FJ Freeman

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理非-弐-(Rihi -Ni-)
“Right and Wrong, Part 2”

This one was hard to watch. It’s never a good sign when an anime enters a character’s past during a key fight scene. This time it’s Nobara who we get to see. Normally stoic and unmoving – the show had to dive deep into her backstory solely for one reason. To be able to show her soft side. In this case, it was through childhood memories. And friendship. In this case, I think brotherhood applies here. Nobara early on in the flashback sequence which happens around the middle of the episode, foretells she’s displeased with the small town. Her friend doesn’t get it until one of the neighbors brings her mother red rice to celebrate her first period.

That is innately creepy – as Nobara’s friend pointed out. Something so personal and private as a period – cast out through the village as a rumor and landing on this old lady’s ears. Is just something that is considered creepy and just that. There’s no privacy in this village, and we all know Nobara hates everything and anything that gets in the way of her individuality. In the countryside, old ideas might still permeate, and choosing a different color goes against the ideology that Japanese people have commented on in their culture. No one must stand out – and all must go with the flow. So choosing a different color than red and black is seen as strange. Mainly because the culture outside the city is different and people think differently. Might I remind you these backpacks are like $800!

So being bullied and mishandling your stuff, especially something that expensive, is sure to bring tears to anyone trying to grab it from atop a locker, it must bring emotions like shame and guilt for not being able to take care of something so expensive. Usually, these backpacks are bought by a grandparent and not being able to buy one signifies you’ve failed as one. (sauce)

Nobara eventually starts softening up when she meets a person who just moved into the countryside – and treats Nobara and her friend like she’s some type of older sister. Nobara starts to look up to this person and starts filling her days with positivity. But soon this person who just moved in is harassed by the townspeople because of different ideologies. Probably surrounding privacy. I mean it’s one thing to have little kids over for funsies and tea times unannounced – it’s something else when an oba-chan shows up unannounced asking to be treated like she’s your mother.

Such is the way of small towns.

So when this person has to move away because of harassment, it’s Nobara who cries her eyes out because she is starting to find freedom in a friendly face. The moment that broke me was the next scene Nobara saying goodbye to her only friend and both of them breaking down trying not to cry. Her friend couldn’t say anything and just nodded.

These stories might not pretend to be related to what’s going on in Shibuya, but they are important to Nobara nonetheless. We got to see another side of her, even if it’s for a moment.

If I remember correctly I think JJK was being praised back in season 01 for its treatment of women characters, and how it goes against typical shonen fashion. I think that praise carries over today, even though we lost a precious member to the trifecta. It was treated with dignity and grace, her sendoff was emotional while keeping that JJK charisma and charm.

Nobara – you will be missed.

Full-length images: 51.

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