C3-bu ep11: the self-centered will certainly suffer
This is really starting to get frustrating, which means this really, truly is a GAINAX production. Sonora has informed her teammates (finally) of her decision to go overseas, and they predictably take it very hard. The part I find frustrating is how nonchalant she is about the whole thing. She seems to clearly care about the situation, but is terrible at communicating her feelings towards her friends. I don’t actually think she communicates at all in this scene. As they just whine and beg her to reconsider, they even challenge her to a match (which they’d surely lose) to force her into staying. But Sonora doesn’t fall for any of that.
The girls attempt to mask her absence during practice by mimicking her presence, but it’s a hollow attempt none of them can accept. They even mention that things would be more lively and accurate if Yura were here. This gives Rento the inspiration to go and find their old clubmate. After quite a bit of searching, she finds a burnt-out Yura playing lightgun shooters at an arcade. She appeals to Yura, asking her to come back for one last match to send Sonora off, but is declined. Yura’s cowardly speech is enough to actually get her upset. And Rento tells her off for being selfish in the cutest voice imaginable. The encounter ends up being a big shock to Yura, who ends up avoiding the rest of C3 in terror afterwards. After somber talk at the club table, the remaining members of C3 decide to not to give up just yet, and come up with a plan to get Sonora and Yura together again.
Meanwhile, we see Sonora come back to an empty room. It’s interesting, I completely forgot that Sonora and Yura were still roomates. They’ve been so estranged for so long that it didn’t even cross my mind. though looking at this scene, it seems the two of them have been avoiding each other. You can still tell, at least from Sonora that she’s not happy about the situation. She misses Yura without a doubt. And when she comes to answer her door, anxiously hoping that it’s Yura that she greets, she is surprised to find – Rin?!
It seems that all the misconceptions Yura and the audience may had about Rin are finally disappearing. Though estranged, the relationship between these two isn’t nearly as bitter as first suspected. The two are actually able to share some nice time together, and Rin actually gives Sonora some good words of advice, asking her not to be so nonchalant about things. After all, even Sonora has admitted to herself that she’s only been ruining away from her less than desirable situations. It sounds very much like Sonora and Yura are just alike, Rin even confirms that Yura’s ultra-competitive bullishness is exactly the mirror image of how Sonora used to be. It seems Sonora’s gonna have to do a little more deep thinking while she’s packing.
The next day, the rest of the C3 club comes to an important conclusion while they try to put their plan of nostalgia bombing Yura together. Rento realizes that by doing this, they’ll be selfishly coercing Yura to come back against her will, and then she’ll just want to leave more than ever. I agree and so does the rest of the club, it seems the only thing left for them to do is start the farewell match with Sonora.
While they begin their match, we see Yura sulking in a park, lamenting mentally to her parents about how she’s failed to change as a person. We then see Yura start to hallucinate, which at this point should almost be a scheduled occurrence. She’s freaks out terribly, running across town until she finds herself crying in the rain at the base of the steps to the shrine for Choujirou. You’d almost think it was providence that brought her here.
Once at the shrine, she continues her pitiful lamentation to Choujirou, complaining about how no one in the world will accept her. The god’s response is simple, though surprisingly self-centered. He tells her that she should only worry about accepting herself, then others. After all, it’s not easy to be friends with someone who can’t accept themselves as they are. The words do penetrate, just as surely as Choujiriou’s arrow penetrates the heavens (this show is so unevenly poetic). The god disappears right after that, leaving Yura with a little present. She’s able to gather gift, her gear and her senses just in time to show up to C3’s final match with only Sonora left standing.
End of episode.
Here we go! The opening salvo for the penultimate week of the season for many anime. I was a little worried after the downer that was last week’s episode. But I will give GAINAX credit for this, they know that good character drama doesn’t just come from seeing characters in inconvenient circumstances. Good character drama comes from forcing a character low, and to look within themselves to see what it is they truly don’t like about themselves. It forces them to look at the ugly side of their self in the mirror. C3-bu has nailed that with Yura.
I found it comforting to hear that Sonora and Yura are really very similar. It goes a long way towards explaining why there’s been so much silent and not so silent conflict between the two of them. I dare say that Rin may have been the MVP of this episode, at least when it comes to enlightening the audience to some key backstory. Sonora showed no signs of filling us in to any of that information.
Oh and I won’t forget just how awesome and poetic the scenes with Choujirou seem to be in this show. On one hand, they stand as proof that Yura is a complete nut. On the other hand, they really are some wonderful standout scenes.
It seems that the message behind this story is very clear. Selfish, self-centered attitudes lead to social failure, but it still takes a strong determined mind to overcome the obstacles of life. The journey of Yura is a journey where she must learn to center herself, there’s no need for her competitive nature to take over her life and ruin her relationships. And she’s figuring this out at the same time the rest of the club is, too. I’m looking forward to this outcome. This show has been a mixture of great and uneven elements, but I’ve still had fun up to this point. It’s just up to the C3 club to make this last episode memorable.