Myself; Yourself

August 16, 2008

I must have lost count on the number of high school teenager romance drama that I have watched over the years. And there’s still more to come. Myself; Yourself is another one of those animes under that category which I somehow find a must to watch. Not to say that this series has superb review ratings, but rather such genres are one of my favourites. I don’t know. It’s such a mystery why I really love them so much.
 
Based on a visual novel and a pc game of the same name, this series has your usual romance drama elements and I’m still wondering if I could classify this as a harem anime as well. Well let’s see, we have got a teen guy named Sana Hidaka as the main protagonist. He leaves his little town of birthplace, Sakuranomori, when he was young and then returns to it 5 years later. Plus, Sana has a little dark secret since his departure and it will be unravelled as the series goes by. It’s expected as it helps keep the suspense and thriller for viewers.
 
At the start of episode 1, we see a short flashback of Sana’s farewell party being held by his 4 close childhood friends, his 1 year senior cousin Aoi Oribe, violinist Nana Yatsushiro, and the Wakatsuki unidentical twins, Shuri and Shuusuke (or Shuu for short). They each gave him a farewell present and the most peculiar one was Nanaka’s because she composed an unfinished song on her violin but promises that when he returns, it will be done by then. Back to present time, Sana is arriving by train and is nostalgic about the place he left behind 5 years ago. Well, nothing has pretty much changed in the last 5 years in this sleepy town. He goes to pray at the temple shrine and remembers a bracelet he gave to Nanaka back then. Sana then spots a young miko priestess watching him from afar. Stalker? Sana takes a fortune reading but it reads that he will have misfortune with women. Uh oh. The last thing any guy would want in a harem anime.
 
Since he isn’t doing a daytrip, he has to rent a place nearby to stay. The landlord’s daughter greets him and Sana couldn’t immediately recognize that she is Aoi because of her… Well let’s just say she has really matured a lot in terms of her physical appearance. But you have got to really love Aoi’s squeaky cute voice. It makes her sound so genki and child-like. Anyway, Aoi is delighted to see Sana and helps him unpack. Unfortunately, Sana has to refuse because there is a box containing lots of h-games. Naughty naughty. Over the day, the duo went to the bookstore and Sana remembers how Aoi is such a bookworm and that night has dinner at Aoi’s place with her parents. Aoi’s mom even brought up the topic of Sana being her potential son-in-law. Not sure if she was really joking or not. Back in his room, Sana is pondering about the changes in Aoi and wonders what Nanaka looks like now when he receives a call from his mom. In nearly every episode, you’ll see Sana getting a call from his mom (no dialogue from her, though) as Sana assures everything is alright.
 
Also, Sana isn’t just back for a holiday and has to enrol himself to school. The next morning, Aoi barges into Sana’s room because that girl is so excited in taking him to school. Only thing is, she spots him in his underwear and freaks out. She then realized that in her hype, she forgot to eat breakfast as well and proceeds to cook some up for themselves. At school, call it fate or what, that’s because Sana has been put into the same class as the Wakatsuki twins. Shuu is bloody surprised to see Sana as the new transfer student when their homeroom teacher Yuzuki Fujimura introduces him. Since Shuu mentions that Sana is their childhood friend, Yuzuki cheekily mentions now she is going to have to pay more special attention to him. Bummer. At the end of class, the twins and Sana catch up on times when that miko priestess girl walks in. Sana introduces himself to her as though they have met for the first time but she slaps him instead! What on Earth?! Sana then saw the bracelet on her hand and it dawned to him that this girl is Nanaka. Oh no. She sure looks different now. What a way to make a returning start. I’m sure anybody will get mad if he/she doesn’t remember his/her childhood friend. He sure screwed it up the first time.
 
Because of that, in episode 2, Nanaka coldly ignores Sana despite his attempts to break the ice. So Sana has his usual lunch meeting with Aoi and the twins. Later in the afternoon, Yuzuki suggests her class to pick a class rep and picks Nanaka for her past experience while the twins suggests the assistant post for Sana. Looks like he’s in for the ride now that he is back, they just can’t leave him alone. Because Sana is relatively new at school, he doesn’t know his way around and has to follow a reluctant Nanaka to a class rep meeting. Nanaka decides to go to the library to read before the meeting starts. Since Sana was so engrossed in his reading, he didn’t realize Nanaka is already gone. Luckily, another class rep, Asami Hoshino overhears Sana’s problem and decides to help him go there. At the meeting room, Nanaka is surprised to see Sana come in with Hoshino and though Sana is a little mad for her leaving him there, she mentions that she didn’t promise him so. Later as Sana is still wondering why Nanaka has changed so much, the expression on the twins face seems to indicate that they know something more but just blames Sana for not recognizing Nanaka in the first place. Later Hoshino gives a book of the meeting minutes to Nanaka so that she could pass it to Sana since they’re in the same class. Nanaka gives the book to Sana when he returns and mentions how he’s getting along fine with Hoshino. After school ends, Sana remembers he forgot something back at the music room and goes back there. At the same time, Yuzuki asks Nanaka to retrieve some handouts in the room next to the music room. She instantly recognizes the solo piano tune and is surprised to see that Sana is playing it. That piece was the one which Nanaka had wrote for Sana 5 years ago for his farewell. Hoshino is also there and claps after Sana has finished playing it. He mentions that this unfinished piece was a farewell gift written by a friend and somehow, he knows how to play it well even though he has only heard it once. I guess Nanaka must be feeling guilty about the way she acted towards Sana. So the next morning, Nanaka greets Sana good morning. Though it’s a soft one, but it’s a start.
 
