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This week’s episode covers the rest of Arisa’s backstory and how she became friends with Tohru. I was happy to see it because it was a much better story than I was expecting. In many ways, it was a great portrayal of taking a step back to realize what you have. Also, the parallels between Arisa and Kyouko seemed to be indirectly showing Kyouko’s own background.
Arisa has some truly amazing moments in this episode. I enjoyed watching her self-reflection leading to a revelation that she just felt lonely. It hit hard and made a lot of sense given her home life. It’s nice to see Tohru giving Kyouko what she didn’t realize she was missing.
It’s mostly skipped through, but I do like the idea that Arisa has a gradual shift. A sudden revelation often isn’t enough to trigger a dramatic change in personality, so it’s nice to see this kind of progression. I also like how the series splits Kyouko and Tohru up. While Kyouko is clearly the most similar to Arisa, there’s this idea that perhaps it’s that very fact that restricts to a mentor role.
So while Arisa seeks advice and wisdom from Kyouko, she ultimately seeks friendship from Tohru. Kyouko has clearly softened over time, but perhaps her similar background makes her a reminder of what Arisa is trying to escape from. Instead, Arisa runs towards Tohru, a shining embodiment of what she wants to become.
As a result, Arisa’s desire to change feels more tangible. I admit I was a bit surprised to see how violent her attempt to leave the crew ended up being, but I guess it’s further proof of her commitment. I also liked the fact that Arisa’s friend Akimoto was secretly supporting her even when Arisa thought she had no one she could trust. I’m curious to see how Akimoto will pop up again in this series. It’s clearly suspicious that she just moves away in the story.
I was curious why the random delinquents following Arisa around showed up last week, but I like how they contributed to her overall story. With Kyouko gone, Arisa tries to show how far she’s come by effectively taking a similar role. It wraps things up nicely.