Fumi and Yasuko's kiss

it's a path of thorns for you

         This episode picks up with a much fuller version of the “kiss” in the library between Fumi and Yasuko which ends with Yasuko telling Fumi that she’s adorable and she wants to walk with her to school in the mornings. The next morning we see Fumi trying a different hairstyle, and we also see that her parents gave her a cellphone. Her mother says that she’ll have to tell her what her boyfriend texts her, Fumi says she has no boyfriend, and her mother says it’s only a matter of time. When Fumi makes it to the train platform she finds both Yasuko and Akira waiting for her, but neither Yasuko or Akira knew that the other was also waiting for Fumi.

Both Akira and Yasuko waiting for Fumi

      During their train ride Yasuko and Akira seem to get along nicely but Fumi seems uncomfortable and quite, and after they say goodbye to Akira, Fumi asks if they can stop commuting together. Well, Yasuko guesses right that Fumi afraid to break a promise to commute with Akira and is afraid of losing contact with her, so Yasuko says the mornings can be for Akira but the ride home is all hers. When Akira gets to school Kyoko says that Kou liked her and that if she wants to she can see him again. Akira says she’s doesn’t know a thing about dating a grown up, but Kyoko says that Kou’s about as far from an adult as possible. While Akira doesn’t say it, she seems a little uncomfortable about, or not ready to date Kyoko’s “fiancee”.

Akira is unsettled about dating Kou

         After school, we see Akira doing some shopping for the drama club while the rest of the club is prepping for the play. Kagami (the advisor) stops by the club for a while, and Kyoko asks to speak with him as he’s walking away. She asks him if he knows Yasuko pretty well, and he asks her what makes her think so? She says she can just tell. We don’t hear her question, but he tells her he’s sorry because he doesn’t know. As Akira is leaving the school with Kyoko she spots Fumi waiting for her, and as Kyoko is walking off she overhears Fumi and Akira mention Yasuko’s name. We then see a flashback of Kyoko’s question to Kagami, “do you know why Yasuko left this school’, he didn’t know the reason or he won’t tell her.

Akira shopping  Kagami stopping by the clubyou know Yasuko pretty well

Kyoko is looking back

        Akira and Fumi head off to a cafe for a talk where Fumi tells Akira that she’ll commute with her in the mornings, Akira says why don’t all three of them commute together, and Fumi says “no”, she enjoys commuting with her. Then Fumi breaks down and tells Akira that she’s in love with Yasuko and they’re dating, she asks Akira not to find it gross and not to hate her.

Akira and Fumi meeting at the cafe

I'm in love with Yasukome and Yasuko are datingplease don't think it's gross

Please don't hate me

         On her train ride home, Akira thinks back over Fumi confession, and she understands why Fumi felt uncomfortable. Akira told Fumi that she didn’t think that girls loving girls was gross but she also thinks that she might just be too simpleminded. The next day, Akira talks with Kyoko, asking if supporting a girl who liked girls would be OK? Fumi also tells Yasuko that she came out about their relationship to Akira and now she’s afraid to face her, and Yasuko tells her that she thinks that she very brave for coming out of the closet. So, Yasuko takes Fumi and the girls from the other day for a visit to Akira’s school. When they arrive, Fumi sees a smiling Akira greeting her, and Yasuko asks where Kagami is?

Maybe I'm just too simpleminded

what about girls liking girls I told Akira about usYou're amasing for coming out

        While Yasuko pays a visit to Kagami’s office, Akira, Fumi, and the other girls stop by for a visit to the school’s cafe. Akira tells Fumi that she doesn’t know how to support her, Fumi tells her just to act normal, Akira says she never thought of that, and both girls get a good laugh out of that and the tension is broken, Fumi and Akira seem back to normal.

The talk in Kagami's officeI want to support youJust act like normal

       After Yasuko and Kagami finish their conversation we see some flashbacks of Yasuko’s days at the school, and we also see that Yasuko and Kagami might have had something more than a normal student-teacher relationship, or maybe Kagami wanted more than a regular relationship, or it could have been Yasuko who wanted more, it’s hard to tell since a lot is left to the imagination. As Yasuko and the drama club work on the play Fumi walks around the school trying to figure out why Yasuko left the school. Fumi questions some students about “the master of the library” (the story that Yasuko been telling Fumi about of a couple of episodes) and some students suggest maybe it referred to a forbidden relationship between a student and a teacher. Later, as everyone is heading home, Fumi tries to ask Yasuko who is “the master of the library’, but she can’t work up the courage to do so. Well, that’s all for this episode.

Yasuko, Kagami in times pastYasuko's drawing of KagamiYasuko and Kagami meeting in the library

this sounds like a forbidden relationship

a question about the libraryI want to ask but I can'twho is the teacher that gave them that name

           First of all, I have to say that I absolutely loved this episode, the range of human emotions and uncertainties displayed by both Fumi and Akira felt true to life and believable. Too often in anime when a main character finally reveals their real feeling it’s takes so long and is done in such an over the top manner that it stretches the limits of believability, but in Aoi Hana it felt true and right.

        I felt that the scene where Fumi confesses to Akira that she a lesbian and is in love with Yasuko, and that she and Yasuko are dating was very powerful and poignant. Fumi who is a very sensitive and insecure girl placed a lot of trust and pressure on Akira at that moment. As Fumi said at the beginning of their conversation she really values her friendship with Akira and doesn’t want to ruin it. I could feel the tremendous emotional pressures building on Akira with her childhood friend not only confessing to her that she’s a lesbian but asking her not to find it and her gross, and please don’t hate her. You can see how this plays out with Akira by the thought that she places on this situation during her train ride home, while she told Fumi that she doesn’t have a problem with girls liking girls she also wonders if she’s too simple minded, and we also see her uncertainty playing out why she sort of asks Kyoko about this. I also felt that Fumi displayed a tremendous amount courage and vulnerability in this episode. Fumi displays a tremendous level of courage by telling Akira that she a lesbian but she also shows her vulnerability when she practically begs Akira to not find her gross and not to hate her.

          This episode touched on very human desires of wanting to love, and be loved, and also the very human need to be accepted for who you are by your friends, and the toll that these desires can take on someone when the relationship falls outside or what mainstream society considers normal. When reviewing anime I’ve always believed in substance and story over style and flash and Aoi Hana has substance to spare this episode has been one of the finest episodes I’ve seen a while, and this series is one of the year’s best.

For another example of a great anime episode where two young characters come to terms with their new found feeling for each other in a belieavble manner please read the review of Naisho no Tsubomi 3.