Episode 3 has a little fanservice in it. As part of Shuri’s plan to have Sana and Nanaka closer to each other, she plans a fishing outing followed by some fun and relaxation at a spa resort this coming weekend. But if you’re thinking that Sana and Nanaka’s relationship will be smooth sailing from now on, think again. Though it isn’t Sana’s fault, he accidentally steps and breaks Nanaka’s beloved palm size mirror. He wants to compensate for it but Nanaka tells him never mind. Later Nanaka spots Sana in a gift shop with Hoshino. Jealousy? But she soon finds out the next day that Sana had gone to buy a replacement mirror for her and that Hoshino was passing by and just helped him to pick out one. While looking at her new mirror, Nanaka remembers she used to make cookies for the gang when they were young whenever they went on an outing and decides to do so. The day arrives and Nanaka is surprised to learn Hoshino is coming along as well. To make things worse, Hoshino too has the same mirror as hers! And she thought she had got something special from him. I don’t know, maybe some viewers feel like slapping Sana for being insensitive. At the site, the guys prepare to fish as amateur Aoi got the hook at the back of her dress. After catching some fishes, the gang prepares to make some BBQ when Sana caught glimpse of the blood soaked knife (after Hoshino cuts the fish). Sana felt horrified deep down and tries to calm himself down by going some place else. He spots a pink shell and picks it up when Shuri comes calling. After the gang had their fill, Nanaka is going to present her cookies as dessert when Hoshino incidentally beats her to it by giving the rest her home made tarts. Nanaka backs down.
 
The gang then head to the spa and had their fun. It’s quite funny to see Aoi who is so scared of trying the slides at first, making weird noises when she’s sliding down one, then suddenly got bitten by the slide bug and decides to go ride some more. As the gang rest over some drinks, Shuu notices how Sana never takes off his watch during the pool. Sana replies that it’s waterproof and that it’s quite important to him. Shuu then teases Sana that he got that watch from some girl. Shuri notices Nanaka’s expression and steps on her brother’s foot as an indication to stop his insensitivity. Too late. Nanaka decides to go back to the pool. Must be feeling gloomy all over again for her. By the end of the day, the gang part ways as Sana, Aoi and Nanaka walk home together. Aoi and Sana mentions about Nanaka’s cookies and at this point, Nanaka finally reveals that she had actually made and brought them. The trio went back to Aoi’s house and get a nostalgic taste of Nanaka’s cookies once more. As gratitude for the cookies, Sana gives her the pink shell. Nanaka is feeling quite happy and thinks that this is a gift from Sana only to her.
 
Episode 4 introduces another girl. But her heart won’t be for Sana, but Shuu instead. Why? It seems one evening as Shuu is walking back from school, he spots little Hinako Mochida being bullied from a group of boys and saves her from further teasing. You could say Hinako fell for him at first sight even though there is an obvious age gap between them. So how can she meet her knight in shining armour once more? Lucky for her, Shuu dropped his student ID and Hinako manages to pick it up and decides to return it to him. Even after doing so, she comes to see him after school ends. Isn’t this stalking? But Shuu and the rest don’t mind. One night as Sana goes out to eat, he bumps into Hinako eating alone at a restaurant, as her mom is busy working overseas. Hinako seems to have that attitude of not wanting people to treat her like a child but she herself ordered a child’s set meal but her reason was that she’s an avid collector of a cute little stuff toy called Yeti-kun. If Big Foot were this cute, many people would have them as a pet by now. Sana also orders a child set meal and gives his Yeti-kun to Hinako. Next day, Hinako wants to talk to Sana and goes to his room. I know that it’s his place but to change his shirt in front of a young girl? After lecturing him about it, Hinako says her reason she wants to talk to him is because she has feelings for Shuu and wants to know further what he is like. Sana initially laughs making her mad and deciding to leave. Sana tries to apologize but tripped and fell on her with his unbuttoned top. All in good timing, Aoi comes in and sees Sana on top of Hinako and gets the wrong idea and screams not to do it because the PTA with #*&$#$ him! After clearing up the misunderstanding, Aoi and Sana decides to help Hinako by finding more on Shuu about his likes and dislikes. At school, Sana asks him the obvious question of what kind of girl he likes and as a typical guy, a girl with big boobs. Because of that, Hinako turns to Aoi on how to make her flat chest bigger. I’m not sure how, but Hinako did mention she wants to inherit their blood seeing that Aoi’s mom is quite busty too. Yeah, it runs in the family.
 
