by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Buddy Daddies ?
Community score: 4.2
This episode had me reaching for the tissues, even as I acknowledge that this turn of events felt emotionally manipulative. The writing was on the wall as soon as Rei's father re-entered the story that Miri's life would be in danger. Likewise, her mother's sob story was a giant death flag that she wouldn't make it to the end of the series, as there was no way the writers would leave the titular "Daddies" without their new daughter. This twist was obvious, but I still had a visceral reaction to Ogino tearing apart Miri's family.
It speaks to the series' emotional authenticity that, despite that this is ostensibly a show about two hitmen raising a four-year-old, the characters' reactions feel grounded. If you strip away all the fantastical elements of their job, this episode is about two men losing custody of their daughter and trying to decide whether to continue their lives without her. Without Miri, Kazuki and Rei see no reason to continue their partnership and discuss splitting up, downsizing their living arrangements, and other sad yet mundane aspects that should be familiar to anyone who has gone through a divorce. Those moments resonated deeply with me as a viewer and poked at a gooey part of me that, more than a decade later, I don't look at very often.
If Miri has managed to work her way into your heart, or if she reminds you of a toddler in your life, this episode is a rough watch. Regarding her age, Buddy Daddies' characterization of Miri has been mostly spot-on. Children that age lack a certain context when it comes to adult relationships and emotional entanglements, which is why she doesn't really understand that her mother and dads can't cohabitate. None of the adults in this scenario want to have that hard talk with her yet, so Miri thinks she's at an extended sleepover at her mom's house. That lack of context, frankly, that innocence, is emotionally devastating if you have a frame of reference for it (or can empathize with Miri, specifically). You hurt for her because she's naive to her own emotionally painful situation.
This is why her mother's fate also hit me hard. It's yet another difficult situation that Miri will have to process someday, and it isn't fair that she has to go through that on top of the reality of her father. I honestly do not want to be in the room when Rei and Kazuki tell her that her mom is dead, but they should tell her. Her mom should have told her about the custody arrangement during the laundry-folding scene, to be quite honest. Instead, she still shows some selfishness in the moment, interpreting Miri's ability to love her previous guardians as a sign of her own shortcomings as a parent. She promises to be a better mother, as if improving her relationship with Miri will cause the little girl to no longer miss or inquire about Rei and Kazuki.
When things got bad, she did her best to protect Miri from Ogino, but I was more emotionally affected by her death in how it would hurt Miri than her as an individual character. Don't get me wrong, I do think she deserved to be in Miri's life and have the opportunity to make good on her promise to be a better parent. In my ideal ending, she, Kazuki, and Rei would have all co-parented Miri together. It's a little cruel to give the lady a cancer backstory only to have her get shot in the end.
Like the penultimate episode, I feel pretty confident that I know exactly what will happen in Buddy Daddies' season finale. I'll probably cry anyway.
Buddy Daddies is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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