The circumstances of Momo.
Frankly, I’m surprised that they manage to put so much Momo content in this one episode when in the manga, it felt more like his crappy situation at home was revealed to us in tiny hints and implications over the course of several chapters.
At least, that’s how I recall it. Maybe my memory’s wrong but there certainly was more of a gradual, built-up feeling of sympathy for Momo than how it was done in the anime, which was like “Suddenly, exposition!”.
Especially this part.
Momo’s (horrid) mother doesn’t make her threatening appearance until a later arc. Granted, it’s just her voice over the phone but the effect is still there, you know what I mean? And I’m definitely sure the effect didn’t kick in this early.
Now I can’t help but think that they don’t intend to do more than one cour. Since they might be trying to squeeze in as much manga plot as they can into 12 episodes before probably going for an original ending.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing
if they don’t screw up the writing too badly, considering this is a shoujo work. Better have some conclusion for the anime than leave it hanging, not knowing if a sequel will ever get green-lit b/c of whatever reason.
Anyways, back on topic, it’s pretty obvious why Momo is trying avoid Nino, despite wanting to see her so badly.
Since he decided to take on the responsibility of paying back his parents’ debt by using his songs to earn money, he doesn’t think he’s worthy of her anymore.
Not like when they were children together, when Momo could write his songs freely and only for the sake of the girl he loved. Back then, everything was still pure and innocent. Everything was clean.
Now all the songs he intended for Nino to sing has been dirtied. They’ve been sold to the music industry for cash.
This is not how Momo wanted it to be. Even if Nino didn’t care and wanted to sing his songs anyway, Momo can’t let her, who’s still “pure” in his eyes, come into contact with something so beneath her. Momo thinks that the way he is now, he is beneath her.
And that’s only half of the misery.
Momo also has to make sure that his mother never comes anywhere close to Nino because who knows what that woman would do? Someone who feels no shame in using their own child to resolve their debt would not hesitate to hurt those important to him to keep him under her thumb.
And that’s why Momo is suffering so much. He’s not just going through one kind of grief. He’s going through several. His mom, his issues with himself…
…and his true feelings.
Feelings of wanting to see Nino, to be with Nino.
Like Yuzu, he’s also in conflict with himself. He wants to protect Nino, wants to do what’s best for her sake, wants to protect her.
Even if that means being cruel to her to keep her away and feeling like shit afterwards.
Because even if he’s determined to do anything to keep her out of harm’s way, it’s not like he can just stop being in love with her. You can’t just expect the heart to not want what it wants.And that’s just sad because what Momo wants is the same as what he needs right now.
And that’s not for Nino to be his lover or girlfriend but just for Nino to be by his side to support him through his problems. Which he can’t allow because of the reasons mentioned above.
As the saying goes, it’s complicated.
And it’s going to get a lot more complicated now that somebody has “taken” Nino away. This is going to make Momo want to fight to get her back.
I can only imagine how the anime will deal with this, if they’re diverging from manga canon. But I hope it’ll at least be conclusive.
And happy conclusive. Or at least something I can be satisfied with.