Life is good. Every week there are new episodes of Simoun, Bokura ga Ita, Nana, and Honey & Clover to delight the heart and mind.
Nana-chan may be the cutest anime human I've ever seen. The combination of script, animation, and voice-acting is irresistible. She is so extreme and yet so real. There is a bit of her buried somewhere inside all of us -- or at least inside me. Sasaki Nozomi's unusual way of doing her voice makes her emotions seem so present.
We start with a welcome re-run of the climax of last week's episode: the kiss. Nana-chan's voice says in wonderment that she has had her first kiss, and it was with the guy she had admired from afar and confessed to once, but got a reply she couldn't understand. She had just about given up, then that night he told her loved her, and they kissed. We see Nana-chan in bed, unable to sleep all night. This whole opening scene, including her little "hmmp" as she squeezes her eyes in sleepy frustration, is beautifully designed.
The next morning at the lockers, she is still worrying about how she should act toward Yano. He comes to his locker and says "good morning" as if nothing had happened, then goes off with his friends. She never had a chance to show him the face she'd decided to use.
In class, Mizu-chin comes over and demands to know if it's true that Nana-chan and Yano kissed. Someone saw them. Mizu-chin is angry. She wanted him herself, unlikely as that was. So you're going to be going out together, she says at lunch. Nana hadn't thought of that. And Yano never said anything, and he hasn't messaged her. She feels herself starting to get angry.
Then Yano comes over and she gets all confused. He asks why she seems so out of it. She blurts out that she didn't get any sleep, and then regrets having let that slip. He gets her to repeat what meetings are upcoming: a school council meeting that afternoon, another on Thursday, and the returning-student welcome on Saturday, and slips in a meeting at four o'clock to go to a movie with her. He gives her his thousand-watt smile as he leaves the classroom, and she melts. A movie! Everything that happened yesterday was real! She says to herself that she feels relieved now and just wants to sleep. So she does.
Mizu-chin comes to remind her of the meetings but can't wake her from her noisy slumber. Nana-chan just keeps dreaming about her date with Yano. When she does awaken, it's an hour after the time for the meeting, and Yano isn't there. Has he gone home? Then Yano comes in, having gone to the meeting in her place and accomplished everything. She thinks: Is this the same guy who usually seems like such a slacker?
On the way to the movie, she discovers she doesn't really have enough money. He says it's okay, he does. She keeps offering to pay him back. On the bus, he gets her to sit in the only seat available. She does, but then decides to stand. She keeps repeating to herself like a mantra: stay calm, act normally, stay calm, act normally.
At the theatre, he asks her what she wants to drink and she says hot chocolate. When she gets it, she realizes she should have said milk tea, to keep her awake a bit. When they sit, she says she didn't realize he liked movies. He says he likes them because it's dark. She goes "huh?" and he realizes she doesn't understand what he means. He asks if it's okay to put his arm on the arm-rest and says she should put hers there, too, if she's tired.
During the movie, she notices him flexing his fingers and he says he's exercising them. She gradually realizes what's going on -- he scrupulously is keeping half the arm-rest for her -- and laughs and puts her arm next to his. Then as we are watching only their faces, they interlock fingers and sit there smiling. She thinks: it's great when the love is on both sides.
The eyecatch is Mizu-chin and Taka-chan, Nana-chan's friends. Mizu-chin complains that Nana-chan never came to talk about her love for Yano, but says although she can't forgive her, she can't abandon her, either.
In a restaurant after the show, Nana-chan asks Yano what part of the movie he liked. The part where we were holding hands, he says. He asks her if she's tired, and apologizes for dragging her out at night on a day when she was so sleepy. She asks him why he's being so nice when he wasn't nice to her before. Did he not love her until the moment he said so? He says that it's she who has changed. And being his girlfriend (kanojo) is different from being a classmate. She thinks about the word "girlfriend." What does it mean? You're one of my group now, he says. The world around each of us is divided into insiders and outsiders, and she's now an insider for him. She calls that idea weird, and he seems to ponder that idea seriously. Watching him, she says to herself: what should I do? I really, really want to hold him right now.
The next day at school, she is looking at a teen magazine about relationships, and thinks with a sudden smile that she will now be involved in activities that she didn't have anything to do with last year. Then she realizes Yano is sitting there beside her. She says to herself: He comes up to me silently when no-one else is around, like a cat. She asks him what he wants for Christmas. "You," he says. She says she wants a serious answer, but he was being serious.
Takeuchi and another friend come up to them when they're outside on bench arguing about whether to have barbecue sauce or soy sauce with eggs. Yano goes off to the toilet. Nana says they must seem like a couple of idiots. Takeuchi says no, it's good. When they leave, Takeuchi says it's like deja vu (thinking of Yano with his old girlfriend, I believe).
Walking away, she says he's just like a kid. He says: Let's go have pizza. She asks how he can have so much money, since he doesn't work. He says his parents give him as much as he wants. He's just very respectful when he asks. Let's hold hands, he says. He asks why her hand is so cold. She says that women's body temperature is lower, but goes on to ask him again what he wants for Christmas -- apart from anything living. She thinks he's being nice, not asking her for anything because she has no money. But she wants to give him something. "As long as you're there, that's enough," he says. Then he laughs it off, saying he's embarrassed to say something like that.
In a school washroom, she is looking in the mirror and thinking that being in love has made her prettier. But two girls go by saying that Yano must have poor taste and she's so ugly that it makes them sick. Her friend comforts her, saying that they're just jealous, but innocent Nana-chan didn't realize they were talking about her. She says to herself that now she's an object of envy, and many girls must be crying. We see Yamamoto Yuri (his dead girlfriend Nana-san's younger sister) walking past Yano, looking sad.
Outside in light snow, she asks him what he wants for Christmas and he says "nothing." She asks him if she's ugly, and he says she'd have to be a bit uglier to be called ugly. So am I beautiful? He says: Well, you'd have to be a bit more.... Don't be so honest, she replies. What do you like about me? You're cute, he answers. She asks herself why she sometimes feels unsettled.
He asks for her hands. She says to herself that every time she touches his warm hands, her heart leaps. He says suddenly that he's decided what he wants for Christmas: for her never to leave him, for her never to betray him. This is exactly what he got his old girlfriend to promise, and Nana-chan realizes it. We see her emotion in one tiny trembling highlight in her eyes. He says he thought he'd never love anyone again. He says his old girlfriend died with the one she loved, and not to feel sorry for her at all.
He stands. She thinks: it's like a jigsaw puzzle. Piece by piece I put it together. Only now, during the winter when I am 15, do I really know what "darling" means. With a determined and emotional expression, she embraces him.
In the preview (which I don't understand perfectly), she says he embraced her, stroked her back with his hands, then put his hand on her chest. Then we hear her telling Yano that's no good. Then we see Yano and Yamamoto Yuri. She says he's like a boy who's been rejected. He says she's as bad as her sister. She says: don't lump me in with her.