Yes, yes. Things are heating up to boiling point. This is the kind of drama I was expecting all along since the series was announced months ago. That last scene was pure brilliance from Hayami Saori’s voice acting. I was waiting for that since the first episode and she truly delivered. And of course, how can I ignore Yuzu finally stepping up and what better way to cool her off than show her his feelings. (Although it will most likely backfire if Nino gets the message thru that thick skull of hers.)
“I have to protect that smile.”
“She wears a mask most of the time.”
Okay, so that seems silly at face value, but something you have to remember: you’re watching anime! Which again, seems a silly thing to have to point out and remind yourself, but it’s true. There’s real cultural differences involved between us – an international audience – and the Japanese TV show you’re watching. So we can use this as a learning moment to realize two things about Japanese culture, which will help us better understand this show and others: Japanese people smile with their eyes – Culturally, Japanese people look to the eyes to signify emotions much more than the mouth. When you realize this, you start seeing it everywhere in anime and Japanese cinema.
That’s why there’s always such big emphasis on eyes and how they convey emotions versus any other part of the body. So it’s not a strange thing at all within this context. She keeps her mouth covered, but we always see her eyes, and her eyes are always transparent windows into her mood/state of mind. (Same with the other characters – Momo primarily wears his frustrations and self-loathing primarily in his eyes; Yuzu wears his flustering embarrassment, his jealousy, and his short temper in his eyes.) Plus, The Japanese word for ‘smile’ and ‘laugh’ are the same, often used interchangeably, and it’s difficult to tell the difference through context. Here, it’s likely still means smile primarily, but the notion is the same in that he wants to protect her happiness. And even if your mouth is covered with a mask, he can still observe her laugh/happiness and want to protect it.