Evergarden 11, Yuru Camp 12 (finale), Franxx 11

evergarden11-1Violet Evergarden 11 has a civil war going on in the north, between some well-organized bad guys who have a thorough and well-planned strategy, and the good guys from “Camp Menace” who are so incompetent, just standing there and not looking for cover during an ambush, that you wonder how they managed to win the war. That was mainly what I was thinking during the early stages of the episode, as Violet goes up there to do a couple letters for a soldier named Aiden, who gets shot just before she arrives, the letters thusly written on his deathbed, or death-floor-of-a-cabin. Interestingly, she has to fight through a few bad guys (and showing us maybe why the good guys won after all) but does not kill them. Then when they stand down she turns her back on them to look at Aiden on the ground–they could have shot her right there, so I guess neither side deserved to win this war.

Violet delivers bad news.

As for where the show is going now, unless they’re going to bring back the war full-time, I have no idea. The letters and Aiden’s death was done with the same sentimentality that the other episodes have, and it’s getting a little tiresome. However, the episode does depict just how cruel and violent a battle can be. It’s well done, even if the soldiers are mainly bumbling idiots.

yurucamp12-1While Violet Evergarden keeps us guessing as how they will end things, we have no such doubts about the finale of Yuru Camp. The only question is what little problem they might have with this or that, and it turns out there’s no problems or complications at all, well, except for the camping being too cold for the dog, but they had that covered. But they do throw us the viewer a curveball at the start. Rin returns from getting gas, so we think, only she’s riding a motorcycle now, all the girls are older, and, well, it left me giggling hysterically. Apart from that it was just the night spent all together, and a lovely moment at the end when the sun rises by Fuji-san. And then back to the real world.

The Outclub, plus Rin, squinting in the sunrise over Fuji-san.

There’s really nothing more they can do with this setup, so I don’t expect a season two, but I am sorry to see Yuru Camp go. Every season needs a show where nothing much happens, the trouble is with the wrong setup they can get deadly dull. Yuru Camp was rarely dull. Each of the girls was different and complimentary enough to make interesting and funny scenes, whether it’s Chiaki’s self-mocking leadership tirades or Rin’s quiet but not unfriendly observation. In fact, Rin is an interesting character in that while she likes to camp alone, it’s not because she dislikes or is afraid of others. Other shows would treat her as an antisocial beast who needs to be dragged into the social world. Here they make it clear that there are plenty of good reasons to go it alone, if that’s what you want to do, but it’s nice to do things with others too, a little fact that Rin comes to accept. Couple that with the edcuation we get about camping, and all the pretty scenery … yeah, well, I’m sorry to see it go.

Bye girls! Happy camping!

franxx11-1Darling in the FranXX 11 has the kids doing a voluntary partner shuffle, just so we can mess with the kids even more. Mitsuru and Ikuno have had enough of each other, so perhaps out of spite, Ikuno asks to test-partner with Ichigo, which brings up a perhaps inevitable variation of the pistil/stamen relationships the kids have been forced into. On the male side, we find Mitsuru was burned long ago when Hiro forgot a promise to pilot with him. Anyway, Ichigo tries but can’t get it going, so Ikuno moves on to Futoshi, who has his heart broken when Kokoro, whom he loves, asks to switch to Mitsuru. Since he’s a one-note character (food), we don’t see him do much but shout in the cockpit as we watch the more interesting combination, Mitsuru and Kokoro, almost mess everything up.

You know things aren’t going well when the mecha shows Eva-like teeth.

Most of this is understandable. Some of the kids are tired of their partners or want to try something new. The only one that I don’t understand is Kokoro’s request to team with Mitsuru. Was it out of romantic interest, or out of pity? There is some therapy in the cockpit (tiresome since a Gutenberg-class is about to wreck the plantation) … Mitsuru should learn to trust and lean on people sometimes, that sort of thing. Then there was the rage thing, like Kokoro was about to go rogue, never mind that we haven’t seen that before, what brought on the anger in the first place? Possibly she was angry at herself for hurting Futoshi. But it’s clear that there’s more going on in her head than she lets on. As for the more stable couples, they do just fine … apart from 02’s line about being together with Hiro … until they die. She has more in hear head than she lets on too, and probably with good reason.

