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Old 2010-03-07, 23:45   Link #2841
MeoTwister5
Komrades of Kitamura Kou
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Where I can learn to be lonely.
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Kobato, Cross Game, SoranoWoto and KnT are all ending in the same week.

Dammit.

Spring better have something to fill this huge void.
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Old 2010-03-07, 23:54   Link #2842
PeterI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Kobato, Cross Game, SoranoWoto and KnT are all ending in the same week.

Dammit.

Spring better have something to fill this huge void.
It will. Oofuri season 2 and Major Season 6 will start just before the final episode
of Cross Game. There will be plenty of baseball anime.
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Old 2010-03-08, 00:12   Link #2843
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A week without CG is tough... I can't imagine when it's finish.
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Old 2010-03-08, 00:21   Link #2844
Theowne
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What an episode. Senda/Kou and Kou/Aoba scenes were ace. Long live Cross Game.
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Old 2010-03-08, 00:38   Link #2845
DeX-kun
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Quote:
Aoba: "What about me?"

Kou: "Is a lie...alright?"
I've been left speechless. You guys have pretty much said what needed to be said about this episode so I can not expand on anything else. One thing I will say though, is that Kou deserves to be best male lead of the year after this series comes to a finale. Not only does he put the weight of the world on his shoulders but he's an extremely good liar

Senda, after waiting for so long, had his best moment of the series in the conversation he had with Kou. Let's just go back and look at their conversation again:

Quote:
Senda: Say... You like Tsukishima Aoba, don't you?

Kou: Yeah...(*Lengthy pause*) I like you too. Did you know? I'm super good at lying.

Senda: What's the farthest you can throw, if you get serious?

Kou: About 300 meters maybe.

Senda: I see. That actually sounded real coming from your mouth. Thanks.

Kou: For what?

Senda: I'm happy, even if it's a lie.
Senda has earned his spot in my mind as an important part of Kou and Aoba's supporting cast. I never doubted him for a second What most impresses me about this conversation is that this moment only increased the significance of Kou's response in the "form check" scene. This is the best episode of the series so far in my books. Now comes the last stretch and probably the most memorable moments of this magnificent series.
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Old 2010-03-08, 00:56   Link #2846
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeX-kun View Post
I've been left speechless. You guys have pretty much said what needed to be said about this episode so I can not expand on anything else. One thing I will say though, is that Kou deserves to be best male lead of the year after this series comes to a finale. Not only does he put the weight of the world on his shoulders but he's an extremely good liar
In case you haven't guessed from my Avatar (thanks, Pellisier) and sig, I'm kind of a Kou fan. I'm not so sure he doesn't deserve to be best male lead of, you know, ever. It's pretty rare for any character to come off as so genuinely GAR, compassionate, self-deprecating - i.e. too good to be true - and yet so real. It's because for all those admirable qualities, he's still deeply flawed. For all that he's an old soul with remarkable perceptiveness, he has the huge blind spot so common in the the young - the mirror. He takes responsibility for everyone around him and convinces himself that he can deal with all that and not worry about his own emotional needs - only he can't. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest sibling but I've really come to feel paternal towards him, or at the least fraternal - like he's the little brother I never had.

Denial is really a powerful theme running throughout this story - Kou's denial of his own feelings, Aoba of hers, among other denials. But while Aoba denies her love for Kou even to herself, I think it's been harder on Kou - because he's fully aware of his feelings for Aoba but chooses to silently bear them so as not to cause her hurt. He thinks he's being kind, but of course he isn't - and what has become obvious is that Kou hasn't been holding back out of respect for Waka's memory and what it would do to him if he surrendered to his feelings. He's been holding back for Aoba's sake - because he thinks she would see it as a betrayal of her sister, and perhaps because he truly can't be sure she feels about him as he does her. Aoba has certainly given him little evidence that she does - but I suspect he's had a pretty good idea, all along. He just didn't want to burden her with his feelings when she wasn't ready to accept them. In it's way, Akane's presence has been the catalyst to bring Aoba around - to force everyone to re-examine their feelings and how to act on them.
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Old 2010-03-08, 01:08   Link #2847
DeX-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
In case you haven't guessed from my Avatar (thanks, Pellisier) and sig, I'm kind of a Kou fan. I'm not so sure he doesn't deserve to be best male lead of, you know, ever. It's pretty rare for any character to come off as so genuinely GAR, compassionate, self-deprecating - i.e. too good to be true - and yet so real. It's because for all those admirable qualities, he's still deeply flawed. For all that he's an old soul with remarkable perceptiveness, he has the huge blind spot so common in the the young - the mirror. He takes responsibility for everyone around him and convinces himself that he can deal with all that and not worry about his own emotional needs - only he can't. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest sibling but I've really come to feel paternal towards him, or at the least fraternal - like he's the little brother I never had.