Sana goes back to ask Shuu his other preference and the latter mentions cooking. A funny part was when Shuu was condemning Shuri’s inability to cook, not to mention to crack an egg when Shuri eavesdropped and decides to give her bro a lesson by telling him that there are other things beside an egg she can crack open. His head, that is. Prepare yourself! Hinako tries to do so and because rich girls who never lift a finger does cooking for the first time, you know what to expect, right? Unfortunately, Sana became her guinea pig despite trying to refuse. As expected, it tastes horrible. No choice but to directly confess to him. Thus Aoi and Sana plans for Hinako and Shuu to accidentally meet at the aquarium. All is going well. At the end of the day, Sana notices Hinako’s sad expression. Something tells me she has been rejected though we never saw the confession. As Sana and Hinako walk home, she admits that she had been rejected but Shuu had treated her like an adult. Hinako is trying to hold back her tears but Sana tells her that it’s okay for an adult to sometimes cry. Hinako lets go of her emotion and cries her heart out when Sana hugs her. Poor girl. Hope this would make her stronger. Back home when Sana receives a call from his mom, he asks her about confessing but denies that he has any girlfriend at the moment. Probably he shouldn’t have asked that.
 
After being sidelined for the previous episode, episode 5 has Nanaka preparing herself for the upcoming sakura festival as she herself will be doing a dance on that day as her uncle checks on her. Meanwhile Sana is out shopping when he bumps into Hoshino shopping for a cat collar. She mentions that she is getting this for a pet cat named Poe, who lives at the old folks home where she works as a volunteer. She invites Sana to come and help out for the weekend, in which he agrees. Of course, Nanaka comes by and spot the 2 again and it must be natural for her to think that they’re going out. First she hates him, now she secretly likes him. Can we call her tsundere? Nanaka tries to escape but the duo caught glimpse of her. They tell her about their volunteer work and Hoshino invites her as well. Though Sana says she has to practice for her dance, I guess Nanaka doesn’t want Sana to be left alone with her ‘rival’ and agrees to come. Must be jealousy alright. On that day at the old folks home, Sana finds out that Shuri is also working there as a volunteer and it seems an elderly man is hogging Sana all to himself because he is enjoying Sana as his video game company. You think old people like him are just waiting around before they kick the dust, huh? Well, this one is quite energetic and I think he can put most youngsters to shame. Including me :(. Hoshino notices a bird is missing from the cage and thinks it may have gotten free. Hoshino and the rest decides to visit a sickly old lady, Kaiji, in her room. Upon entering the room, Kaiji is surprised to see her granddaughter, Motoko. Well, actually no. It’s just Nanaka and she resembles quite closely to her. In her happiness, Kaiji tries to hug Nanaka, scaring the poor girl a little. After Kaiji has calmed down, we find out that her daughter died in an accident and that she also played the violin. Sana suggests for Nanaka to play her violin for Kaiji but this brings back faint memories of a place in flames. This also prompts Nanaka to feel a bit uneasy. On the way home, Sana apologizes to Nanaka for making her do something that she doesn’t want to but Nanaka says it’s okay.
 
The day of the festival arrives as Sana and the rest prepares to go watch Nanaka’s dance. Since it’s still early, Nanaka is manning a stall there as Sana meets up with her. Nanaka notices Sana has won a Yeti-kun stuff toy and he is wondering who to give to. Before Nanaka could say that she wants it, Hinako comes by and in an instant, Sana gives it to that Yeti-kun obsessed girl. Too late once more. Night falls and a crowd gathers to watch Nanaka’s dance. Shuri tells Sana about the legend of the twin hills whereby wishes were granted through a sacrifice by burying its victim alive. But throughout the years, it has been substituted with a dance and this ceremony is more of wishing for a good harvest. After the dance, Sana goes to meet Nanaka alone at the back and compliments her dance. Suddenly something is moving in the bushes and quickly dashes by Nanaka’s feet, scaring her. Her reaction was to cling on to Sana. But it turned out to be just a raccoon. The duo realized that they are hugging each other and quickly pushed each other away in embarrassment. But before they are going to hold hands once more, Hinako spots them and calls for them. Ah, girl interrupted. Will they get another chance like this?
 
