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Old 2012-07-22, 03:34   Link #107
Pleased to Meet You
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Philippines
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I've been away for the last few days, so a bit late to the party on this episode.

From my perspective, I really liked the first half of this episode a lot. I think Haru's descent into despair was really well portrayed, and the emotions on display felt very real for me. Haru's self-esteem issues displayed early in the show have never actually healed, and that's why this sort of episode was so necessary to develop his character. The way he lashed out irrationally at Taku is just what happens when you're in that twisted state of mind. It's not exactly fun to see him in that state, but I think it's important and necessary. It wasn't for exactly the same reasons, but I've been where Haru is, and I know what that looks like. When he recovers from this setback, he'll be a much stronger person than he was before.

As for Ash Roller... I thought the transition here was a bit awkward, but it did speak something of the sense of camaraderie that can develop between people play the game, even if they're competitors. At the end of the day, they give it their all in the fight, but most of them could still be friends. I think this angle hasn't been shown too much to this point in the show, so I think it's valuable.

This may seem like a stupid and obvious statement, but it wasn't until Sky Raker called Haru "Karasu-san" that I realized the obvious metaphor at the center of this work (and certainly this arc). As they alluded to in the preview, Haru will fly again, with or without his "wings".

Edit: Also, I am a bit taken aback by the amount of people in this thread who claim that Haru's behaviour in this episode represents some sort of unexpected regression of character development. I personally didn't find that to be the case at all. His self-confidence was built upon circumstance, and he is slowly having the Jenga blocks pulled out from all sides until his resolve crumbles. And in such a situation, someone with low self-esteem naturally reverts to a destructive state. His world was only okay because things were going well -- he was using everything around him as a crutch. But left on his own to his own devices, without the elements that built him up, he still believes he has nothing. So yeah... for myself, I thought this was actually smart and well-considered character development, and perfectly consistent with what I expected. If anything, I thought it felt remarkably realistic, which is perhaps why I could relate to it so much. Of course, I can understand why some would find this frustrating to watch as well.
Thank you for this post. Haru really needed this to grow as a person. As it stands, his self-confidence that was built up before was just flimsily built. He needs to have firm self-esteem that was built from overcoming trials with mostly his own power. Look at it this way. He hit rock bottom. So, there is only one way to go: Up.

Regarding Ash, he really shows that this game is all about competition but it doesn't mean you can't be friends at the end of a match.
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