And we FINALLY get to see and hear Kureno! I’ve been curious as to who they would cast for his voice and as soon as I realized who was talking I was like: UMEHARA?! This episode mostly had to do with this mysterious man that we’ve only seen in the background’s inevitable introduction and his unexpected bond with Arisa.
I will admit that I’ve always found Kureno to be pretty attractive and the anime still upholds that belief since my high school days. He sure is a looker. But if I’m being honest, I’m pretty conflicted on him as a character. I won’t go into it since that would be spoilers. But from what we’ve seen of him, he seems kind, naive but blunt as he doesn’t seem to know how to phrase things appropriately at times. He also comes across as trying to force himself to think that he is happy when in reality he isn’t, which Arisa catches onto when she recognizes that his smile hasn’t been genuine since she met him. However, from what went down at the end of the episode, it seems as if he’s trapped or resigned himself that things are what they are. The whole thing felt so unsettling when he walked down the dark hallway to a dark room with Akito. All the while saying he probably won’t ever see Arisa again.
Speaking of which, his relationship with Arisa is… weird. It all happened way too fast. Sure it’s fine to be curious about each other on a first meeting, but they portray it as they’ve known each other for longer… Which is weird because they hardly know each other and are already lamenting over the fact they want to see each other again. They’ve literally met only two times. Not to mention they sure get REALLY close to one another in a REALLY short period of time and Kureno already wants to kiss her. Like dude, slow down! You don’t even fully know her! I feel like if they had met several more times and had gotten to know the other more, I’d find it more convincing. Maybe it’s because I’m not convinced by the “love at first meeting” type of romance. But be as it may, it just feels rather abrupt and sudden.
And that’s not even saying anything about the age gap. Sure, age becomes merely a number after adulthood… but she’s still a teenager, so it feels weird. Arisa even wonders if it’d be legal for them to get into a relationship despite the NINE year age difference between them. (Arisa slow down, you don’t even know the guy!) Though I do appreciate that Arisa would call the whole thing bull if it turned out that he had a wife and kids. Good to see you have standards in that regard. Though judging from the ending, it may not be THAT far off from what they were joking about. Since there’s obviously SOMETHING going on between Kureno and Akito. However, we’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of all this. Either way, this drama is bound to get messy, as with all Sohma romantic endeavors.
While all this Kureno/Arisa business was going down, Tohru along with the other Sohmas end up going to haunted house to bring some levity into this rather drama filled episode. But man, Kyo just being a complete downer towards everything the group wants to do is starting to get on my nerves. If you want to go home, just go home! Stop complaining about it! Kyo really isn’t my type of character, so I apologize if I criticize him too much. I know he still has a lot of development to go through… but it’s just exasperating seeing him yell and get mad at every little thing.
Despite my gripes with Kyo, Hatsuharu continues to be a blessing in this cruel cruel world. I died at how he was giving this one ghost a tragic backstory as sad, dramatic music played in the background. And then I died when he broke the head off of one of the animatronics to have it “reunite” with her son. This whole Haunted House shenanigans felt so ridiculous. Even having the owner be moved by Hatsuharu’s dumb improv story. Hatsuharu is slowly making his way into my top 5 favorite characters in this series if he keeps on being fantastically hilarious as he has been. I’ve always liked him, but I don’t think I’ve appreciated him as much as I do after watching this new version of the anime. He cares so much for others and is just such a great mood maker with his deadpan responses.
Overall, not too much happened this episode except for introducing Kureno. However, you can tell that this is just a build up episode and will lead into something important later on. I have my eye on you, Kureno. You may be pretty, but I can’t agree with your actions.