“I never thought that having no restrictions would make things so hard.”
This quote from Yuno is the situation that I oftentimes face in writing this blog. Here, it helps the situation because I’ve already set my mind of my required post a week for the next couple of weeks by trying to get one of these x365 impression posts out regularly. But when I don’t have something, it can be pretty annoying trying to come up with something to write about. And because I try my best to write something with substance (or at least something with a lot of text to it), when I can’t think of anything substantial to write, it can be a pretty frustrating. So that’s a start for me to do something like this, since just regurgitating whatever randomly comes to mind helps.
I sense that’s a little bit of what Yuno felt in the second half of this episode in the struggle to come up with something for the Yamabuki school festival. Only in my sense, it’s not out of obligation to something that someone/thing else (like school) that I even have this blog in the first place, but and commitment to myself. On that note, one of the first things that I thought about after hearing that phrase from Yuno was the struggle that Kyousuke had in ef ~ a tale of memories, as he wanted to find an inspiration allowing him to create a film that could move people. Even though he has that freedom to do whatever he wants to do, that same freedom can be limiting when it comes with uncertainty about what to do next. If you don’t have an idea where to go in order to get to a destination that you have in mind, be it making a powerful film, saving everyone in your sight or blogging for fun, at worst you can’t even reach that final goal.
This is also why starting on the journey can often be the hardest part if you don’t know where to go. The second half of this episode focused basically on Yuno finding that means to begin on the art piece for the festival. I felt her worry about not being able to come up with anything for the festival, which was exacerbated by the principal’s emotional quick speech about the effort the schools students put in for such an ephemeral moment in their lives at school. That was a nice “you’re unconsciously not helping the situation here” moment, as we then see Yuno feel that because everyone else seemed to know what they wanted to do, something was up with her because she couldn’t think up anything to do at the time.
An easy manifestation of that worry comes from the fear that because Yuno’s lagging behind everyone else in terms of what she wants to, one could extend that do how she might even be going through life, for instance. A telling example comes from another comparison between herself and Miyako. As even Miyako, considering her happy-go-lucky attitude with life, is able to suddenly come up with something to do for the festival, the worry that Yuno has seems to increase a little. All of a sudden, she doesn’t want to receive help from Miyako, and she also has a brief, uncharacteristically selfish thought hoping her good friend doesn’t get too ahead in terms of coming up with something. To me that brief statement, though Yuno quickly mentally chastises herself afterwards for even thinking it, had a “don’t leave me behind” vibe to its meaning. As we’ve seen before in the show, Yuno does not want to be alone literally or figuratively for any reason at all, and this current situation she finds herself in is way too familiar and unwanted.
I think that Maiko Kishi’s appearance in this episode helped to drive that point across. The first and only time we previously see the school alumnus is during her introduction back in episode 9 of the first season, and if you’ve watched that, you remember that Yuno was in a little despair over not having a concrete dream for her future, when again it seemed that most people besides her already knew what they wanted to do. In this episode, we see a remembrance of a conversation between Yuno and Kishi from that first season, where Kishi imparts the valuable wisdom that because opportunity is ever present, one can come knocking with regards to the things that you hold dear.
Of course, that’s where the magical inspiration comes in and Yuno finds out what she wants to do, but the situation seems to suggest that that fear of not knowing continues to worry Yuno, and that’s not an easy thing to shake off. From my experience, those concerns are tied to fears of being left out of the loop or fears of failure, though I’m not quite sure Yuno has those same correlations. What is important from both situations here, Yuno knows that the worst thing to do in these situations is nothing, and that trying to find a way to obtain your goal, and never giving up on achieving it always gets you closer to that that goal, since you never know where the situation will take you.
This is also why being given that freedom to do whatever you want to achieve those means is vital as well, which is why I enjoyed the first half of this episode as well. And it’s also why I tend to find Miyako to be the most mature of our main group, as she’s able to let go of a cat that was able to find its way into the hearts of everyone with no problems at all. I really liked the use of watercolors here, as SHAFT showed just how much the cat seemed to mean everyone with that changing of the animation style. The change I think also highlights Miyako’s perspective on life. The change makes her seem light-hearted and open, especially because of her sitting on the roof with an honest, satisfied grin on her face coupled with the statement “Freedom is the most important thing, so it’s okay”. The best thing I could think of think of was that Miyako is like a ray of sunshine that always bursts through the clouds, and that her friends are very lucky to have her. Proof that freedom isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Next episode: Homecoming