I’m sure nobody had complaints about this scene!
Personally, I think it’s interesting. After that euphoric night of letting out every bit of compulsion and chaos stifled within themselves during the boring drudgery of everyday life, Kasuga and Nakamura feel a stronger connection with each other. But that euphoria can’t last forever. Eventually, they must make their way back to reality. That’s what this walk feels like to me: They’re slowly exiting a dream and re-entering the doldrums of the real world. It’s like exiting Heaven, walking through Limbo and getting dumped back into Hell. By the time Kasuga gets back home, all the joy and release is gone, replaced with anxiety that his normalcy will be shattered. The kid’s still not strong enough to assume the burden of being different.
That scene probably would not have worked well at all if the atmosphere weren’t nailed so well. The muted music and absolute silence elsewhere sold the walk for me perfectly. I had no issue with how long the scene went on; in fact, I was actually surprised to see that it stopped nine minutes into the episode (so the scene went on a bit longer than six minutes). It certainly did not feel that long to me, and I have a fairly awful attention span. The scene sucked me in that much. It’s really the simple beauty that drew me in along with the context of the walk, you know? I could appreciate what an interesting, compelling choice it is.
There’s a lot of walking in general in this episode, actually. This one is more of the “dead man walking” variety; Kasuga is trudging along to his horrible, embarrassing fate having committed what he assumes is social suicide. It’s nothing but hanging out with the goths (or whomever the new order of outcasts are) at the back of the school now. But no, a stroke of luck arrives when the paint Kasuga and Nakamura flung around the classroom covered up the most relevant portion of Kasuga’s confession. Or, this would be a stroke of luck if Kasuga didn’t have a change of heart. Maybe he’s going in for more emotional self-flagellation and martyrdom, or maybe he’s just had enough of the whole charade. He still doesn’t have the courage to confess to Saeki (and I doubt he would have if she didn’t call him out on it at the end), but maybe he feels for her enough that he doesn’t want to keep lying to her. Or maybe he just wants to run away because it’s a confusing, terrible situation.
Whatever the case, there’s no more running. I doubt it will be a simple “Saeki rails on Kasuga and he tries to win back her trust” sort of situation, because those simple situations really haven’t been this show’s MO. There have been enough hints to suggest that Saeki won’t react in a straightforward way; also, there is of course Nakamura to consider, as well. She could just stay back and enjoy the drama (even with her newfound connection to Kasuga, I doubt she could resist seeing more of him squirming), or she could probably ignite the whole thing whenever she desires. Her comment about another of Kasuga’s walls coming down indicates that she’s still helping him in her own way, so if she sees another opportunity to tear down another of Kasuga’s walls, she will surely take it.
Anyway, I’m betting that the next episode will be chock full of cringing and that it will take me like an hour to watch it.