Honestly, I don’t think I can write a post on these three episodes without mentioning the sexual overtones that persist throughout the three episodes. This is the first time that we’ve seen Watashi’s sexual tensions ever in the series. In the previous 5 episodes, Watashi’s only obsession was with his “raven haired maiden”, and even then, I don’t think he viewed any women in a sexual fashion at all. He was more obsessed with both his own happiness.
However, episode 6 takes a much more carnal approach to Watashi’s desires. Perhaps at the core of Watashi’s obsession with the “raven haired maiden” is his own sexual desires? It’s certainly a plausible idea, considering just how oppressed “Johnny” seems to be. Yet I think the ultimate message within these three episodes is focused on deconstructing this obsession with purity that Watashi has.
I’d point to his fundamentally different reaction to the three women to illustrate this fact. Episode 6 first introduces the tension between Hanuki, Kaori, and Keiko, though the majority of the episode centers on Watashi’s relationship with Hanuki. The episode builds up the tension between the three, until the point in the show where Watashi has to make the decision between the three girls. In every single episode, from 6-8, he always chooses to go save Hanuki. Even though time has reset, he doesn’t take a completely different path like in the previous episodes. Instead, the only difference between the three episodes is the path Watashi takes after he chooses to save Hanuki.
In any case, I believe that Watashi’s choice to consistently save Hanuki is an indication of his true obsession with the “raven haired maidens” – their purity. Whenever we’ve seen this maiden, she’s always been featureless. Her face and any skin that’s showing is just a pure white. I believe that this is a signal of Watashi’s obsession with purity. He’s obsessed with both physical and sexual purity. He never puts a personality to that woman; his obsession is mostly superficial. That’s why he repeatedly chases after Hanuki. He can’t stand thinking that her sexual purity will be broken by a “perverted dentist”.
I also believe that this fixation with purity is the reason why he can’t and won’t pursue Hanuki in her drunken state. His picture of purity is broken by her drunken behavior. After all, she was far from his picture of an ideal lady after she got drunk. Instead, she comes onto him (in a strange way), by licking his face. Watashi just unfortunately can’t grasp the fact that there are no people in real life that conform to his expectations of purity.
Episode 7 and 8 both introduce “pure” characters, but there’s a stark difference between them – Kaori is a physical being while Keiko isn’t. It may seem like a rather obvious difference, but for Watashi, it’s a crucial one. I think it’s easier to talk about Watashi’s relationship with Keiko first, so I’ll start with that instead of going in order by episode. Keiko for Watashi is his purest ideal. She has no form or features, but she is defined by her “actions”. The series is told from Watashi’s perspective, so it’s rational to assume that the voice of Keiko’s that we hear is one that Watashi made up, similar to how he created a voice for Kaori as well. In comparison to either Akashi or Hanuki, Keiko’s voice is soft, soothing, and feminine. That’s the voice of Watashi’s ideal. Feminine. Pure. Virgin. Someone who is untouched by the corruption of society. That’s why he obsessively pursues her. The flower imagery that permeates the entire scene regarding the letter exchange between Watashi and Keiko is strangely appropriate, as it is a symbol of how he views her – as a symbol of pure, uncorrupted beauty.
Yet the situation with Kaori is different. In that situation, Watashi has a physical body to interact with. It’s certainly a different situation, and one that provides an interesting reaction from Watashi. For Watashi, Kaori is another example of the ideal and pure woman. Watashi can still shape Kaori as he sees fit. He creates a personality for her, one that demonstrates undying loyalty and love.
Yet when it comes to her purity, Watashi can’t seem to take that away. The most telling instance of this aspect is when he goes to have err.. sex with her, and he turns away. The reasoning he gives is:
Watashi has this obsession with purity. He can’t deal with real life women because he has this vast disconnect between his mind and the real world. This preoccupation with the virgin is, I believe, part of the basis for his obsession with the “raven haired maiden”. For Watashi, he can’t view any girl in real life as having the purity that he can imagine in his head. That’s why he can’t confront Akashi as he is. The image of his happiness is linked with the image of a pure maiden. Akashi doesn’t embody that ideal. She’s strange, has a strange fear of moths, loves Mochiguman, and has a variety of other quirks to her. She is an imperfect being. Watashi has to get over this unrealistic image in his head about a pure girl, and return to reality.
Next up is Part 3 – Sex. I think I can fit that in before blogging episode 9 when it comes out…