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Old 2006-04-01, 18:11   Link #21
evilshadow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCntry
So technically, they did meet up again, as it was insinuated at the end of the extended ending of KimiNozo
Extended ending? Please explain...I've only seen the old fansubs. Was this implied in the game, or was this in the DVD release?
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Old 2006-04-01, 18:19   Link #22
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Originally Posted by evilshadow
Extended ending? Please explain...I've only seen the old fansubs. Was this implied in the game, or was this in the DVD release?
DVD release
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Old 2006-04-01, 18:25   Link #23
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Oh, okay then.

I assume the extended ending is the Haruka hill scene, right?

Last edited by evilshadow; 2006-04-01 at 19:57.
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Old 2006-04-01, 21:46   Link #24
kokanaden
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I seriously do not fathom why Mitsuki is targeted over and over and over again, or why blame should be laid on one party or another in the first place. The "tragedy" that happened, could it have been prevented? Yes, if Mitsuki had decided to be a little lazier and not befriended Takayuki on behalf of Haruka at all. But that would not have been the hallmark of a good friend, wouldn't it?

In any case, I prefer to believe that the ending is NOT about love and letting go. Its about the ties of friendship, how the ties of friendship remain strong and tug at our hearts even though there might be trying times between you and your friends. I guess that is one very important message I've drawn, and maybe my friends have benefitted immensely from it?

Been quite out of touch with KGNE already, with me progressing on the real life Jap dramas like One Liter of Tears (highly recommended!). Of course, I'll always be there when I see Mitsuki being targeted. After all, I still have a soft spot for her.

P.S. Are there any 1/8 or geshapon type figurine for Mitsuki? Anyone who is aware do PM me... Thanks!
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*sounds suspiciously like Mitsuki Hayase again
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Old 2006-04-02, 02:31   Link #25
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Yeah, the extended ending is truly a treat.

As for why Mitsuki's targeted, it's easy, simple as that. When Haruka wasn't there (Not her fault), she 'took' him. In Takayuki's state, I really doubt he could just refuse her.

The tragedy was a result of various decisions made by several people.

A. What if Haruka chose a different meeting spot? What if she stood elsewhere in the same general area?
B. What if Takayuki wasn't helpful, what if he just went straight to the date?
C. What if Mitsuki didn't stop Takayuki to get a present?
D. We're never told the exact reason of the crash except that the car hit Haruka, so the driver could've done many things different (If he was drunk, what if he didn't drink; if he was on the phone, what if he paid more attention to the road, etc).

As for why certain reasons are usually discarded or not as major..

A. It's pure chance. Haruka couldn't have known, and it would not have made any difference in her mind to choose a different place.

B. Takayuki is seen as the guy who's just nice to everyone. It's hard to fault the nice guy, even though there are flaws associated with people like him. He bought the book for Haruka because she wanted it. He has a meal with Shinji cause they're friends. He buys the ring for Mitsuki because it's her birthday/she's a friend.

C. Mitsuki stops Takayuki just as he's about to go. Obviously, he has a place where he needs to be, whether he's early, on time, or late doesn't matter. It may be her birthday, but she doesn't need to stop a friend in a hurry to get something. It can wait, especially if said friend is in a hurry. Selfish, yup. Being selfish is wrong, but nobody can't be selfish. Above that, she's trying to repress her feelings for Takayuki, a futile but valiant effort. Though she isn't the only interuption, she is the last in the chain. Since we can't turn back the clock and eliminate the other interuptions, her decision to stop Takayuki for a moment becomes more prominent than it should be.

D. The driver is hard to hate because he isn't even in the story. He's the direct cause, but his absence makes it hard to target him, especially when there's so many other candidates. Heck, if he just lost control for no reason, then there's no reason to blame him. He's simply a victim of what is truly an accident.

When Mitsuki has confesses and does the deed, it's easy to point fingers. She was in the wrong for doing that, but if you look at her situation, it would've hurt her even more not to. While it's great to look out for other people, in the end, you are number one. If you can't take care of yourself, it really makes it harder to take care of others. She repressed her feelings, blamed herself for the accident, and now has to take care of a depressed Takayuki who simply is't recovering. Even worse, when she takes him to the aquarium for some fun, his journey outside ultimately results in him seeing the poster and later trying to take Haruka out. How did that end? He was banned from seeing Haruka, and in an even worse state than before. It's not Mitsuki's fault that he saw the poster, but she feels guilty because she decided to take him outside.

People will blame themselves for things they had no control over. KGNE is full of such situations. Mitsuki is especially a victim of this. She tries as hard as she can to bring Takayuki out of his depression (For Haruka's sake and her own), and it just makes him more depressed than before. Of the four friends, she's had to bear the most burden. Haruka is in a coma, Shinji really isn't at fault, so any guilt he feels simply won't be as strong because he only cause a single interuption, nothing more. Mitsuki, well, I already listed the burden she's had to bear, and her attempt to help had the opposite effect. If she didn't crack, she's a commendable and pitiable person. No one should have so many burdens.