FranXX and Hakumei/Mikochi 10, Yuru Camp 11

franxx10-1Darling in the FranXX 10, as expected, turns from one couple to the next, Zorome and Miku, though it’s mainly Zorome’s episode with Miku just doing enough of the Miku things that it gets Zorome going. However, the examination of Zorome is handled only superficially–what the episode’s really about is a closer look at civilian society, how it lives, and what it thinks of the kids defending it. The higher-ups consider them to be simply living weapons who can be kept in line with a medal and a brief tour of the city, though they’re worried about the squad’s lack of uniformity. Though some of them, like the lady that Zorome meets when he gets lost in there, and one of his escorts returning him, suggest a level of pity. The lady seems so foreign, though kind, that Zorome can’t figure her or her lifestyle out–not his fault, neither can I, but she seemed decayed to me, unable to really function without the machinery, apart from her kindness, nearly not human. The city is, as 02 repeats, “lifeless.” Bright new lights notwithstanding, who would want to live there? When they switch back to the kids’ place, that cozy living room, where everyone is gathered and not in pleasure boxes, it’s a relief. The show will continue to explore this inhuman angle, I’m sure. In the meantime, 02 is worried about something …

hakumeimikochi10-1Hakumei to Mikochi 10 didn’t do very much except charm the hell out of me again. The first half has the girls pining for an onsen, only to find the local one is clogged with cat hair–I’d like to get the story behind that; cats of course tend not to like water and besides, the show hasn’t had a cat in it yet. Anyway, Hakumei makes a bathtub on her own. With all the other things going on it’s easy to over the DIY attitude Hakumei has. So now they have a tub. The second half introduces us to Ayune, Mikochi’s unwelcome sister, unwelcome only in that she drives Mikochi crazy. So we get a sense of what shaped Mikochi’s childhood, the best line perhaps being from Ayune, that Hakumei reminds her of their father.

Red Fuji

Speaking of shows where nothing much happens but I don’t care, Yuru Camp 11 brings us the drama-filled Christmas camp trip! All of the girls together, for the first and last time, since the show probably finishes next week. We have moments of intense action as Nadeshiko is chased around by a little dog, and soon some kids join in, the rest of the girls, and a frisbee. We have psychological character study as the teen girls learn their sensei is a stinking drunk–actually, that IS kind of disturbing, but the others are perfectly capable of managing by themselves, until the final great crisis arrives: they run out of fuel for the gas stove! Well, Rin is off to get more. What else? Oh, Nadeshiko discovers s’mores, and a lot of good beef is devoured as well. … After an annoying day at work it’s great to come to a show like this, even if it all seems so damn cold.

Yuru Camp and Evergarden 10, Gagashi2 9-10

yurucamp10-1In Yuru Camp 10, Rin faces her GREATEST CRISIS! But it is OVERCOME with the assistance of Nadeshiko and Chiaki, who sends her a Line message suggesting that the closed road really wasn’t closed, but they forgot to take down the barrier. Then she battled GREAT WINDS to set up her tent. But she TRIUMPHS and drinks tea and grills a steam bun with a lovely view after all. Truthfully, I was a little worried for Rin, but not because of any danger, but because she might not have as much relaxing fun as normal. As for the goofier girls, they sit around being goofy as usual, though as usual it’s refreshing for goofy characters to actually successfully accomplish things like go on camping trips. Oh, Toba the drunk camper/teacher’s secret it out, but I doubt it’s going to make a difference unless she brings a lot of alcohol to the Christmas trip. Next week, the epic final story arc, i.e., the girls’ last trip of the series, begins.

evergarden10-1Just when you think Violet Evergarden is going to further explore its still unsettled world in a broader scope, maybe get the war going again in some fashion, episode 10 gives us instead another personal, emotional story involving individuals undergoing the types of grief and loss that everyone undergoes, and has been told countless times to boot. This time it’s Ann, a little girl whose mom is dying. Violet arrives to help Ann’s mother write a big letter or something (I guessed a will, and I was wrong) that takes a week, during which Ann can’t spend time with her. To ramp up the bathos, the mom keeps collapsing. Now, while I’m annoyed by this sort of emotional manipulation the show puts us through, I’ll say again that the production is so well-done that it’s next to impossible NOT to be affected. On the other hand, I’m not sure of the trade off. All those future letters written to Ann was time spent not playing with this obviously lonely and confused girl.

Kokonotsu and Hajime’s first stab at a store website.

