i ought to reply to my own questions. ;)
personally, i think jin was actually in love with shino. i know, i know, it's probably not right of me to admit it, considering i'm a die-hard jin/fuu shipper, but i just... don't see jin as the "simple infatuation" kinda guy. he's too complex for that. i normally don't believe in true love after only knowing a person for a day, but those were different times, so who knows. and sometimes when people meet under extreme circumstances and go through severe hardships together, a strong bond can develop. and jin, the man is so chivalrous, so set on the samurai way of life and all its rules and all its ideals, that it's almost like he's the japanese equivalent to a knight. he fell in love with his gentle lady; it's almost expected.
i don't know if it was the kind of love that would be forever, though. when you're young (and there i go again, sounding like i'm 80 instead of in my 20's...) you feel things so strongly-- they probably could've gone on and lead a quiet, peaceful life, because they're both even-tempered people, but i don't know... i think jin, as a samurai, as a person, needs to be completely devoted to something. to a quest, to a philosophy, to a cause, to someone. it's probably not the healthiest thing, but that's the way he operates. and i don't know if shino would be comfortable with that; she didn't seem to be, during episode 11.
it's probably one of those romances a person, later on in life, looks back to with fondness and a "i wonder if he/she's found happiness". you never really stop loving these people, but you've each made your own paths and have made peace with it. at least, that's the way i saw it.
with fuu, however, they got to know each other quite well over the rest of the episodes, and while fuu is a very independent girl, i think she has learned just how much to let herself depend on the people who care about her. by the end, she truly needed them not only as bodyguards, but as emotional companions-- it was probably part of the reason why it was so difficult to part with them before ikitsuki, because she knew, even if she didn't want them to come with her for their own safety, she still needed to have them with her; they were her support.
as for fuu herself, i'm not sure if i can pinpoint when jin went from "really good swordsman whom i tricked into being my bodyguard" to someone she started having feelings for; maybe somewhere around episode seven or eight? i think it was most likely lingering in her subconscious, actually. she had inadvertently started to become used to relying on his presence (unlike with mugen, whose behavior was a constant reminder that he could take off at any point-- oh, she hoped he'd always come back, but she couldn't really be sure, as episode nine showed), and the sudden idea that maybe jin could leave completely shook her world, and being so expressive the feelings caught up to her and bubbled out.
there's no way those feelings were superficial, given her reaction in the episode. the girl is nothing if not completely sincere! so she may not have known she had feelings for jin before shino, but she certainly knew afterwards that yes, something had shifted in their dynamics. heck, pretty sure even mugen knew that as well...
Edited at 2010-05-23 02:41 am (UTC)