「Yuzuhara toiu onna」 (ユズハラという女)
“The Woman Named Yuzuhara”

Yesterday wo Utatte’s characters are fragmented, incomplete jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces. Going through the motions of life often means that we carry baggage with us from past experiences, and it’s when we come together than we learn to support each other’s weight.

Yesterday wo Utatte depicts the much needed navigation people do when their paths cross. And once in a while, someone’s baggage shows up in the midst of things like an unexpected twister, creating a surge of… well, a mess.

Yuzuhara Chika (Kitamura Eri) is that twister. She’s Rikuo’s ex-girlfriend from his second year in high school. The hurt he felt then, he remembers now. Even so, he helps her when she comes to him after having lost her apartment.

Yuzuhara seems to be in as much as a limbo as everyone else. She scatters from place to place, band to band, playing as a capable pianist. She’s named the “Great Destroyer” because every band she’s a part of ends up disbanding for some reason or other. Apparently, she’s a relationship killer. But not in this episode. Seems like the Great Destroyer might just be a misunderstood soul.

This episode covers some of Rikuo’s past, even Shinako’s, and serves to bring a little clarity to the relationship they have with one another. When Shinako finds out that Rikuo is ‘shacking up’ with Yuzuhara, she gives him the cold shoulder. Though she might be the most ‘adult’ of the bunch, Shinako is at a disadvantage when it comes to emotional maturity because she’s only ever experienced, unrequited love. As an adult, she still has a lot of growth ahead… who doesn’t?

As for Rikuo, his lack of concern for Haru really comes as a surprise to me. Unlike Shinako, Haru is much more confrontational, meaning she was by no means ever going to let this go. Perhaps, her combustion triggered Rikuo in finding out how Shinako is doing, thinking: “If Haru reacted this way, maybe I should clarify things with Shinako.” If that isn’t the case, I label this man very careless and thoughtless.

Haru is literally wearing her heart on her sleeve, essentially putting herself in the most vulnerable of states. Courageous, but vulnerable all the same. Whereas, Shinako is still so unsure about what kind of relationship she wants with Rikuo.

But Yuzuhara’s presence might have changed that, even if it was just a little.

Maybe she expected him to wait for her until she was ready. But life moves on little miss. You need to take it by the reigns before it carries on without you.

I really enjoy how this story is evolving. It provides a stark look at the lives of young adults and how they cope with, not only the pressure and expectations of society at large but the pressure and expectations of their peers. In the end, people are all human. Mistakes will be made. Choices will be taken, and all you can do is take a next step.

And with that, I will be leaving you in the capable hands of Guardian Enzo from this point on. I’ll be watching the show on a weekly basis and helping with the image captures though. There’s no way I can miss an episode.


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