I hate that Sugimoto treats Izumi like crap and breaks Manjome’s heart. But you’ve got to remember, I’m 32 and way past my teens. Things that people did back then really were cruel, unthoughtful and immature and to an old guy, anyone who behaves that way is simply unacceptable. Though I suspect we can all be like that during some instances in our lives.
Sugimoto is rather feminine inside, but seeing her sister, who’s actually less feminine in many aspects (we see that during their interactions in the studio), she changes her hair style and becomes the “prince” female character that teenage girls in Japan always go ga-ga over. Her decision to go with masculine-femininity style influences Izumi, who has been in love with her even before her lesbian turning point.
However, Sugimoto never really loved anyone save the teacher; she’s not even a lesbian to begin with. In retrospect, her actions confuse people and give them a certain false notion about her. Being the center of attention and the star among peers can be a great thing; falsifying that image and duping (even unknowingly) people into believing it is not. However, the fault does not lie entirely on her; who doesn’t feel like maintaining the image that people truly admires? Even adults can’t get enough of that feeling of glee and pride.
She’s more confused than Manjome, who understands the situation well and knows what she wants. Manjome tells her clearly: “I’ve given up…please grow up.” But she only mutters her apologies under her breath.
But perhaps that’s what teenage folks do – being confused, unable to really apologize or sometimes even make amends. None of them is really a true villain (or that’s the way it’s supposed to be but in today’s world…), and after all, Sugimoto is just a princess who can’t grow out of her loss.
This arc ends nicely and so now I await the consummation of love between Fumi (Manjome) and Akira. I’ve been teased enough.