|Volume||Manga Volume 3|
|Relationship milestones||Youko, Akira Tsubaki's older sister, is found to have Drool Bond capabilities.|
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( Anime cross-reference---incorporated into the first half of Anime Episode 13, " Mysterious Boyfriend and Girlfriend " )
After his daily drool routine with Urabe, Akria comes home to find his older sister, Youko, asleep and drooling. He asks his sister if she knows that she is drooling, and does she have a boyfriend ? Youko is quite offended, and leaves the front room.
A few days later, Urabe decides to go shopping after school. But who should she run into, but Youko. Youko invites Urabe to a cafe to spend time together and talk. They talk about Akria possibly dating now, and Youko shares her experiences of when she was dating in high school. A flashback tells the story of when Youko was in high school and dating a classmate. Youko thinks that maybe her stories are boring to Urabe. When they part, Youko tells Urabe to take care of her younger brother, implying that Youko somehow knows that they are dating.
The next day, during their drool routine, Urabe tells Akria that she spent time with his sister. She tells the story of how Youko dated in high school, but then broke up with her boyfriend. Akria becomes apprehensive, thinking that foretells, somehow, the he and Urabe will break up.
During their daily drool routine, a sharp, cold breeze winds around Akira and Urabe showing that it is November already, and that winter can not be far behind. When Akira gets home, he finds that his older sister has restarted the heated table for the beginning of cold weather. Youko has also fallen asleep at the table. When Akira tries to awaken her, he notices that she has been drooling on the table while sleeping, just like how Urabe did that one time on her desk at school. A surprised and unnerved Akria points out her drooling, and bluntly asks Youko if she has a boyfriend, perhaps as a way of indirectly asking her if she is drool bonded to anyone. Youko becomes very offended by the question, and leaves the room. Akria wonders if a boyfriend would think of his sister as being 'cute' for having drool bonding capabilities.
A couple of days later, Youko is in the shopping district, at a flower shop. But who should be walking by at that very moment, but Urabe !!! Urabe introduces herself, and Youko remembers that Urabe has been to their home twice to visit Akria when he was sick. Urabe then bows to say good-by, but Youko implores her to join her at a coffee shop to talk and spend time together. Urabe agrees.
At the Cat Town Cafe, Youko and Urabe share a cup of coffee. Soon, Youko does something quite unusual, she reaches out and touches the sleeve of Urabe's school uniform. Youko exclaims that touching brings back so many memories of her high school days, in fact, Youko attended the same high school that Urabe and Akria are now attending. Next, Youko asks Urabe point blank if her brother is dating any girls in his class. Urabe is vague and apprehensive, not wishing to reveal that herself and Akria are not only dating, are not only girlfriend and boyfriend, but are deeply drool bonded to one another. Urabe answers by turning around the question to Youko, asking her if she ever had a boyfriend. Youko confesses that she, indeed, had a boyfriend in high school, and that they dated together for quiet some time.
FLASHBACK---In a flashback to the other day, Youko relates how Akria found her asleep on the warm table, and pointed out to her that she was drooling. Then he asked her, for some unexplained reason, if she had a boyfriend. (#)
Youko wonders out loud why her brother would ask that of her, of all things ? She wonders if his question would have had anything to do with what she was dreaming of while she was sleeping.
FLASHBACK---Youko flashes back to when she was in high school. At that time, Youko did look super, ultra, uber cute, with her hair done in twin tails. Youko and Arima are walking home from school, when Arima shows Youko a picture of herself that he took. It is a picture of Youko drooling on her desk at school. Youko wants him to throw the picture away, but he grabs it out of her hand, denouncing that it was a lot of trouble for him to take that picture. Later, at an amusement park that summer, Youko asks Arima if he still has that picture of her drooling. He, indeed, does ! He says that he occasionally looks at it, because Youko is so unbelievably ultra cute, with her wearing twin tails and drooling. (#)
So that is why Youko was so prone to old memories lately. Youko then declares that Urabe must be bored to tears by her recollections of her high school days with her boyfriend. Urabe asks if she is still dating or in contact with Arima. Sadly, Youko says that they went their separate ways after graduation, and lost contact with one another about six months later. When asked by Youko if Urabe has a boy that she likes, she simply states, " I do. ".
When they are finally parting outside the cafe, Youko gives Urabe the bouquet of flowers that she bought, as a friendly gift for her time today. She then tells Urabe to take care of Akria, implying that she has known all along that the two of them are dating. Urabe bows with respect.
As they are walking home from school, Urabe relates her visit and time with Youko to Akria, including telling him about how his sister used to have a boyfriend. Akria is dumbfounded, stating that he never knew anything about his sister's intimate life. After their daily drool routine, and despite the fact that Urabe wishes that she had an older sister who would be just like Youko, Akria wonders if because Youko and Arima had drifted apart, might that be an omen that Urabe and himself will drift apart ?
Commentary and Opinion
The thoughts of CuteButLooksLolita---
This chapter of the manga revels that Youko Tsubaki has drool bond capabilities. This fact brings up a host of questions that can only be explained by opinion, conjecture, or debate. For instance, since the drool bond gift is held by both Youko and Akria, blood sister and brother, does this imply that the drool bond gift is something that is a genetic defect ? Can the drool bond be passed down from generation to generation ? If that is the case, that means that Youko and Akria's mother or father, or both, would have drool bond capabilities, and that the gift, or defect as is the case, was passed on to their children. If Mr. Tsubaki does not have drool bond capabilities, that would imply that the two children received it from their now deceased mother.
How much does Youko and Akria know about drool bonding ? And how much information was shared between them, if anything, about the abilities that they have to bond to other people who can drool bond ? It may be that one of the reasons that Youko and Arima eventually broke up was that Arima could not recognize or accept Youko's drool, if she ever tried to drool bond with him. The implication is that if Youko could have drool bonded to Arima, then they would still be together, given the strong bond that drool bonding has on a couple. Was Arima simply unable to drool bond with Youko, the same as Ogata was simply unable to drool bond to Urabe ?
Could drool bonding occur between a blood brother and sister ? I don't think that it would be considered incest, since drool bonding does not have a sexual aspect to it. But how would it be viewed by society, if it is even something that would even be well known or understood ? Maybe Youko has kept it a secret from her younger brother, out of shame or disgust regarding the practice. If that is the case, that would explain why Akria as so ill-informed about how Urabe's drool would affect him and his health because of the withdrawal factor. But if Youko had made her younger brother aware of the drool bond that they both have, maybe that is why Akria was so inclined to taste Urabe's drool left on her desk that faithful day.
And one final thought about Youko. May it be the reason that Youko is not that interested at this point in time in dating or marrying a guy, is because she feels that it is only proper that she only be interested in, and fall in love with, a male that has drool bond capabilities, and those are so few and far between ?