|“Ishihara Shintaro on line two…”|
I can’t help but note the irony of blogging this episode on the same day the “Youth Development Act” is about to pass the Tokyo Assembly. Surely this is everything paranoid little toads like Ishihara fear and loathe about anime (though he’s only too glad to glorify child rape in his “respectable” novels). But while the “ick” factor was certainly turned way up for here, I have no problem putting a “mature” label on this and letting viewers decide for themselves.
And what an ep that was. Any suspicions that the staff would soft-pedal the graphic sex and Sora nudity because of the incest factor was quickly dispelled – she and Haruka went at it early, often, graphically and creatively. I suppose things always had to end up here sooner or later – it’s what the story was building up to all along. I don’t especially like the development and I have no trouble personally disapproving of what Haru and Sora are doing. But I will give YnS credit for this – they’re treating the psychological side of it in a serious way. Since this is largely a serious hentai, that’s appropriate – incest isn’t being played for laughs or cheap thrills here (well, maybe the thrills) so, while the graphic sex is obviously there for titillation, the complexity of the situation isn’t being ignored.
Haru is obviously the only one of the twins bothered by this. Sora lives in the same fantasy bubble she’s created for herself all along so obviously she doesn’t see anything wrong in blowing her brother under the kitchen table. She doesn’t even see a need to hide it in public. Haru, by contrast, is a citizen of the universe and has some sense of both what’s right and wrong and what should be kept private. He tries very hard to convince himself that he doesn’t lust after Haru – even going to far as to take Nao to a love hotel and nearly rape her. I’m certainly glad the writers (and Haru) pulled back from that, but it was still a testament to how much this situation messed with his head. He researches the incest taboo, trying to convince himself one way or the other (I’m not sure which) whether this is right or wrong. In the end, though, he caves – because he’s a horny little cherry boy and he’s hot for his sister as much as she is for him.
Unfortunately (or not, depending on your POV) young Kazue hips to what’s going on between the twins. Even putting aside her personal disapproval, she gives Haru the common-sense advice that he should at least tone it down in public. But Haru seems lost at this point, and the newly energetic and genki Sora just wants to spend time with him – school, home, or anywhere else. Things end rather ominously as she and Nao barge in on the twins in full humpty-hump mode, and this time Haru has the decency not to smile and keep going.
In purely practical terms it’s going to be hard for the twins to stick around if they decide to pursue their relationship. Now that the word is out, everyone in the village will know sooner than later and pariah status is sure to follow. I also don’t think this is so easy for Haru, who I believe deep-down knows what he’s doing is very wrong. Not only that, but his feelings for Nao are genuine – maybe not true love, but genuine and deep. I know he’s going to feel terrible for what he’s done to her. Knowing what we know now, looks like the omake ED was quite spoilerific – several of the events (lightning, near-drowning, etc.) have already occurred, and a close viewing will reveal some possible scenarios for next week’s finale.
I can’t shake the imagine of poor Hiro Shimono totally unable to get through that dialogue wiothout busting out laughing…