Content warning: this review will contain discussion of suicide.
While episode eight mostly concerned itself with Jyuka becoming more secure in himself as he helps an overworked childcare staffer, the real meat of these two episodes is the continued conflict between Uruu and Homura. Homura is down for the count while he continues to heal and Uruu insists in overseeing his care. He almost pulls a Shinji at one point, straight up choking Homura in his unconscious state. It’s a scene that I think would have benefited with a little more care on the animation end to serve its gravitas. Uruu’s hatred of Homura never quite lands like it should in these two episodes.
Uruu’s feelings are central to episode nine as the anime focuses in on adultery. This was an opportunity to course correct Uruu and how he’s dealing with the trauma of his mother’s death, but it just doesn’t quiet get there. We learn that in order to deal with the repercussions of the affair and process his mother’s subsequent suicide after the execution of her lover (Homura’s dad), Uruu has believed that she was manipulated. This is what his father told him (of course) because it’s easier to stomach the disgrace of the situation by casting the woman as dumb and manipulated and center himself by believing it was an act of political sabotage.
In reality, Uruu’s dad was ill-suited to meet his wife’s needs (he’s cold and matter of fact) and so she began a relationship with the head of the Ignis Clan who genuinely loved her as well. For Uruu though, he’s accepted Homura’s dad as the one fully responsible for the deterioration of his family. He seems unwilling to confront that this is the same family unit that emotionally neglected and abused him and that this reasoning fully denies his mother of her own agency. She chose to betray his dad and potentially bring shame to the family name in order to find genuine happiness. Uruu seems to have some idea of this by the end of the episode when he admits that his mother looked happy in death.
In order to facilitate this discovery, the episode sets Uruu up with high school-aged painter who is also aware that her mother is cheating. She’s spied on her mother enough to know who the lover is, is frustrated by her mom’s lies about her whereabouts, and that the family life is being upended. Her mom is a housewife but she isn’t taking care of the home any longer and is staying out late with this man. Now, for the sake of narrative clarity, I really expected it to be revealed that the mother was in a mutually loving (albeit adulterous) affair. This isn’t the case and after Uruu and Homura retrieve ‘Attachment’ from the lover, it’s revealed that he broke it off with the mom and she killed herself not long after. The family chose not to have any kind of memorial because of the scandal.
Well, that’s pretty crappy, isn’t it? In the case of this specific family, the woman was being led on and promised things that were never legitimate. That happens. It’s hard to say what was lacking in her life, specifically, but her husband does resemble Uruu’s dad in a way. This affair in particular could be the usual tropey “bored house wife cheats on dull husband with younger, more exciting man” but it just bugs me that her husband didn’t have a memorial for her, and that the daughter seems okay with this. Was there nothing left to celebrate about this woman?