We follow up on the scene between Touko and grandpa on the bridge.
Touko called Himeno to a shop for some sweets and to show her something. It was the beautiful and expensive red bowl the gang saw a couple episodes ago. While eating fancy cake Touko told her story. We recall her grandpa being an excellent potter. Her parents were great artists too so Touko grew up in a world of artists. The one she’s closest to was grandpa. When she’s young he praised her every time she did well. That motivated her to get better but over time it became less about fun and more proper craftsmanship.
The pressure to live up to grandpa’s expectations was so strong she got fevers before competitions in middle school. The reason she wanted to sculpt using red was because it wasn’t a color grandpa used very often. One day she tried showing a red bowl to him but he pushed her away. Since then her passion for sculpting was bottled up until a few episodes ago.
As we recall grandpa still praised her granddaughter’s work but did it in secret. After Mr Arai told his story he told Touko the truth. He wasn’t ignoring her as an act of tough love but because her parents asked him to. Like many loving grandparents he doted on her when she’s younger so she wouldn’t lose interest in pottery but as she got older they asked him to stop. As I mentioned in episode 7 my two theories were him wanting her to become her own artist and not depend on his approval or some sort of tough love. It was the first one as seen in the above screen shot. He’s amazed by her latest creation and told her to not rely on his approval to define greatness because she’s already great. Good for Touko!
As I’m sure viewers could tell the reason Touko shared this with Himeno was because they’re on the same boat. It was to encourage her to not worry about living up to her legendary mom’s legacy but make stuff she herself was proud of. Later that night we joined Himeno’s dad worried he put pressure on her to sculpt something to fill the spot on the cupboard. He didn’t want something as amazing as her late wives’ creations, just something her daughter was proud of. Grandma had a feeling she understood.
Meanwhile Naoko was so worried about her precious Himeno she’s the one who called Touko to help calm her. What a great girlfriend she’ll one day officially be.
Speaking of loving girlfriends Mika’s so happy to see Touko’s smile she loved so much she swallowed her “jelly-ness” and thanked Himeno…without telling her why of course.
Good stuff as always. Next time more Ximena!