Dagashi Kashi 9-10 spins its wheels and doesn’t do much. We’ve seen plenty of Hajime in the past few weeks and while she has her moments, I’m getting tired of watching her all the time, especially with solo work; luckily Kokonotsu is around for the first half of episode 9 as they develop a website for their store, and the second half had her making her own super balls, though I wish they had gotten more specific with the recipe. It was the closest thing to explaining dagashi the episode ever got. #10 is better. We see the dad again, though I’m more worried about disappointing the actual customer who made the order. And we learn about Monjiro Squid, which I wish I had some of now. And, thank heavens, we actually get some trivia about the product as well. The show has finally remembered that it’s supposed to be educational. But no Hotaru until next week. Well, at least we know she’s coming back.

Hakumei/Mikochi 7-8, FranXX 8, Yuru Camp 9, Dagashi2 8

hakumeimikochi7-1I suppose it’s time to catch up with Hakumei to Mikochi, though I hardly suspect there will be any great story arc unfolding. We almost have a death in episode 7, however, when Koharu the beetle nearly starved. I keep wondering how I’ll react if someone indeed dies in this show. Also, the girls spend a lot of time in tree branches this week, and it gets windy, and they’re only three inches tall or so … But this time it’s all about all the suspicious neighbors who have moved into the girls’ tree and perhaps ruining the quiet neighborhood. But of course it makes perfect sense. Why can’t other creatures live in that tree? It doesn’t belong to anybody. The girls, meanwhile, act like old residents, scratching their heads over all these strange newcomers. And who cut the ladder? The second story, with the rabbit and the pictures, well, I almost forgot to mention it here.

The bad guys.

Episode 8 has a story to it, but I couldn’t figure it out. In a lawless section of the city a gang of sorts trashes someone else’s belongings, and Mikochi has to recreate a mint julip recipe in order to calm everyone down. Oh, and Konju is kidnapped but overall seems to enjoy the experience. The fighting is mostly throwing mushrooms at each other, and in the end the gang leader Tsumujimaru seems to have known the recipe all along, I think. We also have Hakumei doing stealth missions on a paper airplane, and the guy whose house got trashed doesn’t get any revenge, though it’s an “anything goes” building. I don’t really get it. I think the show is so used to being leisurely that it didn’t exactly know how to tell an exciting story.

franxx8-1Darling in the FranXX has a ridiculous setup, but episode 8 is even sillier than most of them. A klaxosaur fires goo at them, and suddenly all the girls’ clothing begins to dissolve, putting the boys in various stages of embarrassment and/or lust. The girls are offended, and we have a tape-in-middle-of-the-house situation, which plays out in various, mostly uninteresting ways. Meanwhile the higher-ups comment that puberty has struck all the team at once, and I scratch my head. Until the reality of their mortality (from a visit to a former member’s room before she got killed) forces them to band together, there is only one scene worth watching, where 02 gets in on the fun and has Hiro, in nothing but a towel, chasing her around, and realizing he’s enjoying it. As for the final, more sober scenes, it seems fear of death will strike the libido right out of you (even though the guys all agree that they should apologize and support the girls at the end), but this strikes me as being an unhealthy attitude. Didn’t Hiro get all cured by realizing all he wanted out of life was to be with 02?

yurucamp9-1Yuru Camp is at a place where everything the show attempts to do works. Apart from Rin’s dog souvenir battle of temptation (because we knew she would buy the damn thing) episode 9 is a delight from beginning to end, as Rin more or less “wings it” on her latest solo adventure while Nadeshiko in her sickbed and Chiaki text her inane travel advice, though gathering mushrooms seems like a fun thing to do on a camping trip. Rin does visit a dog shrine (wan), meets a couple mountain climbers and gets tea from them, finds her route is closed and has to double back, finds an onsen that’s actually open, waves at some kids, does not meet any bears, and has a dilemma as she oversleeps after lunch. Will she make it to the park in time?!? Oh, and Chiaki makes Houtou. And it’s almost all pleasurable. In fact, I’m rather glad the girls aren’t all camping together yet because it gives us more locals for the girls to have fun in.

dagashi28-1Finally, Dagashi Kashi continues its work on getting Hajime fitted into the routine. In the first half it’s Saya, who finds about a dozen ways to seethe about this new hot girl living with her would-be boyfriend, but it never occurs to her to ask him. Which is fine, because Saya doing a slow burn, or a quick one for that matter, or frankly, just showing up makes the episode worthwhile for me. Tou’s scene with Hajime, based on misunderstanding and getting a little lewd, was less successful. Alas, the show still misses Hotaru. None of the other characters has the in-depth knowledge of sweets that she has, apart from Kokonotsu, and he doesn’t do much this episode. Hajime and Saya don’t even know how to eat the roll-candy.

