Celestial Method (Sora no Method) has a lot going for it – cute characters, emotional storylines, and a nice OP and ED (speaking of which, see and hear our own Japes sax up the show’s end theme). But I can’t say that the series is unique in any sense. It revisits a lot of motifs, themes, plot lines, and characterizations from other similar works, and episode nine is no different. With Shione realizing that Noel is going to disappear after the group’s wish is granted, she does what might be expected of such a character – she sacrifices her own needs for the group, and she does so by trying to chase Nonoka away by speaking more harsh words.
Still, that’s all within the bounds of Shione’s character. For being such a cool cat, in a lot of ways, she’s the least mature member of the group. She has trouble making friends; she can’t let go of grudges; she internalizes all her pain; and she’s unable to take a leap forward for fear of what it might mean.
And so, instead of doing what Nonoka might, and explaining to the rest what is going to occur and sharing the pain with them, Shione takes all the burden upon herself. Feeling guilty because it was originally her wish that set these events in motion, fearful of establishing trust with her friends, and retreating into her self-imposed isolation, reflected through her constant shuttering of the outside world through her headphones and also containing a tinge of pride that says “I know how to handle this best,” Shione pushes everyone away once again.
It’s this action that shows how much Shione still has to grow.
Although she recanted the admission at the end of this episode, Shione already moved past a milestone in understanding her needs. Even with all that happened in episode nine, Shione comprehends that she needs her friends to be healthy and that she wants friendship. The next hurdle, though, is learning to trust her friends, and this might be an even bigger one to cross. As those of us with trust issues understand, it really feels like a leap into the unknown to place your trust with one other than yourself.
But ultimately, “living safe” isn’t living our best – it isn’t even living a standard life. All that awaits is sadness, bitterness, and oftentimes, hurt even for those around us. We’re made to love others, and part of love is forsaking our security and pride to reach out to people. It’s the very same with God – he wants our faith and trust as well, not simply a life we say is committed to God, but which in fact is like Shione’s – lived inward and dependent on only ourselves.
Yes, trust is a hard thing to give – but for Shione, and for all of us, it’s a sign of love, and if we can’t relent, we’ll always be bound to our pains, hurts, and regrets. Without trust, we’ll never be free.