This week’s episode of Holmes of Kyoto is less about a battle of wits and more about a battle of feelings. Aoi is unsure about how her relationship with Kiyotaka is progressing and Izumi is having more guy trouble, this time with her new fiancé. Will Aoi get to spend a romantic Christmas with Kiyotaka?
Japanese Title: 聖夜の涙とアリバイ崩し
‘Thanks, for saying it for me…’
Christmas is here, the most romantic time of the year! After Kiyotaka’s strange attitude after the events at Genko-an, she wonders if it could possibly be a confession of love. Osaka businessman and Kura regular Ueda-san is hoping that Kiyotaka and Rikyu will be temporary posters boys at his new sweets cafe in the trendy Kitayama area. The pair reluctantly agrees. It turns out that what Kiyotaka wanted to say to Aoi was that he wanted to ‘repay’ her for the all the help she’s been. But he DOES seem concerned about the mixer she was invited to… could it be…? It somehow ends up that Kiyotaka helps raise Aoi’s grades by tutoring her, and her mother invites Kiyotaka to her house to say thank you! I’m glad that they referenced Kiyotaka meeting Aoi’s mother and eating sweets, as well as checking out her grandfather’s antiques, even if they didn’t have time to fully animate the scene.
We get to visit the ikemen cafe, and Kiyotaka’s ex-girlfriend Izumi is there to ask for his help. Izumi has been approached by a woman who claims that her new fiancé visited her and embraced her on the night of Izumi’s engagement party. Kiyotaka seems to have a theory, but he needs Izumi to collect evidence.
Christmas Eve comes, and Aoi visits the sweets cafe on Rikyu and Kiyotaka’s last day. Rikyu is soooo cute! He could work at one of those tsundere cafes I’ve heard they have in Tokyo. I would go. Unfortunately for Aoi, when Kiyotaka runs out to tell her that Izumi and the fiancé will be coming back that evening, she gets a whoooole bunch of death stares from the girls waiting outside.
We go back to the store, and Kiyotaka attempts to break Tachibana’s alibi. It turns out that he DID visit the woman, but she actually lived in the neighborhood and gave her the money to move down to Momoyama. He claimed that it was so that he could have a relationship with Izumi and end his relationship with the other woman. As they seem to get ready for a heart-to-heart, Kiyotaka and Aoi head outside for….a romantic moment!! Here it comes, guys…!!! Wait, no! What are you doing Rikyu? You aren’t even in this volume of the book!! And so ends another episode of ‘Kiyotaka needs to express his feelings better’.
Which Holmes is the Real Holmes?
When Holmes is talking to the girls who came into Kura, he is talking in Kyoto dialect. Aoi may have developed pangs of jealously partly because of the way he speaks so casually to them. In the books, he lets it slip that he has actually entered girl’s dorm rooms before, even if never did go into Izumi’s room. It can be a little difficult to grasp what Kiyotaka’s personality is really like when we have this completely different attitude towards his university friends.
You might be wondering what Christmas Eve and romance have to do with each other, and that is because Christmas Eve in Japan is much more akin to Valentine’s Day in the West. It seems most teenagers aspire to be able to go on a romantic date on the evening of Christmas Eve. Don’t ask why. That’s just how it is…. In contrast, New Year in Japan is much closer to how Christmas is spent in many Western countries, with people spending time with their families.
Izumi and Tachibana met each other through an omiai. These are arranged meetings where the man and woman meet to see if they would be suitable to marry each other. For a well-off family such as Izumi’s, the meeting would have been arranged by the families, but there are many companies out there that can arrange omiai for you. Think of it as a dating website which costs a lot more money. As these meetings are arranged to specifically match people with the idea of getting married, it is not unusual for them to get engaged very quickly without much of a dating period. So don’t think that Izumi is some kind of floozy for being engaged to two different guys within the space of a few months.
Places which appeared in Episode 8
Ueda-san’s new sweets shop is located in the Kitayama area of Kyoto, which makes a lot of sense as Kitayama is famous for its sweets! It’s a bit of a swanky area, filled with nice restaurants and sweet shops. You can of course also find the Botanical Gardens and a concert hall. Just hop on the Karasuma subway line and get off at Kitayama station.
Let’s Start the Appraisal
I didn’t enjoy this chapter all that much in the original novel, and that is because the whole incident with Tachibana just rubbed me the wrong way. I guess it’s just a case of different values, but the lack of respect Tachibana holds for women makes me uncomfortable, and Aoi’s speech isn’t suddenly going to make it go away. It is said in the episode that it just wasn’t working out with the other woman and that he wanted to marry Izumi, but in the book, it is implied that he was just sleeping with the other woman and never had any intention of going any further with her, even though she definitely wanted to. The other woman was not from a high-status family like Izumi and I’m sure that played a big part. I’m also not sure why the anime left out the other woman’s attitude. When she visited Izumi she had an extremely spiteful manner, telling Izumi to enjoy her ‘married life without love’ and even implied using clever wording that Tachibana came to her house that night and slept with her, (in reality, he didn’t embrace her in a sexual way, but with a hug). The bitterness and sense of betrayal that poor woman must have felt play a big part in the tension that we feel during Izumi’s confrontation with her fiancé. It just felt a little sloppy in the adaptation.
All in all, this was not one of my favorite episodes, but, I won’t lie, that’s because Akihito wasn’t in it.
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 8 here.
Holmes of Kyoto
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast