Rain Princess

 

I just finished watching Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii / The World is Still Beautiful on VRV / Hidive. I like Princess Nike. She’s authentic, funny, feisty, positive, upbeat, hopeful, and caring. When it comes to standing up for others she doesn’t hesitate. She’s fierce and determined. She saved the King from an assassination attempt and rescued a friend from kidnappers who wanted to rape her.  It’s an overly predictable shoujo anime with a happy ending.  If you’re into humor, a strong female lead, and predictable romance, I recommend giving this a watch.

You Mean I Have to Fight My Own Battles?!

Luna! How dare you!

But Luna has a valid point. I’m watching Sailor Moon on Hulu. My little sister always loved this show, but it’s my first time watching the series (except for the occasional episode I’d watch with her, when we were kids). Wait, did Tuxedo Mask actually do anything when he came, or did he just throw a rose, some emotional support, then run off into the night? Well we can’t underestimate emotional support! I’m only on episode five, so I’m sure there’s room for growth.

“I depend on me.” Alright I’ll send Usagi the video below as motivation. However…Tuxedo Mask is still welcome, even if he just wants to watch anime and chill.

Image Found on Pinterest (User Name: FoxyDoor)

Painful

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I’m watching the scene in episode twenty-one, of season one, of Kimi ni Todoke where Chizuru Yoshida is walking with Ryu Sanada’s older brother, Toru. She’s loved Toru for years and years. He’s always viewed her as a little sister, but she hoped one day he’d view her as a woman he could love. I griped in an earlier post about the horrors of secondhand embarrassment in this anime. But the very real, very relatable feelings, of loving someone who doesn’t love you (or the closely related feeling of doesn’t love you anymore), that gut-wrenching feeling, one has watching this scene is way worse.

Toru is getting married. And it’s not to Chizuru (who he’s nicknamed Chii).

Chizuru finds solace that Toru cares for her, even if it’s not in the same way she cares for him.

Have you had that happen? Or the scenario where there’s a break-up but the other person genuinely wants to remain friends? Realizing they care for you, but they don’t love you in that way. I would find it challenging. If I loved them, I would continue to have those feelings. It would be difficult to stop. I’d just keep hoping that every day, I’d love them less and less. Perhaps space and distance would help. But what’s that pesky saying about absence makes the heart grow fonder?

But in Chizuru’s case, her actual Prince is closer than she realizes. And I think this one is a better match for her (in addition to being the cuter brother). Toru knows his younger brother, Ryu, loves Chizuru and he is rooting for them.

It was probably difficult for Ryu, seeing Chizuru love Toru, because he loves her, and has for years and years.

Ryu was there for her during her heartbreak and held her as she cried. That type of patience, perseverance, and strength, will carry him far and will strengthen his future relationship Chizuru. I hope so anyways. I’m rooting for them!

If I Had a Shoe To Fling…

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

If I had a shoe to fling, it actually would’ve been at Sawako Kuronuma and not Ume Kurumizawa. Why you ask?

Don’t get me wrong. I strongly dislike Ume Kurumizawa. She’s an awful human being, and she deserves whatever is coming her way. However. Shouta Kazehaya grabbed Sawako Kuronuma’s hand, and basically confessed to her, by asking her out. Kuronuma was so clueless, she didn’t even realize what was happening. Kazehaya seemingly satisfied that she at least doesn’t harbor romantic feelings towards Ryu Sanada, is okay to leave it as it is for the moment. But honestly! If I had a shoe to throw at Kuronuma I would have. How frustrating! How dense is she! On top of her thinking Kurumi was a friend. It is clear as day that Kurumi is manipulative and fake. But even so, she would’ve realized that Kazehaya was asking her out if she had been in Kuronuma’s spot! Sigh. I guess there’s next season of Kimi Ni Todoke to watch.

Skincare

Skincare secrets are about to be revealed!

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!

Unpopular opinion on Yamato Kurosawa

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I started watching Say I Love You / Sukitte Ii na yo on Hulu. I just finished episode three. I may change my mind later, but my first impression of Yamato Kurosawa is not a good one. I can appreciate he wanted to know Mei Tachibana despite her being the school pariah, and not caring what other people think. I also appreciate that he saved her when she had that stalker from work. It’s a horrible, uneasy, and unsafe feeling having someone follow you or stalk you online. Having experienced degrees of this myself, I can imagine how Mei felt, so I’m glad Yamato came to her aid. That aside, Yamato’s character as a whole, is disingenuous to me. Even before he mentioned it himself in the anime’s third episode, it was obvious he goes with the crowd, adjusts himself to other people’s expectations, and caters to the whims and fancies of others. It feels like he’s always “on.” And I hate that he does things because “I just felt like it.” It dismisses the feelings of others, and it doesn’t give weight to the repercussions of his actions. He seems oblivious to the consequences of his behavior. The girls he strings along, who chase after him, who pine after him, he never right out refuses them. Thus they carry on thinking they have a chance to win his heart. Tachibana’s distrust of him is understandable. I like that she is direct with him, that is refreshing. I’m hoping as they enter this relationship together that they will both grow as people. But at the moment, I find Yamato to be careless in his interactions with others, and he doesn’t consider how his actions affect others, especially the girls he strings along.

