Episode 12 ends Blue Spring Ride without much of anything resolved. Summer has come. Kou doesn’t have to take summer classes. The group of friends continue to bond. Yuri and Futaba agree to increase their efforts for Kou’s affections. The only major thing that’s happening is this: Kou has started to open himself up to his family and those around him. And while there’s nothing real climactic about that change, it’s something quite significant.
Notice the impact that Kou’s change has on him throughout this episode. He’s far more emotive than he’s been all year. He cries and holds tightly onto Futaba at the beginning of the episode. Near the middle, he reveals his heart to his older brother and father. And at the end, he smiles. All these might me par for course for most characters, but they’re out of character of Kou, demonstrating a change within.
Up until now, even if he possibly had good reason to, Kou was living a very inward looking life. As he mentioned to Futaba when discussing the abandoned kitty the two often saw, he refused to let people in; he didn’t want to love others. Kou had turned his very understandable depression into something selfish, where he just lived for himself without care of others – even those that loved him. And even though he chose to live that way, it didn’t bring him happiness.
But further, living that inward-pointing life led to pain for others. We’re interconnected with all sorts of people, and our selfish taking without giving can bring pain to them, as we see through Kou’s brother, who can’t help but cry when his brother finally starts to open up, even if just a bit.
Humans are made to be relational – as much as we might like to, we can’t just hide away in a corner and do our own thing without it effecting us and others in a negative fashion. Though Kou may not understand this concept – in fact, it seems to really throw him when others react so strongly to him – it’s something that rings true. Open yourself up, give a little of yourself, and you’ll be amazed at how selflessness can help those around you – and you yourself.