A lot of the Mitsuki-targeting also comes from the whole "Haruka saw him first" way of thinking. Everyone has their own definiation of the value of a person's love. How can someone's love be ranked higher than another's? Should it be the first person, should it be the most intense, should it be mutual love? It's endless. If Mitsuki had realized her feelings and decided to not repress it, there'd still be people targeting her on the basis of "Haruka saw him first". When Haruka confessed to Takayuki, he didn't feel the same about her. She burdened Takayuki with her feelings, a selfish act, and although he came to feel the same way about her, the decision at the moment was selfish.

So, what's my point? It's that some people point fingers at Mitsuki about being selfish. She was reasonably selfish. She had feelings for Takayuki, had many burdens, helped her friend as best she could until she couldn't take it anymore. Haruka's confession was a reasonably selfish act. She liked him, wanted to start something, etc. A reasonably selfish act, though still wrong, is expected because we are all humans (Hopefully), and we have our limits. It's when someone is needlessly selfish that it is really bad. I can't think of a single person in KGNE who was needlessly selfish.

And in the end, there's always Haruka fanboys, though that's something impossible to stop since there'll always be lovable characters.
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Old 2006-04-02, 04:05   Link #26
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Originally Posted by Perishthethought
Watch right at the very end before we get the 'white-out'. It's Haruka on the hill. She's waiting for something. Then, she turns around, somewhat suprised, from the camera approaching her from behind. Her face is one of suprise, but then recognition, and then finally a huge smile. Now, bear with me. The impression I got from this was that she had gone up to the tree, on the first day of spring, to rendezvous with her friends, whom having read the book, would know where to go and at what time.

Not having seen the extended ending, I'm just going by what you've said. I agree and I'm inclined to say that's how it did end, judging by this picture:

Spoiler for An image from the game:

The only inconsistency is the ring being on the wrong girl's hand...
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Old 2006-04-02, 04:19   Link #27
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Originally Posted by evilshadow

Spoiler for An image from the game:

The only inconsistency is the ring being on the wrong girl's hand...
That's the right girl's hand in the mind of God
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Old 2006-04-02, 04:21   Link #28
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(delete this post. Double post, sorry)
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Old 2006-04-02, 04:23   Link #29
evilshadow
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That's the right girl's hand in the mind of God
Haha, I knew the Haruka fans would swerve that one. Let's not turn this into a Mitsuki trashing topic, now...
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Old 2006-04-02, 04:26   Link #30
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I couldn't resist

Haruka/Akane FTW
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Old 2006-04-02, 17:26   Link #31
Selic
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Originally Posted by evilshadow
Not having seen the extended ending, I'm just going by what you've said. I agree and I'm inclined to say that's how it did end, judging by this picture:

Spoiler for An image from the game:

The only inconsistency is the ring being on the wrong girl's hand...
That picture is from a Haruka ending.
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Old 2006-04-02, 18:18   Link #32
evilshadow
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Originally Posted by Selic
That picture is from a Haruka ending.
Yeah, I know. Takayuki gets Haruka in that game path. But the original topic creator implies that they retake the picture in the future, which is why I posted that picture.

Then again, the KgME anime does include some resemblance to both Mitsuki's and Haruka's game path.

Last edited by evilshadow; 2006-04-02 at 20:14.
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Old 2006-04-03, 00:22   Link #33
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The anime takes heavily from all paths, including one of Akane's, but ultimately follows Mitsuki's good ending.

What happened at the end of the extended scene in the anime is actually for all intents and purposes new to the story, as it didn't actually happen in the game.
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Old 2006-04-03, 02:14   Link #34
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When you look at the game's ending for Mitsuki's path, and you look at precisely what wasn't shown, you begin to realise that the door really is left open for another difficult scenario of choosing. Ask yourself this question;

Why are we not shown that they have now have kids? Why was this taken out of the game's ending where Takayuki ends up with Mitsuki? Why are we not shown her reading the book to her kids?

Simple enough, but it is enough to absolve Takayuki of the ultimate excuse to stay with Mitsuki if they all did meet again. I don't hate Mitsuki, nor do I think Takayuki should stay with Haruka truth be told, I think they have as much claim to him as each other. The interesting thing is that there are a number of serious contradictions between what Haruka says and her final beach scene, and then the very ending scene.

