「僕らはゆっくり歩いた」 (Bokura wa Yukkuri Aruita)
“We Walked Slowly”
Finally- the big day- Anna and Kyo’s first planned meeting outside of school. You can really see the stark contrast between the two just from how they dress- Kyo looking emo-ish all in black, hooded and masked, Anna the pretty, trendy model. Anna doesn’t mind how Kyo dresses, she’s happy to see him regardless- though that precious smile she gives when he shows his face. I could already see the negative direction Kyo’s mind was going to take when he immediately noticed that difference between them (not that he needed a reminder of the social gap to go into that esteem hole in the first place).
It was absolutely adorable that both of them arrived half an hour early, supposedly just “to find the right place”, but we all know otherwise. Kyo, of course, starts to worry about Anna’s image when she’s with him and that she must not know it’s Christmas Eve. Anna knows damn well what day it is, Kyo is just unable to accept that she’d want to spend it with him. I can’t really blame him, it’s understandable that as a person on the fringe of middle school society with no experience in dating in such would find it hard to believe that someone practically on the opposite side of the social universe would be into him- but it’s not impossible- clearly evidenced by Anna’s blushes.
“It’s starting to feel like a date”- you’re on to something my boy. Though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a date, seeing as there’s no confession or clear statement that “it’s a date”. Though “date” is definitely what Anna had on the mind, with her little slip of the tongue about standing in lines being a good thing on first dates- note she used the present, not past or hypothetical, tense. Which, I’d agree with her on that one, waiting in line offers a perfect opportunity to talk to the other person and get to know them, unless the two people didn’t hit it off, in which case it’s probably better to find out sooner rather than later anyway. As Anna noted, that is certainly not the case with her and Kyo, and if anything, they seem to have grown closer over it. Unsurprisingly, Kyo doesn’t pick up on the hint and starts freaking out that he’s being ungentlemanly by standing behind her. Far from taking offense, Anna prefers it that way and it’s not hard to see why, given the height boost it gives Kyo.
The cafe is super out of Kyo’s element, from his reactions to everything from the prices to the coffee choices. The place screams “fashionable”- dry land to a fish like Kyo who worries over “mansplaining” his preference for black to the pro model Anna. I really don’t think Anna thought about the suitability of the café for Kyo, I assume she merely thought of a cute date spot with yummy food that she wanted to go with her crush and used the manga to lure Kyo out. Kyo is super nervous the whole time, panicking over doing and saying the wrong things, which made it incredibly sweet when he forgot all of that for a moment, caught up in Anna’s cute enjoyment of her pancakes.
Equally cute (and telling of his feelings) that Kyo starts to regret that the whole world will be privy to Anna’s moment- lucky for him he gets an early Christmas present of sorts when contrary to expectation- Anna texts the video for his eyes only. Now that’s another neon flashing “she’s into you” flag. While it was sneaky of Anna to trick him into a quasi date-ish but not a date hang out, I don’t think it’s a bad thing- rather, it’s good for Kyo to get out of his comfort zone and experience something wholly foreign to him, it’s a mind-opening experience for anyone at any age.
Things don’t stop there- Anna goes all in for the date-ish experience, taking Kyo along for an impromptu shopping trip. There’s no way this is coincidental- although she’s never had a boyfriend, she’s probably observed enough to know that a café and shopping trip is date material from that Kimi to Iro Octave manga alone- Anna knows what she’s doing in taking Kyo along for the ride. Asking for Kyo’s clothing preference in girls- yeah, that’s another loaded hint dropped in his lap. Hilariously (or terrifyingly, from Kyo’s point of view), he almost runs into his sister in the store when he gets another adventure of his life, pulled into the dressing room with Anna. There was an additional part to this scene that was incredibly hilarious, but unfortunately, they left out of the anime.
If the atmosphere weren’t already date-like, going to see the Christmas lights, then holding hands while slowly walking home seals the deal. The same old Christmas lights seem different- it’s not the lights, but what (or who) the Christmas lights are illuminating. That final scene where they walk hand in hand (finally dispensing with the awkward bag, LOL) was such an “Awwwwww…….” moment.
The post credits scene- I was so excited- I freaking love Nikorigawa and Kyo’s heart to heart head talks in the manga and was beyond happy that they transferred it to the anime. Nikorigawa, the “cool guy” Kyo wishes he was processes everything going through Kyo’s head. Namely, that Kyo thinks he has a chance with Anna (and from what we’ve seen thus far, I think he’s not wrong on that account, not least because of the holding hands). Notably, Nikorigawa doesn’t cheer Kyo on, but rather, picks his brain and reflects back everything the kid’s already thinking. The result being that Kyo feels he needs to get in shape to confirm or deny whether she really thinks of him as a guy. Until he gets that text from her- he’s got nothing to worry about, but it’s Kyo, so worry he will.