Catching up and falling behind with Slow Start, Yuru Camp, Dagashi and Takunomi

Every now and then the show tosses out weird lines like this.

Slow Start 6 has little to write about. It’s the usual well-balanced dose of cheerful girly activities, friendship, kindness, innuendo, fanservice, and weird lines. I think the winning conversation this week had to do with the toughness of Eiko’s nipples, though I rather like the one in the photo above, too, though how Hana’s mind reached that concept I don’t really get. The plot of the episode was a study-sleepover that Hana holds for everyone, well, that and the fact that Tama might get annoying at times, but she is also a highly responsible person, entrusted with her family’s food budget, and now I’m hungry for chop suey.

And now that I’ve watched Yuru Camp 6, I’m hungry for just about everything, especially if you cook it on a grill. Hmm, pork jowl … Anyway, while Slow Start avoids story by emphasizing friendship and nipples, among other things, Yuru Camp avoids story with breathtaking scenery (Lake Shibire this week, and wherever place Chiaki is scouting out) and by having the girls drool over meat. Rin’s bought a cute little mini-grill that you can hold in one hand. Don’t know how sturdy it really is, but we’ll find out next week, because this week was all about prep, driving, and drooling over the food they’ll eat on the grill rather than actually cooking it. And that’s fine. It’s nice to have a show where the girls wait breathlessly for something, and when it comes it’s never a disappointment, well, maybe a minor one … No beef tongue at the supermarket!

One of the pleasant things about the show is how things that could be big events are treated matter-of-factly. That lake Shibire monster business played out as expected, even with Rin spotting it, but it was over practically before it began and we get a sense it was a minor event that existed only to get the girls in the same tent. Then there’s that old man from last episode who turned out to be Rin’s grandfather, told in almost an “oh, by the way …” manner. And finally the odd bits like the drunk girl next door and the chestnut that said hello … Oh, and we learn about charcoal.

Like kids in a candy store.

And once again a new episode appears before I’m ready for it, meaning I have to add it here. Though there’s not much to say about it, it’s an in-between camping episode, but again the girls’ enthusiasm is infectious. It makes me want to take up a new hobby. Not only do I look up the campsites on the net, but I look up the stations and towns they visit. I will probably never go to any of them … This time we learn about seasoning cast iron and wood, Caribou outdoor shops, mats, and a little bit about the sleepy town of Minobu. And in the “by the way” department, the drunk girl truly does enter their school.

Dagashi Kashi 6 introduces us to the manager of the sweets shop’s new rival konbini. Yutaka is, like Hotaru, passionate and a little insane about his passion, which is convenience stores. To an extent, I can understand his enthusiasm. konbinis in Japan truly do have everything–aside from the usual juice, beer, and bentos I get regularly, I have bought an 8gb thumb drive in one and a tie in another. One of the Lawsons nearby has very good desserts, while everyone agrees that the 7/11 makes the best coffee, and I hope when it gets warmer the FamilyMart will bring back their chicken wraps. But back to the story. Kokonotsu is worried, but he notices that a lot of the sweets at the place are too expensive, sending a shock to Yutaka, who then tries to entice Kokonotsu to join his staff. And the twelve minutes is up. I hope this, dare I say it, story arc won’t hurt the show’s old, plotless charm, but I’m worried. There was only one reference to candy this week, and it was never actually discussed. And Hotaru is still missing. Yutaka may be passionate and insane, but he is no replacement.

Hajime, who we finally meet in episode 7, is closer to a replacement than any of the others. She’s that girl who didn’t fit in at the convenience store, but the manager called her four-eyes, but she’s a fuckup, never managing to say the appropriate thing, meaning there are all sorts of reasons why she desperately asks Kokonotsu for a job. The fact that Kokonotsu is only fifteen but the more mature one of the interview will tell you how it went, but we have our new character anyway. She’s crazy, but not the same kind of crazy as Hotaru, who is more of a rich-girl crazy. Hajime is more generic, but she wins points for pointing out the cubist elements on the box for Chocoballs.

