Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bokura ga Ita 08

Nana is disturbed that Yano won't really answer certain questions about his past. And when he does, he seems insincere. Will he ever tell her that something really did happen between him and Yamamoto Yuri in middle school?

The psychology of this episode seems right on to me. Threat, social pressure and desire are at war with habit, fear and self-restraint, leading Nana on toward a decision.

mother's bad timing
Yano is sorry for lying to Nana-chan

We begin as usual with the last part of the previous week's episode: Yano unable to reply to Nana's question whether anything happened between him and Yuri. Why won't you answer? she asks.

Her mother comes in to break the awkward mood. Nana thinks it's bad timing. Yano, with a totally featureless face showing his embarrassment and distance, is happy to escape the moment. He asks to use the washroom, where he goes to compose himself. He comes back and tells Nana nothing happened, and that it doesn't matter whether Yuri likes him or not, it's of no interest to him. She is still uneasy, but she accepts his word. When he is on the bus going home alone, he secretly apologizes to her.

The next day, she tells Takeuchi she asked Yano and it was just as Takeuchi had said: nothing happened between them. And she says she realized that if anything had happened, Takeuchi would have noticed. Takeuchi's face goes blank. He says her hairstyle is cute.

In the girls' toilet, Nana stands looking in the mirror, coming to terms with the fact that someone called her cute. Mizu-chin says that since Yano went to her house, they must have made love. Nana says no, it's still early. Mizu-chin is sorry for Yano having to keep holding himself back. Taka-chan asks why she doesn't want to do it. Nana says it's not that she doesn't, but she's feeling a lot of pressure, and she thinks she shouldn't be as eager as Yano. Mizu-chin switches and says she agrees. Taka-chan says Mizu-chin should hurry up and get a boyfriend.

Next we see Yano asleep in class. Yuri nudges him awake when he is asked a question. The teacher wants him to read and translate: "She was so beautiful that I wanted to make friend (sic) with her." He reads and translates, but the teacher wants him to find other possible translations. He enhances his popularity in class by translating "make friends" as "sleep with" and with the English word "fuck." Nana is really embarrassed and disgusted. As he leaves the room, Yano quietly thanks Yuri for waking him.

what did you say, Mizu-chin? so you've done it, right?
uh-oh, Nana-san overheard us uh, Mizu-chin: shut up.

We see Mizu-chin and Taka-chan discussing a rumor about Yano and someone, and deciding to keep it from Nana-chan. Then they realize Nana is standing behind them. Rumor? she asks.

Yano comes into Takeuchi's bedroom. Takeuchi says he should knock, so he goes back and knocks on the inside of the door. As he's borrowing a CD, he mentions that Nana asked him if there was anything between him and Yuri in middle school, and adds how ridiculous that is. But Takeuchi says he saw them going to Yuri's house together hand-in-hand. Yano claims he was just going to burn incense, but Takeuchi says he shouldn't imagine he can fool him, too. Yano remembers the day, discovering that Yuri was using her sister's old room, and that the altar for Nana-san had been set up in Yuri's old room, which was darker.

Next day, Mizu-chin congratulates Nana as she leaves for Yano's house to study together. Mizu-chin asks if his parents will be there, and Nana answers that she wouldn't go if they weren't. Mizu-chin tells her to have confidence. Nana-chan gives her a black look. On the bus with Yano, Nana is feeling awkward and recalcitrant. Yano tries to put his arm around her waist and she pulls it off. Looking out the window, she wonders why things seem so great for other couples and so hard for her and Yano.

At Yano's house is a note from his mother saying she will be out for a few hours. Nana-chan angrily says he planned it, but really it was pure chance. She sits at the far end of the table from him, saying the room is hot. As they are making tea, she thinks what a nice kitchen it is, and then that they are like a married couple, standing there by the counter. This causes her to blush fiercely. She mentions that her parents went together from high school and got married ten years later. How could they wait so long, says Yano. Then he realizes he's weirded Nana out again.

you knew your mother would be away. no I didn't. I'll sit over here
I'm okay with doing it uh, what do we do now?

Nana thinks she and Yano might not last ten years, and in ten years it might be another girl in this kitchen with him. He asks her to come and sit by him and promises not to do or say anything to displease her. Can you just change like that? she says. He answers: Only for a woman.

As they are finishing their study, he asks her why she's in a bad mood. She asks him if the rumor is true that he and Nana-san did it in the gym. He hems and haws, but she says it doesn't matter, it's in the past. Then, blushing, she admits that she really didn't mind his arm around her in the bus. He's about to touch her, then controls himself and makes a joke. Idiot, she thinks.

Then he looks at her seriously and says he'd like to change the past, but he can't. So let's make a present that's better than the past. She thinks how much she wants to make him hers and says suddenly: I'm okay with doing it. Doing what? he says. You don't mean make love? he laughs. The he sees her serious look and as they stare at each other across the table, the ED comes up.... She says to herself: Maybe I'm just being carried away, but I don't see any reason to care.

Preview: She's saying to herself that she doesn't know how they got to this and it was she who suggested it. We see him taking off his shirt, embarrassing her, but saying that they can stop whenever she wants. She says: Make me yours.

