Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tsukigakirei Episode #10 Anime Review

I've thought a lot about my future...About what I want to do.

What They Say:
It’s the third year of middle school. Kotaro, a bookish boy aspiring to become a novelist, and Akane, a track girl who loves to run, meet in the same class together for the first time. They’re put in charge of the equipment for the sports festival, and slowly grow closer via LINE. How does Kotaro deal with his growing feelings for her? Meanwhile, Takumi has been in love with Akane since first year, and Akane’s friend, Chinatsu, becomes interested in Kotaro. A refreshing story of young love set in Kawagoe.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Well, the cat's out of the bag. At the end of last week's episode, Akane finally broke the news to Azumi that she was most likely going to move to Chiba at the end of the school year. However, instead of begging and pleading for her to stay like a normal adolescent would, Kotarou seems surprisingly...accepting of the whole situation. Yes, he's incredibly upset, but he realizes that this is something beyond Akane's power and, more than anything, he just wants her to be happy. So instead of trying to figure out a way to keep her grounded in Kawagoe, he takes to the books and starts researching Koumei himself.

Apart from the incredibly depressing foundation of this episode, there is still a bit of fun to be had. After all, the Kawagoe Festival has finally started up. What better way to celebrate impending despair and inevitable break up than to eat frozen bananas and play festival games? This festival, meant to be the track team's last hurrah, gets off to a pretty lighthearted start. The track team is having a blast, the crowd turnout is great, and Kotarou even gets to impress the heck out of his girlfriend with his cool wolf dance moves. Of course, all of this fun comes to a screeching halt when Akane and Hira wind up having to be alone together again. Considering there are only two episodes left in the series following this one, Hira winds up confessing and Akane winds up pushing him back into the friend-zone where he belongs. This would have all been fine and dandy if Kotarou hadn't been watching the entire thing. 

Eventually, when the couple is finally able to meet up, Kotarou drastically shifts gears for the first time this series. He's exponentially less accepting and compassionate compared to his normal self and winds up spending his entire break ignoring his girlfriend. This entire exchange is hard to watch considering everyone, even Kotarou, knows she didn't do anything wrong. I guess we all know what it's like to be in his shoes, though. Just the thought of someone having feelings for our significant other is enough to set us off. The direct result of this behavior, however, is that we're forced to watch as Akane bursts into tears and walks home all by herself, not fully understanding what's going on. On the bright side, this seems to light a spark within Kotarou that causes him to take the episode into his own hands and flip it back around.

We already know that Kotarou has taken it upon himself to look into Koumei. Akane, on the other hand, has no idea. In fact, she and Kotarou go pretty much the entire day without even making eye contact -- that is until she finds out that her boyfriend has also been researching Koumei. Without even thinking, Akane sprints out of cram school and catches up to Kotarou, stopping him in his tracks. He breaks the silence and confesses that he wants to go the same school as Akane and, even more importantly, wants to stay with her no matter what. Of course, she bursts into tears again and collapses into her arms into the most emotional outburst Tsukigakirei has given us thus far. The two kiss and make up and, for the first time in three weeks, things are beginning to look up. Once again, Kotarou and Akane have weathered the storm that is young love.

In Summary:
I'm sure I've probably said this in about a third of my reviews for this series, but this is one of the best episodes we've seen yet. The whole Hira problem is finally solved -- but even more importantly, it seems like the moving problem might be too. Well, at least for now, that is. Both voice acting and animation are kicked up several notches and we finally get to see a new side of Kotarou that no one expected. The development in this couple's relationship is just as impressive as ever and seeing it bloom and flourish is not only heartwarming but overwhelmingly nostalgic. Tsukigakirei is the textbook definition of adorable. Not watching it is a mistake.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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