute for track. Yes, she had to work to get close to him, which probably meant she wouldn't be able to do track, even if she wasn't hurt, which means they are pitted against each other in an either-or decision. But what if this is all just a matter of circumstance? I think she met Kondo because she was hurt and not doing track...and then she pounced on an opportunity. And that opportunity that she wanted to pursue meant, coincidentally, she couldn't do track. And she chose Kondo.

    (Though that still leaves the question of what kind of physical therapy she's turning down: general or specifically-get-back-to-track.)

    Which connects directly to:
    I, personally, don't think you need to worry too much about that. Because I don't think this is a romance--at least, not in the typical sense. Because I don't think this is a story about two people falling love. (I also don't think this show was ever about track, in the same way it's not about working at a restaurant. So that might be a disappointment.)

    I've long said the show isn't portraying Akira/Kondo as some kind of pre-ordained fulfillment of a grand destiny. They aren't soulmates. And I don't think the traditional understanding of "soulmates" even exists in the DNA of this fiction. In any sense. In any way.

    Which means that goes for things as well as people. People connect, or they don't. Things connect (with people), or they don't. Whether it's a friendship or a romance or a passion--you work to make and keep these connections...or you don't. And even then, there's no guarantee.

    Now, they might fall in love. Just like Kondo might get back to writing with gusto. Just like Akira might go back to track (or start to). But I don't think any of these is the point: it's not a romance/arts/sports anime. These are elements within it, and these are things that might even result from it. But these are not it.

    To me. As of right now. Assuming any of the above makes any sense at all.

    We've got two episodes for them to sort this out. Let's see if they do.
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  11. Scalpelexis

    Scalpelexis Database Moderator

    Let's say quoting @interregnum is one of the toughest things you can do on A-P forums, especially when you quote more posts and just particular thing. Don't envy anyone on doing that. But to the serious matters..

    I am legitimately more fan of Haruka than Akira. So far, I am seeing this show as a rocky and bumpy ride of Akira evolving and finding her own way out of her insecurities and flying from the under the roof back to the world, since the wished relationship with Kondo seems to me as an escape and close out from the rest of the world. Who are her friends? Only the colleagues from her job which she for sure nowadays attends more because of seeing Kondo than for the money or being fun. What does she do outside of school and her part time job? She seeks the presence of Kondo.

    There are not many scenes where Akira is with Haruka. We see them in Ep. 1 where they are still all fine, both being nice to each other. The next time Haruka tries to convince Akira to see their training or maybe even pursue her to join the track team again. Then comes the sad break up and just few cuts of them thinking of each other.

    Now you state and point fingers at Haruka. That she has to do more. That she wants for herself. I fully disagree with both statements. Yes, we don't see much scenes from the school and what is happening there, so we assume they meet ocassionaly, maybe don't. Hard to guess. But it is clear they were once very good friends, maybe even the best friends, since it looks like Akira has almost no friends at all (how perfect is that?). What makes you believe only track connected them? Yes, it was an activity they both enjoyed, but seeing them go for the festival makes me sure they were good friends outside of the track team too. I don't believe Haruka wants her only to return to the track team, even though she understandably believes through track it might be the most straigthforward and reasonable way to mend the broken connections they had before.

    Let's dissect properly the conversation they have right before the break up. Let's play a dick-point football.

    Akira: "Sorry about that. It was my manager from work."
    Haruka: "Your manager?"
    Akira tends to her hair to feel she looks nice, making Haruka aware there is something going on.
    Haruka: "Akira. Do you like him?"
    Akira: "What?" while she goes all crispy red in embarassment, basically admitting Haruka's guess.
    Haruka: "Seriously?! He's so old! I mean, is the boy who's with him his..?!"

    Haruka scores and leads 1-0 in dick points! Let's say this wasn't a very nice thing to say, everyone has the right to fall in love for who he/she feels, is not ussual to fall in lvoe for so much older guy with a kid, while her being a high school student. I could understand Haruka's surprise and in my opinion the goal is about a half-goal, but that term doesn't exist. So let's go with 1:0. Let's continue..

    Akira: "I don't want to talk about it. Let's go find Sho and the girls."

