See, I told you guys I was almost finished.
**WARNING: This is a really long post ( ~2625 words), so if you don’t like reading a lot, sorry…><**
Well, anyways, I found Bokura ga Ita to be an entertaining, if not somewhat frustrating, romantic drama revolving around a single couple and the issues that come up in their relationship. I originally tried to watch Bokura ga Ita a few years ago, when I was just getting into anime, as I mentioned before in my “Currently Watching” post, but for some reason or another forgot about it. Well, after the passing of a really talented AMV editor (my anime choices have been and continue to be heavily influenced by AMVs) who loved Bokura ga Ita, I found myself watching not only a lot of his old videos, but also a lot of in memoriam videos with Bokura ga Ita in them. I decided to try and watch it again because its been awhile since I’ve watched a romance/drama. Now, I didn’t go into this anime completely blind. I knew the basics of the story, including the fact that it was chock full of drama, and I also knew how depressing the manga was with Yano and Nana being constantly put through hell. Knowing all this, I was expecting to, knowing myself, be depressed with the characters as they made their way through their various trials. So, I basically knew that the story would be mildly depressing, but I didn’t expect it frustrate me as much as it did. The stars of Bokura ga Ita are the characters and their interactions with each other which inevitably fuel that drama that makes this show what it is.
Bokura ga Ita’s story mainly revolves around the romance between Motoharu Yano, commonly referred to as Yano, and his girlfriend Nanami Takahashi, referred to as Nana-chan. Yano initially comes off as your typical cool, friendly, class clown who has a nice head on his shoulders and who everyone loves, causing him to be the the heart throb of his class. Nana-chan may as well be the exact opposite of who one would initially think a guy like Yano would be interested in. She isn’t very smart, she’s said to plain in the looks department, and she starts out disliking Yano because she thinks he’s a haughty jerk. However, she slowly finds herself falling for him and wanting to help him as she gets a little taste of the emotional turmoil he is still in after the passing of his first love, Nana, who died before the start of the story in a car accident with her ex-boyfriend, who was strongly hinted at being less than friendly with her.
Despite how he initially appears, Yano is, surprisingly, emotionally fragile. Even after he decides to go out with Nana-chan, one can easily see he still has some trouble believing in her devotion to him and is quick become jealous or angry with her. In addition to his feelings towards Nana-chan, we also have his feelings about his ex- which are largely unresolved because, I think, he doesn’t want to really admit to her death. I mean, he obviously knows that she’s dead and never coming back, but he just has so many feelings attached to her that she is still a huge emotional influence in his life. He has immense feelings of bitterness and betrayal because she died with another man, yet he also feels tremendous feelings of regret because he never got to make up with Nana, and sadness over not being able to make Nana happy. Yano’s conflicting feelings cause a lot of trouble for Nana-chan since he always seems to be getting caught up in some drama or another with Nana’s family and their affairs, leaving behind Nana-chan which causes a lot of frustration on her part because she doesn’t understand why he continues to tie himself to Nana and involve himself in her family’s affairs. I think this causes the viewer, or at least me, to sympathize with her a lot because she gets left behind so often In many ways, I admire Nana-chan because of how hard she tries for Yano and how accepting she is. In fact, she only considered and, at one point, does break up with Yano because she feels she could not make him happy. However, Yano isn’t the only one with problems. Nana-chan does have issues of her own. Because of all the crap with Yano, she was often indecisive and, especially near the end of the series, unconfident in her abilities as Yano’s girlfriend, leading her to let their fights drag on because she is a really stubborn person, only causing more pain to both parties.
Looking at Nana-chan and Yano as a couple, though, I have to say, sometimes, I was wondering what was even holding them together. Yano’s problems with the past in the first half and Nana’s lack of confidence in the second half caused a lot of rocky moments where I was, honestly, curious as to why they were even together if they were just going to cause each other pain and suffering and tears. Take, Yano’s best friend, told Nana somewhere near the start of the series that a relationship full of pain and tears is not one they should maintain and continue, and I agree with him….to a point.
Let’s take a second now and look at Mr. Masafumi Takeuchi, or just Take. Take is Yano’s best friend and treasures his relationship with him very much which is why he feels so conflicted when he finds himself in love with his best friend’s girl. Take is the nice guy who likes the girl you just know will never get because he is just too nice for his own good. Take, in many ways, acts as a foil for Yano, highlighting many Yano’s problems as a boyfriend, while highlighting his own better qualities. A unique aspect of Take is that he understands both Yano’s and Nana-chan’s feelings. Because of this he often gets, most of the time rightly I must say, angry at Yano for neglecting Nana-chan. His knowledge of both parties and his status as Yano’s rival, often causes him to be a big help to the relationship between Nana-chan and Yano because he is constantly pushing Yano to become a better boyfriend to Nana-chan.
Take is, I hate to say, the guy Nana-chan probably should have chosen if she wanted an easy romance full of good times and no pain. However, we all know that could never happen, and I’m going to tell you why: Yano and Nana-chan have the same strong feelings of love for each other. When you look at them and their troubles, all the drama, that is really all it can boil down to; they love each other so much they have the strength to make the relationship work even when the odds are rooting against them. This may just be my two cents, but I’m giving it to you anyway because this is a blog and I can. I think that a large purpose of Bokura ga Ita was to highlight the imperfections of love and how unstable and hard to handle it can be, yet show that, at the end of the day, the frustrations and the tears and the pain were all worth it because they make the couple stronger as a whole and individually. I mean we constantly see Nana-chan crying because of Yano and we Yano upset because he feels that he doesn’t know how to love Nana-chan in a way that won’t make her cry, yet we also see their growth as people. I’ll give you the best example I can think of that shows their growth as people as a result of their troubles. Nana-chan and Yano break up as a result of her feeling that she can not truly make Yano happy because of his lingering feelings regarding Nana. During their time apart, we really see how much Yano actually cares about Nana-chan as he desperately tries to get her back because he sees her as a major part of his life and doesn’t want to lose someone who he loves again. In the end, they do get back together because Nana finally listens to Yano talk about Nana and learns about his deep regret over not being able to make her happy while she was alive. This causes tremendous growth because Yano now has those feelings off his chest and can now move on, even if it is only a little bit, and Nana now has a better understanding of Yano and his feelings regarding both her and Nana.
