I feel kind of a jerk criticizing a five year old post. But for what it's worth a) I am interested in the ideas involved, not intending anything against the author (it's certainly an extremely well-written post) and b) I will confine myself to what was available in-comic at the time of that post (e.g won't discuss 1358 or the bathhouse scene).
The discussion up to and including 1216 I agree with completely. Immediately after that, under 1217, comes the statement:
[Piro] is still in love with her, Kimiko can see it and Yuki can be absolutely sure, she is a Magical girl and that’s part of her power.
This is stated without transition or supporting argument. Kimiko certainly looks tender and concerned, but from that comic to the present has said nothing
to Piro on the subject; the closest she has come to saying anything about it with Miho is "What about what happens to you in his
story?" which can hardly be called unambiguous. It's a safe bet she wants P+M to at least talk, to hash out and hopefully recover from the disastrous breakup they went through, but beyond that it gets very speculative very quickly. While it is possible
she is thinking she has given up on him, that he and Miho still love each other, that they should get back together asap, and that in the meantime she is gonna keep snogging the stuffing out of him (? i don't get that part if the other claims about her thinking are true...), there is nowhere near enough in-comic evidence to pluck that particular train of thought out of the much larger hypothesis space of things she could be thinking. Assuming we know (again given how little she has said
in the past few chapters (not just strips!)) exactly what is going on in that non-trivial headspace
of hers seems a stretch to me.
I said in a recent thread much the same about assuming what Yuki's "magical power" in this situation is capable of. Yes, we know
she can yank a RAZ instantaneously because we've seen that explicitly. We haven't (unambiguously) seen her successfully using any "love powers" (as opposed to physical ones). We've seen her claim
that Yutaka doesn't like her "that way", and that Piro loves Miho (and that Miho loves Piro, which Mugi dismissed, but again I am excluding this from discussion here since it came long after the above post). Do Magical Girls in general have such a power in MegaTokyo (not
just in general in anime from which Fred is pulling ideas about them, but specifically in his
world)? Hasn't been shown or mentioned. Is Yuki aware that she ought to have such a power? Never mentioned. Is she consciously trying to use such a power? Not that she mentions, she just makes the claims without saying what they're based on. How do we know Yuki is right about P+M? Well, because she's a "Magical Girl". But how do we know Magical Girls have this (reliable) power? Well, because she's "right" about P+M. Carried out that far the argument is circular, but if we don't make the circular argument, then there isn't any other evidence to gauge how accurate her "power" (if she even has one) might be (except arguably for Yutaka, which she's obviously not
right about). Maybe she's completely on target here; but the opposite extreme hypothesis is that she doesn't even have such a "power" and is just being a romantic 15-year-old (and is convinced she's right because she's seen similar MG "powers" in the Stability-vetted anime she's been exposed to since childhood). In-comic evidence to narrow down the hypothesis space between these two extremes is limited to non-existent.
(next 2 quotes I rearranged the order, but they are relatively close in the original and nothing I say hinges on the order, it's just for effect really)
Several people on the Megatokyo forums have mentioned that Piro and Miho fight like a married couple, and they do.
Holy crap, where are those refs I made in the last thread... Here we go 706
. This is not a spat of the "can you PLEASE put your goddamned socks in the LAUNDRY BASKET and not leave them on the damn FLOOR", this is Get. The Fsck. Out. NOW
. A "married couple" going through the worst breakup ever, where the neighbors have the local police domestic violence unit on speed-dial. A married couple where the dog ends up poisoned and the kids start mutilating squirrels. A married couple you can take to Nuptia 4 but the devastation will be even more spectacular than when Beth + Jerry were taken there.
Piro knows what the offer really is, and he doesn’t question, or hesitate, or worry about what Kimiko will think, or ask his boss for time off. He just accepts.
It's an excellent scene certainly, a very dramatic example of Piro reining in his emotions (in this case a level of rage a good bit beyond what we'd seen from him previously in-comic) and manning up to do what he thinks needs to be done. But it's precisely that effort
he is exerting that makes me suspicious; this isn't a case of him wrestling with initial "mixed feelings" about her return, and then leaping up to say "Sure, whatever you need, you know you can count on me!" This his him arriving at a decision after struggling with it for several strips, the conflict blatantly visible on his face, forcing himself into "Do the Right Thing" mode despite
, and not because of, his feelings for her. "Gah, she is probably messing with me yet again
, I am so gonna regret this; but she certainly seems
upset, and if there is a chance
she actually needs help here... ah, dammit, fine
Yes, he doesn't question, or hesitate. Just as when your ex-wife calls up and tearfully asks you to drive her to chemotherapy, because she has tried everyone else, you pretty much can't question, or hesitate, even if the last time you saw her four years ago you had a knockdown dragout of epic proportions and swore you'd never see each other again.