Hi everyone! How are your weekends? Mine’s great! I’ve been busy catching up on new anime releases and this week’s episode is really good! Every Saturday night I end up watching Kimi no Iru machi before I go to bed and it’s really relaxing because of the fluid storytelling and the pretty art. By the time I finish, I’m all mellowed out and ready for bed. Slice-of-life animes are a great way to distress.
I have to say that I actually like the flashbacks of Eba and Haruto in Hiroshima more than their present dilemma in Tokyo. For one thing, they’re actually interacting and without any past history or prior knowledge of each other, Haruto’s slowly wrapping his head around Eba’s personality and exactly what kind of girl she is. At first, Eba seems like a nuisance to Haruto as he’s tasked to take care of her, but he grows fond of the girl, moved by her selfless gestures and sincerity.
This week’s flashback takes us back to the time when Haruto fell ill at school. So far, he’s been in charge of making Eba’s daily bento, taking her to school on his bike and generally caring for her every-day needs around the house. Having pushed himself too hard, he passes out in the class with a fever.
Eba brings Kanzaki to the house to visit Haruto who’s slowly recovering. When Kanzaki leaves the room to take a call from her sister, Eba surprises Haruto with a kiss. Though she tells Haruto that it’s merely a thank you kiss, this both shocks and frustrates him as he believes that Eba’s only teasing him. Haruto doesn’t seem to fully understand Eba’s true intentions or genuine feelings behind the kiss and Eba isn’t going to bring it up anytime soon seeing as Haruto’s furious at her.
The next day at Haruto’s house, he’s told that Takashi will be escorting Eba home… but when late evening falls, bringing a heavy rainstorm with it, Eba’s nowhere to be found. Haruto gets a call from Takashi who tells him that Eba told him Haruto would be collecting her from school. When Haruto rushes outside with his bike, he meets Eba halfway, walking home under an umbrella all alone in the rain. Haruto’s really confused with Eba when she breaks down in tears. He finally apologizes and brings her back to the house.
“Likes to act tough, but is in fact a cry baby. Afraid of being alone, but pretends to be brave. Precisely because she’s like that, that I came to Tokyo.”
In present day Tokyo, Haruto’s still standing outside Eba’s house. The stream of memories that we’ve watched for almost half the episode has only been a reflection on his part lasting for a few seconds. He catches a fleeting glimpse of Eba’s figure before Rin sticks her head out the door to tell Haruto that her sister’s not back yet. Haruto obviously knows this is a lie but he agrees to leave.
Back at school, Mishima (Haruto’s neighbour) is convincing him not to put on gloomy expressions because it’ll scare off other classmates but he’s obviously too lost in his thoughts to really care.
When Mina Nagoshi appears to ask Mishima to the KyouOu Girls high school festival, Haruto insists on going with Mina Nagoshi as Mishima has a softball club event that day. Kyousuke overhears at school and later when Haruto arrives at his home block, he chats with Haruto as he fixes up his motorcycle, speculating that there must be a girl Haruto is interested in at KyouOu Girls. Coincidentally, Kyousuke also has tickets and tells Haruto that it’d be simpler if he just TOLD Kyousuke about his issue. Kyousuke offers to help him with Nagoshi so Haruto can focus on finding his girl.
The rest of the episode follows Haruto on his date/not-a-date with Nagoshi. Nagoshi thinks it’s a date, but Haruto’s obviously using it merely as an opportunity to find Eba. When Nagoshi pulls him into the haunted house, through a very “scary” ordeal, it turns out that Eba spotted Haruto and Nagoshi just before they run out. Finally, the pair meets up with Kyousuke in the maid café before Haruto receives a text from Rin telling him that Eba’s class was in charge of the haunted house.
Haruto runs through the whole school, checking every event and scouring every corner but he’s unable to find Eba through the crowds of people. After taking a break in a classroom, finally accepting defeat, Eba calls his name, having entered the room herself. Eba confesses that she’s been avoiding Haruto, hoping that stopping any form of contact would make Haruto forget about her. She tells him that she’s already going out with someone else and asks him to forget about her…
This scene is really one of the most bittersweet and heartfelt scenes. As Eba’s telling him her last words, the crowds of people outside have released their balloons into the sky. The balloons were a really nice touch to the symbolism within the story. Balloons can represent childhood innocence and also something fleeting. It’s almost as if Haruto’s memories and past with Eba is disappearing. Sometimes the string slips from your hand and the balloon floats away, you can never retrieve it once it’s in the sky. There’s something beautiful and nostalgic about a balloon which can also be used to represent Haruto and Eba’s point in their relationship/friendship/acquaintanceship?
I’m very pleased with this slice-of-life. It’s surprising me here and there in ways that I wouldn’t expect from a regular series of the genre. After watching this episode and upon hearing the ending song, I realized that the closing theme completely illustrates Haruto and Eba’s story. Even more fitting is the fact that Haruto’s voice actor is the one singing it, as if the character himself singing the lyrics to us.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this interested in a slice-of-life series before. Art is ultimately used to evoke something within us, and Kimi no Iru Machi makes me feel a lot of things at once, a strange mix of emotions kindled by the unique storytelling, art and animation. If you haven’t watch Kimi no Iru Machi, I would definitely recommend this to viewers of every genre.
I’ve got a lot of great screenshots this week because the scenes were so dramatic! I hope you guys enjoyed this review… it seems like I’ve gone off on a tangent with my final thoughts but thank you so much for staying until the end.
What are you pondering today?
- Kimi no Iru Machi, A Town Where You Live Epiosde 2 Review (littlecloudcuriosity.wordpress.com)