It’s time once again for some thematically relevant life lessons with Minagawa-senpai!
I’d been thinking about it for a long time. With our farewell on the horizon, what did I most want to get across to you…? To you, whom I love?
Graduation has finally arrived, and with it comes a flood of love confessions toward the popular kids, courtesy of the graduating class (Yuki and Kimi are both popular targets for unrequited love). Naturally, this includes Motoko Minagawa.
Yuki: I’m so…dense…
Manabe: Did you just now figure out how senpai feels about you? That’s a little more than “dense,” dude.
Kimi starts complaining about all the love confessions she’s been forced to endure, but needless to say she gets little sympathy from the rest of the Student Council.
Kimi: You must be having a hard time too, huh, Yun-Yun? You’ve been getting called out a lot. You look really bummed out!
Yuki: It’s because all I can do is hurt them.
Naohito: Yeah. You are hurting others, so it’s only fair for you to feel bad! Don’t complain about it! It must be nice to have such a luxury anyway!
Yeah, Chibi-chan has been particularly prickly in his last few appearances. Whatever could be the matter?
Kimi: Nao-chan, you’re in love with someone, aren’t you?
Kimi’s suspicions are confirmed when Nao literally runs away from their questions.
Manabe: That was a disaster, huh? You should probably stay away from him for a little while. Yuki, right now, Nao doesn’t see you as a good guy, and nothing’s gonna make him change his mind. He’s cast you as the bad guy, plain and simple. When a man goes down that road, words are wasted on him.
Yuki: I’m the bad guy, huh? Maybe this is what’s called poetic justice…?
It’s pretty natural to look for a bad guy in your life, somebody to blame all your problems on (or at least one type of problem). But the real problem comes when you can’t see any good in your bad guy, always looking for some way to twist even his good actions with ill intent – or else you put so much blame on their actions that you never consider your own faults. Obviously Yuki never intended to hurt any of the girls crushing on him and especially not Naohito, but when you’re only looking for a reason to hate a person, that’s what you’ll see.
And so we turn to Motoko, who spent much of Yuki’s first year orchestrating the bullying of Tohru Honda (and doubtless some others).
Motoko: So, I’ll get right to my point…I’m sorry…now that you’re here, my mind’s a blank. Wh-what an idiot, right? (internally) But in the end, I wanted to tell you something. I thought I should tell you something. After all, I’m going to graduate without having done anything, so – (aloud) I…I’m so glad…that I met you, Yuki. I’m glad that I went to this school. Every day was as lively as a festival. I would get angry, I would laugh…I caused more than my share of trouble…and you were always at the center of it all, Yuki. I loved you. I really loved you, Yuki. So that’s why I pray…that you – that you too – are able to find your own happiness. And if you’re already happy right now, then I pray you’ll be able to find something that makes you even happier. The days I spent here are my “happiness.” That’s what you gave me, Yuki. And this is the only way I can pay you back…thank you. (internally) I want my feelings to reach you. Please…I’m not standing here because I want you to return them at this late date. I just want you to know how happy I was. I had so much fun here. I’m so glad you were in my life. I just want you to know how I feel.
Motoko really has changed for the better over the last year. She has no more illusions of controlling (or “saving”) Yuki, just enjoying what he brings to her school life and letting him enjoy his life (although evidently that’s still not official law in the fan club). She’s finally learned to let him go.
Yuki: I…don’t deserve those feelings…but yes. I understand. Thank you…thank you so much. I hadn’t realized all this time…
Motoko: Please stop right there, Yuki! For some reason I feel really good right now. So don’t spoil it by apologizing. If you apologize, you’ll only make me cry. Besides, as far as I’m concerned, that kind of thing makes us even. Maybe there’s a boy who’s been in love with me all this time and I didn’t know it…
Yuki: Like former president Takei?
Motoko: He’s out of the question! Good grief…oh, Yuki…
And Yuki’s grown a sense of humor! But seriously, Yuki, how can you be this dense?
Now that Motoko’s finally spelled out her feelings for Yuki (for her own sake as much as his), she can say goodbye to her school more or less in peace…and maybe move onto something else.
Naohito: Minagawa-senpai! I…I…! I’ve always…always…!…New meetings…always follow farewells! So after “goodbye,” there’s always going to be a “nice to meet you.” So…even after this…even after you graduate…you’ll be just fine. You’ll keep smiling brightly…that’s what I’m praying for…
Motoko: Sakuragi-kun…you too. Take care of yourself. Thank you.
Maybe she’s found her new love, or maybe not – but at least she’s open to the possibility now.
In other news, Hiro has a new baby sister named Hinata!
Mom: Hold her, Hiro-chan. This is your chance.
Hiro: I can’t do that! Hinata’s a girl, so It’s impossible for me!
Mom: It’ll be fine! Mama will just hold the both of you!
Hiro’s mama is just precious.
And apparently Kagura accepted Rin’s diploma in her very suspicious absence…
Kagura: Hey…is Isuzu really in the hospital? […] I’ve asked around, but nobody seems to know which hospital, or even a phone number…
Shigure: Kagura, didn’t your mother tell you not to snoop around?
Kagura: …She did. But for some reason, I’m worried…that Isuzu isn’t coming home.
Until next time…