Hachiken can’t solve all the problems, but maybe he can help out with one.
What They Say:
“The Last Milk”
Content: (please note that the content portion of a review may contain spoilers)
Hachiken, sick of friends telling him to let things go and not worry about problems that don’t concern him, finally lets it all out as he tells Aki to “drag me into things.” Despite protestations, he explains that he knows he will be hurt, and that he can’t fix it, but he wants to understand. It’s a big moment for Hachiken, finally demanding this from her, but Aki makes her own revelation about her tightlipped, closed-off personality: she couldn’t stand to see Hachiken hurt himself over this, and she tried to keep him at a distance. But now she knows she can’t do that anymore, and she vows to let him in on her problems.
This, of course, causes Hachiken to stress, as he begins to realize how lucky he was with money, even if his parents didn’t get him, while Komaba has to get a job and the Mikage family would have to sell some of their livestock for Aki to even go to college. Though he admitted to not being able to fix anything, Hachiken still fishes around for some quick-money schemes (working with the mafia to sell crab is one suggestion from a teacher) but this only further proves how impossible the situation is.
The next big thing that Aki, and thus Hachiken, have to deal with comes up when Komaba alerts her that the family decided to sell off all their cattle. They both go to see them off and give their support to Komaba and his family. The color pallet of a gray and foggy morning further drives home the point of hopelessness — there’s nothing else Hachiken or anyone else can do to keep the cows from going to other farms or being slaughtered because they’re too old, leaving behind an empty cattle shed that’s far too cold.
After an awkwardly placed ending song (there are still several minutes of episode left afterward) Hachiken makes a point that Komaba must be much more despondent than he’s letting on to his friends, “Because he’s lost his dreams and he’s all empty inside.” Aki feels for him, too, but watching Komaba stop working towards a big dream gets her thinking about her own dream that she never even tried for. This is where Hachiken’s relationship towards Aki really shows itself as something special: he wants Aki to do whatever it is she wants to do, and if that means working with horses and not taking on the family business, then he wants to stand behind her and support her as she finally admits her feelings to her family.
This was a really bittersweet episode, as the miraculous solutions you hope Hachiken or the others will come up with never come to pass. While this is disappointing, and frustrating, it follows the anime’s usual pattern, where despite the humor the story and characters remain honest about farm life, both the good, and the bad, which has been what makes the show so good from the beginning. Careful not to end the episode on such a low note, there is some improvement on Aki’s attitude towards her dreams, and what she wants out of life, though we’ll have to wait until the next episode to see if she gains anything from that.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 13″ Apple Macbook set to 720p