Recap: Rokka has finally confessed to Ryousuke, too bad he isn’t present to hear it. Atsushi decides that to be the best time to go to the beach. Meanwhile, Ryousuke’s involvement continues to remain strangely quarantined.
Another episode, another world that Ryousuke is found trapped in. This time the Little Mermaid. I guess Ryousuke isn’t much of a Hans Christian Anderson fan as he is perplexed by the world and why he is in it. It definitely does the show a disservice in my mind that the sea is so blank. Perhaps it is representative of Atsushi’s thoughts near death, but still it is totally devoid of interest, with a single planting pot being the only feature. There is at least more discussion this time around with the Rokka facsimile, as well as a genuine attempt at returning things to their rightful place. It was interesting to hear that Ryousuke was ready to shoulder the burden for the both of them. Maybe he was not letting on as much as he thought, but his actions towards Atsushi did not seem to be the kind that would help him. My only theory was he believes that taking Rokka for his own will finally free Atsushi of his bond to her, and let him finally move on.
As these episodes have progressed, it’s hard not to simply feel sorry for the embodied ghost. Starting as a selfish wish to regain some of his lost life, Atsushi’s acceptance in playing the mask only takes his love further and further away from him. He is both with Rokka and without her at the same time, and it’s absolutely tragic. It’s unclear what he has done after the culmination of the beach date ends, but it appears to be an attempt to destroy himself. After finding the belongings he told her to throw out, he realizes they are not needed anymore. If I were to guess the backpack must contain at least some of the books that were also in the room.
The more fragmented Ryousuke is from the actions Atsushi is doing with his body, the more I can only see problems getting worse. Atsushi’s total one night stand-esque departure is only going to confuse Rokka and build a wall between her and Ryousuke. The mere idea of Atsushi going that far with his body seems a total betrayal in and of itself. Ryousuke was finally able to get what he wanted, but had no agency over it. The way I see things, this can only go south from here, but I suppose it wouldn’t be a good drama without that being the case. Only one way to find out.