Bokura ga Ita 07

This begins as the standard "misunderstanding" episode, with Nana-chan hiding something innocent from Yano and raising his suspicions. But it surpises us by sliding easily past that problem at first -- only to raise more serious problems later. This show sometimes appears to be cliched, but always seems to find a new emotional twist that adds to its freshness.

stalking Nana-chan Nana-chan waits for Takeuchi
here! I don't know if it's something you'd like

Before the credits, we see Yano and Yuri holding hands in front of the burning scarf the winter before, at their middle school.

Back in the present, it's clean-up time after school. Yano gets a message from Takeuchi saying he has to work and can't go home with him. Yano asks Nana-chan, and she says she is going for cake with Mizu-chin. But Yano asks Mizu-chin, who says that Nana-chan is not going anywhere with her that evening, so he and a friend go stalking Nana. They see her waiting in front of a store. Unknown to Yano, Nana has asked Takeuchi to help her choose a gift Yano would really like. But contrary to how this meme usually goes, she gets a message from Takeuchi saying that he won't come, that Yano would prefer a gift she chose herself. She goes into the store, comes out with something, then meets Takeuchi, who says he came just to make sure she bought something and goes off. Yano is a bit upset, there in his hiding place.

On December 24, the students are having a snowball fight. Nana realizes Yano hasn't even met her eyes all day. She follows him and he runs away. She pretends to fall, to get him to come over, but when he realizes she is fooling, he gets angry and goes away again. She feels as if she still doesn't understand him.

After school, she's running after him again, and he isn't stopping. She finally throws the gift at him and calls him an idiot. He sees her starting to cry and comes over and comforts her. She's all nervous about whether she got him something he'd like, but he likes the cap she bought and wears it. (I was afraid it was going to be a scarf.) He gives her the ring he bought and she cries with happiness. He says that crying with happiness is a thousand times better than crying with pain. She says to herself that since she met Yano, she seems to cry so easily.

was there something between Yano and Yuri, Takeuchi? holiday hairstyle
the rainbow Yano showed Yuri they're sitting together again

They have to go back to school to get a textbook he left behind. She goes to the washroom while he goes to the classroom. He meets Yuri there, and she thanks him for catching her when she fell, but says not to help her again. She says he must have been revenging herself on her sister that time before. He says there doesn't have to be any reason, that it was meaningless. So she asks why he cried then. We see him naked on a bed crying. At this point, Nana approaches from the washroom and overhears Yuri saying that he cried. Yano rushes out of the room, sees a shocked Nana-chan, and keeps going.

Nana asks Takeuchi to meet her during the holidays and they sit talking about Yano. He says it surprises him, that he's known Yano since they were small and never saw him cry or even show weakness in front of anyone. She asks if anything happened between Yano and Yuri, and Takeuchi says no, that Yuri has always been distant from people, although they must have had some contact while Yano was dating Nana-san. Nana-chan asks why Nana-san betrayed Yano and went in the car with her former boyfriend. Was he that appealing? Takeuchi laughs that no-one understood why she went with such a bad guy in the first place, and mentions the bruises. He says people also wondered why Yano went with such a stupid girl. That's just what love is like, says Takeuchi.

In January, the class draws lots to decide who sits where, and Yano ends up next to Yuri. Nana and Yano are talking about it, and he mentions that he sat next to her one year in middle school. Nana wants to ask if anything happened between them -- as it sometimes feels to her -- but can't bring herself to do it. Yano asks her why she lied and didn't tell him she wanted Takeuchi to help her buy his present. He says he knows it was for his sake, but asks her to promise never to hide anything from him.

In class, we see Yano and Yuri sitting in adjacent seats, with him not even looking at her. She remembers when they sat together in middle school, sharing a textbook, and when he tapped her arm to show her a rainbow outside, and gave her his thousand-watt smile.

Nana and Yano are sitting together regretting that they have no money (he spent all his on her ring). She says if she had money, they could go to Disneyland on a date. She asks him what he would do if he had money. He says he doesn't want money, just love. She feels badly and says she doesn't need money, and she will give him all the love he wants. So he invites her to come over when his parents won't be home. She's disturbed again that he immediately thinks of love as sex. She invites him to come to her place instead, and he asks if her parents will be there. She says yes, so he says no. He spends his last coin on a crane game, and loses, but they both laugh and she thinks to herself that all she wants is to see him smile.

it's so exciting to have in my room mother evaluating Yano
uh, Yano... ...was there something between you and Yuri?

In class, he has forgotten his textbook and asks Yuri to look at hers. This surprises the rest of the class, who think they hate each other. It especially disturbs Nana-chan. After school, she invites him over again to study that Saturday, saying her parents won't be home, but when he goes, her mother is there. Nana is moved to see Yano in her room. Her mother talks with Yano, and Nana is embarrassed to see her judging him, and feels apologetic to Yano. She tells her mother that Yano's place is bigger, and her mother is surprised that she has seen it, but Yano steps in and smoothly says she only saw it from the outside and that it isn't really that big.

Later, they are sitting on the bed and she is nervous, but he says he won't try anything because her mother might burst in. She says her mother wouldn't do that -- then her mother does. Then they are lying on her bed and she says how much she loves him, and that she has found out so much more about him since they started going out together: like how silly and childish he can be. Then in her own mind she adds things like how he strokes her hair, and realizes she is jealous that Yuri knew him when she didn't. She wants to know everything about him. So she reminds him of how he said she should hide nothing from him, and asks him if anything happened with Yuri during middle school. He freezes....