    Akira equalizes to 1-1! Is that how a friend reacts? Yes, it is a private matter and one she is not very comfortable with, but at least she would use other, more kinder and tender language. She closes herself out, not giving any explanation whatsoever. That sounds fishy and weird by itself. I am not surprised by Akira's reaction, but wasn't the best one by far. match continues..

    Haruka: "Akira. Akira, you don't tell me anything anymore. I don't know what are you thinking anymore."
    Akira: "You haven't asked me either."

    Akira takes the lead in the dick-point race, 2-1! How could she say something like this when Haruka basically asked about Kondo and Akira denied her any answer whatsoever?! Going on..

    Haruka: "There's no way I could have asked! You say you want me to talk to you and ask you about things but you are the one making it hard to talk to you or to ask you about anything!" Isn't she quite right?
    Akira: "Because..we can't go back to how we used to be."

    What a shot! Right in the corner with a great trajectory, the keeper had no chance, 3-1 for Akira! Now that is a kick right in the guts. Akira shows that there is not really any effort from her side to be friends with Haruka anymore..or maybe yes if she wouldn't ask her about personal things? But isn't that the definition of friendship, people sharing things they trouble them or make them happy? Let's close the match, shall we..

    Haruka: "I am going home!" running away in tears. Match ends, Akira wins 3-1 in dick points, me being the referee.

    Now..there is no way Haruka blaming for the situation, or at least she can't feel it. The injury of Akira is not Haruka's fault! She didn't do anything wrong! Since Akira doesn't want to talk about anything and mainly about her pursue of relationship with Kondo, Haruka feels that is the reason she gave up on track because she spends her time and invests her feelings elsewhere. How would one feel if a very young and probably in terms of love naive girl fell for a mid-forties man with a kid? You would probably question her decissions about this too. As a friend you would be concerned, but if denied to discuss it, then it is natural to blame the source: Akira's relationship with Kondo.

    What can Haruka do now? Do more you say? She did quite some, Akira did almost nothing. We have to judge what is also too much. If you keep on being persistent when denied many times, it becomes repulsive and a bother. And probably futile. Haruka looks like she knows that. If Akira though won't change her mind and feel Haruka's presence in her life has no meaning, then, there is nothing to be done. It is clearly Akira's turn to make a move.

    Thus I cam to the conclusion Akira is hardly any close to perfect. Haruka is for me the one who has set the priorities in a more mature and coherent way.

    Fingers pointing to: Akira
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  12. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Forum Moderator Database Moderator

    This is what I'm getting from the show as well. Maybe not that romance is overrated, but that romance and love alone aren't enough to sustain a person. A relationship is an important part of someone's life and when the relationship works it fulfills a lot of needs, but people need their own lives and goals outside of the relationship as well. People need both the sun and the rain if they're going to find satisfaction in life.

    @Scalpelexis said early something along the lines that it can't rain all the time. The first thought this brought to mind was the movie The Crow, but after I got done reminiscing it got me to thinking. Swallows that refuse to fly don't get the rain (love) or the sun (ambition). They live safer, but unsatisfying lives. If it can't rain all the time, then you can't be constantly immersed in love. There's that initial period when it feels that way, but that doesn't last, which isn't a bad thing. However, when it's not constantly raining anymore, then reality sets in and if you don't have the sun of ambition, friends things outside of the relationship, then life is going to look disappointing.

    Now all that's not to say that for Akira it has to be track or for Kondo it has to be writing. What they find to sustain them actually isn't of particular importance at this stage in the story. They first have to realize that they can and should strive to have both first. I think that would actually be a reasonable place to end the season. Akira coming to terms with Haruka and settling her past and Kondo at least finding some peace over his past failures is doable in two episodes and then that leaves the door open for them to grow in future seasons if we're lucky.
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  13. interregnum

    interregnum Well-Known Member

    Well then.
    Shall we step into my mind palace?
    First, though...
    Any relationship is a two-way street. There is blame to go 'round, with the (I think temporary) Akira-Haruka divide, since neither of them was particularly good at keeping the lines of communication open.

