Oh wow, this episode actually made me angry! Not because of regurgitated content, the reason I was so displeased with episode 3 but, because Tsubaki’s possessiveness of Urabe and Oka’s insistence Urabe belonged to him really rattled my inner feminist.
I was completely taken aback when, during the first five minutes of the episode, Oka alluded to Tsubaki owning Urabe’s legs not just once, I may have been able to let it slide if it were just the once, but twice! This spat of sexism just felt completely inappropriate given that it came from Oka, (I wouldn’t expect a girl to objectify another girl) and so far the balance of power in the couple has been fairly equal. Whilst Tsubaki has slowly but surely been driving their relationship forward, Urabe has always retained some level of control, acting as a kind of fuse on their relationship. By that I mean, whenever she deems things to get too steamy, she firmly puts Tsubaki back in his place. Urabe’s not just some passive doll, she’s not Tsubaki’s plaything so, it really bothered me Oka would say such a thing! I thought that’d be the end of the show’s sexism- Oka’s always been one to push boundaries but, it then went on to have Tsubaki, who I’ve always thought to be quite gentlemanly for his age, to be just as bad!
During the first half of the episode Tsubaki actually expressed dismay at his girlfriend’s new found popularity, saying, and I quote: “It’s starting to feel like she’s not just mine anymore.” That’s right, Tsubaki, the boyfriend who has done nothing but accommodating and considerate of Urabe is now objectifying her, thinking of her as being something which belongs exclusively to him. Come to think of it, there was that dream where Urabe has dolls tied to her head, perhaps Tsubaki does subconsciously wish Urabe would be his doll…? In any case, Tsubaki, I am disappointed in you- women are the equals of men, never their property! It may seem as though I’m blowing this thing out of proportion but, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexism, and it has really marred my opinion of Tsubaki and their relationship, and as that’s what the entire show revolves around, that’s a pretty big deal! I mean, the biggest appeal of their relationship is how unique and sweet it is but, sexism completely undermines that, ya’ know!? I know he never voiced these views to Urabe but the fact that he even thinks things such as “I want Urabe’s legs and all her mysteries to be mine alone” in the first place is a tad worrying! Were he more the assertive kind, views like that could really cause problems for their relationship. I hope the sexism in this episode was a one-off and it doesn’t become a recurring thing…
Another feature of this episode worth talking about was the two scenes where the two girls, Urabe and Oka, each went to visit their respective boyfriends. OK, I may be a little slow on the uptake but these scenes were the first in the entire show to draw my attention to the show’s hidden message, the message everyone else seems to have picked up on, the message of the importance of being chaste. I found it funny how horrified I was at Oka for brandishing her bikini clad body so flagrantly in front of her boyfriend, and how much more that made me respect Urabe’s more modest approach of making her sick boyfriend feel better. Now, I’m hardly a prude so the fact I found myself thinking this was a little surprising! Maybe it’s because Oka provides such a contrast from Urabe, who has been around a lot longer and is one of the show’s main characters, her actions seem excessive and crude in comparison.
A fairly sub-par episode, still not much of that progression I asked for… >.>