「僕は伝えたい」 (Boku wa Tsutaetai)
“I Want to Tell Her”

School trips- a parent sanctioned trip with your crush (well and your whole class, too). This is one of the hallmarks of most any school romcom, and no one feels it more so than Kyou and Anna, who also have manga (Kimi Iro Octave) on the brain. Though, as it turns out, for entirely different reasons.

Things get off to a hilariously awkward start for Kyou when Kanzaki urges him to join Yamada’s group- not specifying which Yamada, as it being a common last name, there is more than one. Anna being the only Yamada on his mind, and not realizing the groups in question were for roommates, Kyou makes his faux pas. Whoops! I love Anna’s reaction “Sure!” She’s so caught up in the excitement of going on a trip with Kyou, she also forgets what the group assignments are for. Those two can try to hide it all they want, but the heart can’t help but betray itself.

We have another huge growth moment for Kyou here. “What’s fun about being stuck in a room with people I’m not even friends with”. He realizes the school trips, the things that weren’t fun, were actually things he wanted to do but didn’t know how to approach it. He felt such enjoyments were out of his reach and as with so many other things in life, tried convincing himself he didn’t want it, even passed up the previous trip. He can face his own feelings now and own the experiences he’s always wanted.

Given that Kyou and Anna are reading Kimi Iro Octave simultaneously and his cool alter ego is even based on the MC, Nikorigawa, it’s a matter of course that the school trip kiss would preoccupy Kyou. This gets amplified in the video chat with Anna where he sees the same volume on her bed.

His brain cells already strained with overanalyzing school trip expectations, they get pushed into overtime when Kyou notices something is off about Anna, especially when she gets vague and turns off the camera. That scene where she cries on the blank call screen was raw. This is a tough decision for someone her age (or any age really) to have to make. Torn between wanting to enjoy a normal kid’s life with her friends, growing closer with Kyou, but wanting to get ahead in her career. And this definitely won’t be the last time she will have to deal with this conflict between her career and personal life.

As good of an actress as Anna is, in her personal life, she wears her heart on her sleeve. There’s no way she can keep up a front for the people who know her best. Anna knows how big of a deal this trip is for him and wants to be a part of it. Is it right for her to take the burden all on herself without consulting the other person? I know she thinks it will make him happy, but it won’t make him happy when he finds out what she did (or didn’t do). Not to mention the strain that places on a relationship.

Which, this is something we see a lot with Kyou and Anna. One person takes it all on themselves to make the other person happy, then misunderstandings happen, and things get messy until they clear the air and work out a solution together. That makes their relationship so real- the process of fumbling in a relationship, working to find that happy medium. Relationships are all about practicing communication, and even after knowing someone for a long time, it’s still a learning process. It’s not a video game where you clear a certain level and all of a sudden, you’ve perfected communication in the relationship. It’s something you always have to work at.

The trip starts off in true Anna fashion, Anna already eating all the snacks that she brought with her. What a tempest in a teapot this is brewing to be- the threat of Kanna, something off with Anna, the Kimi Iro Octave kiss. I think Kanna just needs to get herself a boyfriend instead of pairing other people up. Fortunately, Hanzawa is in their corner, giving Kyou a friendly warning that they need to dodge Kanna-hued death flags. Even if she is viewing Kyou with the curiosity of romance specimen number one.

The senbei pass between Anna, Kyou, and the deer was one of my favorite funny moments of this episode. I actually just went to Nara and Kyoto over January. And yes, the deer are totally chill with coming up to people because they’ve become acclimated to receiving freebies from tourists.

Not being able to hold a private conversation with a Kanna trap always around the corner makes it extra difficult to figure out what is behind Anna’s forced enthusiasm. I can only imagine the pressure. Something is going to burst at some point. Kyou even gets so lost in thought worrying over Anna, he loses track of time over dinner until he gets left behind by everyone else (lol).

Of course, nothing says stress relief like a nice warm bath. Which, in the boys’ case is complete with dick battles and sizing up the competitors’ swords. Adachi for his part has got the wrong idea there of what girls do in the bath… Though Moe does try to auction off a peep show amongst the girls. Kyou’s not the only one who senses something’s off with Anna. Kobayashi (who knows the full story) even gives Anna a chance to clear the air in the bath, but Anna’s trying to power through it for the sake of everyone else. This has got to be mentally exhausting for Anna, but as a perpetual people pleaser, it’s in her nature. It takes many years to recover from that and I appreciate that Norio sensei keeps that real, rather than a quick “one and done” and now she’s perfect after one season kind of deal.

Clever lad that he is, Kyou puts two and two together after accidentally seeing a “Kimi Octave” calendar date on Anna’s phone and overhearing her practice. It was an audition that lies at the heart of this and she gave that up for him. This hits Kyou like a ton of cinder blocks, making him come face to face with the gap in maturity between him and her. Sex is on his brain while her career is on hers (though I’d disagree with Kyou on that, Anna’s definitely got that on her brain too). This rings very true with the JHS experience- at that age, girls are typically more mature than the guys and this maturity gap is never more so clear than in those teenage/early college years. But I’d beg to differ on Kyou’s behalf. He may think of himself as still a kid compared to Anna, but he’s very mature in his own right. Hell, even just piecing her situation together instead of swimming in blissful ignorance as many other guys his age would have done.

What the two need most now is a nice long heart to heart. Kyou being Kyou, will take the blame on himself- but in no way is this his fault. However, he absolutely should push Anna towards her career. This is no easy decision and it’s cutting her up- if they don’t figure out how to handle this balance now, it will hang over their relationship in the future. I do believe that a balance is possible, that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other- but it takes some out of the box thinking and some major emotional support to make that happen. Which is the direction that I see these two taking.

I find it so ironic that with how earnest and neurotic Kyou is about his relationship with Anna and avoiding awkward situations, he somehow always lands right in the middle of them. Things certainly took an unexpected turn at the end there when posing as Kobayashi to avoid the teacher’s ire lands Kyou right in the lions’ den. He didn’t even have to use the bedsheet ladder to get there. I am so looking forward to next week’s finale. This was a hallmark chapter in many ways in the manga and I expect it to pack as much of a punch in anime form.

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