For such an eventful episode, it sure felt like nothing much has changed. Christmas Eve marks the day when Misaki and Nanami make their move on Jin and Sorata, respectively. How do the two girls fare? Misaki plunges ahead with her bold plan to win Jin over through physical means. Her brief conversation with Nanami was very well done in my eyes. Watching the two lovesick girls talk about their troubles, desires, and doubts really put the intensity of their feelings in perspective. It just makes you really want to root for them, knowing how long they’ve had to put up with being so close, yet so far, from the person they love. Unfortunately, this is not the episode in which all problems are resolved. Misaki’s attempt to boldly go where no man has gone before seems to work out for her initially, with Jin admitting his feelings for her. However, he goes on to say that he’s still unable to care for her as well as he should, and leaves without even giving her the ring that he had bought. I had hoped that the two would finally be able to get together, but not as a result of something as shallow as physical contact. Perhaps Jin might respect Misaki enough to halt her attempt, and then the two could subsequently use the revelation of their mutual feelings as a spring to kick-start their relationship. Clearly, that isn’t what happened. But at least the opening monologues of the episode provide a sort of hint as to why things went awry.
You would think that as two people become closer, it should get easier for them to convey their feelings to each other. However, it also becomes harder to break the status quo if it has been established for so long. Faced with the task of overcoming such a high wall, hesitation is almost normal, and it is this inaction that causes the wall to become even taller in a vicious cycle, not unlike Misaki’s analogy to running in a loop on a track. Misaki’s brute-force method is precisely what’s needed to break down this obstacle, but it seems that Jin has erected an even stronger barrier around himself, reinforced by his own misconceptions. And unfortunately, there may not be anything that Misaki can do about this. Since this barrier is entirely within Jin as opposed to standing between the two, he will have to be the one to tear down this final obstacle himself before the two can get together. And the problem that he has created for himself is a rather tough one. He thinks Misaki sees him as an object of desire, as opposed to a person that she recognizes. This is silly, if you ask me. There is no doubt in my mind that Misaki loves Jin for Jin himself, and not as some sort of life-sized dildo. However, his view may be a result of his own love life, in which he has repeatedly used different girls almost as disposable products. He just needs to get it into his head that this isn’t what “normal” love is like. Or at least, this isn’t the kind of love that Misaki feels. The problem, however, is that Misaki’s latest approaches involve forcing herself on him, which is reminiscent of the “careless” kind of love that he himself has experienced in the past. It’s almost as if her every attempt only pushes him farther away. I don’t know just how this misunderstanding will get cleared up, but it does look like the student council president is aware of the situation and is trying to help them out. I keep saying I hope the two will finally see eye-to-eye, but as expected, this issue might just last all the way until the end before there can be a resolution.
But that’s enough of rage-worthy relationships. Let’s talk about something more positive. The situation between Nanami and Sorata is nowhere near as frustrating as the Jin-Misaki problem, and in fact, it seems as if Nanami is making leaps and bounds in getting Sorata to look at her. Of course, she has to keep prodding Sorata to get a reaction out of him, but lately his reactions have been particularly positive. He agrees to “hang out” with her on Christmas Eve without second thought, and he even compliments her appearance on their date instead of acting dense. Again, we have to curb all this with the fact that Nanami still has to take the initiative, but at least Sorata is being more responsive. There were also quite a few moments during the episode in which there was some great chemistry between the two. Take their little walk-and-talk under the umbrella for instance, where the two chatted quite naturally about their jealousy of the talented who make everything look so easy. Really, there was so much resonance between them at the moment that Nanami should have used the momentum to go ahead and confess to him. Unfortunately, she pulls back at the last moment and opts for delaying her confession instead. This actually isn’t too frustrating, all things considered. I would assume her logic behind this move is to not get into a relationship with Sorata and then have to call it off if she has to leave. And while it’s entirely possible for them to still be together in such a situation, it’s true that long-distance relationships have their difficulties. Nanami’s solution, then, is to wait until she knows that she can stay by his side before she tells him her feelings. This is actually not too bad of a solution. That is, if we don’t have to consider Mashiro. The problem I’m sure we all see here is that Nanami might have lost her only chance here by stalling. And it’s possible that she realizes this as she sees Mashiro and Sorata hug in front of the fountain. That’s probably not going to stop her from confessing later anyway though.
And finally, we have the “main” couple of Mashiro and Sorata. We saw Sorata act like a complete jerk last time, in what can only be described as a relapse to his old habit of venting his frustration at poor Mashiro. I thought learning his lesson once would be enough, but that obviously isn’t the case. Luckily, Sorata realizes yet again that Mashiro truly means well over the course of the episode. He’s just been pushing her away despite her best efforts to make him happy, but the two manage to reconcile at the last moment with yet another touching embrace. And while they both remain oblivious as to why Mashiro wants to make Sorata happy, Nanami sure is painfully aware of it. This isn’t the first time she’s witnessed the two being very close with each other (figuratively and literally), but it seems she’s only strengthened her resolve instead of giving up each time. Hang in there, Nanami! In any case, I really hope Sorata doesn’t make the same mistake a third time. That would be completely inexcusable and definitely cause for outrage. As usual, the two have yet to realize Mashiro’s feelings, and if they ever do, they’re going to have to figure things out on their own. Nanami has made it clear that she isn’t helping, the other residents have love troubles of their own, and Chihiro’s advice isn’t so much about love as it is about Sorata not being a wuss.
What’s bad is Jin’s continued efforts to reject Misaki. He needs to open his eyes and realize that he’s just being stubborn. Can he really still say what he’s doing is right if he had seen the state Misaki was in after he left? That is a broken girl if I ever saw one. Also, Nanami!!! How could you let this chance slip by?! You need to take Torajirou’s advice and get Sorata on the bed asap! Finally, it’s nice to see more of Ryuunosuke again. Since the show has completely ignored it, I’ll drop my doubts about his gender and assume that he is indeed a guy for now. It felt like Ryuunosuke kind of disappeared after the deal with Rita, so it’s very interesting to see him actually take the initiative to interact with her after their rocky start. Does this suggest that even Ryuunosuke feels lonely cooped up in his room? Does he actually desire contact (beyond instant messaging) with others? And most importantly, has he developed romantic feelings for Rita?