Denial is really a powerful theme running throughout this story - Kou's denial of his own feelings, Aoba of hers, among other denials. But while Aoba denies her love for Kou even to herself, I think it's been harder on Kou - because he's fully aware of his feelings for Aoba but chooses to silently bear them so as not to cause her hurt. He thinks he's being kind, but of course he isn't - and what has become obvious is that Kou hasn't been holding back out of respect for Waka's memory and what it would do to him if he surrendered to his feelings. He's been holding back for Aoba's sake - because he thinks she would see it as a betrayal of her sister, and perhaps because he truly can't be sure she feels about him as he does her. Aoba has certainly given him little evidence that she does - but I suspect he's had a pretty good idea, all along. He just didn't want to burden her with his feelings when she wasn't ready to accept them. In it's way, Akane's presence has been the catalyst to bring Aoba around - to force everyone to re-examine their feelings and how to act on them.
I think you've hit the nail right on the head which leads me to agree on all accounts. The reason that I believe Kou should be best male lead of the year (at the very least,) is not because of the qualities that make him out to be admirable but because of those exact flaws that you point out. These flaws not only create his personality but they make him such an endearing character. My initial post was going to claim how sorry I felt for him but at this point, it's obvious enough that I felt it would have been redundant.

My reason for holding him up so high as a male lead is because his flaws are believable, they're not flaws that make me angry which a lot of other male leads have usually done. Also at the same time, I don't blame him for taking the actions he has up until now because I probably would have done the same.
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Old 2010-03-08, 01:12   Link #2848
Guardian Enzo
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I will give Kou credit for knowing this about himself - he is a very good liar. Very, very good - spectacular, I might even say.
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Old 2010-03-08, 01:36   Link #2849
germanturkey
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i'm so happy. the uber significant grave visit, the form check, the conversation with Senda. all perfect.
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Old 2010-03-08, 02:37   Link #2850
MeoTwister5
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I put so much weight on that dialogue, if you can even call it that in a literal sense, between the two of them as Aoba pitches to him because this scene is perhaps the culmination of the entire "struggle" between the two of them, a struggle that isn't as much a creation of an plot by the author as it is a result of the fact that their own personalities and characters created it. If that sentence sounded vague, my point being that the entire conflict that almost festers between them isn't a result of greater circumstance beyond their control or as a arbitrary insertion by the author for the sake of having a conflict. Rather, it was created there in it's more primitive and childish form as a result of competition over Wakaba's time and presence.

When the catalyst of this sadly drowned in her childhood, the conflict took a more complex shape because the conflict evolved into something far more than arguing over a friend/sister. They themselves admitted to each other that the Wakaba promise isn't so much a issue as it was in the past, yet this lingers, and serves as a reminder that both of them in some ways hid the deeper conflict between them under Wakaba's death. Wakaba's death surely was the biggest event that changed their relationship, but they at times don't realize that it's just the tip of the iceberg because it's what was most evident; there is something further and more deeply complex then what they make evident, and they don't realize it. In some ways Wakaba's death comes off as an excuse when it has evolved beyond her death. It is no longer merely about her death but something more, something far greater than the past because it's eating them out in the present.

In short, they themselves created and prolonged this conflict/issue, and the entire Wakaba loyalty issue is merely just a mask for an even greater issue they have already started to truly dig into, after more than 40 episodes. They've scratched the surface a lot in the past, but this simple question from Aoba is the first almost cataclysmic breakthrough in their relationship.

