These were posters released in Japan, but they seem pretty depressing to hang in your room D:
These were posters released in Japan, but they seem pretty depressing to hang in your room D:
everything else about this episode is so somber at best and soul-crushingly depressing at worst, but i cannot for the life of me get over the way they just up and get in their fucking helicopter
sixteen year old highschool students who own a helicopter and also pilot it
i think i have a problem
Michiru Kaioh is a prodigy. Michiru Kaioh is at the top of her class in every subject. Michiru Kaioh is turning fifteen in March and her art is already displayed in well-respected galleries, and people from all across Japan gather to hear her violin recitals. Michiru Kaioh is often hailed as a genius.
She doesn’t have to be one to know there’s something very wrong with her.
9,736 words. Read more at AO3.
michiru ‘unable to communicate outside of ocean metaphors’ kaioh
HARUKA JUST HAD HER FIRST FAILURE MOMENT IM SO PROUD
tenou haruka: professional racecar driver. doesn’t have a license.
Let’s Meet in the Movie Version, from Colorful Moon 8
did you just steal the baby and run
YOU DID, DIDN’T YOU
Thank you! :) And that is a good subject to theorize about, I spent quite some time today thinking it through and had a jolly good time doing it. Thanks!
I touched a bit on Michiru’s side of things in my wordmonster of a fic, but to sum it all up in one place with a bit of elaboration— her parents are probably both crazy-successful businesspeople who have been handing her from nanny to nanny since she was born, and when she got older often had to go overseas for business and left her on her own. They’re very prim and proper people and raised her accordingly, but they were never too strict or particularly cold — Michiru has always pretty much been a perfect daughter, and always strove to (and succeeded at) meeting their expectations, even when the pressure on her wasn’t so much forcefully exerted as it was this permanent, subtle thing hanging over her head for as long as she can remember. Outsiders probably weren’t able to tell at all.
Her parents are good people, and they do care about her and want her to be happy, but they’re just so upper-class that they inadvertently created a barrier between Michiru and other children around her, and they’re so gone so much of the time that she had to get used to being on her own from an early age. I like to think that they did try to make her socialize more, but it was in the sort of upper-class gatherings that children are not going to have an easy time making friends in. She was never the kind of kid who’d go and play in sandboxes or on jungle gyms or, you know, anything that would be perceived as rowdy or dirty and also makes up 90% of children’s hobbies at that age.
I see her mom as one those awesome career women in heels and a powersuit, and her dad as, well, one of those awesome career men in a powersuit but probably not heels. Her mom is the type who really cares for appearances, who taught her the subtle arts of applying makeup, picking out dresses and sassily flipping her hair — her high sense of aesthetics probably came from her. Her dad is a bit more laid back, he’ll joke around with her every now and then and take her to sports events because he is super into sports (even though Michiru is not really, she still goes because she wants to spend time with him). He is the exact sort of dad Haruka would’ve loved to have, which is why Michiru’s the one getting him instead. I’m a harsh mistress!
Her parents aren’t neglectful in the typical sense of the word — she was never lacking for anything, and barely had to blink to get the things she wanted provided for her (because she’s really not a kid who’d ask for much, but they would bury her in piles of ridiculously expensive shit all the same). But the fact is that at the end of the day, Michiru more or less grew up alone, with only the influence of her parents’ ideals hovering over her as a guide. It’s probably also where she got the tendency to withdraw into her own world, since hey, she was practically alone all the time to begin with, and it’s not like she had many other means of escape — and I find it kind of neat how both canon and both my fic had her do it when she was under severe stress, even if I made her way of going about it about five times more terrible because I like seeing characters in pain that way.
Anyway! They get along nicely when her parents are around, mainly because Michiru avoids conflicts like fire, but she doesn’t feel that they maintain a particularly deep or understanding bond. Well, rightly so. They’re kind of entirely blind to the person she actually is. They’re pretty old-fashioned, as well, which is why she does not consider coming out to them at any point in her life (before she gets together with Haruka, anyway. It might be subject to change afterwards). She probably has some bitterness towards them at the way she turned out, but whenever she thinks on it she just tells herself that it’s ridiculous and unfair to blame them for it, and just turns it around on herself for never trying to be different.
Haruka’s parents are likely similar in the sense they are both very successful, highly proper and have more money than God. But while the pressure on Michiru was subtle and possibly could’ve even been dissuaded, had she tried, Haruka’s parents were more like two people desperately trying to keep a grizzly bear on a leash. They spent her early years shoving her into horrible frilly dresses which she hated and then ran out to play in the mud in, having her sit through piano lessons (which she actually enjoyed, HAH EAT THAT) and basically doing everything short of making her walk around with a pile of books on her head. Both her parents I think were very humorless and strict and felt that there was little wiggle room in the way they were raising Haruka, which had to shoulder all their expectations as their only child— but then Haruka went and made some goddamn wiggle room, because when your kid hits the age of ten and after a full decade isn’t even remotely close to the path you were trying to steer them towards, most people would accept it’s probably time to rethink their parenting strategy.