    That said...whether you think it's fair or not to say so, Haruka has more responsibility to the friendship after Akira's injury than Akira does--plain and simple. Good relationships are about balance: when one falls, the other picks him up. (Especially critical, if the growing consensus that the show is about reaching a balance turns out to be true.) Akira has fallen down, and Haruka has...well, not done a great job picking her up.

    HOWEVER...that isn't to say that Akira has made it easy. She makes absolutely no attempts to keep in touch with Haruka, prior to the invitation to the festival. It's incredibly difficult to be responsible for almost 100% of a relationship. Haruka can't be blamed for falling short of that.

    BUT...we haven't seen much out of Haruka, either. Which is not to say that I can't understand why. I mean, she doesn't know what Akira needs from her, and her normal interactions with her--such as they are, now--have not been met with any kind of enthusiasm on Akira's part. She's pulling away, and Haruka doesn't know how to catch up. It's hard to keep trying when you don't know what you're supposed to do.

    BUT AGAIN: Akira's hurt. Haruka's not. Haruka needs to step up. It's her job as the un-hurt party.

    Which, importantly, she does: the note she throws to Akira is heartfelt and honest and, most importantly, direct. I don't how much (if at all) Akira being straightforward girl comes into play, here, but sort of floating around the topic wasn't getting Haruka anywhere. But she got through--and that's not to be overlooked.

    It's just that, after Akira finally opened the door, Haruka screws up.

    Heh, my line about her being perfect was said mostly in jest, of course--though I do absolutely adore her. And I'm sure you aren't being 100% serious with the above line.

    BUT...having friends or not having friends isn't really a measure of "perfection," is it? Most pointedly, it is resoundingly subjective: how many friends does a person need to meet the criterion? One? Five? What if not really having anyone particularly close is a choice--a choice that makes you happy?

    And more to the point: does Akira seem like she is unable to make friends? Are people shunning her despite her efforts to woo them into an inner circle? If anything, aside from Yui (with whom she seems quite friendly) and Kondo, at the moment she seems to have too many people jostling for a spot in her sphere of influence--at which she, we so often see, bristles.

    That said...
    So, looking at the back-and-forth in question...
    Score's still 0-0, as far as I can see. Haruka reacted--and it doesn't matter if she put her foot in her mouth, because she didn't do it out of malice. She's allowed to react honestly when she's taken by surprise.

    (That said: she's also lashing out at Akira out of jealousy, here. So it'd be disingenuous to just say it was shock...but I don't think I'd assign particular blame for it, here, given the context in which we're discussing this.)

    This, though...
    1-0 Haruka.

    Her response is now officially over the line. Because she's yelling at Akira. She's not making excuses for what she said, she's not apologizing for obviously insulting or otherwise putting off Akira. She's yelling at her.

    Why? What did Akira do that she deserves to be yelled at, in this scenario? She got prickly after Haruka mocked her/her crush--which, in any circumstance, is a dickish thing to have done to you. But add to that the fact that this is the first time Akira's giving Haruka the chance for them to heal their semi-rifting relationship--a rift owing to Akira's traumatic experience--and Haruka's damn well creeped into ***hole territory with this.

    The minute she saw Akira close off or get upset, she should have pulled back. After that, she could have pressed for some information, absolutely. And she didn't have to jump to Akira's perspective or anything--just acknowledge that she was surprised, and that she'd like to hear about it. Like a friend. Like a supportive friend.

    But that's not what Haruka did. She made the whole scenario about her.

    Still 1-0. Because Akira's responding to the dick statement from Haruka, and Haruk'a response is just a continuation of her dick statement from just a moment before.

    It's not like Haruka asked politely about Akira's crush and then Akira lashed out at her. Haruka mocked Akira. She screwed up--and then lashed out at Akira for not liking being mocked. And remember: Akira's the one who needs support.

    Blaming Akira for needing that support? Yeah, not a high horse upon which to perch, Haruka.

    And final dick score: 1-0 Haruka.

    So, yeah, this line kicks Haruka in the gut, all right. And it should: because it's the gut punch that Akira's been dealing with this whole time. This is her giving voice (perhaps for the very first time) to everything that's been roiling beneath the surface since her injury: she can't go back--even she wants to. This is the nugget of information that Haruka's been after, both with her concern and her selfishness.

