It really is refreshing when we have a character like Akira who is pushy and adamant in getting her answers unlike other characters in romance anime. I was wondering how the confession from last episode would be topped, but the repeat of the confession with her actual emotions making it through Kondo’s head definitely takes the cake.
First off, I loved how the anime decided to show us Akira’s school life in the first half, including a quick flashback of the day she had her injury. It’s interesting what happened after Akira left the meet. She watches as the girls practice and we see just from facial expression how much Akira loved running. We saw a more livelier Akira than we know now, and one who had a strong friendship with the tan girl. Sitting there brought back those memories of her incident, and the sadness and jealousy from being at the practice made her want to leave. As a powerful rain shower starts, Akira makes her way to Garden and, once again, confesses her feelings to Kondo. His reaction last time was going through her mind and bothering her, so this time she wanted to try again, and this time Kondo understood. Before I even started watching this anime, I had a theory that Akira’s sudden romantic interest in her boss stemmed from her accident. She loved running, she was the up and coming star of the team. Injuring her leg and having to abandon the sport that she loved so much must have been incredibly depressing and traumatizing. I had thought that “falling in love” with Kondo was her form of escapism from her negative turn in life. I felt that way when we saw the flashback to the time she first met him at the restaurant, and I’m sure of it this episode. Because the first thing she did when leaving track practice was immediately go over to Garden and confess to Kondo. In order to forget about her painful emotions, she goes over to the one thing she’s latched on to that makes her happy. She also wasn’t able to give him an answer when he asked her why she liked him, just giving a “Is there a reason to like someone?” type of answer. Right now, she’s probably very confused and I like how the anime is sort of implying this. It would be great if the show could go deeper into this because that would set up some great drama and character development. Though I can’t say there aren’t some romantic feelings there. Maybe I wouldn’t call it love, it’s more like passion.
Kondo is another interesting case. I kind of feel bad for him because this is a really awkward situation, but he’s reacting like any other adult man would. Though I couldn’t help but laugh when Akira went up to him in the break room with her glare and demanded an answer from him. We got a little Kondo POV this episode, thank goodness, and unfortunately this man doesn’t think too highly of himself. He’s usually smiling and a little wacky so it’s interesting to see a more sadder side. At first he clearly understood what Akira meant when she confessed, but he tried denying it by thinking that the younger workers were pranking him, and also the age gap. Why on earth would a young girl like her fall in love with a middle-aged man like him? It makes sense, honestly. There’s a lot going on in his mind. His reactions were very normal and realistic, and I like that he took Akira out to talk to her about her feelings. What about him does she like, she needs to reconsider because of the age gap, because of what society would think of them, etc. And again, Kondo envisioned himself when he was younger, but now I understand it’s because he’s looking back on the happier days of his youth. When was the last time a girl confessed to him? When was the last time he’s felt these emotions? Those thoughts just point out how lonely Kondo really is. I wonder how the date between them is going to go.
This series remains to be beautiful and sweet. It was cute, but this episode was also very sad at times. It’s only been three episodes but I feel like I know the characters really well. Shot composition, sound mixing, the usual stuff I say each week about this show…stunning. Absolutely stunning.
However, I think this might be the make or break moment for people. This episode implies that Akira and Kondo might end up together, and that might turn people away. I’ve been thinking about this, and if they do end up as a romantic couple in the end, I don’t think I’d mind as much and let me say why. First off, we know Kondo isn’t a bad man. He’s a sweet and kind person that isn’t a creep in any way. This show has been handling this taboo topic so beautifully, weaving together a mature story with characters I see as people I’d know in real life. Some people are saying it’s not as taboo because Akira is only a year off from being an adult. I’m not so sure how I feel about that because I think you would also need to consider her mentally. However, the story isn’t creepy, or nasty, or unsettling. Kondo is taking all of this pretty well and he’s immediately considering morals. Akira and Kondo are pretty fun and cute when they interact together, and the maturity from them and the story gives me hope and reassurance. Whether they end up together or not doesn’t really matter all too much to me, but if they do, depending on how the story progresses from this point on, I don’t think I would mind it much.
Of course, my opinion can change. Really, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. A 28 year age gap is no joke.