This episode was adorable and emotionally stronger because even though Hina herself declares the situation over, she adds a ‘probably’ to the end of it. The scars of bullying remain and the fractures in the class don’t magically disappear. The bullies also don’t undergo some mystic transformation and see the errors of their way to become model class members. And yet, the deliberate denial that used to permeate the class has been swept clean and a new paradigm needs to be forged. It is a time of beginnings even as the old trappings stubbornly hold on and linger in people’s memories.
This is beautifully illustrated in the transition from scenes with the teacher still attempting to deal with the fall out and the atmosphere of the Kawamoto house, and the house of the classmates who invite Hina to bake cookies later in the episode. The classroom is no longer the place of fear and negativity that it was but these emotions are still present and we see that through Hina’s interactions with the teachers when looking at forgiving the bullies, and through the lead bully’s interactions with the teacher.
Despite the situation being resolved, we didn’t see the full change in Hina until the moment she found out how Chiho was doing and we see once again the closeness of Akari and Hina as Hina lets out so many bubbling emotions in what is hopefully a final fit of tears.
And then we bring Rei back into the story who witnesses the sleeping Hina and observes that she almost seems to be glowing. If we needed more evidence that Rei is very aware of Hina as a person, this scene seems to consolidate just how closely he has observed her compared to other people. For Rei, who lacks social skills and seems mostly oblivious to others, Hina has left a real impact on his life and his focus on her is incredibly clear (and also kind of adorable).
As Hina fills Rei in on the events of the past two episodes he laments that he couldn’t ‘do’ anything for her. I’m so glad she set him straight and also called him an idiot for that. And I absolutely loved every second of them walking by the river.
Another incredible episode from this series.
Thanks for reading.
If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.