I’ll come back to talk about each of these scenes individually in a second. I think it’s interesting though, and very intentional, how the creators set up this sequence. With the same piano background music, we go from the hands scene to these. The intention there is clear: this is all supposed to be happening simultaneously (or near enough). These are the moments before the conflict between the Inners and the Outers will escalate, possibly beyond repair. The point of no turning back is nearly here.
The framing of those moments though are so starkly different, and not in a way you’d necessarily expect.
This is where we leave Haruka and Michiru:
The camera tight, their focus solely on each other, the supernova background lighting removing all distracting details so they are the only things in the world, their hands entwined and their intimacy on display between them. This isn’t Haruka’s moment or Michiru’s moment, it’s THEIR moment. Haruka begins this scene as the Inners do, in silent contemplation. Michiru won’t allow it. It must be shared. Haruka’s struggle is her struggle, and vice versa.
Then we move to the Inners. Each of them in a completely separate location. Each of them oppressively alone. The camera (in most instances) starts in a distant point from each of the girls and slowly pans to reveal them, only exposing and amplifying their isolation with every moment. This situation, the conflict with Haruka and Michiru, it’s deeply shaking them. Not only that but – and I think this is the most interesting and important part of how this was shot – it’s NOT bringing them together. It’s the opposite of what we’d expect to find with the Inners, who draw strength from each other and rally together when things are tough.
In this, the bond between Haruka and Michiru eclipses that of the Inners. They aren’t in danger of fragmenting, nothing so dramatic as that, but even in their concerns, they’re not of one mind. Each of the girls has something different that’s pressing on her, each has her own greatest concern about what’s going on and what it means. Their worries have separated them.
Haruka and Michiru, though, every difficulty only brings them closer. The episode wants to make it absolutely clear, no possibility of mistaking it: Haruka and Michiru are uniquely connected. They are together. They are one.
WELL. As it turns out, even reading my old liveblog is basically more than I can handle today. I hate that I’m going to have to pause Classic AGAIN, but it’s not going to be a worthwhile endeavour for any of us at this rate. I’ll try very hard to get some good Classic time in November though, even if I have to spread it over several days. Again, I apologize.
MY GIRLS DESERVE ONLY MY BEST
I MEAN LOOK HOW FUCKING EXCITED REI IS HERE
HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HER
I apologize to everyone who’s been excited for and missing Classic. Me fucking too. WE WILL GORGE OURSELVES SOON
Rei's face when she's assured that Usagi is OK. HER FACE AND HER EMOTIONS AND HER STERN TALKING-TO TO EVERYONE.
Oh, you mean when she runs in the room?
YES THE FACES
ALL THE FACES OH MY GOD
I was screaming so hard I glossed over so many amazing facial expressions. THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT MY GRIEVOUS ERROR
Rei when she’s standing there is such a fucking delight.
Rei just ran across town and nobody has the decency to even be bleeding.
Consider it on Usagi as well, like “HOW DARE YOU NOT BE IN MORTAL DANGER.” And the greatest part being that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’ll come every single time she even THINKS she hears that whistle. There is no The Boy Who Cried Wolf, there is only The Usagi Who Called Rei Hino And Got The Exact Anticipated Result Without Fail And Rei Is Increasingly Grumpy About It.
WAIT BUT THE OTHERS
Usagi and Minako looking exactly the same, because Usagi and Minako. And that expression says just “Damn, Rei-chan.” Like not even surprised exactly, just rendered speechless by it all. And both, I am fairly certain, mentally carving this image into their brains for later. Rei, hair messed up, completely flustered, looking like a wreck, WRONG SHOES ON INSIDE. They may not use this against her tomorrow or the next day, but oh, it will happen.
Ami is so beautiful. SO beautiful. That is the very face of “oh shit”. She is fully expecting Rei to explode about this (if not now then later) and Ami is already like “I’m the one who has to calm her down when she gets like this and this is going to be so much harder when she begins to think about how she looks right now. This is going to be Rei Level Six. I HATE REI LEVEL SIX WHY IS THIS MY FATE.”
But the winner is clearly Mako. SERIOUSLY MAKO YOUR FACE. Her tiny pinprick eyes are fantastic of course, but what I may love even more is how her mouth is hanging slack at an angle. No part of Mako was prepared for what she is facing. And I love this because I don’t think it can simply be in how Rei looks. I think Mako was just so not expecting that Rei got there in like ten seconds. She clearly knew what the whistle was for, so it’s not that it’s a shock to her conceptually. I think it’s all in the details.
Rei adds the whistle to the pile of weapons the girls are assembling for Usagi. Mako picks it up, studying it. “A whistle? Like, for the police?”
“Police? Please. It’s for me,” Rei says.
“For you?” Mako studies Rei instead, curious but uncertain, like she’d just been told potatoes could fly. “But you’ll be at school.”
Rei doesn’t pick up Mako’s skepticism, being too busy trying to figure out how the taser works. “That’s the point. If something happens when I’m not there, blow the whistle and I will be.”
“You do realise we have communicators,” Ami points out.
Mako doesn’t respond to that. (Nobody responds to that. Ami sighs.) “But won’t it already be too late?”
“No,” Rei says simply. She raises her eyebrows at Minako over the taser. Minako pantomimes shocking herself in the neck with it. Rei does not find the the grotesque twitching comforting.
“But …” Mako is in full frown mode now. “How fast can you be there?”
Rei looks up at Mako, her face completely serious and her voice strong and certain over Minako’s strangled gargles. “Fast.”
YET MAKO HAD NO IDEA
DESPITE A SEASON OF REI TURNING UP AT JUUBAN WHEN SHE COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE THERE
DESPITE REI’S CONFIDENCE
DESPITE SEVERAL YEARS OF FIRST-HAND REI HINO EXPERIENCE
STILL MAKO IS COMPLETELY UNPREPARED FOR REI AT HER REIEST AND IT IS GLORIOUS