Rokka’s Limited Voice in Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Hazuki sent me that cryptic mail, telling me to meet him at the flower shop. He really should’ve called.

I pull up the gate… and was that Shimao-kun? His back, his gentle smile… and all those flowers. All those bouquets that I loved and would never forget. All those birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s. 

I saw the note on the counter. The handwriting… it brought me back to another time, to that moment in the hospital when Shimao-kun was bent over his sketchbook, writing and turning away when he noticed I was staring. I asked him why he preferred to write in katakana instead of hiragana, and he said it was for the mood. Katakana was more expressive, more elegant.

Sketchbook.  Where did his sketchbook go? I knew it was just here. Where are all his tools? His flower shears, his clippers, they’re all gone.

I called Hazuki-kun and he answered his cell phone. I asked him if he went upstairs, if he knew about the gray backpack and the potted plant by the window. If he has those things, he should return them. Stealing is wrong.

Then he says, “Hazuki-kun is the one who stole things away.”

Shimao-kun’s room. I pull out the envelope with the sketchbook page that he didn’t want anyone to see, “When I die will you eat a bit of my bones?”

Miho-san was accommodating to my peculiar request. I didn’t want to inconvenience her, but I knew that I had to make this journey on my own.  It’s the first time that I’m walking without a destination in mind.

Even though there’s someone I’m in love with, for me not to know who it is… I’ve never heard of such an irresponsible crush.

***

For a series where there are only three characters, Natsuyuki Rendezvous has been one of the more challenging series that I’ve watched in a long time. I feel for all three of them, yet I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to cheer on any of them.

Rokka, as the object of desire for both Shimao and Hazuki, is the toughest puzzle to crack, especially more so since we rarely hear her point of view. Whereas the audience is generally privy to Hazuki’s innermost thoughts — even accompanying him to the surreal dreamworld of Shimao’s creation, Rokka’s perspective wasn’t fully available to us. We see her from the eyes of Hazuki (and later Shimao as Hazuki), we are aware of what she does and how she reacts, but not what she feels and thinks about the matter.

I’m aware that limiting Rokka’s point of view is part of the dramatic tension. If we knew that Rokka, from the very beginning, would never ever be in love with anybody other than her dead husband, then watching Hazuki struggle for her love would be so frustrating. But it is precisely because we do not know, because we are not sure on who Rokka now loves, we share equally in the heartache and anticipation.

The battle for Rokka’s heart continues.

Advertisements