"Nazo no Abanchūru"
|Japan Air Date||
June 09, 2012
The Hoshinome School Festival Story Arc
Greatly distraught from a shipping gone sour, Hayakawa tempts Tsubaki with the possibility of a drool bond with her. Failing that, she invokes a more daring plan to win his attention.
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|List of Episodes|
EPISODE 10---MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR
( Manga cross-reference---Chapter 28, " Mysterious Adventure", Chapter 29, " Mysterious Letter of Challenge ", Chapter 30, " Mysterious Cultural Festival---The Night Before ", and a tiny bit of the introduction of Chapter 31, "The Hoshinome Cultural Festival I " )
Tsubaki again unexpectedly meets Hayakawa, his middle school sweetheart. They agree to spend a little bit of time together, first walking, then sitting on a park bench. They enjoy reminiscing about their middle school activities, and some of the unusual things that they did back then. The conversation turns serious with Hayakawa mentioning about the demise of a shipping that she was in. Emotional tensions mount when she begins to cry, with Tsubaki attempting to calm her. Hayakawa cries, and begins to drool. Tsubaki is shocked that he could potentially taste her drool, and asks to do so. She complies and offers a taste !
Within seconds of asking, Tsubaki himself cries, and then denies that tasting Hayakawa's drool is what he wanted to do. Further temptation is futile, so Hayakawa merely asks for the name of Tsubaki's girlfriend, and then leaves. That night, in her bedroom, on her bed, Hayakawa hatches a bold and deceitful plan to, once again, offer her drool to Tsubaki. She begins by inviting Urabe to the Hoshinome Cultural Festival.
Then during one evening, Hayakawa invites Tsubaki outdoors, and shows him where she supposedly sustained a bruise from an angry boy that she knows. She then implores Tsubaki to come to the Hoshinome Cultural Festival as her boyfriend, supposedly to shame the boy. Tsubaki agrees to do so next Sunday. Afterwards, Hayakawa walks to a public water fountain, and washes off the makeup that fashioned the bruise.
Next day Tsubaki tells Urabe that he is going shopping with Ueno on Sunday, whereas Urabe knows differently. The day after, Oka excitedly tells Urabe that Ueno and herself will be attending the Hoshinome Cultural Festival on Sunday. Urabe mentally notes the contradiction that Oka refers to.
Sunday morning finds Tsubaki at the Hoshinome Cultural Festival, and definitely not shopping with Ueno. He soon meets up with Hayakawa, dressed exactly as she did in her middle school uniform, and they begin walking together, holding hands.
After Urabe has repeatedly destroyed Tsubaki's copies of his Momoko Imai photo and art books ( Manga Chapter 24 & 26, Anime Episode 9 ), he once again treks to the bookstore to obtain a copy of a magazine featuring the singing idol that looks like Urabe. As he steps out the door and onto the sidewalk, who should be walking by, but Hayakawa, his old crush from middle school. But Wow, she is now looking even more cute and attractive than before, with a short hairstyle and wearing the mini-skirted business suit of the Hoshinome Girls' Academy High School !!!
He consents to walk with her, and she asks him about friends that they both know. Hayakawa is surprised to learn that Ueno now has a girlfriend, named Oka. Hayakawa wants to go somewhere and talk about old times, but Tsubaki's first mistake is agreeing to go. Mistake number two is telling Hayakawa that he does not have a girlfriend, especially when she has just broken up with a boy that she mistakenly thought was her 'boyfriend'. Hayakawa correctly surmises that Tsubaki must have a girlfriend on his mind, because earlier he did not even recognize her when she walked by him in front of the bookstore. They stop at a playground, and the conversation continues, talking about school days way back when, and with a flashback, telling about the funny things that they both did. Recalling those middle school days, Hayakawa knew that Tsubaki had a tremendous crush on her, because he sat behind her and was always staring at her. How did she know ? She had a pencil case with a built-in mirror, a mirror that allowed her to look behind and observe Tsubaki always gawking ! Hayakawa asks Tsubaki if he ever wanted to touch her, to which he is dumbfounded and speechless. But he reveals to her that he captured a strand of her hair and kept it in a plastic capsule. Hayakawa counters with the revelation that she kept a coffee cup that used to belong to a boy that she liked, and would kiss the rim from time to time !
