[Ascaloth] True Tears, Episode 9

"If you need to fall apart, I can mend your broken heart, if you need to crash then crash n’ burn, you’re not alone…"

It was pretty much an accident waiting to happen in the first place, but nevertheless, Jun acquiesced to Hiromi’s despairing request to take her away from the town, even if it meant riding on the ice. And it happened anyway; the miracle of it all was that they managed to get out of it not much worse for wear. Who was to know that it would precipitate a chain of events, the result of which would change the entire course of events altogether?

This episode, True Tears turns into an entirely different direction altogether, a direction which only served to set more flame to the shippin’ shitstorm like it did Jun’s bike, even to the point where Crusader-kun made a threat to "roast my @$$ like a f%#$in’ turkey" if I tried to kick Noe while she was down. Sigh….I did say I like Hiromi the best out of the three girls, but me do that to Noe? We may not have known each other for very long, or all that well for that matter, but surely I’m better than that?

Meh. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the first time I’ve watched a series which has carved such deep divisions in the viewer base simply because of the fact that there is more than one girl to pick from, and goodness knows I generally avoid shows where this is likely to happen; KyoAni‘s Key adaptations are about as close as I get. To answer Calawain, there’s nothing wrong per se with shippin’, but the thing about it is that it tends to breed "oh noes my girl didn’t win, this show sucks" type of gutter opinions, and little else of value in a discussion. In such a toxic atmosphere, how is a guy to think?

Ah, well. I’ve rambled enough. True Tears, Episode 9.

Jun has always creeped me out since Day 1, but I sure as hell didn’t expect Hiromi to get in on the act as well. I mean, the both of them just came out more or less unscratched from what could have been the death of them, and they’re acting like it’s no big deal, for cryin’ out loud. I mean, "It looks…pretty"?! Do these two have ice in their veins, or did they swallow too much ice, or what?

I think you may have noticed by now, but I might as well confirm it; I’m feeling a fair bit ambivalent about this episode. For lack of a better description, I can only say that this is the episode where a lot of things go ‘poof!’. Let’s start with the first case; Shinichiro just realized Hiromi could have died right there, his whole emo Boku-Imo act goes ‘poof!’, and he hugs her right there and then.

And right in front of Noe too, who sees her naive, idealistic concept of a romantic relationship go ‘poof!’ right in front of her eyes. To be harsh, it was going to happen sooner or later. Even last week, I was always thinking that the thing Shinichiro had going on with Noe was going to be too good, too simple to last long.

And with a backhand slap to where it had been long overdue, the Nakagami patriach makes all of Shinichiro’s rationale to keep up his emo Boku-Imo act go ‘poof!". Except that, you know, this is the kind of plot device that usually gets inserted in near the end of the story…and Episode 9, latter half that it is, is still not near enough the end. What gives?

Oh, right. We have to remember to have the Nakagami matriach, for her part, make Hiromi’s own rationale for her emo Boku-Imo act go ‘poof!’ as well. Mustn’t forget that.

The screen that launched a thousand outcries. And true to many predictions, last week’s preview was a bait-and-switch after all; the person besides her was just the Nakagami matriach, although Shinichiro did get an eyeful. Although it’s not his fault this time around; it was her who decided to start stripping off in front of him, if only because she knew he would beat a retreat.

For someone I regarded as not being quite at the level of a Sunohara, Nobuse is slowly but surely earning my respect. He may never be anywhere near as funny, but where character development is concerned, he’s better in that respect. It must take a lot of maturity to not blame one’s own best friend for the fact that one’s supposed girlfriend actually liked the best friend in the first place.

And despite all of his misgivings, Nobuse has no qualms acting on his "Bros before ‘Hos" attitude. To be perfectly honest, I’m wondering why Crusader-kun hasn’t mentioned it by now; if anyone around here knows the value of having someone one can trust to cover one’s back in the thick of a heated battle, Crusader sure as hell would. Nobuse is definitely the kind of pal one can trust with one’s life.

And with the events of last night, Noe’s unique way of seeing the world around her just went ‘poof!’ as well, leaving her grasping for something to hold onto, even if it is the past. To be honest, I’m torn between "oh crap, that was too cruel to her" and "yeah it’s pretty upsetting, but she had to learn this sooner or later".

Now that Shinichiro’s made his whole emo Boku-Imo act go ‘poof!’, which caused Noe’s naive view of love to go ‘poof!’ in turn, it naturally follows that the prior relationship they had between each other goes ‘poof!’ as well. They simply can’t talk to each other the way they once did, now that his true feelings are laid bare.

It’s pretty sad to see Shinichiro and Noe slowly realize the fact that they’re simply not compatible with each other at this point. Still, I stand by my view that Noe had to learn that fun and games aren’t all a relationship is about sooner or later, and while learning about it this way is no doubt cruel, it’s probably the only way to learn about it.

