Anticipation could have been building up since last week, but it turns out that Machina’s “great revelation” has to be put on hold for at least another week. This week we switch back to the “Kyoto and Ise” arc which is “still in the middle of a huge mess”. Although I am a little disappointed that I am not getting the answers I want, I am also relieved that Nagi’s journey has (apparently) finally come to an end.
Nagi is still convinced that interesting experience could only be found after she reaches Kyoto. As such, she is quite unaware that she already has had an unexpected journey, and there should be a few interesting manga ideas under her belt. It is quite unfortunate that she ignores this fact, and attempts to start fresh and look for ideas in Kyoto.
The thing is, Nagi has already “invested” two whole days on her Tokyo-Hokkaido-Kyoto trip, with results not denied, but actually ignored. As she finally begins to look for results she wants, time is already running out. In other words, she has spent time on things that don’t matter to her but has no time to spend on things that matter. It is a very sad story of resources (time) mismanagement.
Nagi starts panicking again. She has wasted two whole days which should have been used on making her manga, and now she is two days closer to the final battle with zero progress. Even Nagi could sense that she is in bigger and bigger trouble. The severity of losing the manga contest to Ruka becomes more and more clear to her. In fact, she is so worried that she is not attempting to look for anything interesting in her desired destination. She pulls out her sketch papers instead – something she could have done back at home.
Dr. Kurosu doesn’t really understand what worries Nagi so much. Her suggestion to have tofu might sound a little odd under the circumstances, but as an outsider to the manga contest she has a point: no matter how worried or desperate you are, you still have to eat. The protest from Nagi’s stomach does help Dr. Kurosu to make her point.
While I still have no idea what Dr. Kurosu is up to, I must say that she appears to have excellent temperament. Over the last 20 hours or so since first meeting Nagi, Dr. Kurou has already been the victim of Nagi’s temper serveral times. Yet, despite being shouted and thrown things at, Dr. Kurosu manages to stay calm and positive. Only a mother or elder sister could be so tolerant, I think.
What’s more, after driving Nagi all the way from Hokkaido to Kyoto – something which I deemed impossible earlier – Dr. Kurosu is now paying for Nagi’s meal, and she even offers to help Nagi with her manga. Nagi has shown a bit of gratitude towards Dr. Kurosu – she did say “thank you”, after all – but perhaps she should do a lot more.
You know, on the evidence we have, I would say that Dr. Kurosu is a strong candidate to the “Most Likable Adult” award.
It appears that Dr. Kurosu is obssessed with tofu. Not only she spends a whole page explaining different kinds of tofu dishes (to be fair, it would take less than a minute if animated), but she actually wants Nagi to make tofu the protagonist of her manga. Hinagiku has criticized Ruka for making a dolphin the protagonist, so let’s see what she has to say about tofu.
Nagi is so unhappy with Dr. Kurosu’s suggestion that she ends up storming out of the restaurant. Poor Dr. Kurosu actually has to go after her and apologise. For me it is quite hard to say who’s right or wrong, but maybe Dr. Kurosu should have been a bit more sensitive to Nagi’s insecurity.
Nagi then makes a very important self-reflection. She realizes that she has been a very lucky girl: she was born to a very rich family, she has so many kind people to take care of her despite losing her parents at a young age, she has extremely good luck to cover for the troubles she has made, etc. She never has to work hard, so she never knows how to. When she is “in a corner”, like she is now, she doesn’t know what to do to get out.
It might sound odd that someone would not know what to do to work hard, but if we take Dr. Kurosu’s words into consideration, it might help us understand. The important thing about working hard is that, you must be prepared that your efforts may not pay off. On so many occasions, logic would tell us that what we are trying to do may not come to fruition, but the key is that we have to overcome such doubts and keep working till the end.
Nagi’s attitude towards working has been too straight-forward. She thought that an idea would simply pop up by going to Kyoto, and when it didn’t work out this way, she panicked. For Nagi, it is either done or not done – upon knowing that she has no new idea as she reached Kyoto, Nagi did not consider trying to make anything out of her journey. Instead, she gave up too easily.
Strictly speaking, this is not all about determination. Nagi has the determination to draw a good manga, so it is not that she lacks determination. The problem for her is that she doesn’t know that she has to use her determination to overcome obvious setbacks, and as she is busy trying to look for alternatives, she is wasting time and efforts. Changing your course whenever you face an obstacle isn’t taking you anywhere.
Luckily, even if she doesn’t know how to work hard properly, she still has Dr. Kurosu and a pair of very hard-working friends to help her. Hinagiku and Chiharu finally reunite with Nagi, and as Isumi is not around, it is unlikely that Nagi would go missing again. Without the need to play hide-and-seek, let us hope that Nagi and her friends can finally settle down to work on the manga. Time really has come to make some progress – yes, even a tofu protagonist is some progress.
By the way… aren’t you supposed to have your own business, Dr. Kurosu?
Allow me to express my relief that Hinagiku and Chiharu manage to find Nagi in Kyoto. Not only that they are allowed to make up for their previous mistake of losing Nagi in Hokkaido, the three of them are now together in a place they have planned to be. By all accounts this crazy journey should have come to an end, and we should have one loose end less. One down, numerous to go.