Firstly, the night before they leave each other. She is laying in bed, hitting the hell out of her non-moving legs, saying to herself 'How can I tell you I want you by my side like this?!' - in effect, should WANTS Takayuki by her side the night before she lets him go. Not only that, she wants to get better to absolve him of the obligation side of their relationship so he can make a decision on who he should be with without feeling any guilt or remorse over Haruka's condition. Consider how they are getting on up until that point - the 3 years makes no difference to their love of one another (even if it is based upon the false pretense that 3 years have not passed). It IS as though time has stood still and Takayuki knows it. He falls for Haruka again and she has absolutely NO qualms about his behaviour, and even wants him to stay and tell her about the 3 years on the implied condition that he isn't with another girl.

When they're at the beach, her behaviour with him is consistent to that of her wanting to be with him from then on UNTIL he actually tells her 'I like Mitsuki'. She does a number of things - after Takayuki formally apologises for the 'affair' (inflammatory language, but think of it in Haruka's perspective), she gets out of the chair and makes the move for the beach. In doing so, she is saying to him 'You don't HAVE to stay with me, I'll be alright'. That is vastly different to 'I don't love you'. It is when he collects her on the beach that things really start to change between them. She goes to kiss him, but he is completely unresponsive for the first time. For Takayuki, there is no response, no passion there. Look at his face - he's not kissing back. She certainly is. She's going for broke at that point. In realising that Takayuki actually WANTS Mitsuki from now on (or has decided he wants her), Haruka knows then that she can't be around them any more. "I thought we'd be friends no matter what happened - I realise now that was overdoing it". She can't be around Mitsuki (because of her percieved betrayal) and she can't be around Takayuki (because of her love for him). It would be a bad idea because the more Taka is with Haruka the more he'll end up falling for her again, and so she with him.

Everyone credits Haruka with letting Taka get on with his life, but it is actually Taka who makes the decision and actually Taka who makes the effort to tell Haruka (as he damn well should have done beforehand - only being worried about upsetting her). The story about saying farewell is the logical extension of a process Taka has begun by saying he wants to find Mitsuki and "heal her wounds" (wounds he knows he has, in part, caused) no matter how long it takes. This is interesting because he never says he loves her or wants to be with her, he only says that he wants to 'help' her. He does tell her he loves her when they meet face to face, but that seems more for her benefit and he's in full-on convincing mode then. It seems Taka goes wherever he sees greatest obligation - and now it's with Mitsuki, which is NOT the same as not loving Haruka, but instead a recognition on his part that Mitsuki needs him and he has to go to her. He had that decided BEFORE she got out of the chair. Her getting out of the chair did her absolutely no good because it was another nail in the coffin of him staying behind with her. Nevertheless, even if she had stayed in the chair I don't think that would have made much difference.

They do formally say goodbye, crucially Taka first, because they simply CAN'T be around each other. They DO both love each other at that point. Haruka's excuses that he is not the man of 3 years ago are true to the extent that he now has Mitsuki in his life but it does not mean his fundamental character has changed to a great extent, and certainly not enough to stop them from getting on like a house on fire up until this point. They are to absolve him of any guilt and make their separation easier. This is her kindness, her selflessness, in giving him up because it's trying to say 'Well, I don't love you anymore', something which is plainly not true. Do not forget that the very night before she wants to be with him. The revelation that he is going to go after Mitsuki is what means their relationship cannot go on. While Taka, for now, has chosen based PURELY on his obligation to her ("She was there for me, and if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here now"). In response, Haruka cannot be near him, cannot see him or Mitsuki, and cannot stand the pain of being in their presence purely because of the fact she loves Taka too much. Taka can say goodbye now, because he's stronger and has made a decision. Look at how the goodbye is choreographed - Haruka is looking at Taka as he walks away (he, of course, doesn't). This is certainly not a demonstration of resolve on Haruka's part... it demonstrates longing. She's given him up and she's not happy about it. Neither is he, but at least he has something he has to go and do and that's find Mitsuki and "heal her wounds". Haruka, now, has nothing, and like what Mitsuki said beforehand, she's lost it all (at least in terms of her friends/lover).

Just look at this scene and what it is trying to say - they simply CANNOT be friends because of their love for each other. Haruka CANNOT be 'just friends' with Taka (at the time, at least). That much is a given. However, it does not say she does not love him anymore. Being together and being in love are two different things, and their separation is a symptom of this. It is interesting to note that Taka NEVER has two women on the boil at once. The minute he falls for Haruka again, he cannot answer and reassure Mitsuki that he is not going to end up with her - so Mitsuki leaves. Taka does not stay with Mitsuki under a false pretense, and he does not talk to her again until after she has been Shinji'd and he ends up ill. Mitsuki will not wait around while Taka is chasing Haruka - she gets the hell out (and seriously buggers up her life for a bit in the process, but then at least finds some of what she thinks is resolve). After she thinks she has lost Taka, she just wanders around jobless and, on a sentimental whim, goes up to the hill. It is there where Taka intercepts her.

