I respectfully ask for your indulgence for writing this piece in a way that it’s thinking aloud.’ The last three episodes of this show calls for (at least at me) to write as ‘raw’ as I possibly could. I find myself changing my mind along the way as I wrote this post.
The difference between honesty and truthfulness is in the disclosure of relevant information. I can be perfectly honest and remain untruthful. For example, my wife can interrogate me and ask, “Have you been smoking?” And I can answer in all honesty “I haven’t been smoking in our room. Back off.”
My response to her is honest and factual. However, I did not truthfully answer her question. I could’ve been smoking somewhere else. I have not been truthful, having withheld information that I have indeed smoked elsewhere.
In light of this, Yuuki is no saint.
Mirai in the truck kept asking him questions that he honestly answered, but what would have been truthful is to make it clear that her questions are irrelevant. In Catholicism, a dead person must have been proven to have performed miracles to qualify for sainthood.
Communicating with the living while dead I think counts as a miracle, but I find issue in the misplaced compassion. I imagine Yuuki to be widtholding the fact that he is dead to Mirai, which leads her on and on, and on, and on.
Compassion? How about cruelty?
But as we see in the episode, there is a darkness to Yuuki. It’s not quite surprising, but given the tone of the past two episodes, it gives me a ‘dark’ feeling that sharply contrasts with his characteristically bright and cheerful character. Mirai opens the Marrionier Journal Yuuki’s friend Itsuki shows her, and reads Yuuki’s entry:
July 20: I planted a marrionier with Itsuki today. Onee-chan (Mirai) calls the marronier ‘macaroni.’ I think it’s because she’s a pig.
I take it that she never called the plant such, and Yuuki was making this all up. This suggests that Yuuki makes things like this up to show people that his family is as happy as he wants to believe, a whole cake and not a fractured one.
Another inauthenticity: Yuuki wanted to go to the Robot convention in Odaiba. This is an honest statement. What’s withheld is his primary motivation: to cross the Odaiba bridge once more — to remember love, when love was family, whole and complete.
In this sense Mirai’s behavior is a more truthful picture of the health of the Onosawa family relations. She was bratty and aimless, whining and irritable. The damage was in plain sight considering the scant evidence seen; the observable dynamics in the Onosawa household.
Yuuki however, behaves with an optimism that can also be read as a whitewashing of his raw wounds — he’s too young to be scarred yet. The failures in mutual goodwill within his family are still happening in real time, and the damage to him is still being done.
So he makes things up in a journal. Making it seem that he and his sister get along more than they really do. When he says “…because I think she’s a pig,” he’s still being honest, but what’s being withheld is the lie about her calling the plant a macaroni, and that he could mean more than one thing when he calls her a pig.
So his lies unravel when Mirai tries to hand him the journal. An aftershock forces the reality to the surface.
There was no operation, no life-saving surgical drama. Yuuki was dead on arrival.
So finally, Yuuki undoes the lie. He tells Mirai himself that he is dead.
Everything I’ve said above, is not a complaint. This is where I complain: I wish the episode did not end there. I did not wish to spend the whole episode inside Mirai’s head, chasing a phantasm. The ending seems abrupt, it made the big reveal feel like a cliffhanger. It now raises questions:
- How will Mirai take it? Will she break?
- She and Itsuki will be trapped in that ruined school building; does Mirai get to ‘save’ Yuuki’s friend?
- How does Mari figure in all of this?
I’ll withhold my judgment until everything is resolved. But I will say this: Looking forward to episode 10 felt a whole lot more intriguing, exciting, painful, and intense than how I feel about the coming episode.
But wait! Wait!! Wait!!! I just remembered this is an 11 episode anime! Oh my good lord, Mari where are you? Having her so far from where this is happening disturbs me and fills me with a different kind of foreboding. Since the next episode is the finale, I feel that the questions above are far more significant than I initially gave them credit for.
Mirai doesn’t break. She holds up, and saves Itsuki. Mirai finds things that she can do. That’s the big theme here. Mari and Yuuki are supporting characters, both all but removed from the final equation. If this indeed comes to pass, I get my happy ending.
I realize though, you know… that a BAD END is fine too.