Now that we’re 6 episodes into Tsukigakirei, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. In my first impressions article, I mentioned the beautiful art style with its bright colors. Although the first couple of episodes felt awkward at first, there’s no denying the amount of entertainment I had watching it. It really captures the essence of adolescence and its troubles with relationships.
As always if you haven’t been keeping up with this series, there will be spoilers ahead. So go catch up before reading this!
I remained hopeful and I got rewarded when episode 3 came out. The whole episode just revolved around their personal hobbies. Rumors fly around school about couples forming because of an upcoming field trip. By the end of the episode, Kotarou mans up and asks Akane to go out with him. Of course, they leave it as a cliffhanger without hearing her response. This is the reason we have 3 episode tests. I was already sucked into the story for the entertainment but this single moment sealed the deal for me.Now the famed school trip where everyone gets a chance to pursue their romantic interests arises. For the newly formed awkward couple of Kotaro and Akane, they just want to spend their free time together on this trip. But it’s not easy when their relationship is a secret to their friends and the teachers have confiscated their cellphones. Actually, Kotarou and his friends have managed to sneak theirs by, along with some other students, including Akane. Things get dicey when Kotaro’s phone gets taken away as he is trying to plan a meetup with Akane.
With the loss of communication between the two, Akane worries about the meetup but heads there anyway. It gets real dramatic here as it starts to rain and Kotarou is frantically running to get to Akane. Of course, he somehow doesn’t find her and has to find a way to contact her. Luckily he finds her best friend and clubmate, Chinatsu. Kotarou asks to use her phone but is not keen on telling her why. Chinatsu’s intuition kicks in and dials up Akane for him so he can speak to her. I won’t give too much detail but it’s kind of an “all’s well that ends well” situation.
Now here’s where the real innocence of their age shows. Both Kotaro and Akane actually have no idea what to do now that they’re in a relationship. They seek advice from peers and the internet. Sources suggest that they just need to spend more time together. They have trouble doing that at the school since their relationship is still a secret. Kotarou suggests a meetup in the library during lunch break since no one else is ever there but him. Of course, this doesn’t happen the way it’s planned because of their innate natures.We come to a point where Kotaro tells his friend Daisuke, who owns the bookstore he frequently visits, about his troubles. Daisuke becomes the MVP wingman we’ve always wanted in life. He suggests to Kotarou to invite her over to the bookstore to chat since it’s hardly ever crowded. Then they get the alone time they’ve been longing for. But the drama ensues further as soon as Kotarou makes his move. Akane gets a troubling text from Chinatsu.
Now everything just feels out of wack for Akane. Chinatsu is one of her best friends but this is literally Akane’s first “love interest”. The viewers probably had varying reactions, one being “this fucking bitch” or “Yup, saw that coming”. I was more along the latter, I knew it might come up at some point but wasn’t expecting it to happen at such a crucial moment.
What happens next is a little unexpected for me personally. Kotarou gets a phone call from the publisher he submitted his work too. He’s supposed to meet up with him on the same day as Akane’s track meet, so he won’t be there to cheer her on. They end up just wishing each other the best of luck on that day. This episode might be the saddest compared to all the others. Akane falls short and doesn’t advance to the next round. Kotarou meets up with the publisher but he’s pretty much a dick and tells him he should pursue a different genre of writing to become more successful.
The big sad cherry on top comes at the end when Akane finally talks with Chinatsu about Kotarou. She tells Chinatsu that they’re going out but Chinatsu already had a feeling that was the case. They express their feelings of friendship towards each other but Chinatsu makes an unbelievable move. She asks Akane if she could confess to Kotarou to get rejected properly. I was blown away by this but honestly, it might’ve saved the episode for me.
Tsukigakirei has been a joy to follow along this season. I find myself too entertained by it to critique much. I’m excited to see how it ends but I don’t want to speculate too much. The supporting characters are really key for our main couple. They provide added stress and insight to what they’re feeling. Since they don’t often talk, we can easily relate to the troubles of parents, siblings, peers or responsibilities they face.
To close out this article, I wanted to mention the shorts we get at the end of every episode. Short skits of other couples or supporting characters, focusing on romance aspects but giving us the pleasure of comedy from it. It’s a great insight into what could’ve been if it was a pure rom-com. I hope you’re watching this show and enjoying it as much as I am. I’m a little hopeful for a “feels good” ending where they tug on your heartstrings but anything can happen.