That Haruka is demonstrated as being a loner in Akane Maniax, and wanting the friends again, gives creedence to the idea that she has not got on with her life, at least at the point in which Akane Maniax is set. I think we can conclusively say that she is cut up about the friends being ripped apart, but only because of her love for Taka meaning they cannot be together. She at least recognises the necessity for them to be apart because if they were together, Taka would end up being torn between her and Mitsuki, and not only that, Mitsuki is with Taka now.

This is a completely stark contrast between the '3 years later' ending. Haruka is now broaching the subject of reunion. What has changed in 3 years? Has she got 'over' Taka? How could she be over Taka if she wants the friends together again? Why has she not moved on and found some new ones? What was so special about that group of friends? It seems everybody else has gotten on with their lives except for her. With Mitsuki and Taka moving out and onwards to a new life together, and Shinji getting close to Miki, Haruka is the only one wishing to go back to the past. And it IS a longing for the past, in that she wants the friends together like 'old times' ('napping under the tree'). She may not realise it after three years, she might just be a naive idiot, but if she meets up with Taka again... Bad things will happen. They left each other while still in love. Haruka recognised that she could never be with him, as a friend, while that love existed. Does that mean, in meeting up, the love between them has perished? I don't think so. There is nothing to demonstrate that she does not love him apart from the passing of time (another 3 years, funnily enough), and as we saw with Haruka's accident and Shinji's crush on Mitsuki, this is no barrier to their affection.

Here's a question - does Taka actually love either of the women? What is love for Taka? He ALWAYS seems to go to where he feels greatest obligation - without fail, it is his 'niceness' that makes him end up being with his chosen (for the moment) woman. He experienced inordinate amounts of guilt - Haruka burdens him with her love for him, and he feels obliged to be with her. Mitsuki does the same much later down the line. Does this, however, mean he loves them? I think how Taka feels love is in that he can 'do' something for his woman. In that, he can provide them with something, "heal wounds" as he says. He'd much rather reciprocate love than give it, if that makes any sense. I think that's what Taka derives from a relationship, which is ironic because he takes so much on the practical side of things (he's a lazy dreamer who never lifts a finger around the home). He's not very spontaneous either and has to be forced into actions via a mixture of guilt and obligation. This is his character flaw, yet it is also coincidently why both women ended up falling for him. Taka sees relationships as 100% of what they want, 0% of what he 'wants'. Gouda, from Akane Maniax, on the other hand sees relationships as 100% of what he wants and he doesn't care what they want. The point of both series is that it should be somewhere in the middle. Takayuki couldn't make a decision, Gouda makes them arbitrarily. Gouda is a deluded idiot, Taka an ineffective realist. Neither is necessarily better than the other, and both have sympathetic qualities. You like Gouda for his drive and passion, and you like Taka for his compassion.
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Old 2006-04-03, 11:37   Link #35
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Here's a question - does Taka actually love either of the women? What is love for Taka? He ALWAYS seems to go to where he feels greatest obligation - without fail, it is his 'niceness' that makes him end up being with his chosen (for the moment) woman.
Much has been made about the distinction between love and obligation. My question -- in reality can you really make such a distinction? Since when does true love imply no obligations?

In the Christian vows exchanged between a bride and groom, the wife is instructed to obey her husband for he is the head of the house, as surely as Christ is the head of Church. In return, the husband is instructed to love his wife as though she were his own body.

Obligations a plenty! But does that mean there is no love here? Mmm....maybe so, for some marriages of convenience, but I believe that most of the weddings I've attended are truly happy ones

So you see, I don't see how it's wrong that it is a sense of obligation that finally makes Takayuki realise how much he owes Mitsuki. Obligation or love? Frankly, I don't see much difference. The real difference that matters is that the sense of obligation finally forces him to make his first decisive decision in life (I mean, seriously, the man is one screwed up case of a wishy-washy guy. How can anyone be that nice in real life? lol). He chooses, finally, to commit to Mitsuki (yay! lol, as you can probably tell by now, I'm a fan of the blue-haired girl).

And guys, true love requires commitment.

Now, the beauty of KGNE is that it is truly open for interepretation in whichever way you want -- there is sufficient evidence to prove everybody's favoured perspective. Personally, from how I remember interpreting it, I've always felt that Takayuki had feelings for Mitsuki way before Haruka. It was "obvious" to me in the way the two of them seemed to naturally get along from Ep. 1. It became even more obvious when he refused to admit to the real reason why he wasn't motivated enough to ask Haruka out for the "planned" movie date -- he was carrying the torch for Mitsuki, but didn't want to admit it because he wasn't sure of her feelings for him.