Towards the later half of the series, Nana as a problem slowly drifts away and Yano’s desire to become a person who Nana-chan can depend on one hundred percent takes the helm. Talk of the future becomes much more prevalent and Yano often expresses the desire to grow up faster so that he doesn’t have to depend on anyone and so that he can take care Nana-chan more fully. I think the talk of the future creates another running theme throughout the series. Whenever the future is mentioned, it is often described as vague and next to impossible to see which emphasizes how important the now is. I think a large part of Bokura ga Ita was learning to not get caught up in the past or drive yourself nuts with the innumerable possibilities of the future, but to, instead, live in the moment, enjoy your life and try not to rush it because we often don’t realize how limited our time is with the ones we love most until its run out. I think that was emphasized quite a bit with the ending, which I thought was a good place to end, despite my initial uncertainty about it.
The anime ends in a place where the future of Yano and Nana-chan is not neccessarily the brightest, but it still has hope. They have learned to treasure what the have together, which is shown when Nana tells Yano they should spend their “Christmas” together doing things they normally would. They also look back on their time together fondly, and the something along the lines of “Yes, we were here ” was a phrase often heard in the last two episodes which I think is supposed to emphasize the mark they made and how what they had and the experiences they shared can never be erased…if that makes sense?
On a more pleasant note, whole show was not always about the tears and the drama. When they were together, Nana-chan and Yano acted much like a typical high-school couple. You know, all lovey dovey with playful teasing sprinkled in for fun. It’s obvious how comfortable they are with each other…when Nana-chan isn’t avoiding Yano. Because of the problems they have, in a lot of ways, their relationship is required to be much, much stronger than the typical high school one which makes them more interesting to watch and makes you like them so that when they would, inevitably, have another conflict, you would sit and root for them, hoping that they would manage to dodge the bullet and survive another day.
…Well, now that I’ve pretty much said what I want to about the characters (on a really quick note, though, I would like to say that really hated Yuri (Yamamoto) for all the drama she caused out of jealousy), I’ll just briefly go over the other aspects of the show. Let’s start with the animation. As I watched the series, I found myself really liking the animation style. The animation style was full of tons and tons of soft edges giving the show a really soft feeling which, surprisingly, fit, although it is not neccessarily the most beautiful animation ever . The drama in the show was the kind that benefited from an animation style that didn’t pop out too much. This show wasn’t made for tons of sharp edges and bold lines. It was, however, made for a color palette that wasn’t very vibrant and white edges that gave the overall appearance of the screen a really soft feel which is hard to describe since I think that the soft feeling really helped the show in its presentation of its story. A interesting thing I thought of while watching the show is that its use of sparkles and blubble things in scenes reminded me how they were used in of Kimi ni Todoke.
I didn’t notice a lot of the BGM in this series, but when I realized this and tried to pay attention to it, I found alot of melancholy instrumental pieces as well as some of the the various EDs playing during more dramatic scenes. I did pay attention to the OP and various EDs, some extent. The OP was a pretty up-beat song that was, in my opinion, a bit of a teenage love anthem with the girl complaining about how the guy didn’t notice her hair or nice stick on nails. It emphasizes how love is more about the love aspect than the tears. The animation sequence included a lot of the couple moments we didn’t really get to see which fits with the song and with the happier atmosphere of the show. The EDs tended to be more about the problems of love and latter ones tended to have a slightly more melancholy tone to them, revolving around the uncertainty of love which definitely fit a lot of the show.
Overall, I enjoyed Bokura ga Ita a great deal, although I did find myself becoming frustrated with the characters closer to the end. I did like the ending because it ended in a spot where their future looked hopeful which was nice because I know how terrible it gets latter on. A little part of me wishes that the ending to the manga would get animated because I think the ending is perfect in the sense that everything comes together and everyone can go home with a sense of relief and happiness because, in the end, everything worked out. However, I’m not necessarily clamoring for an animated end because I don’t really want to sit and watch the characters I’ve grown to like and support go through all the crap they do latter on, so, in many ways, I am content with how things ended.
I would definitely not recommend this show to anyone who does not like weepy dramas or prolonged dramas because there is a lot of crying in this show and a lot of drama that drags on for long periods of time which can be mildly frustrating if you just want things up pick up and move on. I would definitely recommend this show to lovers of drama and the romance genre because this is a really great show dealing with a single couple who may have a lot of problems but is still pretty satisfying to watch in their calmer moments because its so easy to see how much they care about each other. The main reason I don’t give this show a 9 or 10 is because I feel like the drama got to a point where Nana-chan was simply nitpicking for reasons be get pissed at Yano which really irked me to the point that I started to majorly dislike Nana-chan for being such a stubborn person, and like Yano more as I saw him as undeserving of Nana-chan’s harsh treatment.
Overall Score: 8/10
So, I just want to say thanks to those of you read this monster, or even just read most of it. Thank-you!