It’s well and truly summer now and there are festivals happening all over Japan. You have probably all seen those episodes of anime where the characters dress in yukata and enjoy their local festival, hoping for a romantic moment. This is no different, and we can see not only the possible spark of a new romance but the end of romances too. Let’s take a look at this episode, which takes us to one of Kyoto’s most famous festivals.
Japanese title: 祭りのあとに
What worth has such a pillow should it smother my name
This episode covered what is possibly the most significant chapter of Book One, so I was a little worried about how it would come across. I think we ended up with a very good episode which shows a huge turning point in Aoi and Kiyotaka’s relationship. There wasn’t much mystery this episode, other than the meaning behind Izumi’s teacup. (which Aoi was able to solve herself!). Human drama really is the flavor of the day here, with the feelings of Kiyotaka, Aoi and (to a certain extent) Izumi all being clearly expressed. Izumi has feelings of regret and seems to be running away from them by running to the guy she cheated on. However, Kiyotaka is having none of it. In Aoi’s case, she is clearly not comfortable with meeting up with the people who were supposed to care for her the most. The anime had a very interesting take on this scene. The inverted colors gave that sense of distress, and right from the moment she was talking to her friends, we knew she wanted to run away. Let’s not forget that the Aoi from Episode One was willing to sell her father’s hanging scroll in order to run back to Saitama and ‘confirm’ the relationship for herself. Now here they are, standing in front of her, and Aoi is keeping her true feelings hidden and telling her she forgives them. It’s up to you whether you want to call that strength or weakness.
Luckily, Kiyotaka came to the rescue! Both are suffering from past heartbreak, and they certainly needed each other at that moment. Aoi needed to know that she wasn’t in the wrong, and Kiyotaka is the one that allowed her to lift her head up high (after some tears, of course). There is no doubt that Kiyotaka’s speech to her (in Ishikawa’s attempt at the dialect lol) is the moment she started to see him in a romantic way (even if she doesn’t realize it yet). Add to that the beauty of the Gion Festival as well as a yukata-clad Aoi (so cute!!) and Kiyotaka (so handsome!!), we had a wonderful episode to enjoy.
I’m also glad that Akihito was kept in this episode. Although he lives in Tokyo, he visits Kyoto from time to time and is often just a third wheel to Aoi and Kiyotaka (which is part of the reason I love him). You may wonder why he was in this episode at all, but it’s clearly to act as a foil for Kiyotaka, who is reminded of the guy who stole Izumi away. I’d like to see more of him, please.
Correctly Wearing Yukata
When Aoi comes out wearing the cotton kimono (called a ‘yukata’) for the first time, Mieko remarks that she had put it on the correct way around. This is because kimono are always meant to be worn with the left panel over the right. Only dead people wear kimono with the right panel above! In the book, Aoi actually comes out wearing the yukata the wrong way round, and Mieko shouts ‘you’re a ghost!’. Akihito then goes on to helpfully explain that a guy is supposed to be able to slip his right hand in easily if he approaches from behind. Thanks for the tip.
The most important scene in this episode is when Kiyotaka is telling Aoi not to cry. He is actually talking not in the polite standard Japanese that we are used to but in his native Kyoto dialect. It’s quite a big deal, as it shows that, at this moment, he is showing his raw, true self to Aoi. I also think that a lot of girls reading this scene got goosebumps at this moment. (Just me?)
Places Which Appeared in Episode 4
Not so much a place as a festival, the Gion Festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in Japan. It takes places across the whole month of July, but most people associate it with the days when the streets near Gion and Kawaramachi are bustling with people enjoying the stalls and admiring the floats. As Kiyotaka teaches us in the books, the floats are essentially ‘moving art galleries’, and they really are something to be admired. Although it’s definitely worth checking out, I have to warn you that it is hot, busy and almost impossible to move around. Once in a lifetime is enough for me…
Let’s Start the Appraisal
We didn’t have much mystery here but there was romance! Although Kiyotaka is not exactly showing romantic feelings for the sweet Aoi (there is a slight age gap here), he clearly cares very much for her. Aoi can finally start to move on from the betrayal she experienced and become a better person because of it. Now she doesn’t need to work at Kura for the train tickets to Saitama….but she has no reason to quit, either. This is certainly the most emotional episode we have had so far.
In the next episode, we finally get to meet the dodgy-looking monk who has been appearing from time-to-time…
Don’t forget that we will be here each week with a preview of the next episode. You can check the stills gallery from Episode 4 here.
Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast