Something that Warms You Up On a Cold Day

May 25, 2021

Day 26 of 100 Days to Offload

Spoilers for the anime/manga 僕等がいた/Bokura ga Ita/We Were There

I’ve been 100% slacking on immersing in Japanese. Watching anime with Japanese subtitles is a bit of a hassle. I hate going through and timing the Japanese subs correctly because most subs I have don’t actually align with the video. Annoying.

Instead, I’ve just been trying to watch as much Japanese YouTube content I can. Usually that means PDR-さん but lately I’ve been watching variety shows with celebrities. Even worse, I’ve been watching BIGBANG Japanese interviews. Probably not the best immersion content since BIGBANG are Korean and Japanese isn’t their native language. I’m still astonished at how much Japanese they know.

Anyway, I tried to go back to watching some anime. I decided to watch Bokura ga Ita. I did a CTRL+F through my blog and was surprised that I’ve only mentioned it a handful of times.

In 2018, I wrote this about the series:

It is one of the most melodramatic, unhealthy portrayal of romance ever but it is my guiltiest pleasure. The innocence of seeing this first love unfold will never cease to be heartbreaking to me. I love this series so much.

A lot of the series’s plot points are lost to me now, but I still stand by my above statement. One of my favourite things about romance is seeing the characters fall in love with each other and the events before they both get into a relationship with each other. In classic manga fashion, after that turning point in the character’s relationship, the melodrama starts. Sometimes it just becomes too much melodrama and it makes me question why the characters ended up together in the first place. 僕等がいた is definitely one of those series.

I only watched through the first four episodes of 僕等がいた in my latest viewing. Honestly, I have watched the first four episodes of the TV series so many times because I keep meaning to rewatch the series. But I find it quite hard to progress past the first four because of the inevitable melodrama after Yano and Nana become a couple. I can’t remember much of the rest of the series after but I think I would be okay with the series ending right there.

One of the most touching moments in the series (so far) is when Nana storms out of a restaurant after fighting with Yano. She realizes she forgot her wallet and when she turns around, Yano is there, wallet in hand. They don’t apologize (oh that seems like a red flag) but they both come to some sort of understanding and are on good terms again.

They stop by a photo booth to take pictures together and in between pictures, they both talk more about Yano’s past relationship with his deceased girlfriend. Afterwards, Yano drops her off at the bus stop. Nana looks out the window as Yano becomes smaller in the distance.

It’s seriously such a great scene. It gave me nostalgia. Not just for the anime but a general nostalgia for falling into an innocent love. The small gestures. The conversations. The coincidences. That’s what 僕等がいた gets oh so right, at the beginning.

Another scene that I quite like is when Yano wakes up from a dream about his ex-girlfriend. He asks Nana what happiness is, a question he asked his ex before. Nana answers similarily to his ex: something that warms you up on a cold day. His ex had answered: hot chocolate on a cold day. It’s a bit of a chilling moment. Does he only like Nana because he sees his ex in her? It makes you question his motives, a bit. It doesn’t help that Nana and his ex actually have the same name. Yikes. The whole dead ex-girlfriend thing sets up most of the tension in the series.

Oh, yet another scene that I love is when Nana is complaining about Yano to one of his friends, Takeuchi. She softens a bit and ends up opening her heart up about Yano and what she admires about him. Getting flutstered, she remembers that she was initially was mad at Yano and walks away. It turned out that Yano was actually sitting next to Takeuchi, out of sight, and listening the entire time.

ONE MORE SCENE that I really like is when Yano pulls out his cell and shows Nana a picture of her in a yukata at a festival. Takeuchi had sent the photo to Yano because Yano was not at the festival. There is something sweet about this gesture. Takeuchi must have known that Yano had some sort of feelings for Nana and showed him what he was missing out on. Or (spoilers for more than the fourth episode in), was it because Takeuchi liked Nana himself? Ooo, mystery.

Will I finally make it past the fourth episode of the anime? We’ll see tomorrow…