If Haruka liking Takayuki first gives her priority over Mitsuki, then couldn't I also argue the same case, from Takayuki's perspective? He had liked Mitsuki first, so why should Haruka get him before Mitsuki?

Fast forward to the few days immediately after Mitsuki breaks their relationship. Notice how Takayuki involuntarily remembers the little moments of their time together? Absence makes the heart grow fonder -- it took Mitsuki's decisive departure for Takayuki to realise how much he has taken her for granted. My intepretation -- it was during those few days that Takayuki gradually realised that he did in fact love Mitsuki.

Quote:
...This is interesting because he never says he loves her or wants to be with her, he only says that he wants to 'help' her. He does tell her he loves her when they meet face to face, but that seems more for her benefit and he's in full-on convincing mode then.
Hmm...when it comes to relationships, I, for one, believe that actions speak a lot louder than words. I'm not sure to what extent it really is the case in Japanese culture, but I'm certainly given the impression from all the J-Drama I ever had the fortune/misfortune to watch that, the words "I love you", or even "I like you" is seldom bandied about as often as it is in Western culture.

Which personally, is how I feel that it ought to be. When words like "I love you" are bandied about so casually, it does cheapen their meaning doesn't it?

In this particular scene, however, Takayuki says it clearly, that he loves Mitsuki, and in no uncertain terms. The fact that he has searched high and low for her, the fact he has finally left Haruka behind, is in my mind, the actions that further reinforce his statement -- he really means it. I suppose, if you choose to intepret it as being said for Mitsuki's benefit ("I owe it to her, so I must tell her that to heal her wounds"), I can't really dissuade you from it, lol. All I can say is, Occam's Razor -- one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.
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Old 2006-04-04, 08:54   Link #36
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Good points. However - Takayuki has shown that no matter what the personal cost to him, no matter how painful the action that he has to go through with, through a sense of obligation he can end up pulling out all the stops. His sense of obligation to Haruka after she burdened him with her feelings and his damning 'I don't know...' on the phone led him to tell her 'I love you!'... When he quite clearly didn't and just wanted to make her happy. Through his sense of obligation, he ends up doing some of the most ridiculous things imaginable...

When he doesn't feel that obligation, he just doesn't care. He doesn't care about Mitsuki when as far as he is concerned 'she'll be ok'. Consider the period in which he is falling for Haruka and Mitsuki is living essentially estranged from him. They may sleep in the same flat, but they do not communicate at all. He DOES make an effort to make conversation with her on the first few nights after visiting Haruka as he can quite clearly see she's upset by his absence and could do with some reassuring, but as soon as he ends up coming home late and the communication breaks down, he's in no hurry to try and repair it.

The most damning example of this is in Taka's entrustment of Mitsuki to Shinji. Shinji is perfectly right in knocking seven bells out of Taka in this instance because he demonstrates such little care for Mitsuki, such absolute apathy towards her feelings, that he is being incredibly callous with her. Shinji KNOWS that Mitsuki wants to be with Taka. He knows her heart aches for him. He knows that he was rejected on the grounds that he wasn't Taka. When he sees Taka laughing and joking with his workmates, and when he sees that (it looks like) Taka doesn't care about Mitsuki, he's angered by it - because he has great affection for Mitsuki. HOWEVER! As far as Taka is concerned, Mitsuki doesn't need him. He thinks that Mitsuki would be as happy with Shinji as she would be with him. He doesn't care who she ends up with at this point because Taka doesn't see himself as any way special to Mitsuki, at least in the same way that (at the time, and possibly in the future) Haruka does. This is not true, of course, but it is not how Taka sees it. It is only when he is made aware of how much Mitsuki feels for him, and not only that, how Mitsuki's life is steadily going further and further off the rails (because, in part, of him) that he has to go and find her.

The words 'I love you' come quite easily to Taka, suprisingly enough. When he feels suitable obligation, and when he feels like he is supposed to say it in a romantic scenario, it comes out. It seems more like an involuntary response than anything said with the depth of feeling that such a statement should carry. He DOES fall for the women to the extent that he wants to make them happy and they make him happy, but he does not love them to the extent that he wants to be with one and only one. The fact that he can't choose one over the other outside of his obligation to one of them is testament to this. Love and obligation are not the same thing. Marriage is a consumation of the attitutudes expressed up to that point in a relationship and a declaration of the love of the two involved. It is not a contract that is entered into upon the grounds that breaking of it on either party will result in penalty. Maybe in years gone by, but not today. While undoubtedly people marry OUT of a sense of obligation (such as pregnancy and a need to declare commitment), the marriage itself does not provide such commitment - it is like the symptom of a disorder - it is an indication, not the cause. Love, and obligation, are separate. Just as love and marriage are separate (although you're quite right in suggesting that they shouldn't be). The words 'I love you', just like a marriage, do not necessarily MEAN 'I love you'. Sad, but true.

