Will Suzu ever smile again?
Apologies, work kept getting in the way and whenever I found some time I deferred to doing whatever had most recently come out. I also haven’t really been in the mood for intense doses of suffering for the past few weeks. I’ll get the next episode’s post out by this time tomorrow. A subconscious part of me probably didn’t want to see Suzu’s heart torn out and trampled on harder than what Chinatsu did to that poor Mel accessory. I’m actually thinking about switching allegiances as far as the two protagonists go. Chii-chan is really hot, and her cruel and sadistic smiles make me feel all funny inside, but I… can’t say I like her very much as a person anymore. I still think she’s cuter than Suzu, and that Shirai dude who got rejected (again) has excellent taste, but I’m not okay with seeing Suzu break like that and wailing Chii-chan’s name. We’ve known that this was coming for quite a while now, but Suzu hasn’t at all – before their reunion at the park, she still believed that Chinatsu loved her back as much as she did her or, at the very least, didn’t hate her guts to the point that she wanted to win at WIXOSS for the sole purpose of erasing all their memories together. It must have been an incredible shock. And Suzu was already emotionally fragile before this to begin with, in light of not only the Selector battles but also having no friends at school (although to be honest a cute Hanna-chan is all she needs) and zero support from her family. This must have hit her like a Japanese truck.
Still, I was under the impression that her long-awaited battoru with Hanna would have been helpful for her psyche. I think that’s what the ever-wise Hanna-sama was trying to do. If Suzu picked herself up, then great. If Suzu didn’t manage to do so, then at least Hanna gets another coin. What was really inconvenient was that both of them used Coin Bet, which effectively doubled Suzu’s loss by the end of it all. I don’t blame her, not least of all because this is the first time Honest has been circumvented, but it really hurts because she was formerly quite stable at three coins and is now down to one. And she’s broken inside to boot. All this coin maths is a bit confusing too – I can understand that Hanna only wins one coin from that battle because Suzu’s Coin Bet was a risk undertaken by her alone and not part of what’s being ‘wagered’, but then where does the coin needed for a Coin Bet come from when a Selector only has one coin remaining? I mean, at that point if they lose, they’re done for anyway so it doesn’t really matter that much, but it’s a lacuna in terms of principle and I’m a little unsettled by that. To go completely off topic for a bit, I really love Nanashi’s final form. Her oversized hairpin and everything about her is surprisingly elegant given her bacteria-focused theme.
Anyway. I did have my hopes for Suzu, because it felt like this was the first time Hanna was backed into a corner (Nanashi wasn’t smiling at one point) and Suzu is rather competent herself on a good day. Hanna did deserve the win in the end for her quick thinking. I’m just worried that something bad will happen to her now (just like our friend Yuzuki) because she might very well be the first one to reach five coins with her ability at WIXOSS and the help of the Bookmaker setting up mandatory battles for her. Before it does, though, at the very least I’d like Suzu to get herself together again. If Suzu hears about any tragedy befalling Hanna as she is now, she might not recover ever again.
Let’s talk about the Chii-chan who I still love but kind of don’t. From her speech about wanting to remove something unnecessary, it really feels like this entire Selector battle is an ideal setup for Chinatsu. I’m not sure whether she’s addicted to battoru so much as she is addicted to making other people suffer – she was smiling as she destroyed Guzuko’s Selector. It’s like her memories of Suzu are all that’s left of her conscience. It’s all that’s holding her back from revelling in destruction, and that’s what she wants to get rid of to embrace her darkest feelings. It’s kind of sexy, but also really, really bad. If Chii-chan wins, she can forget all about Suzu and she’ll finally be happy (or so she thinks). If she loses, then… well, to be honest, her current life honestly isn’t great either. The scholarship’s gone and now her parents have degenerated into subsistence living. I don’t blame her for losing her smile. And none of what happened this episode was technically the Bookmaker’s fault, either – he was around to record their reunion for his own perverse entertainment, but technically he did nothing wrong. He wasn’t involved in Chii-chan’s descent into darkness, and she would have met Suzu eventually. The same goes for Hanna and her battle with Suzu – it’s what she always wanted from her, and she just so happened to make friends with Suzu along the way. All the seeds were already there, and the Bookmaker just arranged the inevitable. He’s still a bastard though, don’t get me wrong. He’s precisely why we can’t have nice things.
One last point. I think it’s adorable that Suzu now has both the Mel and Ril plush accessories attached to her bag. I don’t know why I find that so cute. I just do. I hope she can return Mel to her owner someday.