Boy is this screencap giving me severe Kotoura-san vibes…

Summary:

Ginko and Lulu move into Kureha’s house (much to her chagrin) and attempt to become friends with her.  However, Kureha is unwilling; stubbornly proclaiming that Sumika is the only friend she needs and that she won’t back down on love.

WELL THAT’S HORRIBLY OMINOUS

I wonder if this is the full extent to which we’ll find out about Ginko and Kureha’s relationship?

Another girl from Kureha’s class, named Kaoru, attempts to become Kureha’s friend.  Kaoru says that she and the other girls feel sorry about excluding Sumika before and want to make amends.  Kureha also refuses this offer—at first.  Kureha’s birthday is coming up, and apparently Sumika had planned to give Kureha some sort of present.  Kaoru comes to Kureha one day, as she is standing before the spot where the lily flowers used to be.  Kaoru tells Kureha that Sumika’s present for Kureha was the garden with lily flowers in full bloom.  So Kaoru and the rest of the girl’s in Kureha’s class help to replant to garden plot with new lily flowers.

…so there are magazines in the bear world? Is that what I’m getting here?

Unfortunately, as Ginko and Lulu soon find out, it was all part of Kaoru’s plot in order to gain Kureha’s trust.  Despite the girls’ seemingly friendly demeanor, they are all still in agreement to exclude Kureha, because she has been marked as “evil.”  Ginko and Lulu manage to get the approval from Lily Court to eat Kaoru, who they deem a menace to Kureha.  Unfortunately, Kaoru had accounted for this, and her plan was not only to eliminate Kureha, but also the two bears…

This episode had really neat angles.

My Opinion:

Augh cliffhanger, why?!  This was a great episode alone for that brilliant twist at the end.

I absolutely loved that we’re shown that Kureha’s stubbornness and unwillingness to let go of Sumika’s death is a double-edged sword.  Yes, it is important to keep a memory of loved ones who have passed on, but it is also severely detrimental to oneself to not get over their deaths.  Kureha is basically refusing to have friends or be comforted, because she thinks that having Sumika be her sole friend is honoring Sumika’s memory.  However, having friends and allowing herself to be comforted is what Kureha needs the most.  Well, not that she could have gotten it anyway, considering what a backstabber Kaoru turned out to be…

I also really loved the reveal that Kaoru and the other girls in Kureha’s class are just stringing Kureha along.  Yes, it’s cruel; and yes, it’s not fun to watch.  But I feel like it’s a (very harsh) but somewhat accurate portrayal of the most extreme end of social exclusion.  And Kureha is completely in the right to be defensive about it, as Sumika was also excluded before her and that was how she died.  So this is pretty much this series’ way of saying, “hey you guys, excluding a person in any way is kind of fucked up, okay?”  While in real life exclusion doesn’t immediately call down a bear to eat you, it does often end up leading to the excluded person’s death (via neglect or suicide)… or at least leaves them very, very scarred.  Wow this review suddenly got dark, I’m sorry.

ON TO HAPPIER THINGS!  Uh, uh… I liked all of Ginko’s imagine spots?  It was so over-the-top that it came off as goofy, even if there was a bit of fanservice thrown in there.

The only thing I have to criticize about this episode is that in some places the animation quality is a tad lower than usual.  Especially in the faraway shots the character’s faces do look slightly off-model.  But with everything else that’s going on it’s not too easy to notice—ESPECIALLY WITH THAT ENDING GOOD GOD.

Overall a great episode.  All I can really add at this point is “poor Ginko.”  Poor, poor Ginko…

Out of five for this episode:

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I just realized I never got a good cap of Kaoru, whoops…

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