Weaklings Must Call In Sick (The Nerve!)

I’ve tried a couple times to watch Kimi ni Todoke, but the secondhand embarrassment was tangible and too real, too painful, and I never made it past the first fifteen minutes of the very first episode. So much cringing. However, Right Stuf had a promo, and seeing their ad made me want to give it another try. And I’m glad I did. I’m watching on Hulu and VRV/Crunchyroll.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Sawako Kuronuma (nickname: Sadako), is enjoying her high school life. Her character design reminds me of Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower / Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. Kuronuma’s fateful run in with Shouta Kazehaya, leading to their friendship and his positive influence in her life, energized her to take chances to interact more with her classmates and peers. He supports and encourages her to be herself. The scene on the stairs in the third episode, when they express their shared appreciation for each other’s positive influence, was touching. In real life, it’s not as easy being unfiltered with others, or sharing what we admire and appreciate about them. I feel comfortable expressing it, but it can be a challenge receiving it. Is one way easier or harder for you?

Ayane Yano, Chizuru Yoshida, and Ryu Sanada are in Kuronuma’s friend circle too. They, and Kazehaya, have all stood up for Kuronuma. She was the subject of bullying (especially the behind the scenes type of bullying girls are notorious for, if you’ve seen Mean Girls, or are a girl yourself, you’ve likely seen this behavior). I’m only on episode eight of the first season, but some of the ways they’ve stood up for her include; Kazehaya standing up to the class when they make rude comments about Kuronuma from the night of the Test of Courage, when he says aloud for the bullies to hear that he detests hateful gossip, when Yano, Yoshida, and Kazehaya move their seats next to Kuronuma when others avoided her (Sanada I suspect just wanted the window seat but he didn’t avoid her like the others), the girls stood up for her when she was cornered by the bullies in the ladies room, and when asked his thoughts on Kuronuma and the rumors, Sanada pointed out the unrealistic possibility of that being remotely true. Being a good friend to another person, means being a good friend to them even when they’re not around. Kuronuma’s close friends love and care for her, and they don’t give the opinions of others a second thought. Knowing all of the hurdles she’s overcome and how lonely she felt, especially with everyone calling her Sadako (from The Ring), it’s wonderful to see her finally happy. One other comment, about the bullying scene from the bathroom, sometimes intervention depends on a person’s comfort level. While Hirano and Endo didn’t feel physically, emotionally, or mentally capable of taking on the group of girl bullies, they did run to get help. Standing up for your friends can be expressed in various ways. Yes it might’ve been more helpful if they had directly intervened, but it makes me think of all the others who saw Kuronuma bullied over the years who did absolutely nothing. Seeing how Yoshida and Yano stood up for her, Kuronuma finally realizes they are friends, and have been friends all along.

I enjoy the moments when the friends are relaxing together and being themselves. Yano and Yoshida see the blossoming romance between Kazehaya and Kuronuma (even if Kuronuma herself is unaware). After intentionally making Kazehaya jealous (proving he liked Kuronuma), of course the girls can’t resist giving Kazehaya a hard time as he walks Kuronuma home.

Joking aside, Shouta Kazehaya truly is a gentlemen. He has integrity and is an authentic person. He is a leader without trying, he makes it look effortless. Everyone feels welcomed in his presence, and he “sees” those around him. He’s present. That smile puts everyone at ease. Do you know people like that in real life? I do. Their energy is positive and uplifting. They’re sincere in their words and actions. I aspire to be that way. I’m authentic, but I don’t know about uplifting and positive. Maybe one day.

This shoujo anime, Kimi Ni Todoke, has humor. Not as much as others I’ve watched in the past, but the parts that are funny make me laugh out loud. Try to overcome the hurdle of the horrible secondhand embarrassment that this show has so much of. I haven’t felt this much embarrassment since watching Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji. Here is a funny moment from episode eight of the first season. The class is discussing the upcoming Sports Festival with their teacher, Pin. I suspect if I was in their class, Pin would strongly encourage me to take a sick day (the nerve!).

Give the show a chance if you haven’t already. Or if you tried before, give it another opportunity? Maybe you will like it the third time, like I did. There are a lot of positive messages in this show. Perhaps there will be less drama and less secondhand embarrassment in the future episodes. I’m only on episode eight, but I’d prefer less cringing. Hoping everything works out for this group of friends!

Eri’s First Smile and a New Home

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Having overcome so many challenges in her life, like accidentally rewinding her father’s existence by an uncontrolled quirk, abandonment by her mother, grandpa in a coma, and abuse at the hands of her guardian, it was heartwarming to see Eri so happy, finally! Eri’s first smile was at the UA High School Festival during class 1A’s performance. Check out the festival episode, as well as the rest of Season Four of My Hero Academia, on Hulu!

Before the Festival, Mirio Togata gave Eri a tour of the UA campus. For some reason folks thought Eri was Mirio’s daughter. Also Mirio tried to pull a prank that didn’t quite go the way he wanted. But his reaction to Deku ruining it was funny.

Eri now has wonderful mentors and role models like Aizawa, Mirio, and the rest of UA. She even has a new home with a new family! And look at that smile!

First Date

He would know since he just sprinted up all of them!

Takagi and Nishikata go to the festival, their very first date! I’m so happy that Nishikata finally stopped caring what other people thought, overcame his embarrassment, and ran off boldly in search of Takagi when they got separated in the crowd. But the MVP, of the last episode of Season 2, of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san, was Kimura. He’s always been a great friend to Nishikata, and he picks up on subtleties, like the fact his pal was on a date with Takagi and was holding her purse. Kimura also helped Nishikata find Takagi after they were separated. Without him, we might’ve missed the sweetest moment of Season 2! Check it out on Netflix.

New Opening and Ending for MHA in Episode “Smoldering Flames”

We got a new opening and ending, with music of course, for My Hero Academia! It was a total shift in tone. The opening felt bright and uplifting, with moments of reflection for Bakugo, Todorki, and Endeavor. Looks like we have a festival to look forward to! Aizawa has a little coat, is that for Eri??? And the ending scene had old photos of some of our favorite heroes (and some villains) at festivals. Let me know if I missed anyone or if I had any incorrect names. I’m watching on Hulu!

All Might!
Of course Deku has All Might’s Funko Pop! Ha!
Love the image of everyone’s reflection on their day and current events, as they’re getting ready to sleep…because isn’t that what we all do?
The villains look happy and dare I say, not corrupted? What happens to people and characters that put them on a dark path? Is it a major incident? Is it life circumstance? One small thing leads to another? Negative influences? Lack of morals? Survival tactics? Etc? At one point they were just having fun with friends at a festival. I do want to know who is in these photos, like that little girl in the door frame by Shigaraki.
Family photos….there was one image of a burned photo in the ending credits, I wonder what happened there…what was the photo of? Check out Todoroki in his little hat!