「僕は夢を見た」 (Boku wa Yume o Mita)
“I Had a Dream”
The thing about parent-child relationships is that they often go through the gamut of changes, from attached to the hip as a little child, the “too cool for you” attitude as a teenager, and the more mature relationship as an adult born from everything in between, though whether becoming closer or more distant in the end depends on the parent and/or child and their circumstances involved. It’s a matter of course that we’d eventually get to a school and parent episode given that parent teacher conferences are one of those embarrassing hallmarks of the teenage experience. At least Kyo has the benefit of living his teenage years without his parent accompanying him to school most of the time. Having been homeschooled/cyber-schooled during those formative years, every day was like a parent-teacher conference day for me.
Kyo’s mom is adorable, the way she awkwardly offers Anna a throat lozenge or adjusts her posture and legs every time she hears Anna’s mom remind Anna. From the brief interactions between Anna and the mothers, Norio offers a pretty stark contrast between the two adults. Anna’s mom seems the stricter of the two, admonishing Anna for her posture and candy-eating habits. Meanwhile, you have Kyo’s mom who isn’t too hung up on things like posture and sweetly offers a candy exchange without any sort of “no more candy for you” admonishments and gushes in a mom sort of way about how Kyo’s been enjoying school. Kyo’s reaction when he responds with “Yamada” to his mom’s comments about the pretty girl in his class, only for Yamada to appear, was priceless.
The addition of Anna to Kyo’s equation marks the catalyst for his new enjoyment of school, something others have noticed, even if they can’t pin the cause down to Anna just yet (some, like his Mom, not knowing her well). The meeting with Kyo’s mom broke down another barrier between him and Anna, Anna sitting noticeably closer to Kyo after that event, another blaringly loud “she’s into you” sign. Anna certainly keeps Kyo on his toes- the new Anna minefield being her personal “no touch” zone, depicted in chalk for all the class to see, including Kyo, who doesn’t fail to take note. For someone who gets so touchy-feely with her friends, Anna doesn’t like to be touched a lot of places, which is totally her call to make anyway. (Though I do agree, Kobayashi copping a feel where she did was a bit much in public).
Kyo’s social net is widening, now coming to include Anna’s bestie Chii who comes to him for tutoring. That little smile he lets out when Chii told him about Anna’s whipped cream incident was precious. Because he’s starting to feel comfortable and loosen up around Anna, by extension, he’s also learning how to loosen up around others, a huge step for any socially awkward teenager.
That whole scene in the library was cutely hilarious. Kyo considerately trying to remember where it was ok to touch, then awkwardly poking her shoulder before sending Anna totally over the edge with that whispered warning about the throat lozenge in the library. Kyo understandably worries over whether he did something wrong or not, but I don’t think that was what Anna was concerned about. If anything, he seems to have turned Anna on more, which is why she adds ears to the no-go zone- it would be embarrassing to have that happen on a regular basis.
Poor Kyo gets stuck with a bad cold after forgetting his raincoat and biking back and forth in the rain to deliver Anna’s forgotten goods. I was a little surprised that Kyo didn’t get more flustered than he did, taking decisive action when he saw what he thought were sanitary items in the bag. As a typical boy, he pretends they aren’t there, though maybe more for the sake of sparing Anna any embarrassment than anything else. It points to his good heart (and maybe just accepting biology as biology) that his first priority is making sure Anna has what he assumes she needs.
Dreams can take you to some pretty weird places and Kyo is no stranger to that, with on the surface disappointingly un-erotic dreams of giant and tiny Annas running around (though there’s an undeniable innuendo lurking there). I love how Kyo just totally lets loose and relaxes at home when no-one’s around, even putting his feet on the table, a big no no for sure- you can tell he’s totally made himself at home in the way that teenagers do when the grown ups aren’t around. If that dream weren’t unusual enough, he gets a home visit from Anna and invites her in to tea.
Even though the kid is sick, his overthinking is still intact and he worries about wearing his smelly pajamas to the point of attempting to change- a task that’s too much for his fever-ridden body. To quote Freddie Mercury/Queen, “Is this the real life? Is this just the fantasy?” Reality can truly trump fiction and at times the two co-mingle, as the following scene shows when Anna worries over his long absence and finds him passed out on his bedroom floor, shirtless. Assuming it’s a dream, he rests his head on her chest and she tenderly embraces him- a reality that ironically is spicier than his earlier fever dream. It’s almost a pity that Kyo only remembers it as a dream (that he wakes up to what he thinks is Yamada only for it to be his sister is hilarious), but maybe it’s better that way for now- otherwise it would be embarrassing for the two of them, especially in the fledgling stages of their friendship (which I think it’s safe to say it is a friendship after how much time they spend together). Anna’s feelings are clearly growing stronger towards him, manifesting itself in small, tender actions like sweeping the hair out of his eyes or dressing him- very sweet scenes to witness.
The post credits scene was another gem-the awkward way Anna bounds up to Kyo’s mom to ask after his health, then gets so excited at the good report, she accidentally runs into a pole. Kyo’s got it right “she’s more than just a little odd”. I love that the two of them can get to know each other to the point of peeling back the surface image of being just the pretty girl or just the awkward nerd and accepting the messiness, the weirdness, the me-ness, the you-ness that is underneath- that is the heart of any relationship, whether it be friendship or something more.