A relationship that has admittedly stalled so many times in the past.

As Enzo has said it's very much tied to denial, and it is quite possible that Kou has now, or maybe earlier, realized that Wakaba's death isn't perhaps the central question in the issue between him and Aoba anymore. I probably wouldn't put it past him if at this point in time he already knows it by now that Wakaba's death is slightly moot (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible), but in a better way of saying a realization that the real problem wasn't in her death, but in her hopes and intentions. As someone tied to her death, he now gets to explore what she truly meant by her words and intentions for the relationship between him and Aoba before she died. And what did Wakaba meant in the rather cryptic ways she talks? It is for this reason that I thought that in the same was as probably Akane, I think that Wakaba realized that there is something far, far greater in the relationship potential between Kou and Aoba than either or them realize. Everyone else has realized it by now. Wakaba's confrontational comments to Aoba back then no longer sounded like threats but rather challenges, considering the very competitive spirit of Aoba.

Her death for me skewed the hopes Wakaba had for both of them. I fully believe Wakaba believed that she wasn't the one but Aoba who should be with Kou. Rather than give them the opportunity, her death splayed them apart and added guilt and denial to the mix. Guilt and denial are horribly strong emotional baggage to carry. Rather than have them hope for the future and life, it obviously bound them to the past and death. And it is only fairly recently that Kou finds clarity to no longer be tied to the past.

Which returns me to Aoba's "How about me?" question. It means leaps and bounds for her because this is the defining moment of Aoba's link to her past. By asking this question and, to an extent being honest, she is showing that she can break free of her bonds to the past, specifically Wakaba's death. While we can't really identify a solid scene for Kou that shows how he is able to start removing his chains, this is the first true liberating catharsis for Aoba.

Just in time as well, for victory for Koshien would demand that the key players involved finally be able to look forward without looking back. Now they can set their eyes purely on Koshien, and to victory.

Does Enzo's denial explanation of Kou's sense of denial of himself and his feelings work? In this sense is perfectly does. His denial is more of a relic now, due to the belief that he still has a burden to carry. It is very much possible he will rid himself of his denial once his objectives are met, and he admits that he only does because he has to, to somehow make things work. He wouldn't need it otherwise.

It's for this reason that on the exact moment of his/their triumph, when they can finally lose their baggage and be truly free of their chains to their shared past, they will FINALLY be truly honest with themselves and their feelings. I think that this moment when the truth finally sets him and Aoba free that it will be the shiny, defining and cathartic moment of the story, in all it's forms.
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Old 2010-03-08, 03:04   Link #2851
poko-kun
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No one wonder about Kou's answer, conversation between Aoba and Akane on the phone?
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Old 2010-03-08, 05:32   Link #2852
Shiroth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poko-kun View Post
No one wonder about Kou's answer, conversation between Aoba and Akane on the phone?
What's the point in wondering when i know it'll just make wanting to know all the more painful?
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Old 2010-03-08, 06:22   Link #2853
leongsh
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
I fully believe Wakaba believed that she wasn't the one but Aoba who should be with Kou.
For you to believe that is to ignore/forget (a) what happened in Episode 1 when Wakaba seeing a marriage at a nearby church on their 11th brithday believed that Kou and her were fated to eventually marry; and (b) the list which ends at engagement ring that she wanted from Kou on her 20th birthday.
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Old 2010-03-08, 06:34   Link #2854
MeoTwister5
Komrades of Kitamura Kou
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Age: 29
Oh I took those into account, along with my belief that things changed along the way and along their relationships. Just so happened that she didn't live long enough to see this change through, but to me she's given enough signals to suggest that her beliefs changed along the way.

