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?
Why should Michiru continue on?
Prisoners of Love