Even knowing that he stole her uniform and vandalized the classroom, Saeki doesn’t want to break up with Kasuga, and asks him to reconsider. The next day he stays home sick, Saeki confronts Nakamura, who tells her about the contract to bring out Kasuga’s inner deviant. Saeki stops by Kasuga’s house, but he won’t let her see him, so she yells up at the window that she wants to understand him. Kasuga’s mom finds the ink-stained clothes, and Kasuga flees to the riverbank, where Nakamura is waiting with his bike, suggesting they spit town and ride “beyond the hill.” Saeki sees Kasuga’s mom frantically asking people if they’ve seen Kasuga.
Kasuga can’t understand: how can Saeki, his paragon of virtue, grace, and purity, possibly be okay with his actions? We know that she was more mad about him not being honest (even saying she was a little happy about the gym uniform, which…wow…). But now that Saeki knows about his deviant side, he can’t bear to be in her presence, not just because he feels he doesn’t deserve to be, but because he doesn’t want to infect that ideal purity. Saeki wants to know more about him, but he doesn’t seem interested in knowing more about Saeki, because the more he does, the more that idealized version of her in his head is broken down. The more she learns, the closer she wants to get to him.
But after the confrontation behind the school, Kasuga and Saeki remain apart, with their only encounter coming with Kasuga hiding under his covers (not his best moment) and her below his window, hoping he hears her. Contrast this distance to how close Kasuga and Nakamura get in the end, and how intimate her movements around him are, mounting his bike fully expecting her doll to get on with her and ride them out of the “shithole town” where neither of them could find their place. Meanwhile, Saeki and Kasuga’s mom wander the town, both lost without him, not caring what he did to them, and desperate to find him. But he may already be beyond that hill. Like Kasuga’s vision of Saeki, their visions of Kasuga may only be mirages.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
- That close-up shot of a student miming a machine gun targeting the deviant…yikes. Hope that’s not foreshadowing!
- This episode marks the first time we see Saeki and Nakamura without Kasuga around.
- Another of this show’s many nice little details: The sound of the gravel when Saeki leaves Kasuga’s house.
- When Kasuga put his incriminating ink-stained clothes in the washer, we thought he’d, you know…switched the damn thing on!
- “Is that your mom? She looks retarded.” Nakamura really has a way with words, doesn’t she?
- Saeki gets her own sad walk!