I'll just say that I believe that Akane symbolically completed what Wakaba would have actually done for him and for Aoba if she were alive.
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Old 2010-03-08, 10:22   Link #2855
BetoJR
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Actually, that's a good point. Hm... gotta think on that.
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Old 2010-03-08, 11:10   Link #2856
Asleep
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What an episode! I feel bad for Azuma though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poko-kun View Post
No one wonder about Kou's answer, conversation between Aoba and Akane on the phone?
I was so angry that they didn't tell us! Yet only 3 more left. I am both happy and sad about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Her death for me skewed the hopes Wakaba had for both of them. I fully believe Wakaba believed that she wasn't the one but Aoba who should be with Kou. Rather than give them the opportunity, her death splayed them apart and added guilt and denial to the mix. Guilt and denial are horribly strong emotional baggage to carry. Rather than have them hope for the future and life, it obviously bound them to the past and death. And it is only fairly recently that Kou finds clarity to no longer be tied to the past.
I think so too. Why else would she ask her to not take Kou away from her? She obviously noticed how similar they were.
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Old 2010-03-08, 11:12   Link #2857
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poko-kun View Post
No one wonder about Kou's answer, conversation between Aoba and Akane on the phone?
I do, though I suspect I know the answer and while it's pure speculation and thus by definition can't be a spoiler, I'm going to keep it to myself (I'm that sure I'm right).

The more interesting part of that exchange, for me, was Aoba's text to Momiji. Anyone notice she called him "Kou" - not "Kitamura-senpai", etc? That's a real rarity for her, even when referring to him in the third person.

There's one other aspect of the whole Aoba/Kou dynamic that I find interesting, and that's the often-overlooked fact that he's a year older than she is. While he unreservedly thinks of her as his sensei in baseball terms, in the emotional side of their relationship I suspect this ties into his already strong tendency to try and take care of everyone around him. As her elder, I believe Kou sees it as his responsibility to do the emotional heavy lifting, and if there's pain to be borne - such as not acting on his feelings and thus to spare those of the other party - he's the one who should bear it. I've always felt, and never more so than now, that Kou was much farther along in understanding the dynamics of their relationship than Aoba. But if, by admitting his affections before she was ready to accept them, he would cause her pain he would never do so. Even if she never got to where he was. Kou would accept that pain and let Aoba move on with her life.
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Old 2010-03-08, 11:44   Link #2858
Theowne
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Quote:
The more interesting part of that exchange, for me, was Aoba's text to Momiji. Anyone notice she called him "Kou" - not "Kitamura-senpai", etc?
Didn't really strike me as important. She knows Kou far too well to call him "Kitamura-senpai". She only ever does so in a mocking tone after she has joined his school (and he actually became her senpai). And I guess "aitsu" doesn't translate well onto cellphone texts.

I'm not entirely convinced by the idea of Wakaba having been rooting for Aoba/Kou all along, as I think maybe the amount of time that has passed since we saw her (in episode terms) might be influencing us a little...but it's an interesting theory.
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Old 2010-03-08, 11:53   Link #2859
Guardian Enzo
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If you think back on it, how many times in the entire series has Aoba referred to Kou by that name - either directly or indirectly? I believe this may only be the second time.

I'm not so sure Waka-chan was shipping Kou and Aoba even when she was alive - interesting though that is to contemplate. What I do think is that she realized Aoba waa actually a better match, and thus saw the implied threat in their relationship - thus her "you can't have him" comment to Aoba. The part of that theory that I do agree with, which I mentioned earlier, is that Akane's presence represents a sort of implied blessing from Waka-chan.
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Old 2010-03-08, 13:02   Link #2860
Asleep
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
If you think back on it, how many times in the entire series has Aoba referred to Kou by that name - either directly or indirectly? I believe this may only be the second time.

I'm not so sure Waka-chan was shipping Kou and Aoba even when she was alive - interesting though that is to contemplate. What I do think is that she realized Aoba waa actually a better match, and thus saw the implied threat in their relationship - thus her "you can't have him" comment to Aoba. The part of that theory that I do agree with, which I mentioned earlier, is that Akane's presence represents a sort of implied blessing from Waka-chan.
Exactly. Wakaba was never rooting for Kou and Aoba. She just knew that they had a lot in common, and was worried Aoba might take him away from her. That line was said at a time when Aoba hated Kou, so she obviously saw something.
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