Except they didn’t really have a backup parenting strategy, so they basically just shrugged their shoulders in defeat and said ‘you know what, just do as you like’. Which Haruka sure as hell did. That is not to say her parents approve of her lifestyle and choices, or that they make any effort to conceal said disapproval — they just went on to do it in a subtle passive-aggressive manner instead of trying to force her to change. With how successful she is at motor racing now, they really can’t say much to criticize her, but even so it’s evident every time they talk that this is not the way they had wanted her to turn out. She doesn’t care.
Haruka’s parents, like Michiru’s, were absent for a large chunk of her life, but unlike Michiru who mostly just felt miserable and alone as a result, Haruka loved it. Finally, nobody to tell her what to do, to watch over her every movement with those intolerable disapproving eyes! The times they were gone were the times she felt most alive, and she always looked forward to them.
Her parents’ repeated attempts to rob her of her childhood and agency were probably a very large part of why she grew up the way she did: into someone who puts themselves and their goals first, who’s hard-set on living the way truest to themselves regardless of what is ‘normal’ or accepted. Which is admirable, sure, but was also pretty harmful, not to mention terribly selfish, up until she met Michiru. “I’m fated to save the world from destruction? Well, fate can shove it, I have my motor racing and like hell anyone’s gonna tell me what to do.” It’s like she felt the whole world owed her for all the crap she had to go through as a kid — she’s going to pursue her own happiness now, and screw responsibility or caring about anyone else around her. Thankfully, she came around in the end!
Also she’s totally been out to her parents since she was like 13 and flirts with random girls in front of them purely to piss them off. :”) FUN AND FUNCTIONAL FAMILY BONDS
haruka and setsuna are watching the potential enemy with frayed nerves and a sense of oncoming doom
in the meanwhile michiru gazes at them wistfully thinking ‘sigh i’d like to go on a picnic date with haruka too…..’
and to further elaborate on my feelings on this scene: oh NOOOOOOO
but seriously, here is why i think this was particularly gorgeous:
1) up until now, the show has been giving the viewer (or at least, me) the impression of a very equal relationship between the two, perhaps even with michiru being the slightly more dominant half. while haruka is the one who’s more focused on their mission, to the point where she hardly wavers at the thought of sacrificing innocents, michiru comes off as somehow more adult, a sort of emotional buffer for haruka. when haruka is visibly, deeply conflicted for the first time by the possibility of taking away usagi’s soul, michiru doesn’t push her the way haruka always does to her, instead offering comfort, support and understanding. plus, she’s the only one who can poke holes in haruka’s super cool and nonchalant act.
but then this scene completely flips that on its head?? the last thing i was expecting from michiru, who’s practically in a league all of her own, to admire haruka to such a degree. and it’s really just this sort idol crush that’s very typical for girls her age, but when you look at michiru nothing about her is typical for girls her age, so that comes as a really pleasant surprise. it humanizes her a lot more.
2) feeding even further into my reading of (younger) michiru as someone who suffers from some serious self-esteem issues, some of them relating to her sexuality. of course, this is all subjective reading, but ugh— she’s been watching her from afar this whole time, never once having planned to come forth about her feelings, harshly mocks them in front of haruka as if talking about a third party, and when she confesses to her it’s only when she thinks she might die and then apologizes to her for telling her. she just. she feels her feelings are completely laughable, and she wants haruka to affirm it for her, because she wants the confirmation that she’s a freak with ridiculous, unattainable fantasies. and even when she finally tells her outright she just treats it as if it’s a burden for haruka.
and, okay, not in this scene— but when haruka yells at her for trying to drag her into this whole soldier thing, and tells her ‘and i’d like for you to stop investigating me!’ and michiru’s hands barely-noticeably tighten in her lap before she lashes back out at her— maybe it’s just an initial sign of anger, but rewatching it now, what if it’s hurt? she didn’t just approach haruka to ask for her help, she also approached her out of admiration, and got turned down point-blank without haruka even considering what her feelings were. that was exactly the confirmation she was looking for, but god if it didn’t sting.
and she looks up to haruka for being honest with her feelings, which is the exact opposite of what she’s been until now, and for not depending on anyone, which is just incredibly sad because michiru is such a strong, independent young woman but she feels so utterly helpless and lost and alone. after their argument, she completely gave up trying to recruit haruka to fight by her side — now she’s aiming for the opposite, to guarantee that haruka retains her safe, normal life. she would’ve liked for haruka to fight with her— she was happy when she realized she was the one, she said — but when all’s said and done, she didn’t really want it for her, because she knew it would cause her pain. so why did she approach haruka in the first place? if she was sure from the start that her feelings won’t be returned, and if she wasn’t even that adamant about having haruka join her…?
the fleeting hope that she still would, perhaps, so that she wouldn’t be alone.
and if not that, had she been able to paint that portrait, perhaps that would have been enough.
the portrait which, to this day, is all on its own in a completely blank sketchbook.