Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou Ep 13 [FINAL]
What a beautiful ending. They made my eyes all misty when Yoshida and Sayu were parting ways at the gate. It was such a great scene!
The way Yoshida handled Sayu’s confession was bittersweet, but honestly I loved every bit of it. He stuck to his gut and told her he couldn’t return her feelings, and reminded her that he is not into kids. But while saying that, it did leave enough room for Sayu to hope he may reciprocate her feelings once she becomes an adult. It’s just at that moment, Yoshida wanted Sayu to be able to properly focus on herself, and finally live her life as a teenager. That’s why, even though it pained him to say it, he told her to set their memories aside in a box. But how could she possibly set their memories aside so easily? The time they spent together changed her life for the better! That’s why Sayu told him even he won’t wait for her, she will still see him again, which made he finally agree, that yes, they will.
And honestly, You really have to give Yoshida so much credit. From start to finish, this guy stayed on his side of the line, carried out his duties as an adult to help her grow, and stayed strong all the way till he got home. I knew the moment he stepped into that door, it wouldn’t be long before he finally cried because you can just feel the emptiness he returns to. Once the void Sayu has left behind hits him, Yoshida just breaks down. It’s rather commendable how he was able to keep himself together for that long. We even saw how his hand was trembling at the airport, and how difficult it was to lose sight of Sayu at the gate.
Then comes along the epilogue, which was absolutely fantastic. I love how they did a full circle with Sayu is waiting for him in the same spot they first met. When Yoshida saw her, imeaditely tears were in his eyes. You can see just how much he missed her, heck even I was crying at that point. My emotions! Just beautiful, everything was perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
That said, as wholesome as the finale was, there was one point in the episode that made me quite anxious. Of course that was when Sayu decided to sneak into Yoshida’s room at night and slip into his bed. Knowing Sayu, I saw her request of wanting to make love with Yoshida coming because the rules no longer apply now that they are in her house- but it still had me screaming, “SAYU NO!” because come on, there’s a time and place for everything! Seriously! Why would you try to do something that would only add fuel into the fire Yoshida had painstakingly just put out! LIKE NO. TERRIBLE IDEA. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING GIRL! You can’t be taking one step forward and two steps back! Thankfully our man of honor Yoshida did not give in, and I’m so glad for it. He understood why Sayu was afraid of being forgotten, and why wanted to build one more lasting memory with him, so instead he assured her that no matter what, he will always remember the time they shared together.
There was also a somewhat iffy part in the episode regarding the way they resolved Sayu’s conflict with her mother. Honestly I’m not really sure what to think, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t find it a bit jarring to see her get suddenly her shit together after going batshit crazy, screaming at Sayu how she had wished she wasn’t born– but I am not about to complain about that. Last episode, happy ending. It’s something I can turn a blind eye to because I just want Sayu to be happy. And if this is how they are going to do it, so be it.
As for Issa, he made me laugh real hard when he straight up told Yoshida that he knows he’s in love with Sayu. The best part about it, was that while Yoshida tried to laugh it off with, “That’s impossible! She’s a teenager!”, Issa just shrugged and said he doesn’t think age matters when it comes to love. That was certainly a round about way to say it would be fine for Yoshida to be in love with Sayu, haha! Well, I’m sure Sayu would be elated to know she has her brother’s support, haha!
Final Thoughts: 8/10
I have said it a few times already, but let me say it one last time: Man, I am so glad I gave Higehiro a shot! This story is the prime example of why you shouldn’t judge a book based on its cover– or in this case, its title. HigeHiro is a beautiful and heartwarming story of how a salary man and a runaway teenage girl bringing light to each other’s lives, and I am all about stories that revolve around characters helping each other grow happier and stronger individuals.
But what makes Higehiro so great is that while it has some heavy subjects, each of them were handled tactfully. In fact I think what I most appreciated the most as the way the highlighted the mental health crisis. Sayu already had a number of problems on her plate, starting with the fact she was unloved by her mother and abused. But after her friend’s suicide, Sayu she did not receive the proper support that she needed and she felt so hopeless and lost, it caused her to go abandon everything, and astray. Meeting Yoshida saved Sayu. He recognized that she was not okay, and that what she needed right now was proper adult guidance and a safe place to stay, so he readily took up the job vowing to get her back on track. Thanks to Yoshida’s help, Sayu was able to learn to value herself, start thinking about her wants and needs, and have the courage to face both her fears and the mistakes she had made along the way.
And in all honesty, Yoshida was probably the biggest reason why I fell in love with this show. He is a compassionate character, who has a big heart and his willingness to wholeheartedly support Sayu is what makes this story so heartwarming. He stuck to his guts, and took on many roles, a guardian, a best friend, a brother, and at times even a father. And it was thanks to him for the first time in her life, Sayu had a place she could truly call home.
Sayu was also a great character, and it was rewarding to see her grow into a stronger and more mature person through Yoshida’s guidance. She was a sweet girl who just just want to protect from the cruelty and tragedy she has faced. She truly gone through a lot, and it was admirable how once she found her resolve, she was determined to see things through.
And while there is a large age gap, Yoshida and Sayu had some wonderful chemistry. Their playful banters were always entertaining, and they really had nice cozy dynamic quickly made them feel like they were family. And in the beginning there was a part of me that hoped to see Yoshida remain as a brother-figure of a sorts, but as the story went on, I became more and more open to the potential of the two eventually becoming a couple once she properly reaches adulthood, just because the bond their share. You know they truly loved each other in some form or another, so it was a real teeter totter experience for me, but not in a bad way! But it’s because of that I knew I would be plenty satisfied with either outcome. So a win-win if you will!
Another thing I really appreciated about this adaption was the pace. I can’t tell you how great it was not to see the story drag whatsoever. That was because we were mostly spared from dealing with any petty drama. Instead, whenever there was any drama to be had, it was usually because it was directly related to Sayu’s past and trauma, and it was dealt with swiftly.
This is actually a big deal when you consider what could have unfolded had Gotou’s and Mishima’s (to some extent) characters gone a different direction. Both of these women are in love with Yoshida, and when they met Sayu, thankfully they were not hostile towards her. In fact, I think the best part was that they did not make them outright hostile towards Sayu. Instead they played a small part in helping her grow and or just helping her out in general, which was a relief and so refreshing- but it should be noted Mishima did have moments when her jealousy got the better of her, luckily Sayu never faced the brunt of it, and we didn’t have to see much of it so it was bearable to watch. A large part of that had to do with the fact we actually didn’t see much of either ladies at all. Whether that’s for better or worse, that’s up to you to decide.
And finally, we cannot forget Asami! I am so glad Sayu was able to make a good friend her age, especially after everything she has gone through. Asami is such a fantastic and wise character. She is very good at reading Sayu, recognizing early on she had a lot on her shoulders, but never pressed her to reveal her past. She patiently waited for when she was ready, and was able to give her support and stood up for her when shit went south. I also appreciate that she has a good relationship with Yoshida as well, and the two maintained it even after Sayu had returned home.
If you are looking for story about two people being a positive influence on each other, and the brilliance of compassion, then definitely give Higehiro a shot.