SHUFFLE! 20

Rin spends loads of time with Asa in the hospital, even skipping school to do so. Ama-san talks to him and tries to pinch some sense into the boy. Kaede has another mini-broken-tape-recorder episode when she questions Rin’s constant trips to the hospital. After her self-control wears off again, Kaede deploys her Nuclear Postman 1 (delivering “Nude Girl in Bed” 50 megaton warhead) which Rin manages to shoot down with his ACME MegaCannon ( “Run away!” ). After punching a helpless lamp post and soaking up the sky juice, he deploys his own Grim Reaper 2 (delivering “I’m Moving Out” 100 megaton warhead) against which Fuyou City’s L.N.D.S. ( “Shocked and awed” ) provides no real defence. Bonus point for anyone who knows what L.N.D.S. stands for.

For better summaries and more than Asa-chan screenies, see Random Curiosity and Phoenix512.

This episode is the first time that Rin admits (albeit implicitly) that he likes Asa. First when Ama-san directly asks him, he eventually gives a rather unsatisfactory and half-hearted “Ha…” (“Yeah…” or “Sorta” methinks) but then she decides not to press him further and uses a line from the game when she asks Rin to look after Asa (A-chan no koto onegai ne). Later when Asa chides Rin for not being sensitive to a maiden’s heart (otome no kokoro) by telling a white lie when need be (about continuing to hold her hand), Rin responds to the teasing (which we saw since Ep 1) by saying that a guy’s heart is shy and he will say “No” even if he doesn’t mean it.

Mother and daughter apparently enjoy a very strong rapport when they both went “Neee!” together as well as tag-teaming on Rin about going to university and his grades. The room and garden scenes also further brought out the other side of Asa, besides her public persona of energetic tomboy senior (or genki-bokkuko-sempai), the sickly, quiet and contemplative girl. Although she’s been Rin’s pillar of strength, when he held her in his arms (like in Ep 19) and when she leaned against him, she just seemed smaller and more fragile. Even her voice had a wistful drawl to it in contrast to her normal upbeat cheerfulness.

Asa also seems to be going through great lengths to hide her illness from Ama and Rin. The timing of her latest attack, upon recalling Rin holding her hand (and tying it with the nature of her illness), evokes a parallel to how Primula’s condition was governed by her emotions, the key to controlling her internal magical power. A comparison with the other attacks don’t seem to reveal a clear correlation to any single variable though – Ep 9 (after her topless incident and trying to appease Lisianthus’ jealousy), Ep 14 (after apologising to Lisianthus and Kaede for yelling at them and questioning their candidacy for Rin’s love), Ep 19 (after teasing Rin about possible rumours about them as a couple and again when meeting the full force of Kaede’s jealousy).

Rin also seems to have realised that there is some kind of miscommunication between Ama and Asa. The former still feeling guilty after being responsible for Asa’s condition and fearing that her daughter still blames her while the latter feeling guilty for having blamed and emotionally hurt the one who loved and cared for her. This Gordian knot will probably be a plot point in Ep 23 “Revealed Truth” to get Asa to accept her non-human heritage as she denies it not for her own sake but out of guilt and penance towards her mother.

Like Albert Elegance, I felt that Kaede was undoubtly the star of this episode again. After the shock of Asa’s collapse doused her jealous rage, she has another mini-relapse when she meets Rin on his way out to the hospital again. Rin’s absence and constant declining of her household service continue to gnaw away at her. She tries to confront him about how his neglect is causing her to suffer but does not press the issue as she feels she does not have the right to his love and that her own suffering is a sort of retribution. However her highlighting of the parallel between Ama and Asa on the one hand and Rin and herself on the other was also in the game (both latter girls feel guilty about mistreating the former and are suffering to try and make up for it), except it was brought up by Game Rin to Asa.

I think Primula’s questioning of Kaede after Rin fled was key to preparing the ground for Ep 21 as Primula, somewhat like the Blind Ape of Truth, forced Kaede to admit that she loved Rin and wanted him at her side for her own sake – which contradicted her own professed mission of being at Rin’s side to serve him and put his happiness above all else. In forcing Kaede to recognize her own feelings, Primula allowed Kaede to start to come to terms with the situation – to admit her feelings to Rin and to allow her hidden possessive love for Rin to blossom into a selfless love for him. However come the morning, she begins to backslide but Rin’s decision to leave the house is the hammer blow that forces her to confront the above contradiction without an easy way out.

Oh, and after Ep 19 and 20, I now rewatch and interpret Ep 1 in a really different light – you can clearly see all the seeds of Rin / Kaede / Asa there right from the beginning.

6 thoughts on “SHUFFLE! 20

  1. This anime just keeps getting better and better! Its like one of those soap operas that you hate but cant help yourself loving it!!! I cant wait till ep 21 comes out! I want to see how Kaede takes this decsion. I hop your right on the above that she can come to terms with her real fellings. And I also hope that Asa and Rin’s relationship starts to bloom soon. Hope I can get a reply on my comments. I havent seen the manga or played the game so this is only my perspective. Thanks

  2. Haha I will reply to your comment Nocturn! ;)

    This anime is getting more and more interesting and I love it! I hate how Kaede is still berating herself over the incident that happened like years and years ago. If Rin has gotten over it, than she should too. He doesn’t even have any ill-feelings towards Kaede, yet she keeps blaming herself and won’t come to terms with her own feelings for him. She should’ve been more blunt like the other girls and tell him straight up that she loves Rin like two episodes ago. Now I don’t think she stands a chance in woo-ing him over unless she just wants Rin to pity her. Which isn’t really fair for her, but I hope she receives a happy ending too.

    I actually don’t know who to cheer for anymore. Both Kaede and Asa have my sympathy vote because of all the pain and suffering the two are going through. Yet Kaede is enduring all of this pain alone while Asa have both Rin and her mother. Primula is still trying to accept her newfound feelings which she recently acquired. I don’t think Rim-chan is doing that great of a job cheering Kaede up.

  3. Hey thanks for replying!

    I’m still cherring for Asa!!! Asa needs Rin more than Kaede. She’s on death row! And for Kaede she can’t come to terms with her fellings cause of all the guilt she has inside her. Remeber she tortured Rin for years it wasn’t like a couple of months. Don’t get me wrong I feel sorry for her and hope that she can find peace. Because i don’t think the pitty scheme is gonna work on Rin.

    Also what happened to all the other girls lol :o

  4. AH i want the next episode! So far the series has been really good but i’m really dissapointed how they didn’t have any character development with Kaede earlier on in the series. They’re kinda just forcing it out there at the end of the series. You never really get to see Kaedes spotlight with Rin whereas the other girls haved hogged him throughout the whole series. I really feel sorry for her though and i agree with Problematic about how Kaede is enduring all pain alone and Rin is so blind too see it. I hope she gets a happy ending too cause it would just be too plain if the ending consisted of Kaede expressing her feelings and Rin and Rin finally being able to go out with Asa with everyones approval.

  5. FUCK RIN! I hope he will be SO regretted for who he had chosen to be his sole mate in the end rather than his childhood friend.

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