“Chapter 87 Passing Time / Chapter 88 Spring Comes / Extra Chapter The Other House / Chapter 89 Child of March Town”
Saturdays at 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
“Better late than never” as they always say. Hina’s hard work is put to the test. Inspired by her family, Rei decides to visit his adopted mother, who is conflicted by the feelings she has of her estranged stepson. A new beginning for Hina is marked by a farewell and a change towards the future.
I might be a broken record, but I love this show so much. While I was a bit surprised by the double-release we got a couple weeks ago, it was certainly a pleasant one, as this show ended at such a satisfying place, and both of these episodes really work well together. With Rei getting to be the one to take care of Hina while she is sick, we get this great callback to the time when she did the same for him, without any need to make a flashback to that moment. The memory is fresh enough that we can realize just how important it is for Rei that he can repay these people he loves for all the care they’ve given him. This isn’t lost on Hina either, who gets an even greater appreciation for the place Rei now has in her life. I absolutely died at the section with the aunt freaking out about the two of them alone. Virtue is not dead folks! Sure, some of Rei’s lack of sexual curiosity might be because of the stunted relationship he has with his stepsister, but ultimately Rei is a good kid, and he would never take advantage of someone because he’s been given proper values and allowed them to become habit in his life.
The intermission was absolutely heartbreaking. I love how natural this scenario feels now that Rei has grown as much as he did. He has a lot of his own baggage, and it would be wrong for him to simply ignore it forever. Unfortunately, he receives the welcome he had expected, the cold smile of a woman who does not deign to even call him her son. In a new lens, we see the result of the idea that “no good deed goes unpunished”. What the actions of a good child did for a family was highlight their own faults. Instead of using this magnification to reflect on their lives, they let despair carry them into resentment. That they could ever even harbor such feelings about a child is unconscionable, and the success Rei has found with those who have accepted him for who he is has become a testament to the fruits goodness should bring in one’s life.
Hina processing her feelings for Takahashi was very bittersweet. The moment of the episode has to be how this realization is adorably framed by Akari: through Hina being bullied, she’s had to put away some childish things, but she is still growing up in ways fitting her age. We’ve seen that Takahashi has also been a pillar of strength for Hina in her school life. It’s only natural the puppy love she had for him would grow in fondness with his kind and honest support of her. Losing him means another hole in her support structure. I think she is starting to realize that more of her support must also come from within. She already has a strong will, but she has had to recognize more than most people that we can’t overly rely on others always being there for us. The change she undergoes is the cute-as-a-button development I love to see out of this show. The changing of her look also lets Rei see her in a new lens, not just a friend but someone close enough to him to be going to the same school.
For such an amazing show, final thoughts tacked on to the end just won’t do. Look forward to a look back at what Lion has meant for us here at the blog.