Before even getting into the plot of this episode, the art style really hits you over the head doesn’t it? I read on MAL that this episode was directed by Itsuki Imazaki, which explains the change. I don’t think everyone will like it and to be honest, I very much prefer the look from the previous episode. But since this is a flashback episode to a time in Kaoru’s life where she wasn’t happy, I kind of feel like it works.
This is a low period in her life, so why should everything look bright and cheerful?
I don’t want it to look like this for the rest of the episodes, but I do like the change here….only for this episode.
Kaoru gets transferred to a job that she doesn’t like and invited to a wedding that makes her happy for her friend, but also incredibly lonely. She thought that as long as she told herself that everything would be okay that things would work out and she’d be happy as long as she could smoke, drink and watch TV.
But after awhile, her loneliness creeps up on her. I think a lot of people have felt this way at one point in their lives. Even if you are fine with being alone, you still crave some sort of interaction with someone, be it with friends, family, significant other, or online peeps. That isn’t to say that everyone would get depressed over it, but it’s clear that Kaoru’s life was getting to her.
After saying that she’s not okay, she wakes up. She isn’t alone anymore now that Hajime is here. She looks down on him fondly. After that flashback, she’s thankful that he’s there by her side and I kind of love that she didn’t jump him. She let him sleep and just lays back down next to him.
She ends the episode by saying, “People can’t survive on their own.” Does this mean that you need a man to complete your life, no and I don’t think the show is saying that. Kaoru was lonely and felt like her life was in a rut that she couldn’t get out of, so when Hajime appeared it was like her world opened up. I think the same could have happened if it was a friend too. Sometimes all we need is someone there for us and that’s all Kaoru needed.
Even though she didn’t want to transfer to sales, I bet she’s happy she did since it looks like Hajime was hired after she transferred.
Overall, I thought the episode was good. Like I said before, I think a lot of people can relate to how Kaoru feelings of loneliness and being stuck. Even if you have family and friends around you it doesn’t really stop you from feeling this way and in some circumstances it may intensify it. And we see that happen with Kaoru. When she went to the wedding, she was happy for her friend but started to also panic as she remembered her own life. Then, when she was alone the feelings took over and she finally admitted that she wasn’t okay, even though she kept saying that she was.
But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, so I was happy when Kaoru got her happy ending. Plus, I really love this couple. They’re just so cute. She may not understand what he says sometimes, but she wouldn’t want it any other way.
I wonder if we’ll see a Hajime’s flashback in the next episode. I don’t think he’d be as lonely as Kaoru, since he lived with his family, but that might just be a baseless assumption on my end. Maybe he felt the same way as Kaoru and that’s why they clicked so easily?
Even though the art style worked for this episode, I really hope we got back to normal for the next one. Actually, if it’s a gloomy flashback like this one then I don’t think I’d mind it if it was used again.