Hm… I’m not sure what to say for this episode. As usual, it continues the trend of being clean in content, but I don’t know what to say for the plot. On the one hand, we finally find out what happened in Kaori’s past to cause her memory issue. It’s probably not a surprise to find out that it was an issue with her friends that lead to the problem, and I’m sure more than few people figured out that Kujo played into it somehow, though it seem his role was something closer to a matter-of-fact involvement. Now, all of this is fine—it’s the logical progression of the plot. An old friend moves back, which inevitably leads to an encounter with more old friends, which leads to Hase’s curiosity, which leads to him investigating, which finally leads to some information being revealed. The problem comes in with what Hase chooses to do with it.
You would think that hearing about what happened would spur Hase on to be a better friend. Instead, the opposite happens. It seems that Kujo’s thoughts particularly weigh on him. The problem is that he’s already in too deep, and it’s too late for him to worry that he might end up hurting Kaori. Indeed, what seems to be a decision to distance himself from Kaori (based on his actions at the end of the episode) are more guaranteed to hurt her than any hypothetical situation that may happen somewhere in the future. In fact, getting hurt is part of being someone’s friend. As we open up to people and get to know them better (and they us), we ultimately make ourselves more vulnerable, as we have now revealed intimate details about ourselves. This goes even further for romantic relationships. We know that friendships have their hard spots: this was explored earlier in the series. I suppose it just seems weak for Hase to start backing out now for fear of hurting Kaori, when his backing out could be more damaging than anything. It’s frustrating for sure. It’s also hard for me to take a stance on it, as I can’t say I felt any particular rage or frustration at the moment of watching it, but I also don’t feel like I can blindly praise the episode, either. Perhaps perusing the comments section on CrunchyRoll didn’t help that. For better or worse, though, this is where the story is headed. Let’s see where things go next week.
Oh, and hopefully we’ll resolve this whole Kiryu/Saki sub-plot, as well.
A Christian Perspective:
In the end, I think the best lesson for Christians here is this: don’t try to help someone out of your own power. You’ll just make a mess. After all, what exactly is Hase doing here? Does he think he will help Kaori if he withdraws from her so that he doesn’t possibly—maybe—potentially cause some big hurt for her in the future? That line of thinking is ultimately going to cause him to definitely hurt her—right here and now. So, how should we, as Christians, handle situations that call for us to be there for someone else, or to help them? It’s probably going to be an answer that most people will roll their eyes at and exclaim, “Typical”, but it’s the Christian way, and that way is prayer.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. – Proverbs 14:12
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9
We’re sinful, prideful human beings. We think we know it all. Let’s be honest with ourselves here: we don’t. We can barely help ourselves, much less others. If you find yourself in a situation like Hase’s, take a moment and pray and ask for God’s guidance. Not only does He know more about the other person and what he/she is going through than you do, He also knows more about you than you do. Let Him put to work the gifts and abilities He gave you, rather than you trying to wing it on your own.
Alcohol/Drug Use: None