It’s finally here! Episode 2 of
The Melancholy of Haruka Suzumiya Kimi ga Nozomu Eien: Next Season. In this episode, we finally get to see Mitsuki, and we get the 15-minute version of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (sort of).
- Mitsuki is making dinner in her apartment when her female roommate comes home from work. Mitsuki’s roommate, whose name is Tsujimura, asks Hayase if she’s found a job yet, but Hayase says she hasn’t and may start looking for part-time work so she can help pay her part of the rent. As it turns out, Tsujimura is a former swimming teammate of Mitsuki’s who happened to run into her when they were both looking for apartments in Tokyo.
- Meanwhile, Shinji enters a bar to meet Takayuki after the incident with Haruka at the train station. Shinji asks Takayuki what he plans to do about Haruka, and Takayuki tells him that they’re going to “stay apart for a while.”
- Back in Tokyo, Tsujimura asks Hayase whatever happened to Takayuki, guessing that they have broken up since Hayase is in Tokyo. Hayase confirms this, also confirming that she came to Tokyo because they broke up. Tsujimura ponders why Hayase wasted her swimming potential by dating Takayuki, but then remarks that she’s not one to talk since she quit the team soon after Hayase did as well. Tsujimura also tells Hayase that allowing Hayase to room with her is kind of a way to clear her conscience for thinking bad things about Hayase at the time.
- Back at the bar, Takayuki explains to Shinji that he thinks Haruka wants some time off because she’s worried that Takayuki hasn’t found a full-time job yet and that he’s having to choose between work and her and feels guilty about it. So Takayuki has “agreed” to time off so that he can get time to get a good footing and make Haruka feel more secure.
- Back in her apartment, Hayase starts telling Tsujimura how Haruka and Takayuki started dating, but that Haruka got in a car accident and went into a coma and how Hayase blames herself for it. She explains how Takayuki became almost obsessive about staying by Haruka’s side to the point that Haruka’s parents asked him to stop for his own good, which sent him into a depression. Hayase started caring for Takayuki and dragging him out places and eventually Takayuki got better until Takayuki invited Hayase out to go to the Aquarium for a thank you, but the two ended up dating afterwards. Then Haruka woke up and Hayase became desperate to keep Takayuki, but that the two ended up breaking up in the end.
- After Hayase finishes with her story, Tsujimura tells her that she’s a victim too, and the person really at fault was the person driving the car that wrecked into Haruka.
- Back at the bar, Takayuki tells Shinji that once he finds a full-time job, he’ll move into a place together with Haruka. He explains that he wants to do things carefully and in the right way this time instead of rushing into it and making the same mistakes again. Shinji then notes how much Takayuki has changed
from his whiney pitiful little self back in KimiNozo.
- Back at the Suzumiya residence, Akane remarks how it’s been a while since Takayuki has visited…
Well, in my write up for the last episode I asked “I’m also wondering how much of Rumbling Hearts gets axed.” The answer from Hayase’s timeline of events appears to be “quite a bit.” I’m not sure if that’s because there are the events that happened on Haruka’s route instead of Mitsuki’s but there is a noticeable difference – namely that in the original TV series, Takayuki is in a deep depression and the visit to the aquarium is the real turning point in him leaving it. Meanwhile in Hayase’s timeline in this episode, the trip to the aquarium is more of a celebration of his recovery from his depression.
That’s a rather significant departure from the original timeline as in the TV series, Takayuki and Hayase basically got together because of Hayase’s guilt and Takayuki’s depression. In this new version, Takayuki ends up hooking up with Hayase basically “until Haruka wakes up” and Hayase pretty much admits as much. I don’t know about anyone else, but this makes Takayuki a far less sympathetic character overall.
My other note of concern is that I’m not exactly what the “problem” in this series is. If the main issue to be resolved is Haruka not wanting Takayuki to choose between her and his job, with the resolution being Takayuki just finding a full-time job, this series is going to end up sucking bad (though probably not as bad as Akane Maniax).
However, I’m wondering if Takayuki is giving Shinji the full story. The end of the first episode was hardly Haruka and Takayuki mutually deciding to “take time off” as Takayuki portrayed it, unless Takayuki and Haruka had spoken to each other since, and Haruka refusing to pick up the call from Takayuki suggests this isn’t the case. That may mean that the situation is more complicated than Takayuki is portraying it (yay! conflict!)
I’m also curious about Tsujimura and her past considering her response to Hayase’s story. It would be nice to learn more about it, but I’m not sure we’re going to have the time.
I’m still mostly “meh” about the animation as well. It still feels kind of Gunslinger Girl 2-ish to me (though not quite THAT bad).
I think this series can still end well, but I’m just afraid that this will just be another lame OVA spinoff of KimiNozo. I hope I’m wrong, though.