    And Haruka cries and runs away. Because it hurts her feelings.

    I don't think I said that, did I? I didn't mean to, anyway. It's what Haruka said to her, is all. Or, specifically, it's what Haruka said wasn't true.

    They were definitely friends outside of track. But how much time did they spend together outside of it in high school? Not much, it looks like. Which is just a practical thing, I'd think. They probably don't have a lot of hangin'-out time, otherwise.

    So, in that sense, connecting with Haruka would require Akira to find a way to (in some regard) connect with track--which she doesn't seem to want to do.

    Haruka wants Akira back in her sphere of influence--full stop. And I think it's because she's infatuated/in love with Akira. I've been saying for a while that Haruka's lesson has to be to let Akira stop being who she used to be (that is, used to be in Haruka's mind). And what she's pushing for, right now, is a return to the status quo.

    And it's these two ideas (my responses two quotes from you above) that inform my opinion when I suggest things like "Haruka = track": that Haruka is very much rooted in what was, in what Akira says she can't go back to.

    Well, of course the injury isn't Haruka's fault. She shouldn't bear any blame for that. She certainly doesn't from me.

    But, again, she's associated with the thing Akira is trying to get away from (rightly or wrongly).

    She does, however, screw up her chance to deal with Akira's pain. Badly. And that she can be blamed for.

    I only being this up because Haruka literally finds out about Kondo when Akira walks over to her. Which is why I totally excuse her initial reaction. It's what she does after that that's the problem.

    And as a post-script:
    By design, my friend.
    By design.
    ZetsubouKaiji and Taek like this.
  14. Zed60K

    Zed60K Database Moderator

    You know, I had the impression this show's thread had more posts than any other show this whole season. i was wrong, because FUCKING DEATH MARCH SOMEHOW GENERATED MORE DISCUSSION. you guys are being way too passive for that to happen.

    also, since 1 episode is left i'm gonna be marathoning this sometime soon.
    interregnum, Gens and ZetsubouKaiji like this.
  15. Turky

    Turky Well-Known Member

    I'd warn against that but you wouldn't listen to me anyways. The masochism remains strong.
  16. Gens

    Gens Database Moderator

    Posted by Gens on Mar 21, 2018
    Tbf guy, the shit shows always attract a ton of posts and the most each season, because of you dirty masochists, but you already knew that. Did you see how fast Juuni Taisen blew up?

    That said, we're not that far behind loli march lol
    ZetsubouKaiji and Zed60K like this.
  17. interregnum

    interregnum Well-Known Member

    GASP! And, when this all started, we thought the war was between us and Violet Evergarden. We arrogant fools...

    But surely you mean in terms of number of pages/posts, right? Because I don't want to believe any other show has generated posts lengthier than ours have been.

    (...because then I will obsessively feel the compulsion to write even more, in the remaining weeks. And I'm already skipping enough hours of hent--er, sleep as it is.)

    And I'm willing to bet--based on absolutely nothing--that we've got fewer people chiming in on our side. So...that's impressive, probably, right?
    ZetsubouKaiji, Zed60K and Gens like this.
  18. Gens

    Gens Database Moderator

    Posted by Gens on Mar 21, 2018
    Think we're absolutely winning the post density front tbh:


    Bestest quality discussion of the season.
  19. Zed60K

    Zed60K Database Moderator

    You can rest assured, our deep burning hatred would have never surpassed your passionate love. shit, that's too cheesy.

    To be fair, Juuni was on fire before we realized that it's nothing but shit. though yes, without Nakama power we would never get through some of the shitty shows, no matter how strong our masochism was.
  20. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Forum Moderator Database Moderator

    By the way if you're interested in the idea of romance vs ambition, then check out La La Land. It's a great bitter romance that takes a different tack to the subject matter. The editing, most of the songs and the acting are all fantastic as well. Just power through the first fifteen minutes of the movie because the opening musical number is terrible and might give you the impression that you're about to watch a shitty musical. Once Sebastian gets properly introduced it's a damn good if sometimes depressing ride right up to the end.
    Gens and tootalls like this.

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