Tsuki ga Kirei is about a romantic relationship between a boy and girl, but even so, episode six was especially full of relationships. Through juxtaposition, we saw what it means to have a good relationship, via Kotaro’s family v. Akane’s, friendship v. relationship, and Takumi’s scolding of Akane v. the editor’s response to Kotaro. And through that, we also see a little bit of what it takes to build a relationship, and how difficult relationship-building can be.
When I was middle school, I realize now, I really only had one or two close friends, and they weren’t the friends that I considered to be my best friends at the time. My supposed best friends were those that made me laugh the most and who I spent the most time with; my real best friends were the ones that challenged me and who stood by me (and up for me) when it mattered most.
I discovered later that those truly good friends were those that wanted to know the real me and were willing to show the same in return. Like Chinatsu, they wanted me to tell them the things that maybe were uncomfortable, even if they already knew these things about me, because when you push into this kind of territory, you demonstrate trust and faith, and that develops relationships.
Akane and Kotaro are doing similar and because of that, are generally starting out on the right foot. They not only share their dreams and goals, but are willing to share disappointments and losses. That openness makes their relationship more than skin deep, and it helps them know more about one another as they see not just the best self that the world sees, but the inner self which may or may not be as admirable. When Akane is down, for instance, she challenges herself further; Kotaro is more a sad sack even a day or two after his rejection.
It’s no wonder about Kotaro, though, since he doesn’t feel support from his mother at home. The same as with Takumi and his rebuke of Akane, Kotaro’s mom is telling him what she believes he needs to hear instead of what he really needs at the time. But you know what? I don’t blame Kotaro’s mom and I don’t blame Takumi. I can’t, because I’ve been there, and I’m still there frequently, saying the wrong things to friends and lose=ing my patience with loved ones. I don’t always meet people with grace, and at my worst, justify the hurtful things I say in the name of tough love. To be sure, tough love is sometimes necessary, but only when it’s founded in grace.
I think the little surprise at the end of the episode fits perfectly with these ideas about relationships, because more than anything, the episode demonstrated that it’s hard to build good relationships, and even good ones are imperfect. There isn’t always great closure to situations, and things don’t always go as you would wish, but the hope is that when you value someone and love them, you’ll continue to move forward through the setbacks, even those caused by yourself; I think it’s only then that the outcome, as incomplete as it is, will be worth the cost.