Recap: It’s the culture fest and everyone’s dressed up. With Haru’s old friends stopping by for some While the highlight of the episode is supposed to be on Shizuku coming to grips with her conflicted feelings, the real issue that stuck out was Haru’s continued violence.
I felt having the four friends coming back into the picture would just be another catalyst in the already volatile concoction. Kenji in particular, since the other three are basically a pack of comic relief stooges, decides its time to cozy up to Shizuku in order to provoke Haru, causing at least something to change. It would seem all the problems from the previous episode start to get addressed here. Shizuku is hammered on all sides by advice givers and Haru’s own questions. However, one thing that seems to get no attention, somewhat frighteningly so, is Haru’s tendency for violence.
From the opening salvo that got misdirected into Shizuku’s face to the bizarre standoff with Yuzan, Haru lashes out far too often to be comfortable and yet does not receive nearly the same tongue lashing as Shizuku for her inaction towards Haru’s feelings. While Asako pleads to herself for Haru to apologize, he never really does. Intent or not, the use of violence always has unintended consequences, and if Haru cannot understand those consequences he’s never going to be able to properly grow as a character. I still have no understanding to his treatment of poor Oshima, first dragging her into an unused room and then inexplicably taken hostage opposite his brother. No explanation is given, it just seems like Haru snaps. At the very least he does resolve to apologize to her after the incident is over, but it still just brings up so many questions as to Haru’s true mental state and whether he really can be someone to be trusted when his instincts bring him so quickly on edge.
Instead, Shizuku finds herself realizing why she’s felt so conflicted in these recent days. In the past, when she was friendless, she at least distanced herself from all people, and with no one to miss she never felt the true extent of loneliness. Now with Haru in her life, she can’t so easily discard him and focus on her studies. She’s scared that if she can’t fully divorce herself from him she will never succeed, and this has been unfair to Haru, since she never even told him the reason why. Thankfully we finally see them sitting down to talk things out. Shizuku basically reaffirms that she indeed does have feelings for Haru, but was afraid of what they’d done to her. Now that she acknowledged that it is not something she can ignore, it seems she really intends to decide whats important, and whether she can truly balance her study life with her relationship with Haru.