Good Husband Material

Is that how you ask someone to be your husband?!

***SPOILER ALERT***

I just watched Isshuukan Friends / One Week Friends on DVD. Although I enjoyed it, and blew through it very quickly (I started it last night and just finished), the ending didn’t bring the romantic closure I was hoping for. It is evident Kaori Fujimiya and Yuki Hase have feelings for each other. Hase makes a concerted effort to reconnect with Fujimiya every single week. Fujimiya writes in her journal daily, knowing it will help her continue her relationship with Hase. Researching online, it sounds like the manga did not bring romantic closure either. I enjoyed the characters, especially Saki Yamagishi and Shogou Kiryu. If you decide to watch it, it’s an interesting exploration on friendship, what draws us towards people, and the level of effort we put into those relationships. But if you’re looking for romance, temper your expectations before watching.

Our True Selves

I’m watching the DVD of Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou / His and Her Circumstances. The season was available at a great price at the used bookstore 2nd and Charles. Check it out if you haven’t watched it yet!

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The first episode had me laughing out loud. Yukino Miyazawa reminded me of Umaru Doma from Himouto! Umaru-chan because she has a secret side at home. Miyazawa lives and thrives off the praise of others. She studies hard to earn top grades, she practices the piano, trains for sports in secret, is obsessed with her appearance, and hides her true self and her true opinions. She thinks presenting a version of herself that is admirable to others, will earn their respect and praise. However, Soichiro Arima has beaten her top score, and he easily earns the accolades of others, without even trying. Her competitive nature has her pushing herself harder than ever to try and beat him. She is jealous of him. She dislikes him immensely. He is her competition. His feelings towards her are quite different.

At earlier stages in my life I could see how I had elements of Miyazawa. People pleasing. Not wanting to rock the boat. Feeling that you have to look a certain way to be accepted. Being obsessed with exercising (and for aesthetics not for the health aspect). Always wanting to be the best. Working as hard as you can. I still have a workaholic streak. I want to prove I’m reliable, hard-working, capable, driven, and smart. That I add value. In addition to wanting that self-esteem boost that comes from the praise of others, I think it’s also wanting people to be at peace, and happy in your presence. Not that being vain is helpful to anyone, but the part that wants to please others. Wanting to feel accepted and worthy. Eventually I got to a place, where I don’t let the opinions of others sway me. At the end of the day I have to be at peace, especially if I want to sleep at night. You don’t need to be a bulldozer just speak your truth and hopefully your intended message is received. Getting on the other side, is totally worth it. It’s relaxing and liberating. Peaceful. Wanting to be healthy for yourself, pursuing hobbies that you enjoy, and owning your personality, just being your authentic self regardless of who is around you. I love to laugh and had a passion to do comedy, I’ve done a few roasts at work and improv classes, they’re a lot of fun. Earlier in my life I felt that bringing attention to myself would bring ridicule (and not the kind of laughs I wanted), so I’d keep quiet. Sometimes it is appropriate to be more reserved, but hiding your true personality is draining.

I think it is so funny that Miyazawa’s family rags on her for being such a phony!

Oh yes if I didn’t say it earlier, I should come clean and say I am very much like Umaru and Miyazawa. As soon as I get home, and after I shower, I’m in yoga pants or jammies and watching anime or reading a book. I am relaxing. It could be perceived as laziness. But when I’m not at home, I’m going full throttle! I need time to recharge.

Okay yes I’m pretty stubborn. BUT stubbornness and pride have saved me from many potentially awkward and embarrassing circumstances so, at least that!

I understand completely! In life you need energy and zest to do your best and to be competitive. You need time to recover.

She has a valid point.

Ah you too Mom? LOL

Dad. Ahhhh.

That looks like a lot of effort to have a fake persona.

Surely once Miyazawa beats Arima for the top scores she’ll be happy right?

People pleasing is a never ending carousel ride, and not the fun kind. Get off! Reclaim your life and your sanity. Live authentically. Establish boundaries. Don’t rely on others for your self-worth.

So after all of her hours of studying, hard work, and effort to beat Arima’s top score, she thought it would bring her happiness, but it didn’t. Feeling deflated, she’s shocked to get a love confession from him.

Miyazawa wanting to keep her true self a secret, refuses Arima. And goes on an ego trip. Later she realizes the error of her ways, thanks to her younger sisters.

Ugh yes I’ve made that mistake myself. I’m sorry. Sigh.

Yes I agree! Why go out to a large party or crowded event when you can relax at home? That’s probably why adjusting to quarantine was not as challenging for me, as it was for others. You know the people with a social life.

So you already know what’s coming right? Yes of course, the jig is up and her secret is out. (PSA: always look out the window before answering the door).

If the rest of the season is like the first episode, I am excited to see more!

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.