Monday, February 9, 2009

Marimite 4th 06: Drama Sponge Cake

Yumi gets a surprise guest in the form of Touko who seems to be experiencing some family drama. Speaking of drama, Rei has her own drama while Sachiko acts as confidant....
EPISODE 06: The Surprise Guest
More Screencaps from Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Season 06

Yumi is in her room, thinking back to her date with Sachiko, when she hears someone call her. The vision in her head looks like Sachiko but when she looks out of her window, there's no one there. Downstairs, her mother hands her the phone. The person on the other line turns out to be Kashiwagi, who asks if Yumi has seen Touko. Apparently, Touko hasn't come home yet even though it's already very late. After the call, Yumi's mom teases her about Kashiwagi, much to the girl's consternation.
Meanwhile, Sachiko and Rei are having tea together. It seems like Rei is bothered about Yoshino's closeness to Arima Nana, especially when she doesn't even know about the girl because Yoshino hasn't introduced her yet. But with her characteristic precision, Sachiko delves deep into the heart of the matter: Rei, who has always been taking care of Yoshino, is worried that Yoshino is going further and further away while she (Rei) is staying right where she is. Perhaps because of this, Rei has decided not to study at Lillian University after graduation, but this only makes her worry even more. Sachiko, in her usual indirect manner, helps her by saying that she is going to Lillian University to be close to Yumi. But of course, to Rei, this means Sachiko will be there not only for Yumi but for Yoshino as well.
Back in the Fukuzawa household, Yumi is in her room again, debating about who to start calling to look for Touko's whereabouts. Her mother then calls her downstairs and Yumi comes down only to find a most surprising guest: Touko. Apparently, Yuuki found the girl hanging around the neighborhood so he brought her home. While Yumi's mom prepares dinner, Yumi invites Touko to her room to hang out. But, after learning that not even Sachiko has entered Yumi's room, Touko initially refuses until Yumi literally drags her inside. Once in, Touko settles down and tells Yumi that she hasn't been deliberately going to Yumi's house but somehow found herself in the neighborhood. At this, Yumi gets that vision again, only this time the person looks like Touko and she's crying. Yumi wants to comfort Touko, without knowing why, but the moment is interrupted when Yumi's mom calls them down for dinner. Yumi catches herself in time to realize that she has been holding her arms out to Touko, much to the other girl's shock.
Later, at dinner, Touko announces that she is going home because she doesn't want to worry her parents anymore. Yuuki has already called Kashiwagi to pick her up. After they leave, Yumi's mom comments on Touko's cuteness and how she's looking forward to her becoming Yumi's soeur. This, of course, embarrasses Yumi and her mom again comments that her reaction this time is a far cry from that time when she teased her about Kashiwagi. She adds that Yumi's face is easy to read. The next day, Kashiwagi drops by to formally thank that Fukuzawa family in behalf of the Matsudaira family. Before he leaves, Yumi asks him about Touko's problem. But instead of telling her right away, Kashiwagi gives her time to think about whether she really wants to know about Touko's deepest secrets.
A few days later, at the Rose Mansion, Yoshino tries to get Yumi to invite Kanako and Touko to the Yamayurikai's Valentine's Day party. Yumi isn't totally sold in the idea but Yoshino explains that this is the only way for her to be able to invite Nana. It seems Nana wants to be formally introduced to Rei so Yoshino is looking for a way to do that without alarming anyone. Yumi finally understand and sees this as an opportunity to see Touko. But when she asks Noriko to invite the two first years to the party, Yumi is shocked to receive a blunt refusal from the other girl. Fortunately, Shimako decides to accompany Yumi to the two first years' classroom, leading to Noriko feeling down about it.
Later, while Shimako and Yumi walk ahead, Yoshino apologizes to Noriko about what happened, taking the blame for herself. Noriko doesn't know what Yoshino is talking about so Yoshino, without telling her the details about Nana, assures her that she understands Noriko's motivation in refusing Yumi's request. It's obvious to both of them that Yumi likes Touko so Noriko just wants to get the older girl to act on it by personally taking the first step. Meanwhile, outside Touko and Kanako's classroom, Yumi and Shimako has set about inviting the two girls to the party. But Kanako says that they might be able to make it, but then assures Yumi (after the older girl's sad face) that she and Touko will try.
So with that done, Yumi and Shimako walk away. But before they get far, Yumi thoughtfully looks back and sees Touko standing there by herself, her head bowed. Watching her, Yumi realizes that this is Touko's way of saying 'thank you' for the other evening.

It's becoming harder trying to make fun of this series. Yes, it's pretty light-hearted but it's so persistently serious about it's several characters' tiny snags that I kind of feel like how Touko must feel when she tries to act tsun around Yumi only to find herself subject to the most pitieously naive look from the other girl. It makes me feel like I must be the meanest person in the whole universe.

Anyhoo, about this episode, the Rei x Sachiko shippers are going to love it. Personally, I like these two but not as a yuri pairing, just a couple of really close friends who confide in each other. Interesting dynamics between the current Rosas -- Sachiko and Rei are obviously close while Shimako seems to stand on her own. Some echoes of the former Rosas, and yet it's not the same because I can't imagine the former three helping each other out over their personal dramas, unless of course it relates somehow to the Yamayurikai (and that's only because Youko has made it her self-appointed task to keep it together, even if others can't). This was a very good moment for Rei and Sachiko and I'm actually not surprised to see that the two of them in particular depend on each other. This kind of outcome was suggested during the former Rosas' Graduation Day in Season 2. I also like Sachiko's indirectness at everything she does. Sometimes, it comes out as manipulative but more often than not it makes a person grateful without feeling put upon.

As for Yumi and Touko, it looks like it's going to be resolved next week:nothing like glowing schoolgirls to make an episode
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