Episode 6 once again focuses on Hinako. This little girl decides to pack her stuff and temporarily live with Sana when she comes home one night to find her mom leaving a message that she won’t be home due to a business trip. Why Sana’s room in the first place? I know she can’t go to Shuri because she’s living under the same roof as Shuu, so it’s understandable. But why not Aoi then? Maybe she finds Sana to be a little more fun to be with. After all, his words did comforted her after being rejected by Shuu. Anyway, whether Sana likes it or not, Hinako is moving in and is treating his place like her house. As usual as the 2 argue, Sana trip and fell on top of Hinako on the bed. Guess what? Aoi comes in and starts her usual high pitch panicking scream. After clearing up the misunderstanding, Aoi gives the green light for Hinako to stay with him. Over the rest of the episode sees Sana and Hinako doing their homework, going out shopping to buy ingredients for curry (I suppose this bring back unpleasant memories for Sana) but ended up going out to eat. While Hinako is bathing, Sana searches Hinako’s stuff for some contact info. He calls her house only to hear a voice answering machine. He also realized that today is her birthday and decides to plan a secret party for her by conspiring with Aoi. That night, Hinako wants Sana to sleep with her and don’t expect anything steamy to happen. Just that, this kid wants somebody next to her while she sleeps to feel more secure. The next day, Sana takes Hinako on a shopping trip by giving an excuse to buy a present for a girl. Sana is indirectly describing that girl to be Hinako and well, unknowingly Hinako seems to be criticizing herself. At the store, the coincidentally meet Shuu and they ended up buying a chicken clock even if it’s a little expensive. The rest of the day has the trio going to the movies and taking pics of themselves. By sunset, they head back to Sana’s room. Hinako gets the surprise of her life when she saw Aoi, Nanaka and Shuri surprising her when she comes in. While the guys are out, the girls are preparing the party in Sana’s room. After continuing another round of fun, Hinako notes that it’s time to go home and thanks everyone. So as Sana walks her back, it’s Hinako’s turn to surprise Sana by giving him a peck on his cheek before rushing off. Is she on to Sana now? Don’t bet on it. I find that their relationship won’t advance to a lover’s one throughout the series. Hey, this guy doesn’t have loli fetish, okay.
 
In episode 7, Yuzuki gives Sana a caramel as a reward for bringing in some notebooks. This triggers Sana to recall a similar event in the past but can’t quite remember it well. During recess, the gang finds Shuri collecting signatures to oppose the development of a city hall at the expense of the park. Shuri is totally against it because it was a place where she and her twin had fond memories of their late mother together. Sana is on his way home when he notices the horizontal bars at the playground. He remembers trying to do a whole loop with them but miserably fails. At that time, a young girl gave him a caramel for trying his best and Sana soon realized that that girl back then was Yuzuki. The next day, Shuri and Yuzuki are being called to the headmistress’s office for the petition letter Shuri has been passing around. It seems Shuri’s father is the one behind the development of this new city hall and she wants Shuri to stop it as it will bring a negative impact. Due to the headmistress’s attitude (especially her jerk assistant), Yuzuki is very upset and takes Shuri out for a meal while discussing her views on it. When Shuri returns home, her dad is angry about Shuri’s actions. But Shuri fights back by saying that the park is an important place for her and Shuu. She goes on saying how she’ll never acknowledge the new woman her dad married, Saeko, as her mom and thinks that she just married him for the sex and money. This causes her dad to slap her as Shuri locks herself in her room. In a way, I felt that Shuri had said too much even though she’s right in a way to express her feelings. Because of that, Shuri didn’t attend school the next day. At the old folks home, Hoshino notices Poe is missing but this didn’t stop her and Sana from continuing their volunteer work. Yeah, that old guy is hogging Sana with his video games again. Before they leave, the visited Kaiji because she requested them to come. She wants them to bury a box underneath the biggest sakura tree. As they leave, Hoshino thought she heard Poe’s bell collar but that cat is nowhere in sight. After the duo buries the box at a sakura tree near the temple shrine, Hoshino feels a little dizzy. She nearly falls but luckily Sana caught her in his arms. At the same time, Nanaka is passing by and spots the duo’s ‘unholy’ act. I guess this confirms it for Nanaka that something is going on between these 2. By the time Sana and Hoshino turn and look at Nanaka’s direction, she is already gone.
 