If Dagashi Kashi is going to abandon its title of the season’s most educational anime, Takunomi will easily take its place, edging out Yuru camp (don’t get me wrong, you learn a lot from YC as well). Episode 6 was about sake and fish pairing, with a lot of detail about the various types of sake and how much of the grain is used. The more discarded, the higher the quality. I didn’t know that, but I rarely drink sake even though I live here. For me it’s like wine, endless varieties and you don’t know which one to get. But now I know a little more than I did before. Oh, the fish in that episode made me even MORE hungry.

Threes and fours: Slow Start, Yuru Camp, HakxMik

Quick thoughts while I continue my scramble to catch up …

Eiko is not to be crossed.

Slow Start is becoming quite a nice “cute girls doing cute things” (CGDCT) series. It’s taken care of the early hurdles of introducing characters and the situations they’re all in. Episode 4 bought us Hiroe, possibly the last regular character, another girl unlucky with exams who is behind and is so mortified that she’s in danger of becoming a shut-in, prompting Hana to relate her own story, the first time she’s ever done so. It sounds serious but the show’s light touch and little absurdities keep it light.

I’m not sure why Tama said this.

Now that the main characters are more or less introduced, the show moves on in episode 5 to getting a little weird. I think I’ve said before that I believe a good CGDCT show should be weird in one way or another, whether through the characters or the production. Again, the episode’s main thrust is to expand on Kamu’s affection for Eiko, which is sweetly done, but it’s how they get there which matters. First, Kamu forgets to wear a skirt, and everyone riffs in their own way about that. There’s some stealth-peeking from that teacher. Later there’s talk of Eiko having a double which leads to a ridiculous conversation about doppelgangers, body doubles, and the like, and the even stranger appearance of the double, who apparently answers to “Eiko.” Oh, I guess we do meet a new character this week, Eiko’s sister Miki, who is not only a little weird herself, but has a running gag with her name going. She fits right in.

Yuru Camp is a demonstration of how useless categories like CGDCT can be. You could easily argue that Nadeshiko, Rin, and their buddies, are doing things cutely, and the show likes put in little extra cute bits, like that dog in the car, or Rin’s scooter saying “I’m tired!” but the thing they’re doing, camping, isn’t cute, so it fails in the cute things part. It makes me think that when I consider CGDCT shows, I expect them to be somewhat girly, cake shops and the like. On the other hand, the girls are cute and react to things like building fires in a cute way.

Who said there can be no overlap? We can argue (well, I argue with myself) about Yuru Camp’s CGDCT level, but there’s no denying the level of Stop And Smell The Roses (SASTR) the show has. It passes all the tests: beautiful scenery, quiet peaceful music, and most important, lack of dramatic action and the absence of true threat. In episodes 4 and 5, the club girls go off to Fuefuki Park or thereabouts, while Rin goes to (checks notes) Yatsugatake-Chushin Quasi National Park in Nagano. We watch the club girls prepare for their trip (cutely) while Rin just rides her scooter. It looked like it would be a moral lesson of sorts when the club girls continue to have fun while Rin, the slightly antisocial one, gets too cold and meets some setbacks, but at the end she and Nadeshiko are sending each other night view pictures and everyone has a good time doing non-cute things.

Actually this is artistic license, because the girls are over 100 kilometers apart.

And then, how to we categorize Hakumei to Mikochi? They’re cute little things, but I wouldn’t call them girls–did you get a look at their feet? They’re basically stumps–well, they’re female, but they’re clearly not for the CGDCT team. So, SASTR? Except that episode 3 begins with their home blowing up, and episode 4 has Mikochi badly hurt in a fall. And there are predators about, even if the huge scary owl wasn’t as bad as it first appeared. In addition, the show likes to lull us with peaceful moments and quiet music playing, only to break the mood with a cheap laugh, like that ponkan crashing through their tent. Yet both episodes had as much charm as any show in either category I’ve arbitrarily brought up here.

In episode 4 we see Mikochi, closer to nature than any Yuru Camp girl, nonetheless apprehensive about camping. Then we learn what Hakumei does for a living and there’s a brush with death, no, not the house blowing up. They weren’t inside when it happened. Episode 5 explains what MIKOCHI does for a living, and then the scary story with the owl. I pretty much know that nothing seriously bad will happen to either character, but the fall was told well enough that I was seriously worried about her. So what category should we put Hakumei to Mikochi? We could invent a new one, but I don’t know how to describe it nor establish any rules for it. In fact, I probably should not have even brought up SATSR and CGDCT at all. Sorry.

