Mysterious Girlfriend X 07: Golden
Oka is a fiend, my goodness. And I guess it’s hard to deny at this point that she actually has some raw skill in this spit-telling business, and isn’t just winging it with common sense and pop psychology.
Zanibas makes a great case for the centrality of “ownership” in this episode. It’s all about owning and deciding whether one is to let onself be owned or not. Because this is such a young relationship, and neither Tsubaki nor Urabe are “stars” at their school, the task is relatively easy. In this sense the story is playing out as sort of the antithesis of Kare Kano, where Arima and Miyazawa were ridiculously important and had tons of relationships to deal with besides the one with each other.
There’s an odd twist to this issue, I think. If you go beyond the appearance of things and look at the reality, the vast majority of teenage human beings have a very rich social life (even the less popular ones). We have tons of connections, and thus I think we tend to be more like Arima and Miyazawa than Tsubaki and Urabe. The latters’ extreme isolation thus comes off as a bit of escapism: the idyllic “only the two of us in this world” image. Tsubaki and Urabe can own each other all they want. Of course, all of this is partly a matter of presentation. We have to imagine Tsubaki has more friends than Ueno and we’re only watching a very particular selection of the events in this life. But then the selection itself is escapist (and I guess maybe some people look back on their childhood and remember it precisely in this self-censored fantastic way).
There’s another reflection we older folk are bound to indulge in when watching this show. Tsubaki and Urabe seem to be destined for each other, but the interesting thing is this is their first romantic relationship. Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe that first relationships ought to be doomed from the start. I’ve definitely heard of couples who marry their first loves, and I’ve even met some who did (though always after having broken up, met other people, then gotten back together again). To me there’s something unnatural about the whole thing. Why? Because even though there might be a “perfect someone” for you out there, that person will still have a limited personality. A full life experience requires of necessity contact with more than one personality (no matter how awesome that one personality might be) and so a number of relationships should precede meeting that perfect someone. The journey is as important as the destination etc etc. BTW, Oka and Ueno strike me as a perfectly healthy first relationship, one which will probably end sooner rather than later…
I really enjoy the conversations in this show. The entire dialogue between Oka and Urabe in the middle of the episode was excellent. It flows so naturally and it’s so entertaining even when it’s not particularly striking or important.