Hayakawa now reasons, in her mind, that although she knew that Tsubaki had a crush on her in middle school, she acknowledges that she had her own reasons why she did not act upon his unrequited love. ( See Commentary and Opinion, below ) They sit on a park bench and continue to talk, however, the conversation drifts into uncharted waters, that is, Hayakawa's breakup with her supposed 'boyfriend'. Tsubaki tries to be congenial, but angst mounts. Tsubaki confesses, in so many words, that Hayakawa has successfully reached the almost impossible status of being simultaneously both cute/innocent, and hardcore sexy. But now knowing that emotionally triggers Hayakawa, and she begins to unexpectedly cry into her hands. Tsubaki continues to offer comforting words, but only 'digs himself in deeper'. When she finally looks up, her face is wet with tears, and SHE IS DROOLING ! Now Tsubaki is himself triggered, by how irresistibly cute/sexy she has become by drooling. They find themselves both blushing. But now with his heart ignited and burning like a supernova, with Tsubaki wanting to taste Hayakawa's drool, drool from another girl other than Urabe, and with his heart erupting like a volcano, he asks her to do so !
But right after Tsubaki unabashedly asks to taste Hayakawa's drool, he then quickly denies that that is what he was asking about, explaining that supposedly it was some sort of joke ! Emotional desire, akin to foreplay, is now running very high for the both of them, as Hayakawa picks up on what Tsubaki wants to do with her. She tells Tsubaki that she would like Tsubaki to visit her from time to time, and as a premium for such consideration, offers him a TASTE OF HER DROOL !!! He goes ahead, but nevertheless, Tsubaki's conscience kicks in at the very last second, replaying in his mind Urabe's declaration that her drool is his only true passion. As a result, Tsubaki begins crying, thus breaking the magical spell on him, and he backs away and apologizes profusely. Hayakawa correctly guesses that Tsubaki does, indeed, have a girlfriend. Hayakawa asks 'point blank' if Tsubaki is Drool Bonded to her. He answers in the affirmative. She recycles the drool offer, but to no avail. Tsubaki declines for a second time, and that is when something very selfish and nerving seizes her heart. She asks for the name of said girlfriend ( Mikoto Urabe ), and takes her leave.
At home, flopped on her bed, Hayakawa replays everything that has happened over and over in her mind. She recalls a time in middle school, when the both of them were completely alone in a classroom. She imagines that she could have offered her drool to Tsubaki at that time, and he would have accepted, thus forming a Drool Bond between them, for the rest of their lives. As her sweet heart slowly darkens, and her innocent mind morphs into nuclear fire, a crafty, devious, scheming plan is hatched !
The next day after school, Hayakawa follows Urabe, and then confronts her. Hayakawa invites Urabe to the Hoshinome School Festival, promising that Tsubaki will also be there ! Hayakawa assures her that it will be "very interesting".
A phone call at home one evening, just before supper, brings Tsubaki outside to a public phone in the neighborhood. He meets a very distraught Hayakawa, who nonchalantly shows him a bruise on the side of her forehead. It supposedly was from the guy that she was shipping with, occurring when he hit her in an angry rage ! She implores Tsubaki to come to the Hoshinome Cultural Festival, as her boyfriend. This to supposedly invoke guilt and shame in the guy, so that he will leave her alone. Tsubaki looks deeply into her eyes, as she really pours on the charm ! Against his better judgement, Tsubaki reluctantly agrees. Hayakawa very quietly thanks him, as she leans her head gently on his chest. Hayakawa turns and walks away. Some distance away, at a public water fountain, Hayakawa washes away the makeup that gave her the appearance of having a bruise. Looking very apprehensive, she mentally reviews what she has accomplished, so far.
Next day after their daily drool routine, Urabe asks Tsubaki if he is going to do anything next Sunday ( the Sunday of the Hoshinome Cultural Festival ). He says that he is going shopping with Ueno. Urabe knows something is 'fishy' ( Hayakawa told her that Tsubaki will be at the festival Sunday ), but says nothing.
Next day, Urabe and Oka are sharing lunch, as they always do. Oka asks about going to the Hoshinome Cultural Festival, but Urabe pretends ignorance. Oka boasts that she is going with Ueno ! Urabe merely repeats that Tsubaki is going shopping with Ueno on Sunday. Oka points out the contradiction of the information, and that Tsubaki is either confused, or outright lying. Urabe is left to ponder the ramifications.