Hot cold hot cold. That’s what Nanaka is in episode 8. It’s deja vu once more as Nanaka is giving Sana the cold shoulders. Sana must be wondering what he has done wrong this time. Sana confronts her and after several times of saying I’m-not-angry-even-if-your-face-shows-it, Nanaka admits that she saw him hugging Hoshino. Sana explains the truth but that even makes Nanaka even more upset. After another volunteer work at the old folks home, Sana wonders why Nanaka has changed but the latter too points out that he himself has changed before running away. Back at in his room, Sana remembers how he and Nanaka used an abandoned mailbox to send each other letters since only both of them have the keys exclusive to its lock. It’s a secret which only they both shared. Sana starts searching for the key when Aoi comes in and starts panicking when she sees his porn magazines all over the place. Sana tries to clear the misunderstanding but accidentally kicks open the canister and spots the key there. Later he goes to the mailbox and opens it. To his surprise (and mine) the mailbox is overflowing with letters from Nanaka! Furthermore, most of them have "Help me!" in red written on it. What’s going on?! Sana goes to find Shuu and have him clarify what happened to Nanaka while he was away. Shuu mentions that 3 years ago, there was a fire in Nanaka’s house which took the lives of her parents. She broke her leg when she jumped out of her window from the 2nd floor with only the bracelet and violin in hand. Due to this traumatic part, Nanaka lost her memories on this incident and the police even suspected her as the culprit as they rule that the fire may be started by an arsonist. They even suspected her uncle because of something about inheriting the temple shrine. Though, the real culprit remains free today. Sana is upset why Shuu didn’t tell him earlier on. Shuu mentions that even if he did, what could he have done. Just like him, he couldn’t do anything back then.
 
Later Sana is sitting dejectedly at the playground when Yuzuki spots him. This prompts Yuzuki to give Sana a caramel and in return he asks why she does this. She tells him how her parents were always at work and gave her money to buy snacks, and that she could buy lots of caramel with the amount of money she had. She didn’t start giving them as reward till she was in high school when she spot a boy trying the horizontal bars. Though she doesn’t remember his face, she gave him a caramel to encourage him further since he looked quite happy. With that, Sana vows to do his best and at that moment, Yuzuki realized that Sana is that little boy. Later Sana calls Nanaka to meet him at the abandoned mailbox. He reveals what he has learned and apologizes for not being able to do anything. Nanaka hits back at him saying that he wasn’t there at the time she needed him most. A time when she was filled with pain. Nanaka tries to leave but Sana grabs her hand to prevent her from going. Nanaka continues to emotional blurt out how he has abandoned and forgotten about her. In the end, Nanaka mentions how she wanted so badly for him to come save her and be by her side, as they embraced each other. Sana assures her that he’ll always be by her side from now. That night, Sana receives a call from his mom and he tells her that he has become stronger because he has something to protect now.
 
In episode 9, Nanaka slowly starts regaining her painful memories when she sees the fish her aunt is cooking starts to burn. Though she still can’t recall 100%, it’s enough to devastate her. Her uncle comforts her and tells her not to force herself in recalling them. But that nightmare keeps recurring for her so much so she can’t sleep. She goes down to have a drink only to hear her uncle and aunt talk about that incident. Her aunt wants Nanaka to go see a specialist to regain her memories but her uncle is against it as he thinks it’s better for Nanaka not to remember. Nanaka recalls a similar incident with her parents and thinks about the time where she refuses to believe it all back then and even now. The next day, the gang enjoys the day at the amusement park. Aoi seems to love the wild rides while Hinako is out flat. While Nanaka and Sana are having their drink at a table (the rest went to continue their rides), they bump into Hoshino who has brought along her younger cousin Youta. The duo joins the gang as they visit the haunted house this time. Another one of those moments whereby Nanaka in her reflex hugs Sana after being scared by a prop ghost. Deja vu? Later, the gang watches a live action Power Rangers-like show called Animengers. As part of the show, the ‘baddie’ has to pick a ‘hostage’ from the audience and he chose Hinako. It was kinda funny to see Hinako giving her criticisms on how this ‘baddie’ handled the hostage situation when the heroes came to her rescue. As Youta starts cheering, the rest of the gang too goes with the flow. Lastly, the gang decides to ride the ferris wheel and they plot Sana and Nanaka to be alone together. Nanaka tries to apologize for that emotional outburst back then but Sana reassures her that they’ll be together no matter what. In the other carriage, the twins are together and Shuu tells Shuri not to hide her pain behind her usual energetic face. Shuri then gets emotional and cries after telling him about how their mom died and her dad remarried that woman. Meanwhile, the rest are in the final carriage when Hoshino spots Shuri crying. When they reached back down, everyone is back to their normal self, including Shuri. But Hoshino is still disturbed after seeing Shuri’s earlier expression.
 
Episode 10 sees Saeko hanging out and getting drunk with another guy. She’s complaining about the brats and later goes into a love hotel with him. Meanwhile the twins are praying at their late mom’s grave. They reminisce about the times they were young and were happy together with their late mom before buying an identical wristband at a shop. Several days later, the twins are being called to the headmistress’s office and it seems they have been accused of going into a love hotel together as stated in an anonymous poison pen letter. The twins tell the headmistress and his assistant that they were at their mom’s grave but they want them to prove that they have an alibi and an eyewitness. Yuzuki is upset that they easily believed a letter which could even be just a prank. The headmistress says that though the letter is suspicious, they won’t pursue the matter further since there are no proof but will inform their parents of what has happened. When they get home, their dad is in a rage and even punches Shuu as this scandal may jeopardise his upcoming re-election. This rumour has even spread throughout school the next day and when the twins arrive in class, the other students snicker at them. To their horror, they find a drawing of a love umbrella with their names on it on the blackboard. Shuri couldn’t take it anymore and runs away in tears. Shuu is visibly upset as he turn tables and demand for the culprit to come forward or he’ll beat the crap out of everyone.
 
