Valentine’s day is here and there is a lot going on in this episode besides your standard wacky hi-jinks. Of course, there is a healthy dose of that as well but a lot of darker things lurk under the surface of this episode.
We start the episode with Kyo asleep and having what is very clearly a nightmare from the way he was thrashing in his sleep and the bad mood he wakes up in. Even skipping breakfast because he isn’t hungry.
Everyone heads to school, at school, there is an inspection of Yuki’s locker to see that the girls in his fanclub and even the girls outside his fanclub have been removing previous chocolates from the locker to make sure there is a focus on their own. Girls are scary at Valentines, but nothing is scarier too Kyo then the realization that it is Valentines and one girl is surely coming to meet with him.
He’s stopped from fleeing into the mountains by their homeroom teacher and he absolutely fails in plan ‘avoid Kagura’.
Can I just say two things? One, i’m so absolutely thrilled to see Mayu-sensei as a fully defined character in the anime for the first time. Second, I adore whoever is doing her English voice. I haven’t gotten a chance to look into who the voice actor is yet, but I adore her.
So after Kagura captures Kyo, they return home and she mentions her desire to go out on a date with Kyo. Of course, he’s not interested in the slightest. Shigure twists this somehow into a double date between Yuki and Tohru, and Kyo and Kagura. After Tohru says she’s never been out on a Valentines date before, the matter is settled.
Kagura departs the house with the date set.
Then, Shigure picks on Kyo a little bit. He pushes perhaps a little too far, and drags up things that he probably shouldn’t. There is a moment of absolutely wonderful foreshadowing. Then Kyo runs off, Tohru runs after him. She comforts him and then they head home together. We move into the second half of the episode.
Which does at least contain moments of the double date, but primarily focuses on Shigure.
We see a young Shigure, as he wakes crying from a dream. A long time ago, he had a dream about the person he loves the most and he wept. Not just him, but Hatori and Ayame [a character we haven’t met yet in this reboot, but was mentioned just now] had the dream as well.
Shigure goes to the main house to deliver the Valentines chocolate that Tohru made for Hatori, Hatsuharu and Momiji. He hands over the chocolate and sits to talk with Hatori about that dream, and how even now, to this day. He cherishes it, he wants to hold onto that dream and make it eternal. While it might be a point of suffering for Hatori, and even for Ayame. It remains something precious for him.
Shigure acknowledges how awful he is in this. How even if he has to use people, or even if he has to hurt people. He’ll keep reaching towards his dream no matter what.
“I just may be the most cursed of us all.”
Is such an interesting line, and I can’t really sit and dissect the meanings behind it without getting into spoilers. So we’ll have to bench that discussion for another time. A maid comes in and tell Hatori that Akito is ready for his check up, Shigure goes in Hatori’s place.
He walks in and speaks to Akito as if Akito is the most precious thing into the world to him. We’ve seen him up until now being almost antagonistic in his thoughts towards Akito, so it’s interesting to see it from this point of view as well for the first time. It only makes you wonder about his true feelings and intentions.
He’s like a jellyfish, waiting to sting you.
Speaking of people Shigure is stinging. Yuki, Tohru, Kyo and Kagura return to the house to find a woman about to kill herself on the doorstep. This woman is Shigure’s editor, who had been calling during the early episode begging him not to run off.
Shigure and her interactions lead to what is probably my favorite thought of Shigure’s in the series. Because it doesn’t just apply to the moment, but it applies to his thoughts and motivations as everything around him moves.
“Catch me, if you can.”
I love Shigure, this episode only begins to skim the reasons I adore him. Be it an old fan though, seeing the manga version of Shigure and his true character for the first time or a first time watcher of the series. There is a lot to unpack about the seemingly flippant dog that we didn’t even get a glimpse of in the first series, it’s interesting, to go back and see what they cut around and how they avoided things that would allude to the longer story.
The 2019 version is bringing a lot of these things to life for the first time and I couldn’t be more thankful, there are moments animated that seem even more tense then their manga counter parts and I adore it.
However, to end on a lighter note. The movie that they saw on the date, I can’t help but wonder even now if Mogeta was supposed to be some kind of parody of Pokemon or something more akin to a tribute to Astro Boy given the way the characters in it are drawn.