Not a family, yet a family.
I finally got around to watch the finale. In some sense, the conclusion of episode 10 was enough of a closure for me. Yes, there are still other open plot threads, but they seem immaterial to the central plot of the story. Anyway, I finally watched it—as well as the special episode—and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Last Friends still had a final card to play to complete its message.
From the beginning of the series, Last Friends represented a set of relationships that, on the surface, cannot come to fruition: Michiru cannot stay with Sousuke because of his abusive nature; Ruka cannot be with Michiru because Michiru does not like women; and Takeru cannot be with Ruka because he cannot make love to a woman. Most of their struggles have to deal with what they want versus what they cannot get. However, The answer was already foreshadowed in the subplot of Ruka’s motocross, in which Ruka gave the following speech in response to the inquiries on her sexual orientation:
As long as you have the ability for motocross, even if you’re a woman, you can stand in the same field as a man and compete.
In the same way, as long as Michiru, Ruka and Takeru have the ability to care for each other, even if they cannot be a couple, they can stand in the same field like any other couple and love.
But it’s not just as if only they can do that. Unknowingly to even themselves, they have been doing that for a long time already. This caught me by surprise too until Ruka reminded me in her conversation with Takeru on the beach,
Perhaps married couples do this kind of things too. After being husband and wife for many years, they don’t remain as man and woman, but it is said that they eventually become friends. So close that they can open their heart to one another.
Indeed, they have been doing so together living under the same roof throughout these many episodes already, and they will continue to do so for each other as evident in Ruka’s convincing of Michiru to move back with them,
But the baby in you, is your baby. How you want to live, and with whom, you’re free to choose. But I want to live together with you. Even though I can’t become the baby’s father, I want to be by your side as someone you can rely on.
Ah, how much Ruka has grown! Her speech reminds me of Takeru’s own declaration of his devotion to Ruka in the park at the end of episode eight.
Overall, Last Friends has been a difficult show to watch. From the beginning, we are introduced to some of the most difficult subjects in our society today: domestic violence, homosexual phobia, incest. But the atmosphere of the last episode felt very different. Despite some on-the-edge moments with Michiru’s possible miscarriage and Ruka and Takeru’s motorcycle accident, there was a feeling of all will be well and that their special friendship together—last friends—will prevail.
Finally, I’ll close my Last Friends posts with Michiru’s last words,
Family, friends, husband and wife, lovers. We seem to be one of those, yet actually we are none of those. We’ll treasure this fragile happiness, and go as far as we can, and beyond. From now on and forever, let’s stay friends. If possible, without ever being apart; but if anything were to happen and we had to part, let us meet again someday, all with a face of laughter. My dear friends, you are my last friends.
Share House, with a new member