Anime  

Yofukashi no Uta – 4 [Isn’t This a Tight Squeeze?]

Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of Yofukashi no Uta! Just like with Isekai Ojisan, I would like to apologize for this being a bit late. Otakon is taking up a lot of my time this weekend so I’m getting these done when I can. As far as the episode goes, there’s a good amount to talk about so lets jump right into it!

Off the bat, the big thing I’m happy about with Yofukashi this week is Akira. Namely that she’s still around. I had a small fear that after her introduction, Akira would become relegated to the background. A reoccurring but ultimately unimportant character that only shows up for a chance of scenery. Instead, what Yofukashi gave me was hope. It spent this entire episode focused not on our MC, Kou, or our love interest, Nazuna, but on Akira and her relationship with the two. On her own issues, history and arc. And I couldn’t be happier! Because if you ask me? It seems like a really good arc. Lets talk details below break.

Throughout this episode we saw Akira struggling with night. First introduced as Kou’s lifeline to normalcy and daylight, she seems to be falling in herself rather than pulling him out. Having trouble sleeping, wandering around at night, playing games and sleeping in strangers beds. It’s the same trajectory Kou had when the series first started. What’s interesting though is how Akira seems to have similar reasons to Kou as well. Because throughout the episode we get more and more hints about her feelings for him. The concern, basically asking him to hold hands in bed, focusing more on Nazuna’s “sexual” relationship with him than emotional. Funny enough, the biggest hint for this even comes from Nazuna herself when she mentions people sleep better when they are satisfied with their day. As if hinting more and more that Akira should pursue Kou.

On Nazuna’s side, this is especially interesting. Last week we saw her get jealous for the first time when Kou didn’t immediately turn down Akira’s offer about school. Like her relationship was being threatened. But it felt to me that, throughout this entire episode, Nazuna was pushing them together. Making lewd jokes about them, getting them to sleep side by side, smiling to herself as they talked and connected in bed. I don’t know if she’s doing it because she wants to keep a purely physical relationship with Kou and doesn’t want to grow attached or because perhaps she doesn’t want him to be hurt when he fails to fall in love with her. In a way, it’s like she’s prepping Akira to be Kou’s fallback when they don’t work out. Is it because Nazuna thinks no one can love her? Or because she thinks its best for him?

Either one of these make sense. Nazuna has been shown, over and over and over again, to only understand relationships on a physical level. To her, these physical acts mean absolutely nothing, Yofukashi has done a good job there. Meanwhile on the emotional level, she might as well be a virgin. Hell, she revealed this week that Kou, a 14 year old to her ageless vampire, was her first kiss. Now the creepy implications of that aside, that’s a pretty big tell. And it only gets worse for Kou when she explains that what he’s feeling isn’t love, its lust. And while the two aren’t unrelated, there’s a pretty distinct difference between the two. So the question becomes: If Nazuna has never made a vampire before, how does she know the difference? Well that’s simple. She had to have loved a vampire herself, and it didn’t work out.

Finally we have Kou’s side of this whole thing, which I once again enjoyed. The implications of Nazuna’s comments aside, Kou confusing love and lust makes perfect sense. At 14, he probably hasn’t experienced much of either. And confusing the two is a mistake many young people make. Lust is a necessary component for romantic love I feel, there has to be some desire there, but you can easily have lust without love. Watching Kou grappled with that, not really understanding either and having this incredibly naïve understanding of romance, was interesting. It’s an odd dynamic to be sure. But Yofukashi has been progressing things at enough of a click I feel that its been working well.

She's smiling right there, look, I'm not crazy!
She’s smiling right there, look, I’m not crazy!

So yeah, all in all I think this was another successful episode for Yofukashi. Nothing is really “wowing” me at this point, but neither is it really turning me off. I’m just sort of along for the ride and engaged enough to be paying attention to each episode. Were this a stronger season I would say that Yofukashi is middle of the pack. But with one as weak as this? It just might squeeze itself into a top contender. Higher if the second half can dive a bit deeper into their relationships and if its inevitable new characters can be as impactful as Akira has been.

Anyways, thats all for me this week! Sorry it’s a bit shorter but I have to sleep early for the Maid Cafe tomorrow. See you next week for RWBY and NHK!