On the Sunday morning of the Hoshinome Cultural Festival, Tsubaki is there, and is surprised to see almost everyone is cos-playing in costume. Shortly thereafter, Hayakawa arrives, cos-playing in her super cute middle school uniform, a blouse, sweater, and mini-skirt girl's uniform, and wearing a black long-hair wig. Hayakawa is uncanny, looking just as she did in middle school ! As Hayakawa takes Tsubaki's hand, and they begin to walk hand-in-hand, he is shaken to his core !
Commentary and Opinion
<<<<<<<<SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>SPOILERS AHEAD<<<<<<<<SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>
A very distraught Hayakawa, suffering from extreme anguish and anxiousness because of a possible shipping with a 'boyfriend' that she was supposedly a part of, but that subsequently had gone sour, begins to institute the clever plan that was hatched in her mind, heart, and soul when she lay in her bed at night recently. But why would such a nice girl as she, suddenly descend into deceit and subterfuge ? There seems to be two facets of human nature, one outside of her, and one within her, that are now at cross-purposes with one another. One one hand, others have observed how pleasing and attractive Hayakawa has become, even attaining the almost impossible status of concurrently being both sweet / innocent, as well as hardcore sexy, and more so with each passing year. We know this is true because she was the most popular girl in middle school, with all the boys admiring her, and rightly so. Their perceptions of Hayakawa are all positive, and are all socially correct as to her looks and personality. But Hayakawa doesn't see it that way. She sees herself very differently. On the other hand, with all of her good looks and agreeable attributes, she actually has a low self-opinion of herself, and that leads to little or no self-confidence in any social arena that she cares to be a part of. This because, although she had the pick of all the boys and their attention in middle school, and all the attention of the girls in her high school, she does not have what she ultimately wants, possibly to Drool Bond with a boy or girl, so as to experience such a deep and committed relationship that that would entail. * So she ends up feeling so worthless because of that, and this is what is driving her social plans now. *
With the apparent breakup with the supposed 'boyfriend' that she thought she had, Hayakawa must have been surprised and pleased that Tsubaki, complimented her on her looks and pleasing personality, and wanted to taste her drool. But that was not to be, as the specter of Urabe came between them, causing Tsubaki to decline at the last second. Now emboldened by the almost Drool Bond that she came so close to enjoying, and reliving in her mind the Drool Bond that she could have had in middle school, but due to the circumstances of the unrequited love present *, was denied such, she now embarks on a devious plan to try and separate Urabe and Tsubaki, just long enough to have another shot at shipping with Tsubaki. Now with this quest and gauntlet having such a grip on her heart, she is presently 'not herself' *, and becomes the agent of many crafty and devious acts that are so outside and opposite of her true self and good nature.
( * Pure speculation or opinion )
Now a second red flag has appeared in Urabe's mind. She already knows what Hayakawa told her, that Tsubaki will be at the Hoshinome Cultural Festival on Sunday, so why is Tsubaki telling her that he is going shopping with Ueno on Sunday ? Then, the next day, Oka tells her that Ueno will be with her Sunday, as they are going out on a date to the Festival. A third red flag ! It just doesn't add up !
" Your conscience can either accuse you, or excuse you. "
---Ancient Wise Proverb
Remember when Tsubaki told himself ( Manga Chapter 28 / Anime Episode 10 ) that he can never, ever tell Urabe about his meeting with Hayakawa at the park, and that he asked to taste her drool ? His conscience should accuse him for such conduct, for doing something that looks like a compromise of his relationship with Urabe. Instead, his conscience, unbelievably, seems to excuse him, so that he agrees to be Hayakawa's seemingly steady boyfriend. Further, his conscience 'looks the other way' when he decides to lie to Urabe, telling her that he is going shopping with Ueno, when he knows what he is going to actually do on Sunday ! Wither he realizes it or not, Tsubaki is, emotionally and socially, digging his own grave, by thinking that he can fool the attendees of the Festival as to being Hayakawa's boyfriend, and can fool Urabe into thinking he was with Ueno on Sunday.
" Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when at first we decide to deceive. "
---Ancient Wise Proverb