Epiosde 7 of Kuzu no Honkai took another character by the hand and shared her thoughts plainly for all the viewers to see. Noriko Kamomebata, our little Moca (I always think of ice-cream when I hear her name) spent her whole life under a pretense of purity. In a twisted version of either the Sleeping Beauty or The Frog Prince (choose your own fairy tale) a kiss from the prince is not the end, but the start of her nightmares.
Japanese Title: 愛はたくさん (LOTS OF LOVE)
Moca is a child of a different era, and quite possibly of a different country. She was also always in love with Mugi. Her insistence in kindergarten that their honeymoon should be either in England or in France betrayed her affection for a princess-like charisma she tried to maintain for the rest of her life. A princess-like quality she also tried to apply to her love for Mugi. She always believed that her love for him was as pure as possible, and as long as that belief felt real, then Noriko could remain a princess, a little girl of noble intention who strived for that feeling of elegance.
In the first part of their dream date, Noriko tries very hard to convince us that she is in control of the situation. ‘If I don’t get a happy ending, then I don’t want it,’ she says in a demonstration of power over a relationship she either will have as she wants it or not have at all. I must admit that I was sold to her monologues. Part because I believe in pure love and part because I wanted to have a character who was the opposite of the sexualized love the rest represented, I wanted Noriko to stand by her words. And the night almost ended her way, up until the point that she realized how much she wants Mugi, and how she can use her irresistible cuteness to get what she wants. And the whole purity façade, that struggle to maintain the illusion that it’s ok to not have him, crumbles with just one kiss. One kiss that made her desires spring to the surface of her true self, a self that realized that she is not a girl anymore but a woman who desires to be touched; to be wanted.
In a sudden epiphany (which was more of a ‘she didn’t do what turns me on’ moment) Mugi can’t bring himself to having sex with a girl that he genuinely cares about. His reasons for touching her are purely sexual, no inch of eroticism in them. He doesn’t want to do that to Noriko.
The episode ends with the one and only couple we learned how to love and hate coming to a resolution that might get them out of the black hole they found themselves being sucked into.
Sex Scene of the Week: For a change, the sex scene of the week was more of a ‘let’s get cute until I realize I am a jerk’ scene. Mugi goes as far as undressing Noriko, but he wants to avoid a swift journey to hell from taking advantage of a girl that actually means something to him.
Themes & Trivia
Harajuku Crepes: Harajuku in Tokyo is probably more famous outside Japan for its over-the-top fashion, but it’s also the place to go for Japanese crepes. The most popular street is Takeshita, home to many crepe shops.
Palace of Versailles: Or simply put Versailles is is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. It is one of the wealthiest suburbs of Paris today, and it was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682 until the French Revolution. The most famous manga/anime title that takes place in Versailles is The Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのばら), the famous shoujo manga created by Riyoko Ikeda. The story borrows from history and the protagonist, Oscar François de Jarjayes, interacts with Marie Antoinette.
Himeji Castle: The hilltop Japanese castle complex that is located in Hyougo Prefecture is regarded as the finest example of typical Japanese castle architecture. The network is comprised of 83 buildings and it dates back to the feudal period of 14th century. It’s also known as Hakuro-jō or Shirasagi-jō because of its white exterior that’s supposed to resemble a bird taking flight.
Japanese Popsicles: Popsicle sticks in Japan usually hide messages like ‘You Win’ or ‘Congratulations.’ It usually means that you can get another one for free. The most popular Popsicle brand in Japan is Gari-gari kun.
Kuzu no Honkai is making an effort to go through the thoughts of all major characters. If the pattern continues then we should expect an episode dedicated to Kanai-sensei very soon. We have to see his own point of view and the reasons that led him straight into the arms of Minagawa-sensei, and I’m not talking about the love-at-first-sight he experienced under the sakura trees, but the real reasons, the deep psychological reasons that attract him to a psychopathic character.
God, we are cowards…
Are Mugi and Hanabi cowards? Most probably. They chose, at least up until now, to hide their true feelings behind a wall built with lies and manipulation. At least now they realized that the only way to break free of the shackles that bind them is to get a clean rejection. Maybe then they can go on with their lives, and maybe fall in love again.