Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
This week’s episode largely continues on with the light feeling from last week, except for one very heavy revelation from Kakeru. We also get a handful of confirmations on some points hinted at in the first episode.
In the same vein as last week, episode 2 spends most of its time with the characters during breaks in between classes and after school. The primary plot point of this episode revolves around Naho making a bento for Kakeru.
During lunch at school, Suwa grabs Hagita to go buy some bread to eat. Kakeru tags along with them as he doesn’t have his own bento for lunch. He explains that his mother won’t make one for him (which looking back after seeing the whole episode, must’ve been a tough thing for him to say). This sets Naho off on a long debate with herself over whether or not to make a bento for Kakeru. The letter from the future also mentions this, and explains that Naho will regret not making one for him.
After school, Suwa convinces Kakeru and the others (minus Hagita) to come watch his soccer practice. Having learned from Naho how good Kakeru is at soccer, his goal is to get him to join the team. Kakeru practices with the team for a while, and after some pleading from Suwa, he agrees to join as a provisional member. During this scene, Kakeru mentions he’d like for Naho to make a bento for him, but then quickly says he’s joking. Later at home, Naho spends the rest of the night worrying over the bento, but in the end, she decides to make it.
At school the next day, however, Naho isn’t able to give her bento to Kakeru during lunch. This causes her some stress and even leads to an uncomfortable moment between her and Kakeru after school. She apologizes to him later, and as they’re walking home together, they stop by a park to talk. They both ask each other some questions, and in the middle of their light banter, Kakeru drops a heavy, painful piece of information. He tells Naho that his mother committed suicide on their first day of school, and it was due to the funeral and having to move that he was absent. Shortly after this heavy moment, Naho is finally able to give Kakeru the bento she made, and promises to make him one every day. It turns out Kakeru was actually hoping she would make him one, and this helps brighten his mood. Before the episode ends, we get another brief look into the future as the gang appears to be making a visit to Kakeru’s grave.
Other than the sad revelation of the death of Kakeru’s mother, this was another light episode. It also confirmed a few things that were brought up last week. First, the baby in the future is indeed Naho and Suwa’s. The questions I raised at the end of my last review then, still stand. Also, it was hinted at that Suwa has feelings for Naho, and the scene where Kakeru taps Naho on the head seemed to confirm this. However, Suwa appears more than ready to give up on his feelings if need be (or maybe he’s already given up).
My next several comments are going to be more critical. First off, in this episode, Naho briefly mentions regretting having ever read the letter from the future. This kind of threw me off. I can understand her feeling that she’s being somewhat controlled by the letter and pushed to do things she isn’t comfortable with or used to, and for this to cause her to regret coming in contact with it. However, it felt very strange that this was brought about over just a bento. Her reaction seemed highly disproportional to the trouble she actually went through this episode, especially considering the value she already knows the letter holds.
Next is regarding how light these episodes are. I’ve mentioned this in both of my reviews so far, and I’m starting to worry if this will be an issue for the whole series. I don’t mind a slow start, but it’s been two episodes already and we hardly know anything about these characters. In a sense, I feel like I’ve been watching the background characters from a general high school anime go about their daily lives. Other than Kakeru, the anime is only scratching the surface of these characters. I hope it’ll delve in deeper soon, and I do expect it to do so, but for now it’s my anticipation of what’s to come, and not what I see in front of me, that’s actually holding my interest.
Lastly, and this is more an issue of personal taste, this week’s episode provides us with some clarification regarding Kakeru’s death in the future, and with it, it drastically lowered my expectations for the series. The letter states that Kakeru dies in an accident during the winter of his 17th birthday. I was under the impression that he commits suicide. This changes things quite a bit, as Naho goes from needing to save Kakeru mentally (with all the challenges that entails), to just saving him physically. Unless this story follows the line of thought that fate cannot be changed, it becomes just a matter of being at the right place at the right time, which I would think the letter details out. I’m worried because I feel that the bar has been lowered, and the task of saving Kakeru has become much simpler, but we’ll have to see how things play out from here.
starting from the July 3, 2016