Shuri explains it all to Sana and Hoshino while at the old folks home. In Kaiji’s room, Shuri offers to peel some apples for her when she accidentally cut her finger. This causes Sana to be terrified once more as he leaves the room to calm himself with Hoshino following behind. With Shuri alone with Kaiji, the old lady tells her about the twin hill legend. She couldn’t believed her grandchild died before her and made a wish upon it. That is, she wants Motoko to come back alive. Since the sakura trees didn’t bloom, Kaiji thought that she needed a sacrifice and started off with the bird (remember the missing bird in the cage?), and then the cat (remember the box Sana and Hoshino buried for her?). Kaiji now thinks that a real human sacrifice is needed seeing that her wish didn’t come true and starts picking up the knife. OMG! She’s going to stab Shuri! Shuri is paralysed in fear. Luckily Sana and Hoshino returned and saw what is happening. Hoshino runs towards Shuri and protected her. It seems Hoshino has been stabbed as her blood oozes out on the floor. Fortunate for her, Hoshino is in stable condition after the operation and is recuperating in hospital. But it’s not the end of Shuri’s troubles. Her dad has planned for her to go study in a boarding school in London and tries to nicely persuade her to go. Of course Shuri isn’t convinced and believes that he’s doing all this for his re-election. Shuu notices Shuri slamming her room door, so he goes talk to her. Though they’re against what is happening, but they also know that their dad’s mind has already been made up. Shuu knows that she doesn’t want to be separated from him and suggests that they run far away. Though Shuri initially protests, Shuu assures her that he’ll always be there to lend her a hand and guide her. Well, this episode certainly focuses on the trouble brewing the twins in addition to Nanaka’s. Every kid has got his/own problems too. So we’ll be expecting lots of drama, twists and turns in the remaining episodes.
 
The shocking truth is revealed in episode 11. As Sana visits Hoshino in hospital, Hoshino reveals that she is the culprit of sending that anonymous letter about the twins entering the love hotel. And I thought it was Saeko in the first place. There is a reason why she did this. It seems when Hoshino and Shuri were first years, Hoshino liked Shuri and confessed her feelings. And I’m not talking about normal friends kinda relationship. Uh huh. Yuri girl. At least this dispels the fact that Hoshino has feelings for Sana. When Hoshino confessed to Shuri, the latter thought she was joking but when she found out she was serious, Shuri rejected her. Hoshino wondered how she would react but Shuri acted so friendly as though the confession never took place, as she remained her friend and her usual cheerful outlook. Since Shuri acted like nothing, Hoshino took this as an insult and all that loving feeling turned into hatred. Ah, I see. But she hid her feelings until the day she saw Shuri crying in the ferris wheel. It was the only face which she could show nobody else but Shuu. That’s when she got sadistic and vengeful. Yeah, she felt good about doing cruel things to Shuri and was the one who drew the love umbrella. Hoshino didn’t regret seeing Shuri crying and wanted to get more of this thrill even during the volunteer work at the old folks home. But when she saw Shuri being threatened by Kaiji, ironically she went to protect her. Sana told her that it’s because Shuri was someone important to her and that was her true feelings. Hoshino starts to cry and is confused of her feelings when the twins come in. Hoshino then wants to speak to Shuri alone as the boys wait in the garden. Some time later, Shuri comes out crying to Shuu. The cat is out of the bag.
 
That night, the twin’s dad tells Shuri that her departure to London is this Saturday. Shuri tells this to Shuu as they finalize their eloping plans. Next day during recess, Shuri tells Sana and the rest about going to London and the following day, the twins didn’t attend school. Then Sana realized what is happening and rushes out of the class. Can he do that? Sana seems to know where the twins are and heads to the train station, where they’re waiting to board a train. Sana arrives too late, so he borrowed Aoi’s mom bicycle who was just passing by. Can he do that too? He tries to catch up with the train by taking various shortcuts and finally comes to a bridge. As the train passes by, Shuri sees Sana trying to say something but can’t make out. But Shuu knows what he is trying to say because back then, Shuu did the same thing when Sana left town 5 years ago. The words are: "No matter where you are, we will always be friends".
 
