Mother: Eps 7-8
Episode 7 is a big turning point for Nao & Hana. Up until now it has mainly been Hana trying to make amends with Nao…or more like, she does not expect any reconciliation with Nao but she is doing her best to support her & Tsugumi anyways. I like how Tsugumi becomes the bridge between Nao & Hana, of course it was totally predictable but oh so fitting! Probably if it weren’t for Tsugumi who is helping Nao see Hana in a different light, Nao never would’ve reached the point where she could openly accept Hana.
There is a sorta big reveal about Hana’s past when Nao finally tells Hana that she wants to be on good terms with her. Hana abandoned Nao because she was running away from the authorities and had no more options. Right after she abandoned Nao she was caught & sent to prison. The thing is that her crime is not specified, Hana only tells Nao her sentence and says that Nao must have an idea of what she did. Um, NO I don’t have an idea of what she did just by how long her sentence was. T__T” Anyways it is kinda like a mother-daughter moment there (that sounds a bit ironic) when Nao realizes she is following in Hana’s footsteps.
Anyways my favorite scene with Hana & Nao actually isn’t when Nao reconciles with Hana. It’s a scene before that, when Nao, Hana and Tsugumi are on a ferris wheel and Nao sneaks a glance at Hana who is gazing out the window. Afterwards Nao asks Hana what she was thinking about and Hana gives this beautiful story about what it was like when Nao was brought into this world. Totally a surreal moment..and I think for Nao, an important one because she is finally coming full circle back to her biological mom, to her roots.
Actually my favorite episode so far out of eps1-8 is episode 8!!! This might be kinda controversial but I really enjoyed the story of Tsugumi’s biological mom, Hitomi. There is this one part where it shows Hitomi and her boyfriend watching a TV interview of a news reporter asking passersby what they think of child abusers. They reply that they are inhuman. Hitomi laughs at the TV. So ironic right? Well I think the majority of viewers may come from the view of the passerby, that child abusers are inhuman and that no one can comprehend why someone would do such a thing. I do not think Hitomi’s circumstances justified her child neglect & abuse but I think it is important to see things from her side and to understand that she is not just some faceless monster, she is a human.
So episode 8 gives the backstory of Hitomi’s life with Rena. (I’m switching from using Tsugumi to Rena since this is in the past) Hitomi becomes a single mom after her husband (or boyfriend, not sure) dies. At first Hitomi does her best to give Rena a good life despite not having a father. Then things start to fall apart little by little with financial difficulties, no support system and the pressure of social expectations. Long story short, later on Hitomi finds solace with her new suspicious boyfriend who abuses Rena when he moves in with them. Hitomi finds out about the abuse but turns the blind eye out of fear that her boyfriend will leave her, and eventually neglects & abuses Rena as well.
There are A LOT of gripping moments in ep8, not gonna write about all of them here but wow. Ono Machiko & Ashida Mina definitely nailed it in this episode! I really want to talk about all of these great moments but I find it is really hard for me to adequately describe them. >__< So I will narrow it down to 2 moments. The first is when Rena pleas her mom to help her. Hitomi runs away from the house barefoot and carrying Rena. She runs to her late husband’s favorite restaurant, only to see a happy family there that reminds her of how unhappy her life is and how broken her family is. Something breaks in her and she desperately runs to an overpass bridge and climbs up onto the railing. (while still holding Rena in her arms) That moment on the bridge is just so gripping, I can’t really describe it. Perfect acting by Ono Machiko.
Second is towards the end of the episode, back in the present when Hitomi asks Tsugumi if she still loves her. Tsugumi replies that she doesn’t love her or hate her. And that she is not her mom any longer. OUCH!!!!! That one line really got to me because I just spent the whole episode seeing what Hitomi & Rena went through and now all of a sudden it is in the past again, with their mother-daughter relationship gone. Anyways I guess what I got out of this episode is..that even though Tsugumi can reject Hitomi and choose Nao as her adoptive mother..in the end Hitomi is still Tsugumi’s biological mother no matter what. That cannot be denied. I wonder how Nao will handle this considering she also used to reject her biological mother as well. Does she want Tsugumi to go down the same path of rejecting her mother?
There is a conversation between Nao & Hitomi in which Nao tries to persuade Hitomi to change her ways and that if she does, she can have Tsugumi back. I think this shows that Nao does want Tsugumi to be on good terms with her biological mother and that if possible she would prefer them not to be separated. I really like this scene because it shows the stark contrast between Nao & Hitomi. I realized one of the big differences between Nao & Hitomi; that Nao has a support system while Hitomi has no one. In the beginning Nao was alone and estranged from her family but eventually she gained the support of Hana, her mom, and her sisters. Hitomi on the other hand only has herself which is why she clings onto her boyfriend as her only support.
I finally figured out how to describe my pattern of watching Mother in spurts of 2 or 3 episodes. It is really easy to burn out from watching too much of Mother in too little time. I watched episodes 6-8 in a couple days and after attempting to watch episode 9, I realized it was too much for me. O_O I will take a break before I start watching episode 9 and onwards now. >__<
Anyways I am just starting to listen to the soundtrack which is wonderful so far.