「僕は溶かした」 (Boku wa Tokashita)
“I Melted It”

Yup, Anna’s totally head over heels for Kyo (and who can blame her). Anna’s facial expression when Kyo gives her the milk tea to cheer her up says it all. The breathlessness, the excitement, the disbelief that the guy she likes not only paid attention to her current emotional state, but also cared enough to try to do something about it. Kyo, as usual, puts a negative spin on it- convincing himself that she must be crying tears of embarrassment over being stuck with him. Later on when she waits at the school gates for him (awwww…….), he again convinces himself it was for somebody else. It’s so hard for him to believe that a girl like her would seriously be interested in someone like him- a cycle of self-talk I can so relate to.

We see things from Kyo’s angle, but I wonder what Anna’s thoughts are. Like when Kyo brushes off her hints (she was dropping some pretty strong ones about how cool it would be to date someone from the same class, have a secret relationship, even asks his thoughts on the matter. Or when he blatantly puts emotional/physical distance between them (“weren’t you waiting for someone?”, sitting several seats away from her). Does she take what he says/does at face value, that he isn’t interested, but continues courageously pursuing him anyway, or can she see that he really does like her underneath it all? Seeing how Anna pursues Kyo even while he tries to stay out of sight brought to mind the lyrics from “I’ve Just Seen A Face” by the Beatles “Fallin’, yes, I am fallin’/And she keeps callin’/Me back again/I have never known/The like of this, I’ve been alone/And I have missed things/And kept out of sight/But other girls were never quite/Like this”. It’s truly heart-warming (and heart-shattering) to see love played out so personally, so genuinely with Anna and Kyo.

It was so cute how Anna overflows with enthusiasm at sharing her favorite series with her crush, accidentally spoiling the plot for him. Even more adorable was Kyo trying to picture how Anna likes to read-curled up, legs in the air, or sitting. Hilarious and so Anna, that crumbs fall out of the manga when he opens it-apparently eating is the way she reads- no surprises there.

Kyo has a heart to heart talk with Adachi– perhaps the first time he’s bonded one on one with another guy. Kyo’s personal lament that he doesn’t have friends yet-the emphasis is on the yet. This is definitely a positive step in that direction for him and I am grateful that Adachi, annoying as he can be at times, is able to strike up a conversation and reach out to him. As crass as Adachi gets (par for the course though for a typical outgoing, no filter middle school boy), I do like that he doesn’t judge other people-namely, when he happens upon Kyo reading a shoujo manga, he doesn’t tease him, much less say anything. Unless he just didn’t notice what Kyo was reading.

It puts Kyo in awkward straights, seeing as he has feelings for Anna too, and here Adachi is asking him for the scoop on her- unwittingly confiding in his rival. For Kyo, who has no idea how this whole “love” business works, Adachi puts him in a panic that if he’s still getting off on fantasies of Anna, it’s not love (and we all know why Kyo wasn’t concentrating on that manga after his revelation about Anna’s reading habits). Kyo realizes which of the two of them (and it isn’t Kyo) has superficial feelings for Anna after Adachi describes his attraction for Anna solely in physical terms. It sets a serious quandary in Kyo’s mind, beating himself up for ogling over Anna. It says a lot about the genuineness of his feelings for her- he feels disgusting because he sees Anna as a person, has fallen for her personality beyond mere physical traits (though physicality plus hormones play a major part too and it’s natural for him to be turned on by the person he likes). It rings true to a young person’s first love, that it progresses in stages from the “damn they’re hot” to becoming attracted to their personality traits to figuring out the difference between lust and love and reconciling physical with beyond-skin deep attraction.

Kyo and Anna’s rendezvous at the library is in danger, a new “no snacking” sign posted up for all to see. My first thought was that Anna could still sneak snacks in so long as no-one sees. Though maybe I shouldn’t endorse that, coming from a family of librarians and having used to work in a library myself. Initially, I assumed that Kyo was the snack package culprit back when Anna asked him to dispose of her trash. Apparently not-he saved the bag and brought it home-so precious.

Anna and Kyo take the “sneak the snacks” line of thinking too, which culminates in Anna almost getting caught by the librarian. Kyo saves the day in a superbly gorgeous scene where he hides Anna’s snack (courtesy of his grotesque murder book) and reaches for her hand (oh, be still my heart) to hide the almonds. Seriously, the direction’s on point- the lighting, timing, everything. Success! Except that Anna’s chocolate almond melts all over, though not a bad deal for her considering how she savors the moment in every sense of the word. Kyo, kind kid that he is, is so worried that Anna will get in trouble for real, he is willing to sacrifice his beloved meetings with her to keep her from that. When Kyo finds Anna studying in the library instead of just eating snacks (though she brings those along too), I think it starts to become an “aha” moment for him, that he realizes she at least isn’t averse to his company and that it’s not mere coincidence that she bumps into him, as much as he tries to convince himself otherwise.

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