Takao is now all alone.
After the events up on the hill, he was unable to choose between Nakamura and Saeki. Perhaps it’s for the best. Nakamura has been blackmailing him all this time and mentally torturing him. Saeki started out as genuinely nice, but has progressively become a little t0o accepting of Takao’s actions and is showing symptoms of being on the yandere route. Perhaps it’s time for him to move on and start fresh.
Flash forward to a month later, and things haven’t gotten better for any of them. Takao is now avoiding Saeki while trying to talk to Nakamura at the same time, who just ignores him completely. Ah, the freshness of youth is starting to give way to the harsh reality of high school drama. If only there was an overbearing authority figure that would force them to put aside their differences and rise up. Alas, this is not a 1980s John Hughes movie.
So did Takao really learn anything from that experience? It doesn’t look like it. In fact, he’s gone into full angst mode and just spends each day going through the motions on auto-pilot. He’s even gone back to thinking that he isn’t worthy of someone like Saeki, which is his reason for avoiding her. It’s really pathetic. I was hoping that after what happened, he would at least be stronger as a person, but he’s just reverted to the same Takao that he was in the beginning.
What I want to know is what’s going on in Saeki’s head. She looks like she still has some lingering feelings for Takao even after all this time. Even her friend Ai has no idea what’s been going on or why Takao is acting the way she is. It seems the events of last month are a secret only known to Takao, Nakamura, and Saeki, so it’s probably bewildering to everyone just why they’re acting this way.
As for Nakamura, she looks to be holding a grudge against Takao. After all, he was the one who agreed to follow her beyond the hills. The show has started to portray Nakamura as a sympathetic character. It’s obvious that she felt some kind of special connection to Takao because of their shared dislike of the entire town. His inability to choose between staying and leaving must’ve felt like the ultimate betrayal to her.
Takao’s self wallowing leads to some interesting visuals, especially a sequence where he has a dream of himself walking through the town as it gets covered in the “evil flowers”. And who does he find in the middle of that field of flowers? Nakamura on the verge of tears. It’s finally happened. Saeki is no longer the muse on Takao’s mind.
“I believed you would tear down your walls and follow me beyond the hill.”