Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 9: 0 x 1

It's been a month since Shizuku told Yoshida that she would think about their relationship and in that span of time, Shizuku's dad's store went under but aside from that, nothing much really happened, mainly because Shizuku totally forgot about it and Yoshida never said anything to remind her. Until the day Shizuku drops by Mitsuyoshi's place where Yoshida and the gang are having a study session and she overhears part of their conversation.

Feeling guilty about her lack of attention, Shizuku promptly takes Yoshida out for a walk where she tells him how when she was a kid, she had spent a considerable amount of time and effort building up her expectations about having a goldfish only to end up disappointed. The story gives Yoshida an idea to catch some crayfish for her. The activity soon bores Shizuku and she goes to the public library instead where she meets Yamaken. Without meaning to, Yamaken helps Shizuku in sorting out her issues about Yoshida and ends up falling for her, much to his chagrin. Shizuku, on the other hand, is beginning to realize that the reason she is so focused on studying is because she can control its outcome and therefore will never be disappointed.

Meanwhile, Natsume meets a couple of girls from her old school, which brings up some unpleasant memories. Fortunately, Mitsuyoshi arrives just in time to diffuse the situation, giving Natsume totally the wrong idea about him. Back in the river, Yoshida hasn't caught a single fish but promises to find Shizuku something better. Although Shizuku is not exactly enthused, she wonders why she allows him to continue building up her expectations like this.

On his way home, Yamaken stops by the river to give back Shizuku's pencil and unwittingly has his heart broken at the sight of Shizuku having fun with Yoshida. Later, Yamaken returns the pencil to Yoshida, who has, by now, realized that Yamaken is in love with Shizuku. Instead of denying it, Yamaken merely asks if that is a problem. He walks away, leaving a speechless Yoshida.

How fast this story goes. It's been a month, you say? Jeez. And though no progress has been made in the way of their relationship, Shizuku is beginning to develop as a character. This episode, especially that small bit about the goldfish and how her mother, whom she idolizes very much, had to leave home to work, gives us an inkling as to the kind of person she is and why.
Suppressing her emotions, wants and desires in order not to get disappointed. Focusing all her efforts on things she can control. Avoiding other people precisely because they cannot be controlled. But Shizuku is slowly opening herself up to people and in so doing, she may be making herself vulnerable again to disappointments and heartaches but she will become stronger in the process.
As an added bonus, we also get Natsume's back story. Girls are cruel indeed. But stop with the Mitsuyoshi storyline please. Do not like.