Recap: With Yamaken coming into his feelings and Shizuku feeling betrayed, he sees an opportunity to find his way into her heart a she and Haru seem to grow apart again. Haru’s past is explored, and while it explains his irrational fears, it does not absolve him of his petulant behavior.
As the penultimate episode, I was expecting nothing to get resolved, but this one really did drag a bit more than any other. From what I understand this anime ends in the next episode. I understand the manga is still ongoing, but we spend more than half of this episode in the point of view of Yamaken, with an episode named after him, and I don’t quite understand why. He’s important as far as manifesting Haru’s fears, but I really don’t see why we needed an episode to get to know him. It’s not even like they said anything we didn’t know. He’s rich, he’s a pretty boy, and despite that he’s enamored with our little Shizuku.
The fight between Shizuku and Haru is really reminiscent of the million other fights they have had, which really all boil down to the same point. Haru is irrational. He has strength but not restraint, knowledge but not understanding. Sure, maybe Shizuku should smack him around a bit or something to get him to realize that but it doesn’t change the fact that this is Haru’s problem to overcome.
The only real important thing to happen this episode is not until the very final minutes. As Haru sits waiting for the bus, we finally get some insight to his family life back when he was young. It’s obvious there was some serious venom between him and Yuzan, but it’s nice to see some context. It’s hard to ascertain details for sure, but the idea that he had a rough childhood seemed to be no exaggeration. The way Yuzan talks about him it might even be that Haru is a bastard, otherwise I really can’t tell what would make Yuzan hate him so much. With his aunt dead and his cousin Mi being the only one left that cared about him, it’s easy to see how Haru’s ego could be so fragile. He’s afraid of anyone who cares about him abandoning him or hating him, so he tries so desperately to stay with Shizuku its only endeavoring to hurt their relationship.
On a side note, Yuzan’s portrayal by Miyuki Sawashiro was really off in this episode. While it did seem appropriate to have that kind of voice for the very first flashback, to have it continue into his middle school and high school selves just sounded wrong. We have heard Yuzan before, and it just made the entire scene seem weird.
Haru tries to get a heart to heart with Shizuku in the end here. Unfortunately, he once again only comes off as selfish and needy. He has suffered a lot in his life, but he needs to understand that this isn’t the proper way to love someone. Love is about sacrifice, but Haru only wants Shizuku to sacrifice her studying while he remains jealous and violent. Shizuku at least recognizes there is some disconnect preventing the two from moving forward. Hopefully, with her common sense and understanding, she can finally get through him by time this chapter of the story is brought to a close.