Written by TheBigN
Yes, cheesy title. I know. 😛
True Tears has been an entertaining 12 episodes so far, though unlike other bloggers I’ve read, I’d like to think that this show isn’t one of the best that will be offered this year, let alone this season (/undine-mailperson-kendo bias :3). It’s not because the show isn’t that good, since it is in a lot of ways, but because I hope that the series shown later in the year will be more spectacular than this one. That being said, I figure I should say my superficial, maybe already stated (and probably inaccurate) views on Hiromi from true tears since I can’t seem to get her out of my head from episode 12. Some disclaimers though: I’m more of a Noe fan than a Hiromi fan, but I’ll “try” not to have any bias here (*wink wink nudge nudge). There will be spoilers up to episode 12 of True Tears, so be careful. And as said in other places, Hiromi + glasses = no fair.
Episode 12 had it’s share of “SHOCK” moments I felt, from Hiromi’s plea to Noe, to Jun’s demonstration of his real feelings (which I actually found kinda randomly appeared in full force thanks to plot device letter), to Noe’s Tom Petty moment at the end of the episode (;_;). I guess I’m one of the few who thought that Noe’s action, based on what she’s seen and how her mind works, made sense for her, and that she was not going off the deep end or anything like that, but I’m digressing. The moment that really grabbed me though was where we see a nice still shot of Hiromi’s realization that Noe was also watching Shin’s Mugiha dance, and she stays focused on out little chicken girl until the dance is over. Of course the still shot shows the importance of the moment, but I also felt that it “defined” Hiromi’s character, so to speak, with two impressions that I got from the moment.
The first thing was that, whether or not it’s known to her, she doesn’t really know Shinichiro. Focusing on this example, from his perspective while he’s doing the safety dance, it’s a defining moment as he realizes where he received the motivation to keep doing things he didn’t want to do at first. Such as the current dance where we can see the training and conviction come out in full force. I’d say it’s there that he’s actually “flying” for the first time, and the thing is that it doesn’t seem as if Hiromi realizes this. Granted, she’s had to deal with Noe appearing out of the blue, Ai mistakenly saying that Shin and Noe are a pair, and two unintentional (or so I think, though others apparently disagree) blowoffs before and after the dance from Shinichiro, so I can see how her sole attention isn’t on her apparent boyfriend. But for all the subtleness that seems to be everywhere in the show, just like people complained about Shin missing Hiromi’s signals, the same could be said the other way around. I think her missing the end of the dance highlighted that fact. We and Noe can see the change that is exhibited in him from just dancing, but Hiromi can’t, though she might have started to notice from his lack of concentration towards her.
Which is where my other thought popped up from: that her insecurities are showing (how lewd!). This was more explicitly shown during the confrontation earlier in the episode. It kinda worried me seeing Hiromi crying after telling Noe to leave her and Shinichiro alone because they both loved each other. Those seemed like tears of worry that somehow Noe would disrupt her happiness by just being there. I specify it just being only Hiromi’s happiness, and not the apparently coupling’s happiness, as her confession reminded me of how earlier she had been projecting Shin’s mother when claiming that Noe was stealing her man away. That moment had bugged me, since Hiromi had not directly confessed her feelings to Shin at that time, and she couldn’t have it both ways by outwardly distancing herself while secretly longing for him. And focusing again on episode 12, it raises some doubts for me when you see that she’s not staring at Noe watching the dance for a split second, but for a long while. By focusing on her rival so much that she misses an important moment for Shin, we can see that her priorities are a little messed up.
In trying to zoom out on this for a little bit, I’m actually not really sure whether Hiromi’s feelings are really love when I think about it. From flashbacks, this affection also started from some previous insecurities as well. If you wanted to have fun with symbolism, you could say that the missing sandal from the past represented Hiromi’s fear of being left alone. Hence the pain we could see from her living together with Shin’s family, but apart from everyone at the same time. But if she gets what she’s always wanted, she’s right as rain, which is why we see her having a ball by herself in the apartment (Dexterity +2 with the foot maneuver as well). It also explains the camaraderie she had with Jun as another loner who understands the feeling, as well as how love could not develop between the two.
Of course, her pleas for Shin not to leave her in as a child and now after the dance, coupled with her purposefully taking off one of the sandals compared to losing it way back when, verify this worry about being left out in the cold. And the sandal retread also illustrated that Hiromi’s still living in the past, yet she hasn’t realized that yet. As the band Keane would put it, she’s trying to make a move just to stay in the game (for Shinichiro’s heart), trying to stay awake and remember her name, but everybody’s changing and she doesn’t feel the same. This dichotomy between her actions with Shinichiro and Noe demonstrating her current inability to move on and how she presents herself at school and with others bugs me.
Her situation reminds me of that of Kei’s way back in ef ~a tale of memories~, from the beginnings of their crushes for their prospective loves, to the confrontation with their rivals (albeit via two different methods), to the “OH NOES this crazy girl/candidate is about to take away my destined love/position” vibes that both girls gave off. Thinking about it, the current love triangle is a direct reminder of the Kei-Hiro-Miyako triangle in ef, and I wasn’t a fan of Kei for much of the same reasons that I have with Hiromi, and why I don’t support a Shin x Hiromi pairing at the end at this current moment. It would only work for me if Hiromi was able to move on from where she is, and from the preview of the last episode, it does look like Hiromi will be able to do that with or without Shinichiro doing everything properly, so that’s a good thing. But for those who currently long for that pairing, I hope you can see where I’m coming from with this.