Episode 7: After School at 14
It is Kawai’s birthday, who has problems with her mother due to the lack of a father. She spends it with her friends and asks for their help to recognize her father from among five photos, this leads to an argument between Kawai and Neiru, the first one moves away and the second confesses to Momo that she has no parents. Ohto hangs out with Kawai in conversations of two girls raised by single mothers. They say goodbye and Kawai faces a sect monster, whose girl supports her nightmare, making the fight more complicated and making the beauty succumb to the trap of ease, but thanks to her friends and Menno she manages to emerge victorious, accepting her weakness and changing his attitude towards his mother.
I liked this episode too much, I don’t feel like it was the best, but I particularly liked it, perhaps because of the theme it touched on. I say that it is not the best because I felt somewhat forced the final part, the Mannen thing, because we are only given a little information when Kawai was cut, as it is not so justifiable, it would be if we see it as a pet and protect to his mother it would make a lot more sense (pet protecting its owner). And the other thing is that the conflict could develop better with about three more minutes in the episode. Likewise, Kawai becomes the most interesting and most developed character so far. An effective and interesting episode to analyze.
Friendship makes it bearable
School is one of the places in which we spend the most time for a dozen years or so. So having a social life, friendships and good relationships is important to survive in that environment. If you have no one, it will just seem like another place, unworthy to go and just a silly imposition of adults, that is to say: nonsense. In a way Ohto thought like that, the school won’t solve his problems, so why go? What’s more, it was the center of his problems, and still is, only that he made the resolution to solve things, because at home he would not solve anything.
Although Ohto has no one inside, outside he has three girls that he can trust, his three friends, who although from different schools make his load less heavy. It is a common topic in anime that friendship arises between colleagues from the same center, which is the most common. Here there is a twist, as if to imply that you can not only trust the inside, but also the outside of your usual life. Ultimately the important thing is the emotional support they provide, one that moves you forward.
Kawai is a very interesting character and it seems to me that she is the one with the most background. A problem is revealed to us that she has, which to a large extent was the one that made her like this, someone tough and carefree on the outside. Kawai doesn’t know who her father is, her mother didn’t tell her anything, she only gave her about five photos of the possibilities there are. Here you can say “in the memories you have you can see traits so that you know who your father is”, well, we must bear in mind that this is what is shown to us, in Kawai’s mind the memory may be more blurred. Definitely the absence of a father or mother will have a lot of influence on the child’s life, an unsolved problem that will not lose importance if it is not solved or the mentality is not changed.
Mother and daughter
The relationship between Kawai and her mother reminds me a lot of that of Tomoya and her father in Clannad. Rebellious children, drinking parents and ruined by the lack of their partner. They do not have a good relationship and it is noticed, although it can only be on the part of Kawai because she thinks that her mother hates her for not letting her be happy, her existence conditioned her mother’s life. It can be understood that Kawai hates her mother and at the same time she hates herself for hating her, for the problems, for not feeling loved. It is definitely a complicated relationship.
Fathers and sons
Ohto is also the daughter of a single mother. He also says he hates his mother and has complaints about her, that she is not all as beautiful as Kawai was shown. This may be mostly a product of Ohto’s mind that cannot process certain things or does not understand some situations. However, she still sees her father and this is something that Kawai envies, because they do not move away and she knows who he is, which does not happen in her, that although they are separated they are still her parents. But we also have another face, Neiru’s, the one who grew up without parents and that saved her problems, but gave her others: not fitting in. Neiru has not had a guide to make her enter the world, she has not had someone to tell her how to relate to people, because the first interactions we have are with our parents and from there our world is being constituted. We don’t know about Momo.
The hope of the sect
I really liked that they used the image of a sect for today’s episode, because sects, at least the current ones and for which the word has a pejorative sense, capture people with problems and give them simple solutions to their problems. problems, they give them answers. “Why do I suffer?”, “Simple, you suffer because you do not know the universal truth”, things like that. Cults give answers, like religions and philosophies, to everyday things in life, but simple answers that hope, so it is very easy to want to be part of one. In addition to answers, they give something essential: a sense of community. Why is Ohto okay? Because she has friends and she found answers. Very different from Kawai, who still feels lonely and lacks answers to her main problem, her father. Cults fill that void.
We are weak
Related to the previous topic, the fact that a person joins a sect has to do with weakness, especially weakness of not being able to face their problems. Kawai was succumbing, the breaking point being the girl’s cuts. Kawai felt recognized in her, they have been through the same thing and she was able to find reassurance, “why not me?”, I imagine she must have thought. In addition, the leader tells him that it is easier than it seems and our weakness makes us fall before simple answers, which do not have to be true. Even if you know it’s a lie, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s peace. One of the most complicated things is to face problems face to face. But it is okay to accept that we are weak because that is where our strength can lie.
And that’s our strength
It seems paradoxical that weakness itself is strength. It is not so contradictory if we see Asian culture, yin, and yang, for example, or what Nagarjuna mentions about nirvana being the same as Maya (illusory world). We tend to polarize, to think that something is bad and bad will stay, the same with good. That being said, how can weakness be a strength? Because accepting that we are weak will allow us to ask for help and in good companionship, we can get ahead. That’s why the girls calling Kawai and also why Mannen shows up because they know that the weak can lean on each other and be strong, that’s the sense of community and friendship. Why does the human not live alone? Because he needs others because he is weak.
We see that Kawai has a change when talking to her mother, she has matured in any case. Those words “you must protect your mother” made her react. As I usually say: while there is life there is hope. If we have mistakes, it is not too late to correct them and be better. Thank you for reading.
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