The concept of ‘flying’ had been there since the start, and now that the series had reached this point, it’s probably time to think about what it actually symbolizes. What does Noe mean every time she said Shinichiro could fly? Could it be that to ‘fly’ means to be able to leave all worries and troubles behind, to be able to soar into the future without being weighed down by the detritus of the past? On that note, is Shinichiro now saying to himself that he can’t leave the past behind after all?

And to build on from that, with what Noe is saying here, does she mean that Shinichiro can soar into the future and leave the past behind after all? Except that, with the source of his and Hiromi’s angst being resolved in the blink of an eye, Shinichiro can now look to the future along with Hiromi, no longer having to content himself with Noe?

Arrrr……this higher-level philosophizing is making my head hurt. Heh, I guess a hack writer like me is only good for sociological and Freudian rambling after all….

And to end things off, the tension between Hiromi and the Nakagami matriarch goes ‘poof!’ just like that as well, and with that, the whole mood with which True Tears started off with disappeared just like that. Seriously, to have the Nakagami matriarch drop her biasedness against Hiromi, just like that? I really can’t buy that. For the sake of the story, I hope the scriptwriters have something up their sleeves in the future episodes regarding this part, because ending it here like this just isn’t kosher.

With the end of Hiromi’s angst, and probably the start of Noe’s, this episodes end on a rather confusing note for me. I’ve watched this episode like 2, 3 times now, and I’m still not too sure as to what exactly the scriptwriter was shooting for in the first place. This is probably the first True Tears episode that I have not enjoyed immensely, and I’ve been thinking why this is so for some time.

Well, I’m still not too sure, but if I had to put it in words at this very moment, this is what I’d say; Hiromi’s resolution was, for lack of a better word known to me, anticlimatic. I mean, a great deal of what I had been following this series for just went ‘poof!’ in the space of a single episode, just like that, and it isn’t even the last episode. Hiromi no longer has to deal with the pressure the Nakagami matriarch foists on her, she no longer has to deal with her feelings conflicting with the possibility that the object of her feelings could be out of her reach, what now? Is this practically the end of Hiromi’s part in the story?

If that’s the case, and especially with Noe’s angst starting where Hiromi’s ends, I think it’s easy to see the direction which this series is going to take from here. The fact remains though that I still think that Hiromi’s resolution just isn’t handled all that well; it could have easily stretched all the way to the end, and why that didn’t happen is something I still can’t figure out.

This series had had a momentum that kept me glued up till now, yet now it seemed to have come to a grinding halt just like that, I’m not sure what else they’re going to slot into the last 4 episodes. I mean, obviously they’re going to concentrate on Noe last of all, but what direction is the story going to take? I have no idea, but at this point, I’m still going to continue watching it anyway. Let’s hope True Tears gets back to being at its best next week.

Ascaloth, out.

12 Responses to “[Ascaloth] True Tears, Episode 9”

  • Hiromi’s tale is far from being resolved so it shouldn’t be judged in that light. This episode opens new and exciting opportunities for all the parties in the love… erm parallelogram. Noe and Hiromi both have very important revelations and deal admirably with them. The boys are a step behind the girls but surely they are coming to grasp with the reality of their true loves. Jun would realise the cruelty he has included onto his beloved sister via his meddling and Shin is beginning to realise that Raigomaru can’t fly much like his relationship with Noe wouldn’t take off, Previews for the next ep suggest the furthering of the Shin X Hiromi tale, so I wouldn’t write off more Hiromi drama as yet. :)

  • Well, this episode was scriptwritten by the director, so it shows a different style fromn the previous 7 episodes. I was one of the people that was 100% sure that the person beside Hiromi in the “bait and switch”
    scene was not Jun! I was not sure at first who was but when people presented proof that the shirt color was the same color that shin mother weared in a scene, it was so obvious! still people wouldn’t back up from the theory that it was Jun.

  • It would be a nice symmetry if Noe can put her pain aside to help Hiromi and Shinichiro come closer together. This would help Shinichiro “fly” if flying is a metaphor for living an untroubled life. Noe would then have done what her grandmother did, although I don’t know if Noe would then be able to cry out of happiness or sadness.

  • “And to end things off, the tension between Hiromi and the Nakagami matriarch goes ‘poof!’ just like that as well, and with that, the whole mood with which True Tears started off with disappeared just like that.”

    Well actually, to me, this issue has been explored quite a bit already and the attitude of Shinichirou’s mom has been swinging since ep 6, when she realised that Hiromi hasn’t forgotten about the lie she told her, as compared to the straight bullying from the first 5 ep. She did softened a bit at times, but then acted coldly towards her at some other times.

    It was probably because Shinichirou’s mom has never thought that Hiromi would have any love interest in Shinichirou, and thus to Shinichirou’s mom, telling Hiromi a lie like “you and Shinichirou are brother and sister” would mean nothing but just a casual bullying remark on Hiromi. I am guessing that Shinichirou’s mom, after seeing such a strong reaction from Hiromi, would start to suspect various stuff, and various remarks made by Hiromi like “I understand your (Shinichirou’s mom) position – end of ep 8 before she eloped with Jun -” would have send alerts to Shinichirou’s mom and thus changed her attitude towards Hiromi, because for the first time, she may have realised that Hiromi may indeed have some interest on Shinichirou, and so the lie about them being brother and sister are putting great pressure on them.

