Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hitohira 07

An excellent episode centred on the relationship between Nono and Mirei, the Drama Club president. Two fine seiyuu really acting: Kawasumi Ayako (Nono) and Yukino Satsuki (Mirei). This is the most I've liked Yukino-san since she played Ai in Planetes. Her crying in this episode is the best I can remember hearing.

Once again, this show gives us complexities of relationship and character, and deepening emotions. And subtle feelings of female friendship tinged with yuri. Summary begins after the first set of pictures.




Risaki is putting up posters for the Hitohira play, featuring a big picture of Mugi in the lead role. Mugi is freaking out but can't stop her.

During rehearsal, Nono is being hard on Mugi, telling her to put more feeling into it. As Mugi and Risaki go on, Katsuragi tries to get Nono to be gentler, but she says it's necessary. When Risaki complains that Nono is talking when she should be watching them rehearse, Nono says Katsuragi was sexually harassing her.

Chitose is mooning at a window somewhere, thinking beautiful pink hearts toward Katsuragi. Another Drama Club member tells her she should be practicing, and she says: Yes. You're right. I should go and do something about it, and rushes off to Katsuragi.

When she gets to the Drama Study Group's room, she peeks in and sees that Mugi is actually acting pretty well. She knew she had that voice, but now there is something different. So she realizes she had better practice herself. Mirei, the Drama Club president, is coming to find her, but when Chitose sees her, she gets down on the ground and apologizes profusely and says she will get back to work. Mirei is embarrassed and her anger defused.




Nono is waiting in the school doorway for the rain to stop and remembers the day she brought her resignation from the Drama Club to this door, wanting to apologize to Mirei for leaving the Club, but feeling she had to keep acting, which Mirei wouldn't let her do. Katsuragi offers her his umbrella, with the intention of sharing it. She says it would be a bother and rushes off into the rain, saying the rain feels good. Katsuragi complains to himself that she doesn't understand people's feelings. Mirei comes up and says Nono is just unreasonable and does her own thing, that he should give up on her. Katsuragi says: "So should you." This takes her aback. "What do you mean?" she says. He gives a non-answer and rushes out into the rain, leaving her his umbrella.

The next day, Mirei and the Drama Club are getting ready for the festival. They are missing a blackout curtain. Meanwhile, Nono is lamenting that the Drama Study Group doesn't have one. But Risaki produces one, which she took from "a certain place." Mirei goes to her Club's storeroom to look for it. She has trouble opening the door until she realizes the door was unlocked and she locked it. Once inside the storeroom, she puts two and two together and realizes someone else is there. And she realizes it's Nono.

Mirei tells Nono that her obsession with continuing to act is not going to work, that they won't succeed with their play. Nono says they will. The two get into a little fight with rolled up posters as swords. Mirei falls over and pulls Nono down on top of her in one of the nicest little romantic pile-ups I can remember: quick, with a brief flush when they realize how close they are to each other.




They decide to leave, but neither can get the door open. they realize that no-one is going to come to the storeroom soon and let them out. Mirei shouts, saying she's an actress and should be able to rouse someone. Aren't you embarrassed? asks Nono. Mirei says that an actor doesn't get embarrassed. Nono decides to shout, too. Mirei is worried that it might hurt her voice, and softens to her real feeling of concern for Nono, with her hands on Nono's shoulders. Then Nono really does lose her voice. She writes that on a pad of paper to tell Mirei.

Meanwhile, Mugi wonders why it's taking Nono so long just to return the cape and goes to the Drama Club room to find her. She imagines Nono and Mirei having a knock-down, drag-out fight. She finds out where they are and rushes off.

Back in the storeroom, Mirei is crying over Nono losing her voice. Nono writes: It's nothing for you to cry over, is it? Stop fooling around! shouts Mirei. Why do you you have to act? she weeps. Nono remembers how lonely she was and how Mirei got her into acting and gave her this wonderful world, saying how much fun it was to become a self that is not yourself. She remembers Mirei holding her hands to calm her, as she held Mugi's hands. There's a nice, somewhat suggestive shot of their bags on top of one another while they are working through a script. Then we see Nono about to quit out of a feeling of inability, exactly the way Mugi was about to quit, and Mirei saying: Okay, quit, and go back to your lonely world.




On a cold day after rehearsal, Nono felt her throat and Mirei thought she had a cold and they walked home together sharing Mirei's scarf. She remembers Mirei unzipping her costume to measure her for altering it. Then she remembers the day she told Mirei she might lose her voice. Mirei felt it was her fault for inviting Nono into the Drama Club. She said Nono should stop and look after herself, but Nono refused. Mirei made it an order, as Club president. In the present, Mirei says she did it because she was worried for Nono, but Nono then left her. The Goddess of Spring costume from episode one is sitting there in the storeroom beside them.