This is why I think it does not necessarily matter that Taka ends up with Haruka or Mitsuki. I think Taka is suitably the victim in all of this because he is inevitably too nice and it is his niceness that leads him to get into all kinds of scrapes. I think if the circumstances dictated it, Taka could end up being romantically entwined with a third woman (indeed, the game provides such provision, but the game is NOT the anime). The logistics of this are difficult to imagine (how would he find the time?!) but outside of that I think it is perfectly possible. He wouldn't WANT to get involved, but I do think that his other two relationships have had extranneous circumstances that virtually sealed his romantic engagement with the other two (obligation to Haruka and her feelings, Mitsuki throwing herself at him). Problem with Taka - he doesn't know when to say no/stop.

I think you are correct in saying that Taka carries a torch for Mitsuki early on - in fact, it's blatantly obvious. He DOES feel a sense of attraction to her and he DOES want to make her happy. Is that love? I think this is the closest the anime ever gets to genuine affection and a genuine two-sided exchange of affection. In fact, Taka is deliberately taking it slow with Haruka because he still feels something for Mitsuki ('You don't understand...') but that soon passes and with Haruka he forgets it - although he still is too overly nice to Mitsuki (although not especially so considering his normal limits). The stopping to buy the ring, the listening to her after the numerous silent phone calls... All out of concern for her and a still-lingering sense of affection but nothing compared to what he has with Haruka. The original breaking point between Mitsuki and Taka I'd say is after the festival date with all four of them. From that point onwards, Taka is Haruka's man and is nice to Mitsuki because the situation and his compassion dictates it. I don't think he does it out of love for her - and I don't think he would ever act upon that if he was with Haruka under comparatively normal circumstances. Again, he's too nice for that. Plus, of course, he doesn't touch her because Shinji obviously wants her.

True love, you're right, positively REQUIRES commitment. Absolutely true. However, that commitment should be out of love and not obligation. Takayuki is completely unable to commit to one woman. Seriously, he cannot bring himself to do it. What does that tell you? He cannot be in love with them. He loves to help - we see that all the way through the anime. How can one man wash the floor so often and without prompting? We also hear how he can't say no to extra shifts at the restaraunt. He obviously doesn't want too many shifts as he says to Mitsuki 'I don't want to answer it, they'll give me extra shifts' when the phone rings, but it is his inability to say no to people's faces that ruins him. This inability, coupled with his penchant for being too nice... Equals lots of broken hearts. Is he committed to Mitsuki? When the original timeline of the anime ends, yes he is. Will he be committed in the 'three years time when they meet up again' situation? Who knows. He is still with her. But without kids... And if Haruka wants him enough... I reckon he'd go running back (or dragged back, rather).

But you're right, I am convinced of this. And you're equally right that I am resistant to being told otherwise, because there is so much room for doubt. The anime is spectacularly good at making sure that we are never sure which way Taka will go. We're never sure because we're never sure of the circumstances that will MAKE him go in one direction. He doesn't move - the circumstances make him move. It is Mitsuki's utter-derailment and Shinji conveying that de-railment to him that make Taka move. Haruka's beach run also makes him move towards Mitsuki (although he was going that way anyway). If anything, I would be happy with Taka ending up with neither of them because both women, although through circumstances outside of their control, completely mess him up. The sad part of such a scenario is that both women inevitably end up distraught (and in the case of Mitsuki, going completely off the wall), and as a result, Taka feels he needs to be with at least one of them. Do you think Haruka could end up with a man aside from Taka? Do you think Mitsuki could ever end up with somebody other than Taka? Mitsuki... no. Haruka... perhaps, although we never find out and her loner status in Akane Maniax and her eagerness to get the friends together again would indicate a 'no', as she hasn't moved on.

Does Taka NEED Mitsuki? That is the statement that ends up convincing her (along with 'I love you', but I wouldn't take that too seriously). Mitsuki falls into Taka's arms following this exchange. She tells him she doesn't need him anymore. Taka tells her he needs her. DOES he need her? I don't think he does. She was intrumental in getting him out of his depression (in fact, when he says 'It's because she was there that I'm here now' to Haruka I thought he meant he was going to end his own life in his depression, although that's very highly speculative), but I think he can survive without her now. He certainly doesn't need her to move in with him without being forced into it. He later claims this is beause he was holding onto (the memory of) Haruka but I don't think so. I think he just wanted to coast along, as he would have done at school without Haruka forcing him to study, and he would have coasted along in his job (why did he spend so long deciding over the promotion?) doing sweet FA. He needs one of the women to make him get off his lazy arse and advance himself (career, love life, sense of fulfillment) but he doesn't need them for anything else. He needs Mitsuki to the extent that she'll make him his meals, service him sexually (although this doesn't seem to matter much to Taka!) and make him move out and onwards in life - plus she essentially threw her life away to be with him. He needs Haruka to the extent that she needs him in her hour of need and because she's obsessed with him. Just look at how Haruka behaves towards Taka when she's courting him - knows his favourite food, where he likes to go, where he'll be at certain times, getting a friend to get close so she can move in for the kill... It's postively entrapment!

