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Whisper Me a Love Song
Episode 5

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Whisper Me a Love Song ?
Community score: 4.2

whisper-5

There is no one right way to love someone. That's a fact that's not always acknowledged, with the default definition of "love" in the romantic sense assumed to imply a sexual component. But that's not the case for everyone, and even if one develops later on, desire for physical intimacy (or even just physical contact) isn't a prerequisite for starting a relationship. That's what makes Aki's bombshell from the end of last week so damaging to Himari: Aki, by noticing that Himari isn't throwing herself into Yori's arms, makes the younger girl feel like there's something wrong, both with her and with the way she's asked Yori for time to think things over. It's cruel, and I think Aki knows that, whether or not she's aware of the finer points of sexualities. She feels like Yori is leaving her for someone who can't even give her the delights of physical intimacy or who is at least withholding them while she "thinks," making Aki want to strike out at Himari. Does she know you can't just trade out love interests like changing your shirt? I'm sure she does; otherwise, she would have more determinedly pursued a relationship with Yori before Himari came into the picture. But she now sees Himari as the official death knell for her crush, making her lash out.

Himari doesn't know this, of course. She's so hurt by Aki's accusations that asking for time to think about their relationship is somehow unfair or mean to Yori that she's doubting herself, by which I mean that she's doubting the validity of her feelings. It doesn't help that she's been handed a woefully incomplete definition of "love." However, while I don't like to see characters suffer needlessly, I appreciate this entire storyline. Himari can be romantically attracted to Yori without a sexual component, but that's not something that a lot of people have been historically primed to understand. Himari's likely never seen her own situation replicated in the media she consumes, and Aki's words just pushed her over the edge in her already upset mental state. So bless you, Momoka, for stepping in and helping Himari to see that there's no single definition of "love" and no one right way to test for it. You can't just stick a swab up your nose like a Covid test and see if it comes back positive for "in love." You have to judge your feelings by your own measure, which will look different for everyone. Himari finds Momoka's definition – someone you want to cook for – a more comfortable fit than the Mizuguchi sisters' version, and that means that she can begin figuring out what "love" looks like for her personally.

It's not cruel of her to do that, and Yori knows it. When Yori suggests that Himari give her an answer after the concert, she's not pushing Himari to make a decision. She's giving her a timeframe to help her stop running on her mental hamster wheel, which is just as much for Himari as it is for her. It's a moment that shows what "love" looks like for Yori – finding what makes the person you care about feel better and offering them a workable solution to their problems. Yori's love is supportive in a way that's more similar to Momoka's than Aki's, and that is more likely to help Himari come to her decision than any threats or jabs that Aki can level at her.

This nuance is a large part of what makes this story worthwhile, even with the production issues, of which I think there are fewer this week. It's a thoughtful romance, considering the characters' feelings and personalities, and it doesn't shy away from how people can act when they're hurting. Yori's jealousy may be played for laughs this week (although she's well within her rights to be pissed at Aki looking at her phone), but Aki doesn't look like the only person who may have a chip or two on her shoulder; the dark-haired girl who's friends with Momoka is sour in a way that seems to indicate more than just disdain for "casuals," as she calls SSGirls. There may not be a single way to be in love, but there's also not one way that everyone acts on their negative emotions, and I think we'd best be keeping an eye on this new girl because she's clearly holding onto some bad feelings that could be a problem.

Rating:

Whisper Me a Love Song is currently streaming on HIDIVE.


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