Deep Dive Into Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Episode 3

Rokka’s arms found themselves around his waist. He was the cliff she clung onto too while her legs flailed about beneath her. This wasn’t love. This wasn’t lust. It was loneliness. When someone says that they don’t mind being the replacement, it’s hard to deny. Especially when all you have are ghosts to greet you when you turn around. Rokka wasn’t sure of what she was doing. She just did.

It didn’t matter that Hazuki couldn’t realize the weight of what he said. He hugged her back. Tucked the wayward strands of her hair. Nuzzled the crook of her neck. Kissed the thin curve her jaw. Or did she imagine all that. It couldn’t be that easy, even for someone as forward as him.

The scene above brings up an important question: is it selfish for Rokka to accept Hazuki’s love? The simple answer seems to be yes. If Rokka’s feelings for him are not similar to his then she shouldn’t lead him on. We’ve seen things like this before. He’ll just get hurt by her complacency. She should let him go to find love elsewhere.

If we look at this from a humanistic perspective then she should say no as well. Humanism believes we ought to do such actions that we would like or wouldn’t mind being done to us. Would any person really like to be used as the rebound? Wouldn’t all of us like to avoid that hardship and spend our time trying to find fruitful love? The answer again seems obvious.

A similar argument can be made if we look at this situation Deontologically, when we use the reasons or motives to determine the morality of our actions. Rokka’s motivation it seems is to get over her dead husband. Hazuki’s intentions are to make her smile. When comparing self serving and selflessness of each respective action it is easy for us to prescribe a decision for our female lead. She should say no.

But in what case does Rokka get to say yes? In Utilitarianism, the actions that generate the most positive benefit are morally right. If she can get over Shimao then she has generated positve utility for herself. If Hazuki gets to be with the woman of his dreams then he gets a benefit for himself as well. Sure the argument can be raised that down the line they might end up hurting one another. Therefore any utility they gained would be lost. But from a Utilitarian perspective those outcomes are the result of actions down the line, not the consequences of a choice Rokka is currently is making.

But is this a moral dilemma for us for us as viewers? We are presented with two characters we can identify with. Rokka’s loss and relative solitude reverberate with us. Hazuki’s desire makes us want to root for him. Isn’t this his first step to victory? Like that Death Cab for Cutie song goes:

You gotta spend some time, love
You gotta spend some time with me
And I know that you will find love
I will possess your heart.

One thought on “Deep Dive Into Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Episode 3

  1. I don’t know if I’d agree that Rokka is really that motivated to get over Atsushi. She certainly hasn’t been to this point in her life, and while she is now interested in Hazuki, that doesn’t necessarily mean any sort of abandonment of the attachment she had before. But her attraction to Hazuki is pretty undeniable to me. Her thinking that he could go find another girl shows that she values him more than other girls apparently did, because he didn’t exactly strike me as a guy who was particularly successful on that front before falling for Rokka.

    As for selfishness vs selflessness, while I’m not really an Objectivist, I do feel that there is really only ‘selfishness’. When people do things for other people, they are still doing them for the selfish reason that it makes them feel better – either now or deferred. It is a mistake to look at only the direct benefits to an action in determining what motivates people to choose that action. There is value in determining relative harms, but ultimately, even the ‘selfless’ acts are done for selfish reasons.

    Likewise, I think your utilitarian argument discounts the value of happiness *now*. Even if there was lost utility later after breaking up, that is likely less of a loss than the sum of getting together and having happiness for a duration.

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