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Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu (The Dangers in My Heart) Season 2 – 09

Five more chapters.  Chapters of wondrousness, it must be said – this was another tremendous adaptation.  I wonder what Akagi Hiroaki is cooking up here, though.  We (hardcores) thought we knew where this was ending – Chapter 113, the last of volume 8.  It was utterly inevitable.  But here we are at Chapter 99, with four full eps to go.  Is he going past the presumed ending point?  Is he coming up with an original ending?  Or is he going for the wild-card option?  We’ll know in a month, but there’s a chance we could know somewhat sooner.

The back-story here is that this is the same director and studio (though with a different writer) who crafted original endings for all three Takagi-san seasons (and a movie) that were among the best material in the anime.  But this is apples and oranges in that BokuYaba is a much better source material, and much less in need of such help.  As for jumping past the logical endpoint, I hope not because that just means a longer wait for a third season (which seems likely), and because 113 is a perfect way to end this one.

So what’s that wild card?  Something called “Episode Zero” – an official (though not written by Sasaki Norio) text story.  In effect, it’s Kyoutarou’s diary of his first year in junior high.  It represents his mindset before he came into social contact with Anna.  It’s a fascinating read and I actually think it would make a terrific episode.  But where would you put it?  That’s a question only manga readers could opine on, unfortunately, but it’s a matter of making it fit with the events of the arc presumably closing the season.  It would work placed afterwards, but then what really should be the end wouldn’t be the end – and that’d be a shame.

To the matter at hand, however.  We start with the morning-after, and Kyou musing on his husband-and-wife moments with Yamada being a certain death flag.  The main thrust of her asking him what his calls him is obviously her own choice, but his answer – “he doesn’t call me much of anything lately” – is the takeaway for me.  Ichi-papa is an interesting figure to me because he’s such a mystery.  Always listening, rarely speaking, so much older (13 years) than his wife.  We never see any emotional connection between he and his kids – does that mean it doesn’t exist?  That would hardly be unusual – especially in Japan – but it’s a pretty sad thought.

Anna is off to Hiroshima to shoot a movie, and Kyou winds up going to a hanami with his new boys’ LINE group – another sign that he’s truly growing.  It’s his first, unsurprisingly, and it gets another unironic smile from him (there’s a nice bonding moment with Adachi afterwards that was sadly cut).  Eventually Yamada’s gal pals show up, and Moeko makes it clear in no uncertain terms that she knows what’s up with the main couple.  The topic of conversation is the scandal with Yurin, an idol (from Yamada’s agency) who spent the night at a “friend’s” house.  Aizawa is a true fan and defends her, but the other kids know the score, and Ichi certainly does.

This is a theme Norio has touched on before, and with Anna being a public figure it’s a major concern for Kyou.  As I said last week, he’s more aware of the implications than Anna is – reflecting that in some ways he’s much more mature.  A seemingly innocent photo she posts from the sleepover is a problem, because it shows two umbrellas and it’s clearly not taken at her house.  And indeed, someone on social media named “Pigman” (account actually exists) has already retweeted it and is publicly speculating on Anna’s purity.  Kyou (his username “Thanatos” – account also exists – is the same as his body soap, ROFL) quickly posts a disapproving reply but that quickly gets him blocked by Pigman.

Then we have the first of several video chats with Kyou and Anna, which hilariously (though less so than in the manga) ends when Yamama walks in.  Her big movie role has her co-starring with a big-name actor in Kataoka Ken (played by big-name actor Ohtsuka Houchuu).  Ken has his own scandals (as noted rather crudely by Pigman), but he has praise for Yamada despite her crying when it wasn’t in the script.  Later she tells Ichi she was thinking of him at that moment, and that this scene helped her “finally understand you a bit more”.  And that’s low-key an incredibly deep and powerful relationship moment.

The next Ichi-Anna video chat the following day also ends with Yamama surprising Anna, though we have the benefit of freeze-frame and Kyoutarou has but an instant and doesn’t realize that.  The phone’s untimely demise has consequences, because Kyou has become extremely worried about Pigman.  He becomes increasingly desperate when she doesn’t respond to his calls or messages, even asking Moeko if she’s heard from her (she hasn’t).  Because Ichi is the hero he is, he finally decides he has to go to Anna’s house to check on her (Kana notices him slip out at 11:00 PM and offers to cover for him).  And that means facing… him.

Yamadad is a total bro, but the point is that Ichi doesn’t know that at this point in the story.  His plan is to “accidentally” run into him (at eleven at night in the rain) and gauge whether he’s acting worried.  But Yamadad is immediately worried about Kyou being there so late, and how cold he looks.  He invites him up and gives up some incredibly good onion soup to warm up.  As this is happening Anna has been panicking over Kyou being worried, and has her mom call her husband and show Dad a hilariously childish map to the Ichikawa house so he can do tell him she’s OK.  Like it or not, the jig is pretty much up at this point.

The way Yamadad handles this is extremely admirable.  He calls his wife back and hands Ichi the phone, knowing the kids needs to hear the other’s voice.  At this point Anna and Kyou effectively confess – to her parents.  And Yamadad responds by offering Ichi his friend code for Monster Hunter.  They both knew already – to an extent.  But you have to think Yamada was impressed that Kyoutarou was so worried for his daughter than he braved the rain to sneak out late at night and face his giant self just to make sure she was OK.

But Kyou’s worries are far from over.  Pigman is still up to their creepy tricks (Kyou created a burner account to keep tabs), and has apparently stalked Anna Akino to one of Pigman’s favorite haunts – “Ramen Ro” in Mita.  This is actually the original Ramen Jiro, by the way, and something of a pilgrimage site for ramen otaku (it’s good but as with the Pike’s Place Starbucks, the product is really no different).  Kyou is so desperate to get to Anna that he runs out of the house in mismatched shoes, a fact she notices immediately when he finds her in line (Mita Jiro always has a line).  Standing next to her is Kouda Niko from the Ebisu photo shoot, and she and Ichi recognize each other after a confused moment.

It takes another moment for him to put two and two together, but Kyou does (out loud) – this is Pigman.  She and Anna are both obviously regulars here, but Ichi is a virgin (yes, Jiro is ritualistic and judgmental and the first time is scary).  It’s less scary that Pigman is a woman – and one Anna knows – but the underlying creepiness factor is unchanged.  This is an ugly reality that’s part of Anna’s life (and of any Japanese public figure, but especially women), and that makes it a part of Ichi’s (and it’s unsettling for him that he knows his own feelings could easily have followed this path).  As usual, when the chips are down and instinct kicks in he’s basically fearless – he gives Pigman a stern though private reprimand before the group splinters (she unblocks Thanatos, and shares her LINE info with a request for Anna school pics).

There’s so much great stuff here, truly – and while the pacing is again quick, the anime basically nailed it.  What really stands out is how, over and over, Kyou showed serious courage in this arc – facing Yamadad, telling off Niko, and even cautioning Anna herself on the ride home.  Love makes one do such things, true, and he’s surely in love – but he’s also an exceptional person, and I think that shows through whenever he stops overthinking and acts on his gut.  Whether he’s ready or not, this relationship requires Ichi to act like an adult sometimes (though not yet in the way Lucifer Nigorikawa has in mind).  Anna talks about wanting to be more grown-up for him, but Kyou is already acting grown-up for her.

The post Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu (The Dangers in My Heart) Season 2 – 09 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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