Talking things out with others is incredibly important, and something the characters of Yesterday wo Utatte are still trying to figure out. Understanding your feelings well enough to communicate it to others is difficult and there is always the worry that their opinion of you will change once you finally speak up. But at some point, that inability to communicate to others and work through it becomes damaging to those around you. Once again, we’re stuck in a web of indecisiveness and while some actions work towards untangling itself others just create more knots.
We pick up right where we leave off last week, when Rou comes home to Shinako cooking dinner after she has been avoiding him for a little while. Eventually, the two of them have a chance to talk about what had happened before she started avoiding him and I really like that Shinako was able to articulate that she does love Rou and his father. It wasn’t a confession of romantic love, but one to say that she cares deeply for the two of them and doesn’t want that to change. I can respect that sentiment, she wants to be part of his life, but not necessarily in the way that he wants her to. Whether or not he accepts it is another thing. I think the conversation between Rou and Takishita highlights that the words that are said are not necessarily the ones they accept. Shinako later admits, albeit to Rikuo, that she’s been helping out Rou because of exams. Kindness has the potential to be mistaken for chance. And… well… Shinako continues to brush off Rou’s feelings because of it. She believes she is doing it out of kindness, but misunderstanding makes Rou believe he still has a chance… and that’s how he ends up alone for Christmas. (I can’t believe she actually left! I was really surprised!)
Haru has a different problem from Rikuo and Shinako and it’s that she’s very decisive. She has already committed to pursuing him – she knows what she wants and she’s moving towards it, but that same determination comes back to hurt her. We haven’t had a very Haru-centric episode in quite some time, but from my memory she’s been very upbeat throughout most situations. This time around she’s much more withdrawn and it almost seems like she’s becoming wary of her decision. Honestly, I think is a good thing that she has to take a step back and consider the situation. Consider her feelings and the feelings of others and to be honest about it. I liked the conversations that came from her co-worker because they are things that need to be thought about. As a result, I’m really interested to see how Haru will come out of this. Will she become even more headstrong? Or will she take a different approach?
Rikuo’s indecision comes from avoidance. While he’s not hiding around street corners when they are near-by he is instead ignoring it and pretending it’s not there. While he’s definitely come a decent way career-wise, when it comes to relationship he’s definitely reverting back to the “well if I don’t do anything I’ll be in this temporary limbo” that temporary limbo is safe to him. He’s able to tell himself that it’s temporary and that eventually things will sort out. Whether or not that is true is still up in the air, but as of right now he hasn’t done any actions to move forward. I wouldn’t necessarily say his current option is “Shinako or Haru” but rather, what do you want from Shinako? Do you want to be friends? Do you want a relationship? What do you want your relationship with Shinako to be? And I say this, not because Haru is a section choice, but that it is the relationship with Shinako that causes hesitations. Once he understands his thoughts, feelings, and wants with Shinako, he can turn his attention to Haru.
Personally, I hope some decision comes from everyone soon. it seems when things start to get rolling, something else causes a roadblock again. And I get that this is supposed to be a slow-burn type series with incredibly flawed and realistic characters, but ignoring what they are facing right now is not the solution. I’ll admit though, the ending of the episode did take me by surprise I wonder if we’ll get some decision from this Christmas party, either way we’ll find out next week!