    It is obviously clear to us as audience that Hiromi has a thing for Shinichirou, but that does not necessary mean that Shinichirou’s mom see the same thing.

    The picture book is anther interesting point of discussion in the anime. It could probably generate many interpretation. eg, I could claim that

    Raigomaru = Shinichirou

    The perceived fact that Raigomaru won’t / can’t fly because he doesnt want to face the truth = the perceived truth that Hiromi is not in love with him

    Raigomaru can fly = Shinichirou should just go all out for Hiromi

    I guess there are way more interpretation than this navie one above

  • oh ya, and the scene where Noe touches Shinichirou’s nose at the coastline, with Ichijin no Kaze playing in the background, is just too emotional and charming hahaha

  • This ep left me feeling let down, too. “Poof” is a good way of putting it.

    Yes, Raigomaru is Shinichirou, but what I think he’s saying, without maybe realizing it, is that he is afraid to fly and prefers to sink back into the slough of despond with Hiromi, the white hen, at least until her tears have been wiped away. From that point of view, it is she, or his feelings about her, who is preventing him from flying — which would mean striking out on an independent path that involves some daring. Noe didn’t say “you can’t fly with me,” she said “you can’t fly here.” I’m still trying to figure out if that means more than just “so long.”

    The one good thing about where we are is that I can’t really see where they are going to take it that would involve any drama. So they can surprise me.

    I do agree with tik that we have had hints of Shin’s mother changing her attitude toward Hiromi, and I noticed them at the time, but somehow they were not sufficient to prepare such a big change as this, at least for me. To me, the whole lie about Hiromi being a sister was just a cheap trick by the writers. I hope there are more shoes to drop.

  • Aye I still have not forgiven you making fun of Noe when she was keeping Jibeta warm…

    It’s not that I expect the very worst from you, comrade. I just wanted to be very clear on this matter. After all nothing like a bit of gunboat diplomacy to convey a message to a renowned Hiromi fan. I am glad to see that my demands have been met. ;)

    As for Nobuse I mentioned a bit of praise for him, but I was just so devastated by watching a sad Noe that morale was low and at the time Nobuse shining was just lost in the abyss of Noe get shafted.

    As for

  • Strange my comment got cut…

    Well the full story behind Mrs. Nakagami’s hate has yet to be revealed and I suspect taht there will be consequences when the whole truth comes out.

  • The entire story went “poof” in one episode.

    Nice job, writers.

  • I guess I shouldn’t be all that bothered about seeing noe getting shafted like this. I mean it was inevitable right? But nevertheless, not surprisingly, I’m quite troubled by what has transpired in the course of this episode. First off, the direction of the entire plot seemed to have been hurried this episode. It was as if the writers were in a rush and wanted to move on to something else or something. As Ascaloth insightfully noted, things just went poof this entire episode, which leaves alot wanting for an engaging story – except for the cheesy all so redundant harem plot.

    Now what bothers me the most about this episode, the commentary on this episode, and the following comments on the episode, is how trivial everyone seems to view Noe realization that Shin is doesn’t love her. Sure i know it was destined to transpire, but damn. I’m I the only one that thinks that Shin and Hiromi are totally self-absorbed? I mean Nobuse and Noe are the only ones who manifest any sort of maturity by doing the noble thing and sacrificing their personal joy for someone else. And it seems that their position is viewed as either predictable, expected or insignificant. While Shin’s oblivious, neurotic, navel contemplating dilemma has everyone riveted. I’m just seriously perplexed. What does Noe really learn from all this? That guys her age are immature? That when you give your all to someone don’t expect it to be reciprocated? That people aren’t generally thoughtful or sensitive to the feelings of others? Someone help me out here…… I just can’t see myself liking Shin nor Hiromi. There’s nothing admirable about either one of them. Why do I watch this show? Oh yea..Noe!

    And as always…FU Shin!

    I am G-Man!!!

  • Coffeebreak13

    I dont think Shin or Hiromi are self absorbed at all (G-man). think of what Hiromi has been thruogh. If anything she has little selfrespect for herself and uses her arrogance as a front. thats why shes a great character. She has tears bottled up inside her. What do you that Shin does not do noble things like Noe and Nobuse? He seems to be a great friend and he set up Ai chan and him. Im not sure your going with that one.

  • My assessment of Hiromi and Shin’s selfishness is a relative comparison. Meaning, that compared to the other characters in this tale, Hiromi and Shin seem to be the most self-absorbed. Hiromi could very well be having self-esteem issues and perpetually bottling up tears deep down inside. But that doesn’t mean she cannot simultaneously be selfish. And my suspicion is Shin only hooked up Nobuse with Ai-chan because he wasn’t interested in her himself. If he was it would of been a whole different story. My whole point is what has Hiromi or Shin sacrificed for the happiness of anyone else?

    I am G-Man!!!!

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