Episode 4, to date, is my favourite episode of the season so far. Granted I am only 4 episodes in and still have a ways to go, but hey, as I always say, it is what it is! There were many things loved about the episode, the art, the soundtrack playing in the background during certain moments, the emotion of the characters and, most importantly, the message of the episode, which I thought to be courage.
The episode which I nicknamed “Hina’s episode” is about her and her experiences at school. The bullying of the upper class students, not only to her but her friend, someone she’s known since elementary. The episode outlines the abuse her friend endures, the isolation and loneliness she felt because of the bullying.
Naturally, of course, whenever you see one of your “childhood” friend going through something traumatizing, you want to do something about it, whether that be trying to make them feel wanted, welcomed, and loved. But also, you feel that burning desire to avenge your friend for the pain she was forced to endure. This was something Hina felt, whenever she saw her friend suffer at the hands of her bullies. However, like all things, as is for everyone wanting to escape from hardship and bullying, Hina’s friend couldn’t take it anymore and decided to transfer away from her oppressors, freeing herself from hardship, allowing her to start anew.
Hina’s friend didn’t tell anyone, it was abrupt, she didn’t even tell her childhood friend, Hina. Someone who all she ever did, was care for her and try to make her feel welcomed and loved. While Hina’s friend freed herself from the isolation, loneliness and abuse from her bullies, that in turn made Hina the target of all that. Hina lost her only friend, someone that didn’t make her feel lonely but kept her company, someone who made her feel loved and welcomed whenever she came to school. Now like her friend, Hina was targeted by the same individuals who pushed her friend to transfer away.
That experience at the start of the episode, was very hard hitting and very relatable. Every emotion portrayed by the characters, whether that be from Hina, or Rei wanting to avenge her, to the feelings felt by Hina’s friend. As the viewer you felt everything. So why did I think that the underlying message of the episode was courage. The reason why I personally thought it was courage is because it takes a lot of guts to stand-up against your bullies, it also takes a lot of courage to stand-up for what you thought was the right thing to do, even if that meant you would also be the one to share in those hardships. It takes even more courage to say at the end of it all, that you regret nothing, that you did the right thing even though you. yourself, have your own doubts.
The “ladybug bush” arc was a very beautiful arc, it added another dimension to the Anime, it also added another dimension to our protagonist, Rei, as he tries to find ways to make it up to Hina and the courage she displayed. It had everything a person wanted, a great story to tell, emotions that the viewer could physically feel, a wonderful soundtrack to go with the emotions of the episode and beautifully illustrated scenes and animations to go on top of that. Overall, just a wonderful episode.