Last Promise (Episode 17 Version)
I can't form the words
Everything will be going away.
I can't have the same dream.
Don't cry. I can't see you till the end.
English Translation c. 1994
Miki Koishikawa is in sad straits. She can't get her mind off of her boyfriend Yuu, who is thousands of miles away in New York. She rarely talks to him on the phone, mostly because he's never around when she calls. She's resorted to superstition and mantra-chanting to try to get a hold of him. Even her close friends can't seem to cheer her up. (Actually, two of them get her into this mantra-chanting garbage in the first place!) The long distance relationship just isn't working for her.
Part of the problem is that neither Kei nor Michael will leave her alone. Every episode, she hears the same things. "Be MY girlfriend, Miki." "I like you, Miki." "I wrote this song for you, Miki." "Yuu's not worth it, Miki." When I watched this series the first time, part of me was waiting for Miki to just totally snap, turn around and say "Kei, Michael, #&^% you." Wishful thinking. Miki is the type of person to hold things in and let them drive her insane. She will snap, but not that way.
What she doesn't know will break her heart. Just as Miki hasn't told Yuu about Kei and Michael, Yuu hasn't told Miki about Jinny. She hears about Jinny from a total stranger. ("Yuu? He's at Brian's beach house. Jinny's there, so he should be having fun...") In the meantime, Anju has come back into Yuu's life. When Anju thanked Miki for her support (after the operation), Miki joked about Anju stealing him away. Foreshadowing? We'll see.
I looked in the Online Marmalade Boy Guide for various fan reactions to this part of the series. Here is what one fan had to say about Michael:
Michael -- just put him under that semi that was reserved for Suzu earlier! :) He is just a pushy, spoiled, demanding American (!) brat! He just wants what he wants, regardless of the consequences. He may redeem himself later, but I don't see it now.
Pretty accurate. Other people talk about different characters. Many seem to use words like "indifferent", "unemotional", and "cold as a fish" when talking about Yuu. (Most of the comments site that Yuu is totally oblivious to any pain Miki is feeling.) Compared to Miki, I guess I see where people are coming from. A bit harsh, though, especially in light of the Marmalade Boy movie (where we get to see Yuu's softer side). However, he does have a problem with expressing his feelings, and this will come back to haunt him in a few episodes. The next few episodes are in my opinion some of the best in the series, so stay and watch! Sara, it's a new story just for you...