I felt very strongly for Miyako after viewing this episode. Sometimes, there is a point of time in life where you really get sick of the same old story that is brought up in anime, only for something to bring back the passion and love you have for the art form. Episode 7, particularly the part on Miyako, is one that really made me understand why I always like SHAFT’s work. This entry is not a tribute to the excellent story telling of SHAFT, but more on a personal account why I actually cried and my thoughts after watching Episode 7.
It is painful…and I can somewhat understand why since it is an experience that I felt a very time ago in my youth.
For those who have watched Episode 7, Miyako actually scheduled a date with Hiro in order to stop Hiro from going to the basketball game that Kei is playing. However, as the plot plays out in Episode 6, Hiro actually rushed over to Kei when he got the call that she is injured and left Miyako alone at the meeting place. This episode exhibits the psyche of Miyako while she waits for the person that will never arrive to her. In the episode, it is explained of her fear to be abandoned by others.
Well, abandoned is perhaps not the best term for this, but it’s more of the fact that she fears that she is washed out from people’s memories. In her part of the story, it is clear that her parents were in extremely bad terms and eventually did not even talk to each other at all. In the end, even Miyako is forgotten in the family, as her presence in life seems to be wiped out completely. That is why Kei’s words to her in which Miyako will wiped away from the memories of her in Hiro’s heart disturbed Miyako so much. She fears that she will disappear again. The episode hence shows the reason that her background has affected her psyche and her view of the world.
It is extremely painful for someone who has lost the ability to feel and understand that she is human to be told that she does not have the chance to stay alive in someone’s heart. As much as many might consider Miyako to be annoying, tyrannic and overbearing in the first few episodes, it is clear now that her actions are a manifestation of the loneliness and that she is clinging on dear life for the only hope. It’s an extremely flawed personality, but realistically portrayed with the experiences she had.
In a way, SHAFT’s presentation of the black and white world is now apparent. Miyako cannot see any color because she no longer can see life, due to the fact that life no longer remembers her. It is only because of Hiro that her world returns with color, in which her presence is finally confirmed by another human being. That is why she tries so hard to be energetic in order to attract Hiro, since it seems to be the only way in her opinion to attract the attention of the person that can bring her life to life. She possibly does not know how to keep a person happy, so she tries to put on a persona that is probably pleasing to most.
The issue with this is that it will not help her. Hiro is not her love interest, but a hope that she clings on. It might be seen as love by some, but I see it as a grab to anything that can save her. However, it is ironic that Kei is just about the same as her. Both girls have no moral grounds and advantages over the other, because they are both hindered by their memories in their relationships. It’s hard for me to say which one I will support.
I am always in support of the underdog, the childhood friend that never seems to get any carrot from producers and anime series alike. However, I am hard for choice, in a way that I wish that Hiro does not end up with any of them. Both view Hiro somewhat as a prize in my opinion, and it does not feel like love to me. Kei likes Hiro in the way that she cannot live without him at all, while Miyako is clearly disturbed in the mind that she has a mental breakdown (and illustrated greatly by the unconventional portrayal by SHAFT).
I know that this can be a rather incoherent rant, but it is merely something I want to write since the episode really strongly gave the feeling of how Miyako turned from normal to a mental wreck. I can see them doing it conventionally, and it will not be as strong as this. On a side note, can anyone explain a bit on why Renji is so fearful of Chihiro’s suggestion?