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Touch 5-30

This post will contain spoilers for episodes 5 through 30.  I really do not suggest reading it unless you’ve seen these episodes too, as they cover a major event that should be left for viewers to see on their own first.

So, it turns out that Touch doesn’t follow the exact path that I had presumed it would after the first few episodes.  In a way, I’m disappointed.  The storyline I thought it would match was one that I’ve actually had in my head for a long time as a potential manga plot – but of course, I have no talent in drawing and I could never bring that to fruition  I was actually a bit excited at the concept that my idea had actually been brought to “life” already.  But there are some differences in Touch from my own idea, and they are interesting differences.  In my vision, the “second best” brother slacked off because he felt he could never live up to his innately more talented brother.  But it’s a bit different in Touch.

Tatsuya is clearly gifted, even though at the beginning, hardly anyone else realizes it.  But it’s his altruistic nature which makes him ignore the talents he may possess and give the limelight to his brother.  Despite his careless exterior, he desires for others, including his brother and Minami, to be happy and this trumps his own interests.  Even when his parents are busy setting up plans for the future marriage of “Best Couple” Kazuya and Minami, he suppresses whatever emotions he may have and goes along with it because this is the one path that won’t leave anyone unhappy (except himself).  But even while everyone was pairing the “Best Couple” together, it was very clear that Minami herself had a clue of what Tatsuya was doing and was drawn to him more than she let on.

Near the end of this batch of episodes, Kazuya’s death is covered in around 2 episodes.  Unfortunately, people do not provide adequate spoilers when discussing this anime, so a brief skimming of some DVD reviews immediately spoiled me to the event.  Thus, I can’t decide how effective the scenes were.  Some were quite powerful but some weren’t (I think musical montages reduce the emotion and make things too cinematic).  I do think that the grieving and gradual return to normalcy could have been done better.  But I can understand why Adachi didn’t want to give melodramatic scenes of grieving – it is too expected, too familiar.  How do youth (which is what these characters are) deal with the death of someone close to them?  It isn’t the way that adults do, and it isn’t the cinematic way either.

And so “Part 1” ends with the death of Kazuya, and the characters try to move on as the new year begins.  I want to mention at least once that I very much like Harada.  His first appearance make him look like the stereotypical empty-headed bully character but as the series progresses, he became a much more important part of the show and more significantly, a much more important acquaintance to Tatsuya.  Like Minami, Harada can see that Tatsuya has talent to accomplish what he wants do, but is sacrificing it for the sake of the happiness of his brother.  Several times throughout the series, he utters his signature phrase, “naruhodo” (“I see” or “Now I understand”) and we know that there is significance to the scene that we may not have noticed the first time around.
And what don’t I like about the show?  The perverted friends.  I’ve never liked this trope regardless of where they show up.  They appeared in Kimagure Orange Road as well.  It seems every young male in anime must have two perverted friends who are obsessed with peeping on women.  I just wish screen time wouldn’t be cluttered by this sort of thing, Touch is better than that.  But I guess it can’t be helped.

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