A love is born.
In the show Proposal Daisakusen (ProDai), where the actress who played Michiru here also happened to be the main actress there, one of the theme was about how love is necessarily selfish: A man who is truly selfless cannot possibly be with the woman he loves because no man can possibly say that he himself alone in the entire world is the best man for this woman. Therefore, the main character in ProDai constantly found himself unable to express his feeling to the girl who was moving toward both a more successful career as well as a better guy than him. Not until at the end was he finally able to do what a lot of viewers thought was a very selfish act: He confessed his love to her in front of friends and families at the very reception of her wedding with the other guy. She ended up dumping the groom and running to him. To be with the person you love, you have to eventually say to yourself that even if there is a better guy out there for her, you alone must have her for yourself.
So, how selfish should love be?
Three characters in Last Friends showed us in three different ways. To borrow an analogy from archery, if shooting a target involves first aiming long, then short, and then finally the bulleye; then so far, Sousuke had shot long, Ruka short, and in this episode Takeru had shot the bulleye.
Michiru, you belong to me,
said Sousuke, who had faked an attempted suicide in order to get Michiru to return to his side back in episode six. That’s the way he loved her: To own her—through and through. The selfish love.
Of course, Sousuke took selfishness to the extreme. He tried to own every aspects of Michiru—both acts and thoughts. Needless to say, he was way over shooting.
If you can suppress your feelings occasionally, and pull away for your partner’s sake, I think that’s what love is,
said Ruka. Her attitude on love took a complete opposite to that of Sousuke: If the person I love is happy, then I don’t have to be happy. This kind of thinking sent Ruka away from Michiru, thinking Takeru would take good care of Michiru. And Ruka was right with that: Takeru would be a great boyfriend for Michiru. Even if Takeru may not like Michiru yet, Ruka’s decision to leave would give them the best chance to be together. What selfless love.
Well, it’s hard to say how much of that was selflessness and how much was cowardice. In any case, Ruka was not fighting for her own happiness.
Hitting the Bulleye
Don’t go, Ruka! … You may have said why you couldn’t respond to me. But even still, I love you Ruka! Whether as a human or as a woman, whichever—I don’t really understand it—but I want to support you. No matter how much you change, I want to continue to watch you by your side! I don’t want to lose sight of you!
Takeru’s words said it all. His confession of love contained both selflessness as well as selfishness.
Selflessness: He conceded that Ruka would never reciprocate his love, and moreover, he allowed Ruka to be who she wanted to be—a woman or a man.
Selfishness: He had said no less than three “I want to”‘s. (OK, one of them is “I don’t want to”.) But no matter how she was scared to be found out, he still wanted to support her secret; no matter how it pained her to stay with them, he still wanted to continue to watch over her; and no matter how far she wanted to run away, he still did not want to lose sight of her.
Yet, somehow within this primordial pool of selflessness and selfishness, a love was born. While Michiru let Ruka’s hand go and wished her well, Takeru walked up to Ruka and held her so tight as if to imprison her once and for all into his bosom.
Takeru may not be very straight—in a sexual sense—but he knows how a man should love a woman.