The twins are gone and in episode 12 rumours about them eloping are spreading like wildfire throughout school. Aoi laments the fact that the twins are now gone when Sana just came back. It just feels so lonely. Back at Sana’s room, he receives a courier package from Shuu. A fishing rod but there are no other details to indicate where he is. Sana decides to invite Aoi and Nanaka for another fishing trip this weekend but when the day comes, Aoi faked she has a cold and told Sana to go ahead with Nanaka. She thinks that at this time, only Sana can help Nanaka. At the river, after the duo did some fishing and replenish themselves with Nanaka’s delicious cooking, Sana wants to show Nanaka something and has her follow him to a nearby cave as it soon starts to drizzle. Inside the dark cave, Sana shows the ceiling of the cave filled with sparkling minerals which resembled a starry sky. What a beautiful sight. He says that he and Shuu discovered this place when they were young while fishing and that this place is their secret hideout between the 2. This Sana guy sure has lots of secret secrets shared with others. Sana’s flashlight batteries suddenly went out and Nanaka gets a little scared of the dark. So the duo took shelter at the mouth of the cave as it’s now raining. Nanaka then asks about the watch which she still thinks was given to him by his ex-girlfriend. Sana denies it but stops short of telling her further about it. Sana then asks about the letters in the mailbox in which she replied that she was so scared after the fire, she was afraid that had changed. So much so she couldn’t play the violin anymore. Because of her fear of changing too much while Sana was away, she wrote letters and put it in the mailbox to reach the Sana she once knew. Nanaka realized that Sana didn’t change as of now and still is the Sana she loves. Soon Nanaka falls asleep but when she wakes up, she finds herself alone and goes to look for Sana. As she wanders out of the cave, the red sunset seems to have triggered her memories of the fire. Like in a trance, Nanaka walks forward till the edge of the cliff and fell. Luckily, Sana is down there and manages to catch her in time. Nanaka then comes to her senses and says how she has remembered everything about the fire. So it just took a sunset for her memories to start flowing back? Which means she has never seen such sunset before, hasn’t she?
 
Episode 13 starts with Nanaka’s past. We see she’s quite close to her violin teacher, Kaoru Sakuraba, who is also a close friend of her parents. However, Kaoru was suffering from cancer and the disease is spreading so much so it was incurable. In the end, Kaoru passed away. While Nanaka’s mom, Nanae, was inconsolable during his funeral, her dad, Tsuguhiko, was feeling angry. One night, Nanaka went downstairs and to her horror saw her dad beating up her mom. As a child, that can be very traumatic. It is revealed that Nanaka is actual the child of Kaoru and Nanae. Why didn’t she told him when she was pregnant with his child? Nanae fears that Tsuguhiko would want her to abort it, in which he asserted that he would have done so. Nanae also wanted Nanaka to take violin lessons from Kaoru so that she can be close to her real dad. Tsuguhiko is in a rage as now he realized why Nanaka resembles so close to Kaoru. Nanaka thinks that this is just a nightmare and goes back to bed in disbelief hoping that tomorrow everything will be back to normal. But soon she heard a loud noise downstairs. Once again she went down to check only to find Tsuguhiko standing next to an unconscious Nanae. Plus, he has doused the entire room with gasoline and starts lighting the fire. So now we know who started the fire. In Nanaka’s horror, she rushed back upstairs but soon finds the fire spreading quickly. With no choice left, she hurriedly to the bracelet and violin and jumped out of the window. Back in present time, Sana comforted Nanaka and soon brings her home. After Nanaka has fallen asleep in her room, Sana has a chat with her uncle and tells him what he has known. Her uncle had suspected Tsuguhiko all along but was unsure but this confirms it. Another round of flashback. He tells Sana that before Kaoru died, he confessed everything to Tsuguhiko in hopes that he will forgive him, but the latter didn’t. He felt betrayed and even wanted to kill them. At that time, her uncle didn’t took him seriously as he thought he was just upset and drunk. Because of that, he hoped that Nanaka would never regain such painful memories.
 
Nanaka must be regretting that she has learned her painful past. Because of that, she keeps herself locked in her room and refused to see anyone including Sana. But this didn’t stop Sana from visiting her every day. One day as Sana is waiting in the living room, he notices Nanaka not in her room and thinks she has gone to take a bath because he heard water noises from the bathroom. Thinking it’s okay, Sana decides to wait a little longer till Nanaka comes out. But Nanaka didn’t came out and the water noise is still running. Sana fears the worst and tries to enter the bathroom. He calls her name but there was no response. Sana is a little hesitant about barging in but eventually does. To his horror, he finds Nanaka in the bathtub with her wrist slit! Oh dear! Why is her blood black colour?! Sana has that terrified feeling again but has to be strong to overcome it. He manages to pull Nanaka out of the water. Later as Nanaka is recuperating in hospital, Sana tells her not to think about dying but this upsets her even further as she claims he doesn’t know the pain she is going through. But Sana beg to differ as he too underwent such similar experience. He takes off his watch to reveal a scar on his wrist. Sana tells her that he too once tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrist but didn’t die from it. When he moved away 5 years ago to a new school, the kids there bullied and abused him tremendously. At first he tried to ignore them but it soon became unbearable. Just when he can’t take it no more, he decided to slit his wrist. This world is full of problems. Everyone has them. So the main reason why he decided to come back here was that he hoped he could see everyone and everything just as before. He wanted to return to how things used to be. Everytime he thinks about that incident, it will send shivers to him. But Sana is thankful that he didn’t die for it is a blessing in disguise. If he had died then, he wouldn’t have been able to save Nanaka and prevent her from making the same mistake.
 
