Considering how the notion of kids being accomplished beyond their years might as well be an actual trope in anime, I can’t help but focus on how this episode is the first I’ve seen that addresses what else would realistically come with it. Yeah, EVA famously addressed all the trauma and jealously that arises when certain stars burn earlier. That was a far-out fantasy, though; and this, while certainly not being “down to Earth,” is at least closer to Earth.
At the risk of putting the “Big Theme” hat on to hastily, I’d say the show’s making some substantive comments on the varying natures of maturity. Hana meets a girl who’s exactly her age, but mor developed physically and less developed emotionally. She’s pining for an older guy who’s still got plenty of growing up to do, himself. And then our gal Michiko is still very much a child on the inside…
…And so on and so on.
I suppose the subject’s been on my mind since the beginning of the show because of the setting. Do a bit of traveling (or at least read up on some travelogues) and one of the first thing’s you’ll notice is that the expectations of maturity vary considerably from country to country.
Watching this, I’ve often thought about some of the dudes I worked with during my summer job as a valet. These guys were from somewhere South of the border (the exact “where” was often kept intentionally vague) and it’d always be an interesting conversation, chewing the fat with them, since many had started families at a rather young age. Or, at least, they'd started at what I personally considered to be a young age. I couldn’t imagine having such responsibilities, and I sensed that they couldn’t imagine not having such responsibilities... and such is life.
These specific themes probably won't be explicitly dealt with as Hana settles into her new life at the circus. However, she will continue to be having an extreme upbringing that'll be hard for many of us to wrap our heads around - - and I'm eager to see how it'll continue to collide with her surrogate mother (or whatever Michiko is to her).