Christ, another long post. Why do I end up doing these? I want to discuss one specific point and I inevitably end up bringing in a lot of other things and the discussion will go off on another tangent, so I apologise for that. I think it's because there are so many inter-related aspects of the story in this anime and the knock-on effect of one situation dictates a lot of other facets, such as attitudes towards characters and making sense of the timeline.
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Old 2006-04-04, 13:54   Link #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perishthethought
Haruka... perhaps, although we never find out and her loner status in Akane Maniax and her eagerness to get the friends together again would indicate a 'no', as she hasn't moved on.
The way I saw that situation, it mirrored Takayuki's scenario when he refused to move on after Haruka's accident. He lost his sense of direction in life, because he believed that his future would involve Haruka and himself going to the same university. He began to isolate himself and turned into a recluse because he didn't know what to do without her. It took an aggressor, in this case, Mitsuki, to get him to reluctantly move on with his life.

In Haruka's case, of course it would be hard to move on. Mentally, she's still the same naive girl that everyone knew three years ago. She's isolating herself in the past because because of the realization that everyone she had known moved on with their lives while she she was stuck recovering. Although she has let go of the Takayuki of the present, she still misses the boy she knew three years ago.

However, unlike the weak-willed Takayuki, it's shown that Haruka does move on by herself since she eventually follows her dream of becoming a children's author. That implies that she eventually went onto the university and studied Child Psychology like she had originally hoped to.

IMO, the only reason she still wants a reunion is because she wants closure to the life she lost three years ago.
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Old 2006-04-04, 14:33   Link #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilshadow
The way I saw that situation, it mirrored Takayuki's scenario when he refused to move on after Haruka's accident. He lost his sense of direction in life, because he believed that his future would involve Haruka and himself going to the same university. He began to isolate himself and turned into a recluse because he didn't know what to do without her. It took an aggressor, in this case, Mitsuki, to get him to reluctantly move on with his life.

In Haruka's case, of course it would be hard to move on. Mentally, she's still the same naive girl that everyone knew three years ago. She's isolating herself in the past because because of the realization that everyone she had known moved on with their lives while she she was stuck recovering. Although she has let go of the Takayuki of the present, she still misses the boy she knew three years ago.

However, unlike the weak-willed Takayuki, it's shown that Haruka does move on by herself since she eventually follows her dream of becoming a children's author. That implies that she eventually went onto the university and studied Child Psychology like she had originally hoped to.

IMO, the only reason she still wants a reunion is because she wants closure to the life she lost three years ago.
Otoh she could also have just finish playing "School Days" and want to do a re-enactment of it
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Old 2006-04-05, 03:49   Link #39
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Ultmatly does it really matter if he "loves" either woman? I mean so long as he and his partner in the end are happy what difference does it make? This is a Japanese anime after all, and unlike the west many people in the Eastern countries such as China and Japan does not marry out of love, some are pre arranged marriages determeined often times before you were even born, some marry out of obligations. The point is, such marriages does not always end badly just as not all marriages out of love always ends with happly ever after. So long as Taka and Mitsuki are happy as they appears to be it doesn't really matter why they go together.

Now, Taka however did say he loves Mitsuki sometimes you just have to take their word for it. We are not always the best judge of our own character, however I would like to think that I know my own feelings better then the guy sitting next to me in class do. His NEED for her is pretty much proven through out the show, the only reason he resembles a decent human being in the anime was because Mitsuki helped him out on her own expense. I was a semi pro badminton player and I can tell you its not easy to give up the sport you love. If Taka doesn't do anything for Mitsuki ( he didn't through out most of the anime) he would be guility of one of the worst sins in confucianism that still governs most of Asian contries conducts today, (espically Japan and China) ingratitude. And most I think would agree that he owes Mitsuki more then he does Haruka, yes she got ran over by a car but that was an accident he could not have forseen it and he may or may not have been able to prevent it even if he got there on time. They might both be in a comma instead of just her. Now weither this was his reason for chosing Mistuki in the end or not I personally don't think so, but we'll never know, however so long as those two are happy and at least in the game they are, then the rest is irrelevant after all happinese is the intrinsic good that we all strive for. (No one strives to be miserable, at least no sane person)
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Old 2006-04-05, 05:40   Link #40
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Is Takayuki happy though? I don't think such claims over confuscianism are particularly valid anymore - there's only so much you can veil in a cultural standpoint to rationalise some of Taka's actions. Taka, it seems, is as happy coasting along as he is in being forced into something. Look at him while he is in school - he's the epitome of laziness, a real coaster. He wasn't even going to study to get into university if it wasn't for Haruka - it was precisely because Haruka was harping on at him to study, for his own good and so they could go to the same Uni (and 'commute together') that he began to. Shinji is especially suprised by this. Up until that point, Taka was content to have a completely different future, one in which University wasn't even going to play a part. Because Haruka tells him to, he does it. He's utterly fine with carrying on as normal, maintaining the status quo, not advancing himself. By the end of the anime, he has been moulded to the shape Mitsuki wants of him - moving out, getting a new job, living with her. Is that for his own good? Even if he gets relatively little out of it?

