Last Friends – 05: A Case for Michiru


Me too.

The title of this post is a tribute to another eye-opening post I’ve read on the controversial anime Koi Kaze. The post discussed how Koi Kaze was challenging the viewer’s notion of love-conquers-all and the extend to which we truly believe in it. Surely, if it were just a difference in social class or even of race, we would cheer it on like a Disney Tale. But Koi Kaze was about a love between blood-related siblings—and he’s twelve years older than her, and she’s only fifteen. Now, are you still cheering?

Back to Last Friends. In the post on episode three, I already drew out the parallel between Ruka’s determination to do motorcycling and Michiru’s determination to be with Sousuke. But the show also makes another parallel over and over again in the form of those inner dialogs where Takeru would say he would give everything to protect Ruka and Ruka would say the same thing about Michiru. What wonderful words those were. However, when it comes to Michiru actually putting her life on the line for Sousuke, we can hardly find what she’s doing even remotely sane.

Why the resistance?

I think the writers deliberately made Sousuke as detestable as possible so that we are forced to realize the double-standard we may have: Do we really think that loving someone to the point of offering your life is such a wonderful thing? By now, Sousuke had slapped, kicked, punched, psychologically abused, and in this episode raped a helpless Michiru, but yet Michiru still ditched her friends ran to him because she felt for his weakness and longed to attend to him. Are you cheering yet?

When I, as a child, first met my cat on the streets, he wasn’t very pleasant at all and was very wary of people. Back then, I received quite a number of scratches for just stretching my hands out to offer him ice cream. My mom would often threaten to chase him away, but I would always jump in between her stick and him. In a similar way, Michiru attended to Sousuke. She took care of him and fed him. But in a worse way, she took much deeper scratches.

If you think Michiru should not have suffered for Sousuke, then you must also consider that Ruka should also not continue to suffer for Michiru. So far, Ruka had struggled so hard to stay strong and in training so that one day she can stand in front of her loved one as a dignified person, but yet in the heartbreaking last scene she was told in her face, by that very same person she loved, that it was her being strong that had alienated her from Michiru. That has got to hurt deep—hearing that your best of intention turned out to be the worst of results.

So, why should Ruka continue on?

Love.

Why should Michiru continue on?

Also love.


Prisoners of Love

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3 Responses to Last Friends – 05: A Case for Michiru

  1. Endz says:

    In my opinion. I would not cheer for Sousuke and Michiru to be together. I would cheer for Ruka instead, at least she is not as sadistic as Sousuke.

    But, I am a hypocrite. As I understand how Michiru feels since I too feel the same way for a certain someone.

    Why should Michiru continue on?
    Simply because she is in love with him. You would think it would painful for her to stick with him. But what if she’s away from him, sure she will escape physical abuse. But there is an ever greater pain than physical abuse and that is separation.

    Ryo is a very lucky guy. Michiru has an unconditional love for him. Which is pretty rare.

    Why should Ruka continue on?
    Because girl on girl is hawt especially if its Ueno Juri x Nagasawa Masami, I wish Horikitty was thrown in there too…

    Seriously though, I don’t really like the idea that if two people are hooked up and a third person appears to get one of the couple thus ruining their relationship.

    I think she should continue because… She might be thinking that Michiru needs her support to at least get some breath of fresh air from Sousuke’s abuse. If she’s gone who would support Michiru as much as she does? She loves her. I believe all she could do for now is to be there for her.

    A lot of people might think that she should give up and find another person. Yes that would be a solution. But that feeling called “love” is very hard to give up and forget. Especially if that person is so near to you yet so far.

  2. bakaneko says:

    It’s not as easy as you think. Within limits it’s easy to cheer Michiru to continue to love Sousuke, and Ruka for Michiru. But to what limit do we say this is becoming absurd?

    Last Friends is going to test us that.

    This is not even half way yet into the series and some of the most fucked up things have already happened. This is only going to get worse.

    Can we—or should we—continue to cheer on someone we love edging closer to a bottomless cliff?

    Is that really what *unconditional* love?

    I have no answer.

  3. Jfo says:

    This is such a crazy drama. I love reading your reviews on these episodes after I watch them, I’m looking forward to the one you write about for episode 6.

    Oh, and I like your cat analogy, that was excellent! My dog was just as a punk!

    Everyone that watches this drama screens and bickers that Michiru should just get out and that she’s stupid. Although I agree, the people that are saying this don’t understand that it’s not that shes a glutton for domestic violence but because of history and the sake of “love and affection” Michiru is stuck on this dark path. It’s easy to say you’d run away from something like this, but if you’ve seen domestic violence, it’s never that easy.

    The longing to be loved and loving someone is a complicated matter.

    I must say though…Sosuke is a straight out FREAK. He goes to some ridiculous extremes. As for Ruka… I have no idea where to start….

    Anyhoo, great analysis!

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