January 9, 2006

Suzuka 26

Filed under: Suzuka — Ren @ 1:14 pm

Our final episode begins with Suzuka beating the crap out of Yamato more to express her internal conflict than because she hated him kissing her. She’s just really really bad at dealing with her emotions and reacts instead of acts.

Later, Yamato goes to apologize but decides not to. This, to me, is a mark of growth as, even though he feels that he wasn’t out of line in what he said and did, instead of rushing in and justifying his actions until he’s blue in the face he just leaves it alone.

I loved when Suzuka asks Yamato to come with her to visit Kazuki’s grave one final time so that she can truly say goodbye, let go, and look to the future. It’s only fitting that standing next to her is the guy who she will be moving foward with.

The completely silence during the grave scene was more powerful than any background music could have been. And later the simple gesture of them holding hands more moving than any passionate confession of love.

While it was in tiny, often excrutiating and frustrating, baby steps, Suzuka’s growth is apparent throughout the series. I’m actually glad it took her so long because when you’re dealing with deep pain like that it would be completely unrealistic for her to just get over it in a second.

As for Honoka, I feel her theme has been that old saying, “if you really love something, set it it free. If it comes back it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.” I’m sad for her that she couldn’t have the person she loves. But I know she’ll find better, and boy did she learn a ton in this whole process.

I feel that Yamato has grown the least of all the characters in the series, but he has changed and can only go up from here.

Put simply, Suzuka is a wonderful series where not only do the characters grow up, they mature. I thank Mentar again for encouraging me to watch this.

Suzuka 25

Filed under: Suzuka — Ren @ 9:34 am

Honoka’s character really has come a long way. We all know this. But I think this fact was further emphasized when she got out of the bathtub and went to call Yamato. However, instead of calling and potentially setting herself up to be hurt/disappointed, she calmly admitted that he’s going for Suzuka now, and hung up the phone.

Later on though is one of the best scenes in anime/life. I call it the “long time in coming super mega reality check” scene.

There are two key lines in this scene that absolutely riveted me.

1.) Spoken by Honoka to Suzuka: “You always lie and run away from important issues.”

Amen! Way to call her on it. Finally someone had the guts to just come right out and say it to her. And I couldn’t be happier that the person who did it was Honoka. Not only is it a tiny way for Honoka to get back at Suzuka a bit by causing her some pain, but it’s a perfectly honest, perfectly necessary truth that desperately needed to be spoken.

2.) Spoken by Suzuka to Honoka: “What I do doesn’t influence anything.”

Oh ho ho, and here we see one of the major reasons why Suzuka doesn’t think before she acts/speaks. A sense of powerlessness. Despite her high and mighty attitude, and all her athletic talent, underneath we have a girl who doesn’t feel important at all. Who doesn’t feel that her words or actions have the ability to change the world around her. After all, her feelings didn’t keep Kazuki from dying now did they? And they certainly won’t keep something bad from happening to Yamato, or between her and Yamato.

This simple sentence does much to help us understand the woman that is Suzuka Asahina. In her sports career, academic life, and personal life she strives for perfect control because she feels that life is so utterly out of control. Is this a natural and understandable reaction to emotional pain? Absolutely. Is it justification for some of the cruel things she has said and done? Absolutely not. But can we really judge her when at the root of it all she is simply a human being in incredible pain, like many of us? Of course not. What’s key, now that Suzuka is a tad more self aware, is what she does with this knowledge.

Man this episode was just full of character revelations. But I’m simply going to focus on those two points because I’m dying to see the final episode.

January 7, 2006

Basilisk 21

Filed under: Basilisk — Ren @ 2:49 pm

So we finally, finally learn Tenzen’s weakness - burning or beheading. (hmm, sounds vampiric doesn’t it..) Too bad the only Kouga who knows this is Zaemon and, well, he kinda kicked the bucket.

This episode continues the “Tenzen is a horrible monster” theme as he forces himself upon Kagero. They kiss and he “dies” but since that doesn’t fall under the category of fire or beheading, he’ll most certainly be back.

Earlier in the episode Kagero was meeting with Gennosuke and she told him that she’d killed Oboro. His response was “Well done.” It’s sad how desperate she is to have him love her, and that she would throw her whole life away just to be next to him. Gennosuke’s response also saddened me at first. That is, until Kagero tried to throw his words in Oboro’s face. She didn’t respond by getting sad. Oh no no! She knew that’s what he would say. That’s right, our Oboro knows her man.

I feel as though I am rambling about nothing. I blame the tiny amount of sleep I’ve been getting these days.

In conclusion… glad to see another episode of Basilisk, though the events of this episode left me queasy in some parts, a tad bored in others. I wish they’d get the show on the road already. Oh, and animation quality was down this time around. Their faces looked downright weird at times.

Three to go…