At the end of the day, what does Taka really owe Mitsuki? Granted, she threw everything away to be with him, but that was entirely of her own doing and when she saw it was having virtually no effect she threw herself at him out of desperation. Should we be made to obligate ourselves to someone just because of the lengths they go to please us? Even when we ourselves have absolute no part in that process? Just as it is not Taka's fault that Haruka ended up in a coma, it is not his fault that Mitsuki goes to such lengths to take care of him. You don't HAVE to do anything for these people, gratitude or no gratitude. Taka is certainly unaffected by any such concerns until it is pointed out how much Mitsuki is suffering for him - and he goes to her not out of gratitude for all she has done for him (although he does recognise this) - he goes to her because she is suffering and he can 'heal' that. The obligation he feels towards Mitsuki is more out of recognition of the fact that he has directly caused suffering and can attend to it, something he doesn't realise until the very end. Throughout the anime, Taka never displays any 'gratitiude', nor does it ever figure as a reason for his actions. All of what he does, he does out a mixture of an inability to say no to people and his overwhelming kindness (or a desire to see people happy).

Taka is happy when he's pleasing people, I think we see that repeatedly and in a large enough amount of different scenarios to establish that. I don't think that equates to love. Yes, he can please someone in a relationship, make them happy, but this is no barrier to him making other peoples happy. A condition of loving someone is that you are willing to provide utter commitment to them, because you love them to such an extent that loving somebody else seems an alien concept - Taka cannot do that. Like I said, if somebody else comes along in a similar predicament to Haruka, then somehow Taka probably would get entwined in another romantic catastrophe. It is his inability to demonstrate one overwhelming desire for one woman over the other (outside of his obligation) that demonstrates the lack of love. He probably 'thinks' he loves Mitsuki. He also probably 'thinks' he loves Haruka. In reality, the only thing he loves is making them happy, as he does with any other person, it's just that they both require in him similar capacities.

Now, what of Haruka? Has anybody, over a highschool crush, followed them, tracked their movements, found out all kinds of personal details about them, and told them they 'love them' after saying very little to them in the first instance? Haruka's 'love' for Taka is very close to infatuation. In fact, it is dangerously close to obsession. She HAS to have him. Not only that, when Taka behaves in such a way as to not conform with her expectations of him, she doesn't like it. She berates him about studying. Witness her hilariously disproportionate temper in the hospital when her world starts to fall apart - that lashing out is like a woman we haven't seen up to that point. Granted, anybody is entitled to some serious mental instability if they begin to realise that they have been in a coma for a number of years, but her temper really comes to the fore in that instance - "Don't play it down!" and "I hate this Taka!" and so on...

I find it interesting, and probably correct, to say that Haruka just wants closure from the 4 friends. I don't however think that the manner in which they left each other was somehow inadequate or left room for doubt over everybody's feelings for one another. Granted, Haruka could do with forgiving Mitsuki at some point (although whether she really means this or not is another story), but aside from that they parted on the same terms on which they should still be operating - Taka and Haruka should not be together, Mitsuki is with Taka, and Haruka says herself that she cannot see herself being friends with the two of them if she is not with Taka. This is not petulance (although it sounds like it), I don't think. It's just that she loves Taka to the extent that she cannot bear to see him with somebody else - much as Mitsuki exfils as soon as she thinks Taka might not be fully committed to her. Both women DO love Taka because they cannot envisage themselves with anybody other than Taka. Taka, however, doesn't. If Haruka has actually managed to broaden her social sphere and perhaps find some affection in the arms of another man, then maybe I'd credit her with the ability to move on. Years at an educational institution and a book writing credit do seem to provide some semblance of proof for this. You can't really go through Uni without forming at least some bonds, of the opposite sex or otherwise. But even so, the door is wide open and without finding out some of the conditions in which Haruka is now operating or her experiences in those 3 years, we'll just never know.
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