The timeline then fast forward ten years later and we see a grown up Nanaka preparing herself to give a violin concert in front of a sell-out crowd. Sana comes to the backstage to propose her hand in marriage. Wow. Ten years to finally propose to her? ‘Old’ already lar… Haha. Outside we see Aoi bringing Hoshino into the concert. Aoi is grateful to Hoshino because of her, the park is still here today. Probably Hoshino tried to redeem herself when she decided to fulfil Shuri’s hope to save the park. We also see Shuri and Shuu walk hand in hand into the concert but we won’t hear them speak or see their faces. Just their backs. Also, it seems Hinako (still flat chested. Sorry) is dating Youta even though she is older than him. Well, that kid was quite attached to her when the gang were at the amusement park. When Sana rejoins Yuzuki at her seat, the latter teases him that he’s a naughty guy when Sana gives the thumbs up about Nanaka accepting his proposal. She gives him a caramel for becoming a man. Nanaka finally comes onstage and tells the audience how she took a long time to finish writing this piece as it contains her joyful and painful memories of everyone she shared back then. She names this piece, Myself Yourself. So she finally finish writing that piece, huh?
 
Though I felt that the whole series was quite okay, but I also felt that the ending was kind of a rush job. I mean, even if it ended on a good note, there are some points which made me ponder. Like when the twins ran away, I wonder where they went or did anybody mounted a search for them. So it’s like once the twins were gone, it ended for them just there. And their presence at the end of the show was just to please viewers that they’re still around together. As for Hoshino, I too felt that after she confessed her cruelty, it was like also her role ended just there as the series focuses more on Nanaka’s trouble and how Sana is going to solve it. What about Hinako? I felt her presence was just akin to a side character after her birthday bash. Even the part at the amusement park, she wasn’t that prominent either. But I guess the overall build up of the drama to its climax was quite well done. At least Sana’s flashback was a quick one, rather than most episodes which would dedicate at least 1 episode to tell what has happened.
 
But perhaps maybe there were some parts of the twists and turns of the story which caught me by surprise. Especially Hoshino’s confession. Nobody in their right mind would suspect such a cute looking timid girl to do such hideous things. But then again, still waters run deep. I had actually thought and suspected Saeko very much. I wouldn’t have guessed that Tsuguhiko was the one behind the fire as there were lots of evidence pointing towards Nanaka’s uncle. Well, at least his back and long hair seem to indicate so. Then there are of course some parts which are expected like Kaiji who ‘murdered’ the bird and cat, and Sana ending up with Nanaka. So I can conclude that this isn’t a harem anime. At least, not a typical one. Well, Hoshino has her heart on Shuri and still has, Shuri loves her brother more than anything else, while Aoi is just their best friend who plays a little role as big sister because she’s the eldest. I was hoping for the gang to form a band and play some music just like how the opening animation and theme (Tears Infection by KAORI) showed they would, but I guess it never materialized.
 
The drawing, art and animation are quite standard to today’s Japanese bishie anime expectations. Though the voice acting is okay, my favourite one is still Aoi who is voiced by Tomoko Kaneda (Chiyo of Azumanga Daioh) because of her high pitch squealing. There are other talented casts too which include Shinnosuke Tachibana as Sana (Takefumi in Manabi Straight), Ami Koshimizu as Nanaka (Megumi in Muteki Kanban Musume), Yukari Tamura as Shuri (Sakura of Da Capo, Ranpha of Galaxy Angel), Takehito Koyasu as Shuu (Kuroyanagi of Yakitate! Japan), and Mai Nakahara as Hoshino (Mai in Mai-HiME).
 
As we learn that friendship is something valuable, time is the only medicine which can heal scars and wounds of the heart and soul. Anything terrible happened to a child during his/her tender young age, could have a severe and negative impact in his/her future. Since the story deals with depression and ultimately suicide, it may not be suitable for younger audiences. And if you’re thinking about that Animengers part, it just doesn’t quite cut it. Yeti-kun? Hey, I think the straw dolls in Jigoku Shoujo are kinda cute too. Not. But I don’t think the producers will make a 2nd season unless they decided to make an alternative storyline and most probably another ending version from the game. I wonder what they will call it. Ah, I know. Myself; Yourself; Ourselves. And then if there’s another sequel, it’ll be Myself; Yourself; Ourselves; Themselves. Hehe. Just kidding.
 
Myself; Yourself