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Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu Season 2 – 07

I really have to try to cut back on my verbosity with these BokuYaba write-ups, because they’re eating a huge chunk of my weekend.  But that’s hard, because every episode is just so damn good.  I knew, of course, that this season was going to be epic on a Himalayan scale, one peak after the next.  I knew the viewer response would be great, though even I’m surprised by just how great (it’s up to #44 all-time on MAL, has already broken win records on Anime Trending and Anime Corner).  When your favorite romance of all-time does that, how can you not want to be verbose about it?

Back during the first season, I said something along the lines of “this season is about Kyou finding ways to convince himself that Anna isn’t in love with him, and the second will be about what happens after he admits the truth”.  Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu is as much a chronicle of personal of growth as a romance – the measures are basically equal.  The romance and the Kyou personal journey are so entangled that they can’t truly be separated.  Everything up to this point was Kyou progressing to the point where he can be in a relationship.  From now, he’s in a relationship.

The thing is, it’s hard to be in a relationship for even a typical 13 year-old.  Just admitting it is hard.  When you’re one as insecure as Ichi, you can multiply that by ten.  Kyou has Kana to thank for a timeless reminder of how much he’s grown (though he’s not in a thanking mood in the moment).  I called that speech the most important chapter in the entire manga. and it was a tremendously pivotal moment in his life.  It changed both the way he was viewed by his classmates (and don’t kid yourself, that’s a huge deal in middle school) and the way he views himself.  But it’s still just a small step on a long journey fraught with perils.

Ichi following Anna to her basketball club (well, she’s an alumnus) karaoke party is a reminder of how self-loathing he still is, but it’s also a pretty decisive act.  It’s also confirmation that the speech elevated his reputation considerably, not least among the seniors.  Getting pulled into the party and handed a mic is an introvert nightmare that’s hard to top, but it provided us with an absolutely epic OP transition.  It also led to some frank discussion between he and Yamada about what happened in the nurse’s office, and how it changed the atmosphere between them.  Kyou admitting he followed her out of jealousy is music to her ears, of course – it confirms what she already knew, but Anna is a person who needs constant reassurance (such an only child, seriously).

Then, yet another of my favorite arcs (kinda all of them at this point, to be fair) – the double date.   Not the first time I’ve said I love Hara-san, but I love Hara-san – she’s such a kind and wise old soul.  Frankly I could see Anna getting jealous of Hara and Ichi even if she wasn’t a touch yandere, because Hara and Ichi are peas in a pod in some ways.  Hara invites the pair of them to go to Sweets Paradise, a chain of dessert buffet restaurants wildly popular with teen girls (so popular there are two in Harajuku, the neighborhood wildly popular with teen girls).  I think for a middle school date, Sweets Paradise is just about perfect – pigging out on sugar, non-threatening.

Of course this isn’t a date, cough.  Even the more open and outgoing Kanzaki and Hara aren’t calling themselves a couple, because in junior high that’s a huge leap to make.  I love that Anna has learned that “if I can” is Ichi-ben for “I’ll go”.  As it happens Ichi and Hara and Anna and Kanzaki wind up meeting beforehand, and both boys have the same idea in mind – they need help with White Day (and if there were any doubt this was a double-date, scheduling it on White Day puts the lie to it).  Again, Kyou and Hara are very compatible – in another timeline I could totally see it.  But it’s a very hard decision to make, this gift.

There are a lot of wonderful Ichi moments in this whole Harajuku sequence.  Kyou admonishing himself for being so negative is reflective of how self-aware a boy he is – in some ways – and Hara is totally understanding (of course).  The contrast with Hara and Kanzaki can be a bit uncomfortable for him, as in the latter being so liberal in telling Hara how cute she is (“must be nice”, indeed).  But Kyou can’t be that guy – it’s not who he is.  But he can be the guy who tells Kanzaki to back off when he’s practically trying to shove food down Hara’s throat, and that’s a much more important measure of who he is.

This is one of my favorite Ichi moments, true legend – another instance of how when he acts on instinct he always nails it.  Kanzaki is not a bad kid, don’t get me wrong, just selfish and impulsive in a perfectly normal pubescent way.  But his whole shtick about not wanting Honoka to change is a crock.  Ichi is 100% right – it’s not about saying “I like you as you are”, it’s “I have a fet-itch and you scratch it”.  He should support Hara trying to change into a person she feels better about being, and it took real balls for Kyou to call him out on it.

Again though, no hate on Kenta – he’s a decent guy, and he really is into Hara.  And he’s the catalyst for a quantum leap moment in much the way Nanpai was, pushing Ichi to say “Yamada is my girl!” while she’s in earshot.  He’s talking to himself more than Kanzaki, but it’s still vital that he say it (and that she hears it).  Hara engineers a split so the two couples can have their alone time, and while she and Kenta head off to a net cafe (“so grown up!”) Kyou and Anna head off for a dessert buffet dessert (crepes) and then he somewhat defeatedly suggests they head home.

I feel every micron of Kyou’s frustration here.  He can’t stop being who he is.  He compares himself to others, and always finds himself wanting.  He can’t accept that he’s good enough for Anna, even with somebody like Kanzaki assuring him that he’s well-liked and even respected by his peers.  This is what it’s like for introverts, for people with insecurity and anxiety.  But the paradox of it is, that’s the guy Yamada fell in love with.  That’s the guy who ad-libbed a brilliant speech from the heart and stood up for Hara and her desire to improve herself (which he understands on a cellular level).  And that’s the guy who loves Yamada with all his being.

One can assume Ichi put a lot of thought into Anna’s White Day gift, so this is a case where over-thinking actually worked for him.  The bone pendant in the homemade muffin was perfect, even if this was one of those “it’s the thought that counts” moments where she would have been thrilled with most anything.  It’s nice that Kanzaki tells Hara she’s cute “at least once a minute” but because of how hard it is, it means much more when Kyou says it (“so cute I could die!”) to Anna.  They may only be words, confirming what they both know, but words matter too.  How hard these steps are to take makes them appreciate each one all the more.  “This is our way” indeed.

The post Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu Season 2 – 07 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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