This week is another light week in terms of central romance development between our leads, as the first half spends its time to Haruka, Tachibana’s childhood friend. Thank God, even with this segment that feels more like a side story, Ameagari still continues to hold up very well. Haruka always feels that she is left behind Tachibana, both in the field and in their relationship. It’s not just a figure of speech, as in one flashback we can clearly see Tachibana running ahead while poor Haruka following behind. Their relationship has been stalled since Tachibana left the track team duo to her injury. For Tachibana, she temporary shuts everything that reminds of track team, of the life she once felt belong to. Haruka feels the distance growing between them, and while there is argument on whether or not Haruka has a “romantic feeling” to Tachibana, it’s clear that she’s hurt that Tachibana seems to only regards her as “running friend”, and nothing more. From those flashbacks from Haruka (which are lovely, by the way, given we are treated to see Tachibana the middle-scholler and Tachibana the primary schooler), she has been admiring Tachibana from a long time, and their relationship had been tested once, briefly after she had to move to another school. And now she feels like it’s being tested again.
In defence for Tachibana though, I think she doesn’t think that much. She’s just too occupied to win the heart of Kondou. She again moves on to the new direction, leaves Haruka behind, and she’s afraid of Tachibana’s slipping out of her hands again. I guess both of them now are dealing with their own pains, Tachibana from not be able to run again and see everyone enjoys the things she once loved. In order to keep their friendship together, they just need to be honest together and the letter in the end (with the lucky but ugly charm Mukihiko to boost) is the right step into the right direction of being honest to each other. On other notes, I greatly appreciate the visual-storytelling of Ameagari, showing us the normal day of Tachibana missing her bus and walking all the way to the station, and later her sharing an umbrella with a stranger in a silent, quiet manner. The show is confident enough to just let the visual do the talking, assisted greatly by the wonderful violin score that I swear I could listen to all day. Even in the slow episode like this, there’s so much to love in this beautiful and tasteful show. Rain in Yokohama has never been this attractive.
In the latter half, we’re back to our duo Tachibana and the manager as she spots him in her local library. Her attempt to know more about Kondou’s taste proves to be in vain as he refuses to recommend books to Tachibana, prompt her to pick Botchan (arguably one of the most popular novels in Japan), and photobook about running (love it!). But his attitude changes when he sees the book written by Chihiro Kujo, which my guess for now is his ex-wife, or the person who had the same writing dream some twenty years ago. The latter especially could prove to be interesting, as this episode once again forces our main leads to look back on their past relationships, about their own shattered ambitions, in order to make sense of who they are now and what they really want to do. I am pretty much on board with that.