2-3’s: Sora Yori, Yuru Camp, Slow Start

Somebody suggested that Sora yori mo Tooi Basho was going to be a K-ON for Antarctica, and there were times during episodes 3 and 4 where I began to see their point. Focused, disciplined Shirase turns out to be possibly the biggest idiot of the group with her plan to seduce a male explorer and get him to stow them away, and it led to a scene in Shinjuku where the viewer had no idea what the girls were trying to do. They were trying to act sexy, then two women showed up and everyone starts running around, while we scratch our heads. It’s good that the show grounded itself after that, however, with some reality: yes, there’s a civilian expedition going, but it’s in financial trouble and our girls couldn’t get in anyway.

This didn’t really happen.

The other thing both 2 and 3 do is, of course, gather more characters. Episode 2 brought us Hinata, who quit school for reasons and, like Shirase, feels like she has to prove something to the doubters. She’s also the most practical of the three and thanks to her the show has someone to rein Shirase in when she gets too obsessed (honestly, the whole “My mother is waiting for me” business, is her name Riko?). The second episode presents us with Yuzuki, the girls’ reluctant golden ticket, an idol who’s going on the expedition but doesn’t want to go, so could Shirase take her place? No, says the manager/mother, but there is room for negotiation, since Yuzuki is friendless and lonely. The show does a smart thing by stressing that the girls are not best friends, they’re friendly acquaintances with a shared goal, and since they welcome Yuzuki, it’s more than good enough.

Yuru Camp is shaping up to be a nice slice-of-life, even if Nadeshiko also reminds me of someone from K-ON. The thing is, right now it feels like two different shows. We have Aoi and Chiaki’s club and narrow clubroom, with their little adventures, witn some interaction with Rin, who does not want to join. And then we have the other half, which is Rin camping and reading, and lots of scenery. True, we have Yui, I mean Nadeshiko crashing her private party, but at least she seems to be respecting Rin’s desire for peace. In terms of episode 2’s story, it seems like halfway through the writers said, “the hell with it, let’s go camping,” so we did, and anything resembling plot just stopped. We even get the full text of a nonsense chatmail that has nothing to do with anything.

I guess the show does have a plot: getting all the girls together to camp together. The show is going to take their time about it, too. Three episodes in and we Rin and Nadeshiko have teamed up. I wonder how much longer it will take for Chiaki and Aoi to join them? Not that it matters. Sooner or later they’ll be looking at Fuji-san together, and in the meantime … well, who cares? In episode 4 the most interesting thing that happened is that Rin explained why she likes Winter camping, and they’re good reasons. I also wonder that she doesn’t mind so much about Nadeshiko hanging around. I guess her transition from private camper to social one is going to be as nonchalant and low-key as the rest of the series so far.

I didn’t get this part either, but that’s all right.

Slow Start doesn’t have much a plot, either, and again, it’s all right. Episode 2 is all about the sports testing, and Hana, who hasn’t exercised since middle school, doesn’t do terribly well. In episode 3 all the girls to Hana’s place for some golden week studying, cute things happen, and Hana gets the warm fuzzies from everyone being there. In the meantime, we get a little more of each girls’ personality. I still can’t get over Tama’s constant talking, but it’s nice to know she has some skills. Kamuri is still simply small, cute, shy, and devoted to Eiko. It’s Eiko who’s turning out to be the most interesting. She would say otherwise, and constantly wonders at the harem game references Tama-chan makes, but we see EIko flirting with other girls, and it’s hard to tell if she’s serious about it or unaware of the effect she has on the other girls, and she DOES have an effect.

There IS some plot of course, but it’s kind of ridiculous. Hana still hasn’t let on that she had to miss a year because she was down with the mumps the day of the entrance exam. It’s a credit to the show that while it’s all rather cute, the negative effect this has on Hana’s life comes through enough for me to get angry that there was no other route for her but to miss a year. And in episode 4 she a reference to her birthday makes her suddenly shed tears in front of her worried new friends. A nice little moment that I thought would lead to her confession, but it didn’t. I don’t want to have to wonder, episode by episode, whether she’s going to spill the beans on this innocent issue when we all her friends will not care. Just tell them already.