Tamayura ~hitotose~ – 10

Kaoru tries to get everyone together on a Sunday for undisclosed reasons, but they all have plans, doing what they’ve chosen to do. Kao-tan begins to falter in what she wants to do, and doesn’t want to bother her friends with her half-hearted efforts, but Norie and the the others pick up on this. At her sister Soyomi’s behest they arrange a surprise party to cheer her up, and she declares her plans: to create an grand exhibition, including Potte’s photography, Norie’s sweets, Maon’s live whistling, and her own fragrances.

We never thought I’d hear the bawdy, animated Norie saying something like “It’s not good for this chaos to persist!” or for Kaoru to be led across town at bamboo vinegar-filled gunpoint, or for her friends to stage an intervention for her. But all this happens. This is a Kaorucentric episode. We’re with her as she gloomily frets about whether she’s doing the best she can. Norie later scolds her for worrying about meeting some kind of standard; what’s important is to do your best and have fun.

It’s a pretty common theme in anime for a girl to feel like she’s “no good” or even “the worst”, and while we can hear her thoughts, Kaoru’s outward behavior is really not all that different from her normal self. Still, Norie has known her far too long, and knows something is amiss almost immediately. She, along with Potte, Maon, and Soyomi, waste no time prodding her to let out whatever it is is on her mind, which turned out to be the proposal of an exhibition, which will combine everyone’s myriad talents into a unified whole. Funny, I’ve never taken her for an exhibitionist…

Rating: 3.5