「僕は死んだ」 (Boku wa Shinda)
Poor Ichikawa-goes to save the day by dashing for a cup to help Anna out, only for the problem to get solved already (that was actually my first thought-just put the tap on super low). Smooth cover-up, Ichikawa- pretending he got the glass for himself. I totally get the anxiety going through his head at the painfulness of going out on a limb to be nice, only for it to be unnecessary in the end and how to retain some semblance of dignity and not look weird after the fact. Though, from a third party perspective, it was actually quite a sweet thing of him to do.
Ichikawa’s not the only one who’s thoughtful. Anna ate by herself because she was looking out for Kobayashi’s allergies. They built up to that very nicely with Ichikawa’s fixation on “Why is she eating alone in the library?”. The answer, of course, is much better than the horrifying reveal he had in his head. Pairing the dead bug with his imagined scene of Anna murdering him was artful, to say the least.
It cracked me up that Ichikawa considers Kobayashi as Anna’s “boyfriend”. Everyone needs that one friend they can totally let loose with, a “school-wife/husband” or “work-wife/husband” so to speak.
We get a strong hint of Anna’s interest-smelling Ichikawa’s fan and casually declaring that it smells good-she’s definitely more interested in him than Ichikawa would dare to hope. Also, it’s so totally fitting that Ichikawa’s fan is pitch black. The way he menacingly snapped that fan shut was so in-character with his self-conceived “deviousness”.
The peanut gallery makes another appearance. No, Ichikawa, he didn’t read your mind-you’re typical middle school boys and on the same wavelength, at least where that’s concerned. Smart move on the girls’ end to exit in search of A/C. I can’t tell if the girls can hear what the guys are saying (they certainly seem to be talking loud enough for all the world to hear) or if their swift exit was coincidental. Congrats, Ichikawa gets the coveted look through Anna’s sweat soaked shirt-only to find that she’s wearing a bathing suit. Not a bad idea, really, with all the sweat, and prevents the boys from getting an underwear peek. Not that Ichikawa is disappointed.
When Kobayashi started going on and on about how gorgeous and stylish Anna is, I wanted her to just shut up. For someone as awkward and low on the social ladder as Ichikawa, it hammers home just how far out of her league he is and make the poor kid feel he hasn’t a chance. He doesn’t need someone else to tell him that, he already thinks that.
Today sure wouldn’t be the day to answer the typical innocent Mom question “How was school today, what did you do?”. Ichikawa down for the count after all that close contact (totally knew what was coming after all those pants close-ups from the beginning) and the two girls casually piggy backing it out of the room, blissfully unaware. It’s like bumper cars- both sexes awkwardly trying to maneuver around in their strange, new bodies and worlds (and other things) are bound to collide.
What a minefield! I feel terrible for Hara, getting her boobs ogled at like that-and I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened to her. As someone who already feels not-confident in her body image, having previously mentioned dieting to lose weight, the guys in her class staring at her chest will no doubt make her feel more self-conscious-the last thing a self-conscious girl wants. She even comments on being envious of Anna’s slimness-no doubt a dagger to the gut for Ichikawa who was just ogling her.
Hara’s simple comment drives home that there’s a girl, a person behind the skin-they’re not wax handles-there’s always another side. Which I’m sure Ichikawa is painfully aware of once he snaps out of it with his ”Everyone has their own special something” aside. The way Ichikawa freaked out when Anna scared him was hilarious. That whole scene conveys the awkwardness of that age-hormones and your body running wild and you haven’t figured out how to control it yet, while at the same time, becoming wholly aware of the position and feelings of others. The sense of horror “I can’t believe I did/said that” that sticks with you.
Ichikawa is such a sweetheart-taking the blame for writing Anna’s name on the tombstone so that Hara wouldn’t be ripped to pieces by the girls. I love Ichikawa’s response “Dying’s not so bad”-in that situation it probably would be better to be 6 feet under than have the whole class circled around, ready to take your head. I give him credit for at least coming up with a response-I doubt I could come up with anything that fast under that much pressure.
Thankfully, Hara diffuses the situation and everyone calms down after she reveals she was thinking of common last names and not specific people. Though, TBH, it makes sense for Anna’s grave to be on there, since she’s, you know, playing the ghost. I was dying when Ichikawa put his family name on the gravestones to un-konnyac them without distressing anybody else. It suits him, with his whole murder fascination.
These girls know how to stick together, assembling into cock-blocker formation A around Anna when the boys hit them up during the festival. Ichikawa, taking the shortcut, manages to route formation A, grab some alone time with Anna, and a selfie to boot. The selfie scene was super adorable, as was Ichikawa fully expecting to have a lame festival, only for Anna to show him a different, more exciting time.
Going back to Ichikawa’s “Everyone’s got their special something” comment-his introspection really shows itself in how he thinks of the people around him (when he’s not busy pondering how to murder them). As much as he gets annoyed with Pick Up Line Senpai’s “go get ‘em” attitude with the girls, Ichikawa also recognizes the positive side of extroversion- Senpai being the first one to jump in to help. Being able to move beyond someone’s irritating aspects to understand or at least recognize their good sides shows Ichikawa to be a little more mature than his age in that respect-and honestly, not all adults even learn how to do that.
The lotus flower (at least that’s what I think it is) in the ED was beautifully symbolic-it blooms out of dark swampy depths, represents enlightenment- much like Ichikawa is blooming out of the darkness in his headspace, becoming enlightened about what it means to be himself, to be with someone else.
ED: 「数センチメンタル」 (Suu Sentimental) by (Kohanaramu)