Kuragehime – 05: a challenger appears

With this episode the series established its central plot, and an important secondary problem: the destruction of the current Amamizu-kan due to redevelopment. The series also introduced Tsukimi’s virtual opposite (as I mentioned in my previous post, her antipode): Shoko Inari is a woman with a progressive career. She’s also highly attractive, and very manipulative, using her body to get what she wants from men. She is a world away from Tsukimi’s virginal innocence and Tsukimi’s introversion: Inari has no hesitation to go out and be a whore to propel her career forward.

The beauty and the beast

It has become troublesome for Tsukimi because she has finally fallen in love with Shu, only to deal with him ignoring her and then seeing him with Inari. As much as I hate to admit it, beautiful women, or at least women who know how to make themselves up tend to attract men more than types like Tsukimi, no matter how beautiful she is. It didn’t help that she saw Shu with Inari and protected her from the rain.

The episode made Shu’s affections for Tsukimi clearer: he loved the attractive Tsukimi, but remains to be dense that he could not associate that Tsukimi from her normal self. While his affections for her are undoubtedly genuine, the fact that he cannot accept the totality of Tsukimi’s person lessens the probability of a relationship between them becoming successful. In a relationship of love, the good must be accepted with the bad. Ignorance excuses no one.

Somehow, Kuranosuke’s more respectable in this aspect, because he accepts that the normal Tsukimi is all right, but not if she wants to improve herself, or fight for a cause, as was shown in this episode. While he’s also quite selfish, as his acts of kindness are nothing more than acts to stoke his ego for the most part, he accepts Tsukimi as herself while prompting her to improve. His concern for Tsukimi, however, evinces itself in this episode.

It’s really a difficult thing to peg Inari as a villain of this series, since she’s really just doing her job. She’s the designated high-class whore, and it’s been working well for her, judging from the number of phone calls from her fans. She just represents the modern lady who seeks to improve herself by doing her job, whether it’s presenting or having sex with powerful men. She will be more of a catalyst to the story, proving perhaps to Shu that it’s not only appearances that matter, and providing some attrition to Tsukimi so that she will force herself to change.

Did anyone else like Kuranosuke’s resolve this episode?

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6 Responses to “Kuragehime – 05: a challenger appears”

  1. Anne Says:

    Why girls have to be pretty?

  2. Will of the Wisps Says:

    I am somewhat ambivalent about the direction this serie is going in, but I will stick along for the ride nevertheless. Yes, Kuranosuke’s resolve is impressive. Is it me, or could I see this as a brother gathering public support in a bid for office and superceding the first-son? The trap definitely did not think of it in this way, but outside viewers could interpret it in this fashion. Or perhaps I just read too much about Roman History and is cynical.

  3. Michael Says:

    Will:

    That’s probably Roman History. I just thought that while quite selfish, he found a new hobby he could tinker on, but is slowly developing feelings towards Tsukimi. Shuu isn’t really likable this episode round.

    Anne:

    Because it’s one of the most important things men try to find in their partners. I want a beautiful girl, too!

  4. Cris Says:

    “I just thought that while quite selfish, he found a new hobby he could tinker on”

    I don’t know what’s so selfish about that. And besides, why do you want his motivations to be totally selfless? I don’t need a perfect altruistic character. That kinda idealization is boring and unrealistic. Nobody’s like that. It’s the same with Shuu. We learn he’s a virgin and suddenly he’s a “pure” character and whatnot. What the hell?? He just can’t get laid. How does that make him pure? What a joke. Seriously, I really doubt the author wanted us to judge the character that way.

  5. Anne Says:

    Shu is a virgin but he is judgmental therefore, he is not pure.

  6. vendredi Says:

    I’m can’t bring myself to be so hard on Shu. I think he’s just naturally dense rather than willfully ignorant – people are capable of changing their appearance a great deal – and it’s more than that – Tsukimi only carries herself with confidence, energy, and fun back at the aquarium. The vibe she gives off in regular public is completely different; and that, more than any appearance change, is what makes her unrecognizable to Shu.

    Secondly, Shu doesn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about Inari. He’s too much of a gentleman to ignore her but at the same time he doesn’t seem to be smitten in the same way we saw him with Tsukimi prior. We have some interesting scenes in the preview but somehow I can’t see anything really happening; Shu seems just too steady for that.

    Also, I am immensely pleased at the prospect of Kuranosuke transforming the Nuns; I’ve been holding out for something of the sort from the second episode and I’m glad to see it’s gonna happen. The reference to the Japanese folktale of “The Crane Wife” (about a wife who asks to be left in privacy while she spins, and her curious husband finally discovering she actually turns back into her original form of a crane when she does so) just added a lot of extra hilarity.

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