They remember the day Nono brought her letter of resignation from the Club. Mirei was shocked and unhappy, but said Nono had to rest and could come back when she was better. Nono said she wasn't going to come back, that her high-school life was half over and she wasn't going to wait, she was going to do it herself.

Back in the storeroom, Mirei is crying and saying: What's wrong with me being concerned for you? Do you hate me that much? She laughs bitterly that Nono isn't that good at making friends. Nono writes that she has a friend. Mirei thinks she means Katsuragi. Nono writes that it's Mirei. Mirei cries. Nono wipes away her tears. They embrace.

Mugi comes up outside and sees them embracing and hides. She thinks how hard everything must have been for them, being friends, and loving one another ("love" doesn't imply anything except close friendship). Then she sneezes and they hear her and Mirei calls for her to let them out quickly and get someone to help Nono because she's lost her voice.

The next day, Nono's voice is fine. Mirei gets mad at her and they rush off. Katsuragi says that's how they always were. At the end, Nono says to herself that she still has a lot of uncertainties, but for Nono's sake and for her own sake, she is going to keep working hard toward the play.

84 comments:

James said...

Why the hell do I even bother reading the blog of a yuri hater? Oh right, no subs for hitohira. Yuri is yuri, if you hate it go blog some other series. No need to write false information and derail things. Get a life!

hashihime said...

@James: I don't understand where you got the idea that I "hate" yuri. That's really a joke if you've read my blog before. Please let me know what in this post gave you that impression. I must have phrased something poorly.

Estara said...

Heh, now that's a nice way of getting people to keep blogging. Coming to their blog and insulting them because of a perceived different view then one's own: you know, unfortunately like the real world, the internet has different people with different opinions. If you only want to read your own views, it might be wise to write your own blog and stay there. Or how about learning Japanese then you wouldn't have to worry about anyone else's views? Remarkably rude reader.

By the way, I don't really follow the show myself, I've only found the first episode fansubbed, but personally you have lots of information I don't find in other places I know, so I would like to say I'm grateful for your sharing, even though I'm not in the least a fan of Lucky Star or Aya Hirano ^^.

You didn't phrase anything poorly, you wrote as subtle as I found the first episode to be. There are lots of other yuri-fanservice shows, and if Hitohira should have a Yuri couple it's just not as in your face as in other shows. Actually I found your picking up of details like the school bags being rather suggestive toward that.

The guy is just rude.

Kurogane said...

This was truly an awesome episode of Hitohira. As you said, Satsuki Yukino and Ayako Kawasumi are giving a sterling performance in this show and this is possibly my favorite episode of this show up to now.

I personally wouldn't say this is all-out yuri, even if it is being hinted. It's more about the closeness of friends encountering differences of opinion in the background of a possible tragedy.

Diodati said...

Whoa I've never seen someone fly off the handle over a blog not supporting yuri, especially in a blog that spends much of the time acknowledging the yuri potential in the episode!! How weird, someone had a bad day.
Loved this episode - Yukino Satsuki was superb. Thankyou for continuing to blog this show. One thing though, you put:

''Risaki goes to her Club's storeroom to look for it. She has trouble opening the door until she realizes the door was unlocked and she locked it.''
I thought it was Mirei 'Sakaki' ??

As to the closeness between Nono x Mirei: it's indeterminate, although quite suggestive - maybe swaying into 'a little more than suggestive' in places (we had falling on top of each other, closely placed bags, unzipping, oceans of blushing, Katsuragi's moment with Mirei - all anime flagging for deep affection)

My first reaction was it seemed like something more than 'simple close friends' - but that's more to do with Mirei's moment with Katsuragi (who we surely know 'does' have a slight crush on Nono). And then Mirei bringing him up during the last parts of their (vocally one-sided) discussion...it's was a bit of a surprise. So schweet when Nono wrote Mirei's name instead.

What does Mirei say after Nono writes her name? I know I'm being greedy with the translation but I'm just curious =)

hashihime said...

@Diodati: Thanks for pointing out my "Risaki-itis." I found several places where I'd put Risaki instead of Mirei. Maybe because they're both tall, lol.

And thanks for asking what Mirei said after Nono wrote her name. It was moving just watching it again. "You.... I'm not your friend. If I'd been talking about your good points.... But you don't have any. You're incorrigible...." All the time crying, wiping away tears, accepting and then returning Nono's embrace. Wow. And then that loving "baka."

I don't really hear all of this. I'm following a Chinese sub (Kiss Sub) for the bit about good points and being incorrigible, but I think the feeling is right for sure: that beautiful contradiction between the words and the feelings.

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Hi! Sorry for the comment on an old post, but I've been looking for rare unnoticed good anime to watch and after reading your posts on hitohira I picked it up and I love it! Thank you for indirectly referring it to me!