「僕らは夜更かしした」 (Bokura wa Yofukashi Shita)
“We Stayed Up Late”

Emotions run high- graduation, new class assignments, White Day. Kyou even gets a whole round of LINE requests- Anna’s proud look in the background says it all- he’s come so far. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is naturally, “will we be separated?”. So much so, that Kobayashi tries to hatch operation “Same Class Assignment” (no-one was fooled, least of all sensei).

Kyou and Adachi really got to be bros over the past year- look at their guy-to-guy conversation in the hallway there. Adachi, always eager to pass the buck off to Kyou, dumps the responsibility of Sekine’s White Day gift onto poor Kyou, who almost gets in a tough spot with Anna, except that he accidentally puts the gift in Anna’s locker. I’m pretty sure she knew it wasn’t from Kyou after getting a good look at that embarrassing un-Kyou-like note. Adachi isn’t off the hook here, Mom dragging the kid over to Sekine “Do it proper!”- what a character that mom is. Sekine doesn’t seem averse to Adachi’s gift- I wonder if she’d eventually consider him, if she could get past his immaturities.

After a nostalgic goodbye to the classroom, Anna and Kyou spend the rest of the last afternoon of the school year in a good old basketball match. While you’d think it would be an unfair match, Kyou against a former player, it turns out Anna’s skillset is in defense, and Kyou has a fighting chance there. So much so, he vows to confess should he get the ball in. Little did the ball know how much was riding on its slightest move. There was so much symbolism behind that whole scene. Kyou tries hard, the closest he’s come to blatantly confessing, almost comes short, but Anna gives him the last push he needs to move forwards. Granted, she still won according to her rules, and he doesn’t confess, but the meaning is there. He has the confidence to take that next step, the confidence for Anna to receive it.

Kyou still scores anyhow, Anna winning the prize of calling him Kyou. In Japan, a rose is not sweeter by any other name- using a different one causes an onslaught of overthinking. In this case, Kyou debating over what to call her, then questioning the meaning behind it when she slips and calls him “Ichikawa”. Getting to a first name basis is a big deal, as anyone familiar with animanga will know. So much so, Kyou’s hormone fueled brain starts going into overdrive, summoning Lucifer Nikorigawa, his libido. He’s got quite the company there, between Imaginary Kyou and Lucifer Nikorigawa– an angel and devil on either shoulder kind of deal. Lucifer doesn’t stay big for long, Kana bursting in to check in on Kyou’s birthday plan.

Birthdays are a special day, and no way should Kyou let it pass him by. Nor does he and good on him, reaching out on a limb to meet up with Anna spur of the moment. It was good to see him take the initiative- he’s found his place, his comfort zone with Anna. With it growing dark, the first thing to cross Kyou’s mind is Anna’s safety. His inner honey badger emerges when he notices someone in the shadows…only for it to turn out to be Papa Ichi. We get to hear Papa in his biggest speaking role yet. While silent and in the background, you can tell that Dad cares just as much as Mom and Kana. At this point, Mom and Dad are such a mystery, it leaves me burning to know more about them and daily life in the Ichikawa household.

Before he knows it, this turns into the birthday of Kyou’s dreams or horrors (or both), Dad letting the cat out of the bag about the birthday boy and Kyou inviting Anna over. Kana’s tickled pink at the company (and saves Anna’s butt from a worried mama on the phone). Kana even goes for a clothing change, which interestingly, her clothing style is pretty similar to Kyou’s- you can see where he got his fashion sense from. I love how tight Anna and Kana get (and Kyou loves that too)- Kana is adorable, getting fashion advice from Anna. I get the sense that Anna is becoming the sister Kana never had.

The birthday party itself is not uneventful. First, Kyou asks to see his present from Kana, only to wish he hadn’t when it turns out to a bunny girl figure, definitely an embarrassing thing for a teenage boy to get in front of his crush. But hey, knowing his proclivities can always be useful for Anna to know for future reference. In an anime original scene, a confused (or is she?) Mama brings the cake in to the Wedding March. I practically died laughing at that point. The topping on the cake is an impromptu sleepover with Anna, at Kana’s behest. Having a sister really helps Kyou out on this one- I doubt her mama would want Anna over at Kyou’s place if it weren’t for Anna.

This in itself is a minefield for Kyou, he even has to go out into the hallway to walk out some nerves. Of course, seeing his sister’s imagination-killing undergarment adds more fuel to the awkwardness. (Notice Kyou catches himself and switches from “pantsu” (panties) to “shitagi” (underclothes) halfway through handing it over to Anna.) Another hilarious mix up was Anna asking for a “rubber”, sending Kyou’s mind spinning, until he realizes that she meant a hair band.

The best part of the episode, for me, was what comes next. En route to some water, Kyou encounters Anna studying her lines, which then leads into a conversation about rebellion. Being the “good girl”, Anna’s never been able to or seen the need to do that. Kyou gets very real here, confessing that he’s in a rebellious phase because he can’t allow himself to be himself around his family, out of a fear of disappointing them. That was wow, such an emotionally raw moment, seeing him open up to Anna about something that he can’t even bring up to his parents or Kana. That is very much a reality for kids that age, grappling with others’ expectations and the fear that who you’re becoming is not who you used to be. The process of growing up means differentiating yourself from your family, a scary thing for sure when you’re only just starting to learn to embrace that you. What is so important is finding that space where you can be you.

Anna’s response is spot on. What Kyou needs most is not words (some things words just can’t or shouldn’t express), but a hug. That wordless solidarity is such an important form of communication and comfort, and that can take some people years to master. It shows how well she knows Kyou and what he needs, to be that rock for him. Everyone needs someone like that, to be their rock-solid support, no explanations needed. And just the tender way he put that blanket over her, you could see the depth of his emotion there, his watching over her in that brief second. What these two have is real, and that bubble of safe space that envelops them grows stronger by the episode.

One Comment

  1. This was a great episode, although I’m a little disappointed that they cut out Ichikawa’s internal struggle when he was about to protect Yamada on a dark street. This scene was more powerful in the manga.


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