Myself; Yourself – 13 (END)
Many years ago, Nanaka had a violin teacher named Sakuraba Kaoru who was an old friend of her parents. When he had gotten sick and had told her to take lessons from a new violin teacher, she refused because she wanted to wait for his release from the hospital. She had even said that she didn’t want to play the violin unless it was him teaching her, but sometime later, he passed away. During the funeral, Nanaka’s mother had collapsed crying, and her father had strangely been incredibly angry. One night soon after that, Nanaka heard her father hitting her mother, and watched in horror as he confronted her mother about Nanaka not being his child. Her mother claimed that she didn’t know until after the marriage, and she hadn’t said anything because she was afraid he’d make her get an abortion. She had also wanted Nanaka to take violin lessons from her real father since Nanaka had inherited her real father’s talent. Nanaka was in such disbelief over all this that she told herself it was a dream, and shortly after she tried to go to sleep, she heard a loud noise.
Heading downstairs to investigate, Nanaka had found her father standing over her unconscious mother, and there was a container of gasoline spilled on the ground. Looking deranged, her father had sparked a lighter and tossed it onto the ground, igniting the gasoline. Nanaka had run upstairs, and when she realized that the house burning, she grabbed the bracelet and her violin before jumping out the window. Back in the present, Sana comforts Nanaka and brings her home. After Nanaka falls asleep, he fills her uncle in on what he learned, and her uncle admits to having suspected that Nanaka’s father set the fire. Her uncle explains that Nanaka’s parents and Kaoru had been friends from high school, and this had continued even after her parents got married. Before dying of cancer, Kaoru had confessed everything to Nanaka’s father and had asked for forgiveness, but Nanaka’s father couldn’t forgive that. He had told her uncle that he felt betrayed by his wife and Kaoru, and he had wanted to kill them. In retrospect, Nanaka’s uncle thinks that he should have taken those words a little more seriously, and for Nanaka’s sake, he had prayed that she’d never remember all this.
In the days that follow, Sana tries to visit Nanaka every day, but each time he ends up getting turned back at the door because she doesn’t want to see anyone. On one particular day, he finds her door open and realizes that she had gone to take a bath. He waits for her to come out, but when she doesn’t after a long while, he goes to the bath to check on her. The constant sound of running water makes Sana realize that something is wrong, and he flashes back to how he had left the faucet on when he slit his own wrists. Rushing into the bathroom, Sana’s suspicions are confirmed, and he briefly has to overcome his own fear before pulling Nanaka out and getting help for her. In the aftermath, he visits her as she’s recovering and tries to tell her that no matter what happens, she shouldn’t think about dying. This only makes Nanaka angry because she feels that he doesn’t understand, but of course he does. To prove it, he shows her the scar that has been hidden underneath his wristwatch until now. It seems that in middle school, Sana had been bullied and had tried to kill himself the same way she did.
Sana had transferred to a private middle school after that, and by high school, he had become like a hikikomori. Recalling what Nanaka had said previously about wanting to reach the Sana that she knew in elementary school in relation to letters she put in the secret mailbox, Sana admits that he felt the same way when he came back to this town. He had hoped that if he could see everyone like before, then he’d also return to being how he used to be. Sana then tells Nanaka about how he had still wanted to die after the failed suicide, but he doesn’t feel that way anymore. Remembering back to that time makes him afraid because he realizes now that if he had died, then he wouldn’t have been able to save Nanaka from making the same mistake.
Ten years later, Nanaka is getting ready to give an outdoor concert when Sana shows up backstage with something that he wants to give her – a ring. The concert attendees are meanwhile streaming in, and an older Aoi runs into Asami outside. Aoi talks about how it’s thanks to Asami that this nature park is still here because, without Asami leading the opposition, this park would have been turned into the new city hall. Also in attendance are Shuri and Shuusuke, Hinako and Youta, and Yuzuki who is eventually joined by Sana after he gives Nanaka the ring. Yuzuki even hands Sana a caramel as a reward for becoming a man. When the concert starts, Nanaka comes on stage welcomes everyone. The piece she’s going to play for them is something she composed herself, a piece that took her a long time to complete, a piece that’s called “Myself; Yourself.”
Considering what they had to cover, I guess they did a decent job on the ending, though you’ll have to pardon me for not getting too excited about it. Sana’s secret turned out to be exactly what some people predicted ten weeks ago, and the episode only spent a few minutes on it, but at least it was tied into Nanaka’s story. I was a little surprised that Nanaka’s father turned out to be so unstable, but now that I think about it, this series has had more than its share of bad parents who’ve had negative influences on their children, so maybe that shouldn’t have been too shocking. As a friend pointed out to me, Aoi ended up being the most normal, and she was the only one with a “normal” family.
I thought the main part of the story ended rather abruptly though. It would have been nice if they had shown some more of Sana and Nanaka getting together instead of having us infer everything from the epilogue, though of course time was probably the main issue. Still, the fact that there was a 10-years-after epilogue gave a good amount of closure for all the characters, particularly Shuri and Shuusuke who I didn’t think we’d ever see again. It even (kind of) redeemed Asami by having her fulfill Shuri’s original wish. The epilogue didn’t have the concert scene from the OP, but Nanaka’s concert was good enough, so I liked it anyway.
On a side note, the black blood thing really took away from this episode, at least for me. It didn’t bother me a few episodes ago with Asami, but when they have that black stuff spreading water during the bathroom scenes, it just completely loses the impact that red blood would have otherwise had. I think it’s probably because blood and bleeding is such an integral part of the shock of a suicide attempt, and that was painfully absent here.
Final Thoughts: I think the story would have been a lot better served without all the time spent on Hinako – that could have given two extra episodes for them to develop what I felt were the more important stories with Nanaka and with the twins. But considering that I wasn’t originally planning on watching this back at the beginning of the fall (the enthusiastic recommendations of a few friends convinced me that I should), I’d say Myself; Yourself turned out to be a pleasant surprise overall. I wouldn’t call it a great series, but a good watch if you have the time.