Well, not exactly. There was more seriousness and slightly better emotional development in this episode, but it all rests on the ridiculous turns that the show has taken lately, so it doesn’t ultimately redeem it for me. But I think I figured it out. The writers have two goals they want to accomplish with this story:
- Get Makoto to bed every major female character, and possibly the minor ones too;
- Push Kotonoha, the nicest and most passive person ever, over the edge somehow so that she will commit murder.
I have to admit, this story took some pretty mean turns. Like the hidden camera in the sex room (though, honestly, you could have expected it given where and when something like that was). Then again, some of the girls in this school are pretty mean, especially to Kotonoha. She really is being set up as a nearly-pure victim here, whose main fault is passivity and denial–but the denial, of course, is mostly due to Makoto not being man enough to properly break up with her. The guy really has no concept of faithfulness and monogamy, and what’s interesting is that neither does Kato, who, in one of the least believable moments to date, is perfectly calm and content at the prospect of being “second” (really, third or even fourth) best.
The other unbelievable moment is the totally underplayed consequences of Sawanaga having sex with Kotonoha (rape? it’s not clear). For someone so devoted to Makoto she sure doesn’t seem to have much guilt if it wasn’t rape–and if it was, very little trauma. It’s as if it never happened. It’s only when Makoto finally breaks up with her, in the worst possible way, that the trauma begins and…at long last…the knives come out.
I could only imagine what might happen if, in some bizarro world, a psychologist forced Makoto, Sekai, Kotonoha, Setsuna, Kato, and Sawanaga in a room and they all had to tell each other exactly what had happened. It’d be awfully clear where the blame would lie; you could even assign hierarchies of blame, but Makoto would certainly be at the top with Sekai coming in second. When the truth is known as a whole, it’s all too clear what is going on. (Edit, 10:57 PM: Shadro has made a lovely chart to help us in that endeavor.)
But that will never happen. And so as misunderstanding piles upon misunderstanding, Kotonoha takes her kitchen knives and her glassy eyed stare–the stare of a dead soul–and, probably believing that Sekai is the root of the conspiracy to take her boyfriend away from her….
STABBITtY STAB STAB!
And then the next time she sees Makoto…
LOREENA BOBBITY BOBBITY BOB!
Or so one can only hope. We’ll see in the penultimate and final episodes coming soon.