AND IF YOU LOOK TO YOUR LEFT YOU WILL SEE OUR NEWEST EXHIBIT LABELLED “GENUINE FEELINGS OF SURPRISE ON A GRUMPY NINJA”.
I absolutely love how this bit of the conversation plays out too, though. The panel zooms all the way out for Kurogane’s questions, because that’s as close as we’re going to get. WE don’t get to see the concern on Kurogane’s face when he asks about Tomoyo’s well-being, because those don’t belong to us yet. Those are still private things for Kurogane, and only these specific circumstances are letting him properly voice them.
And the way Piffle Tomoyo chooses to reply isn’t with any guarantees of her safety, because it was a year ago, and Kurogane would see through any empty assurances in a heartbeat. Tomoyo knows what this moment means, so she’s completely and utterly honest in a way that still stays true to what he wants to hear: she looked happy - or more specifically, she enjoyed herself the most when she was talking about him. AND KUROGANE EXPECTS THAT SHE WAS TROLLING HIM BECAUSE HE KNOWS HER VERY WELL, but that wasn’t the case, and instead he gets a compliment he was never expecting.
Tomoyo sent him away on this journey very abruptly without giving him any chance to adjust to the reasons WHY she was sending him away. But here Kurogane gets the message that she wasn’t just banishing him outright or doing it out of spite, but because she truly believes in him and thinks he will grow into a truer and stronger version of himself.
Which is what he always wanted in his own misguided way. He wanted strength, which he equated with murder at the time. But now Tomoyo has not only given him the path to true strength, but she honestly believes that he can achieve it the proper way, and that was a vote of confidence he might not have been expecting.
SO. ON TOP OF ALL THAT
On top of HIS Tomoyo’s care and belief and her gift of putting him in the position to achieve what he always wanted (but had fallen out of sync with), Piffle Tomoyo goes back and addresses her original question. Kurogane’s wound.
And this time Kurogane doesn’t deflect or resist. He accepts Tomoyo’s gentle comfort.
That in itself is a huge step, but it’s a metaphor in itself. The entire thing is a mirror.
Piffle Tomoyo hurt Kurogane physically - but she’s taking responsibility, providing him the comfort that only she can, and encouraging him to heal.
Kurogane’s Tomoyo did the same thing, but on a much larger scale. She hurt him emotionally - which, because this is Kurogane, is a very hard thing to gauge in the first place (and this in itseld is reflected through his refusal to take off the glove or admit that he was hurt).
(But we know it does.)
And through Piffle Tomoyo’s words, his Tomoyo is reaching back out to him. She’s accepting responsibility for what she did by sending him away, but she’s providing the kind of comfort that could ONLY come from her.
More than all of that, she wants him to heal.
And at the core of it all, that’s what Kurogane’s journey has been about right from the very start.
anybody else remember that part in peter pan 2 where wendy’s daughter jane betrayed peter and hook got him n then jane was like “but you swore you wouldn’t harm a single hair on his head!!!” and hook plucks out a hair from peter’s head like “there, i didn’t harm a single hair on his head” cuz honestly that was some kinda iconic