「夜明けの⼀番星 プレアデス星团」 (Yoake no Ichibanboshi -Pureadesu Hoshi-)
“The First Stars of Dawn -The Pleiades Star Cluster-“
I’ll just say this much. It’s testament to how otherworldly good Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu is that Isaki and Ganta aren’t the best couple of the season. I think I can count on one hand the times that would have been the case – they’re just a phenomenal pair. Great chemistry, great individual character arcs leading them to this point. What really sells both these two and Anna and Kyoutarou is that they have tremendous reasons to be together. It’s not crushing or infatuation – they complete each other on a deep and profound level. That sort of need is even more powerful than physical attraction (though that’s certainly a vital component too).
My other thought this week is, my God – I can’t even imagine a better feeling than what these two kids must be feeling as these last two episodes have played out. Alone together, following their desires (to a point), no one around to bother them or judge them, a fine old house to crash in and tents for the road. This is as close to paradise on Earth as I can imagine, even without the physical component coming into play (which is sort of does in the end). This the kind of slice of life I truly love, when it captures the feelings inherent in moments like these so powerfully.
The time has come for Ganta to do what Isaki has already done – open up. Make himself vulnerable to Isaki in the way she already has with him. And the cold open clearly sets that up. We pretty much knew the reason Ganta couldn’t sleep, but it’s not clear just how much he actually remembers himself. Even if the details are suppressed, he surely knows the root cause. Before that though, there’s the first major outing of the trip – to Mitsukejima, a small island in Noto that’s a semi-famous tourist attraction in an area that doesn’t get many tourists. Mitsukejima is lit up at night in summer, much to Ganta’s horror – but thankfully the lights go off at 11:00.
The little details here are just so perfect. Like Isaki smiling at Ganta’s sweaty back – you can tell she’s thinking how she loves everything about him in that moment. The shopping trip, the cooking, the LINE messages to the next room. There’s no question these two are old enough to be aware of the dynamics of the moment, and aware they are. They’re teenagers full-on in love with each other, they’re in a house by themselves with no imminent threat of being disturbed. They’re not wild animals but they’re not saints either, and there’s a definite tension in the air once the lights go out.
Ganta’s speech in the morning sums it all up, pretty much. He feels strange because something is missing – the anxiety which has been his constant companion since his mother abandoned him. He’s sleeping at night, he’s waking up next to the person he loves, and spending the day doing what he wants. That’s joy, plain and simple. And it prompts him to finally share his story the way Isaki shared hers, and it’s not easy for him to do so. It’s a real reminder of just how easy it is for an adult to completely trash the life of a child. Ganta has been in a kind of living hell for a decade because his mother got tired of being a mother and bailed.
Isaki’s response to Ganta’s pain is proof of the depth of her feelings, not that any was really needed. The first kiss is suitably awkward – salty with tears – and both kids immediately go into abject panic mode in the aftermath. So much so in fact that Gants walks right off the quayside and into the sea, though with results a lot less disastrous than they could have been. It puts the absurdity of the moment in perspective for these kids who really are still kids, but the moment that’s just passed between them isn’t going anywhere. It’s a part of their shared vocabulary now and everything is different because of it.
There’s one more phase of this journey left – the “grand finale” as Ganta calls it, the Mawaki Site. That’s where all the hopes which prompted this trip will come to a head. But for all that this is a glorious escape from daily reality, that’s all it is, an escape. The real world awaits, with its responsibilities and its restrictions and its disapproving adults. The challenge a couple this age faces is trying to make everything that’s beautiful and powerful about their relationship survive a world that’s determined to stifle it.