Akane v. Chinatsu: Is All Fair in Love and War?

One of the things I try to teach young people I mentor is to question the culture. Question the church. Question authority. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you believe the things you believe? Are they in line what with you believe is true, or do you just accept them blindly?

I was thinking about that whole process of questioning during episode seven of Tsuki ga Kirei. For those that aren’t watching, Akane is dating Kotaro; Chinatsu, Akane’s friend, knows this, but also likes Kotaro. Chinatsu told Akane that she’s going to pursue him anyway, and during the latest episode, tried her best to become closer with Kotaro while steering Akane toward a different guy.

azumi and nishio
Kotaro’s a pretty stand-up guy, though

Obviously, I immediately think that Akane is in the right here and Chinatsu in the wrong. The series, however, seems to want us to believe that Chinatsu might not be in the wrong – she’s an innocent soul (to some extent); she is striving to grow as a person and best Akane, whom she sees as a rival; and the title of the episode itself is “Hold Back Nothing When Taking Love.”

And so, to follow that creed of questioning everything, I asked myself whether Chinatsu had a point. I have an opinion about that, but I’d rather hear yours. So please comment below and tell me: Is all fair in love and war?

For those watching Tsuki ga Kirei, is what Chinatsu doing okay? Does Akane and/or Kotaro bear some of the blame for the situation?

For those not watching, is it ever okay to pursue someone in a relationship? What if both people in the relationship know that this third person is doing so?

3 thoughts on “Akane v. Chinatsu: Is All Fair in Love and War?

  1. Austenian Ethics! Wow! That´s a case-by-case matter, but as general rules, I´d say:

    1) To the question: absolutely. For me, a girl is either single or married (or living celibacy, but that´s another matter). If there´s not a lifelong compromise, it could still be you who she chooses in the end. You have found someone, and it could be a Big Fish, a Tolkien-Edith for the rest of your life. Another person, another offer in the table won´t hurt her, but can help her to discern. Dating is discerning, and discernment means considering options. Of course, you´ll have to be sincere, because cheating and lying is bad, but that doesn´t mean starting by telling your intentions or feelings: I think it´s legitimate to try to become closer and wait until you know each other and think you can be fully understood. And once she is aware of your intentions, I see no problem in courting her if she doesn´t forbide it.

    2) To the title, no. Because nobody should pursue someone (or fall in love in the first place) without the interior resolution to sacrifice your feelings and stop if you honestly conclude that´s the best for the other person, and have this possibility always open, without self-deception. For me, that´s the only way for it to be true, Christlike love. If she´s happy, if their relationship is deep, if you think you can´t offer the same, my model is Kushieda. Steering your friend toward a different guy: I think that´s morally wrong. A friend trusts you, and that means you should be honest and refuse to manipulate him for your own reasons. You can compete, but in an open, noble way. And you should also be prepared to accept more distance, a rejection of your advances or whatever, and respect that decision wholeheartedly without blaming her or showing coldness. People are free to choose, and their decisions, when firm and clearly stated, must be respected.

    3) What if the boyfriend knew too? Well, he obviously won´t like it, but it can´t be helped. I wouldn´t accept any order to give her alone which doesn´t come from her: he is not a husband yet. I think you don´t have to tell him unless you are a brother or a close friend or there is other bond: the girl is the one dating him, your feelings concern you and her only. She should tell, she must choose sooner or later, one of you must let her go. I think it´s even possible to maintain your friendship if you´re friends, if you continue to be loyal and noble whatever happens.

    I, ahem, have taken this course of action. Twice, in fact. It´s difficult and confusing (and hard), but as long as you are sincere and loyal, respect the freedom of the human heart and never stop trying to live a sacrificial love, I think you´re in God´s way: let´s start the war and fight with all your heart. By the way, Ore Monogatari is a sort of Austenian Ethics encyclopedia, by the way: it develops this situation twice, and does it well.

    1. Thanks for the thorough reply! I wanted to set aside some time to read through it in it’s entirety, and I was glad I did. A very good read, especially knowing that it’s from personal experience.

      And yes, you’re right about Ore Monogatari! I had forgotten about those situations in that series.

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