Kimi ni Todoke 20, Sora no Woto 8

Most of Kimi ni Todoke 20 continues with the afteraffects of Yoshida losing her love, and how the others can help her out. Or fail to.

It’s an old, unsolvable question: how to help someone who’s going through a hard time. The girls can’t figure out a way to do it; Kazehaya is more complacent. The trouble is, Yoshida is showing absolutely no reaction to the situation, making it impossible for them to even try to help her. If they even mention it to her she might take it wrongly. It takes a bystander, Ryuu, to trigger a reaction out of her. Not to mention Sawako.

It doesn’t help that the situation is more complicated than it seems. Yoshida is upset, but because of an incident the night before. She’s partly at fault, too. She waited to return to Ryuu’s house until after Tooru and his fiancee had left, making them wonder where she was. She’s an old friend, after all. But Ryuu sets it off, saying the wrong things at the wrong time. The confrontation resumes at school, this time with the girls listening in. But it only makes her angry. It takes Sawako to finish her off. SHE can’t hold it in, either, her sympathy and her frustration at being useless, and when she starts to cry, we finally got the reaction we’ve been waiting for.

What makes the scene effective is Sawako’s trademark welling of emotions. It’s natural for her to react like this, and also funny to look at. A nice scene, actually, a nice couple of scenes if you count the second Yoshida/Ryuu fight. But is this the nature of the show where everyone has to show their sorrow by crying? Yoshida could have just sulked and grumbled and I would have taken it as a natural reaction for her. Well, she bawls like a baby, and then feels better. Catharsis works like that. Now, of course, we need Yoshida and Ryuu’s reconciliation, which will take longer than usual since the latter is so closed-mouthed …

Not a great episode of Sora no Woto this time. I know the show likes to take its time and smell the roses and take in the scenery, but a whole episode revolving around waiting for a phone to ring is pushing it.

Phone practice.

Kanata volunteers for this all-important mission of manning the phone on system test day, and the others waltz in and out before vanishing. We learn from the opening scene, which actually occurs near the end, that Kanata is desperate to pee. So every time she sips from the apple cider (and the bottles accumulate on the table), we know it’s going to cause her extra grief. And naturally she has visitors who manage to mess things up, even the old priest, who almost break the phone. It’s not so much suspenseful as frustrating. We’re waiting for something to happen here, either the phone ringing or Kanata managing to get to the bathroom. Either one, just get to it!

At least the phone was saved.

There are a couple of interesting moments, however. We learn that the peace talks are going badly, never a good sign, and in the end, when the phone finally rings (Rio has relieved Kanata so she can relieve herself), it’s not headquarters but a strange man who urges Rio to save the country. Does that have something to do with the peace talks? Rio seems more annoyed than surprised; she obviously knows this guy, but why would he urge her, of all people? Does Rio have an interesting backstory? And, most important, is the country about to go to war again?

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