This is follow-up post to previous MuvLuv posts. You might want to check “This is a very small, very large, very precious story about love and courage” first.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. That name echoes in my head. Rumbling Hearts. It echoes again. I began to hear a wind blowing grass under that tree. Familiar music plays somewhere far away, and I wonder why this all feels so… nostalgic. I hear steps near, but I do not take notice of them. Something’s wrong. The steps stop near me head and I hear far too familiar voice calling me. I gaze from my laying position upwards towards a young lady I knew far too well.
I wake up. Few drops of tears are running down my cheek. I feel the coolness outside. I forgot to shut the window, thou it’s just minus five degrees celsius. I check my phone for time; 4:48. Still a bit too early to wake up properly. I tug one of my pillows next to me. I lay there for few minutes until I grab my phone again to search for a certain picture. I look at them. I look at her. I tell myself to stop being pathetic in the ever-sarvastic tone I always do and close my eyes for few more hours.
Sometimes I really do wonder how much I got screwed over because of this one thing. It has been an influence over me for a long time, and with every passing year I find something new from it without ever really visiting it. That will come to an end soon, as I intend to sit down and meet these old friends and wonder the same paths I once took.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a dividing love story. It doesn’t hold back its punches. It gives everything it has to the reader. It’s not a fairytale where the princess will be saved by his white knight. None of its characters are perfect beings or complete clichés. It doesn’t pull any easy strings or set up characters doing pointless things. It doesn’t try to create stupid drama with devices like rape. Perhaps because it is too grounded to reality people get divided. There are those who love it due to its bitterness, and then there are those who deeply hate because the romance isn’t what they hoped for.
To paraphrase a friend, he “wanted to have the princess girl ending,” meaning that the main characters Takayuki would’ve end up together with the other main heroine Haruka, who got into a car accident that sent her into a three year coma. My other friend on the other hand can’t really understand why anyone would want Takayuki end up with Haruka, as Hayase’s ending the least damaging to everybody. I understand them both.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a rather realistic love story. Whereas MuvLuv is a sort of fairytale I would tell my children as a bedtime story, KimiNozo is something I’d discuss with few selected friends over a pint. MuvLuv may hurt you, but it always gives something it return. KimiNozo shows you the raw reality.
Let’s talk about the three main characters for a while.
Suzumiya Haruka, the girl who lost time. She is no the most tragic character of the three, but she is the one with most bad luck. She fells in love with a young man who has a good nature, but is dense and aimless. Her love is unrequited. She’s lacking in some self-confidence, and thus hooks up with her friend Hayase to hang around a bit more around Takayuki. One evening, she finally let’s it all out, and then trembles in fear of the words she does not want to hear. Takayuki says that he’ll start dating her. Haruka stands there with a smile and tears of happiness.
Haruka and Takayuki date for a while even with all the small problems they have. They share a meat pie during a picnic and spend a night together. They’re living their lives like any highschool kid would. One day, Takayuki is little bit late for their meeting… and he’d be late for the following three years.
She woke up one day when Akane, her sister, was visiting her. To her time had been frozen. She didn’t know that world had forgot about her and moved on. Nothing revolves around one person in this world, and if you were to disappear for three years, the world would move on. Everybody has their own lives to live, as did Takayuki and Hayase.
After a while Haruka starts to notice these little details that are kept from her. Akane has grown, she has grown, her hair has grown, Takayuki has changed and so has Hayase. The world is merciless, and the shock is rather high. She survives it all. She’s a strong woman at heart, but in a frail body. No matter how much rehab she’s going to go through, her most difficult obstacle time has brought is her love to Takayuki. She is strong. She will survive. She always has.
Hayase Mitsuki, girl in the blue. Hayase has been Haruka’s best friend for a long time. Her happy-go-lucky attitude with that cheerful smile has conquered many hearts as she has broken. She’s the upcoming hope and star of the Japanese Olympic swimming team, a place she’s been striving for a long time now. She’s in good relations with Takayuki and they occasionally tease each other or hit each other with bags. They’re friends, and even the stupidest person could see that there was tension between them, even if neither of the two would admit it.
She introduced Haruka and Takayuki to each other, and ultimately admits that if she did that she wished to get closer to Takayuki. While Haruka is strong at heart, Hayase isn’t. Her outgoing appearance hides a frightened soul. One day before her birthday she drags Takayuki to a street vendor to get him buy her a present. She chooses a silver ring, and slides it to her finger. When Takayuki rushes to her late date, Hayase watches after him.
Two rings bind together, embracing each other in a neverending arc
Hayase is the one who will take care of Takayuki for the following three years. Her love soon takes a new devotion to see Takayuki out of his barren shell, to breath new life into him and allow him step outside his room once more… with a smile. After what has to be uncountable tries and situations, she finally convinces him to move on, that he is not only slowly killing himself, but her too. The two mugs from the aquarium are the testament of her willingness to give herself completely to Takayuki, even if would degrade herself to nothingness.
When Haruka wakes up, Hayase’s world becomes fractured, and bit by bit shards are dropping off. She becomes more unstable has Haruka becomes better and spends more time with Takayuki. She feels guilt and hatred, love end detest. She has nothing to stand next to, nothing to embrace. As her world, she becomes broken, shattered by the reality of the situation. Hayase has no one any more, as much as she tries to offer herself.
Narumi Takayuki, the one we all are. Takayuki is a nice person. He lives his everyday normal life with his friends, joking about stuff and hanging around. He has no real wishes or goals in life, he enjoys the way things are. Change is something he seems to fear a little bit… and his grand flaw is his undecicive nature. He goes meddles with Hayase at times, has fun times with this mate Shinji, and ultimately starts to date Haruka. He isn’t loud, but voiceful enough. He can handle people well, like when he is eating with the Suzumiya family for the first time. However, every time Takayuki has to make a decision that changes the status quo he becomes silent, almost catatonic for a moment before telling his decision.
Takayuki couldn’t have foreseen Haruka’s accident. Nobody could have. Yet he blames himself for it. It broke him down, forcing him to face something that he never had faced before; total and complete loss of a person near you. If he had been there few minutes earlier, all of this could’ve been avoided. Haruka and Takayuki would have lived happily together without a moment of grief. His life was changed, and he lost control over it. He became possessed of Haruka, until he as forced away from her for his own good. He would’ve died without Hayase. If not of hunger, then by his own hands. He lived over and over again those moments, the same pains of decision he made.
When Hayase finally managed to drag him out and show the world again, he began his slow recovery. At a later date he got a job from Sky Temple, a family restaurant. He was in a good start after three long years. He was even going to take a step towards Hayase,but then Haruka woke up. He almost fell back into his mind’s abyss, but kept himself afloat. He recognizes that he has moved on with his life, but only a little. His friend has grown much more than he, and Hayase has become a fine woman on her own rights. What he has to decide whether or not he will become one with Haruka again, like he was three years ago, or will he keeping moving forwards as he finally managed to do.
Takayuki is someone who is deeply flawed. The good points he has are his defining traits, but they are overshadowed by his lack of confidence and decision making. These two ultimately cause more pain to the two he cares the most. When he realizes his feelings, it just might be too late for anyone of them. The world moves on. It doesn’t wait you for three years, nor it waits you to say those important words you want to utter. Once you are there, on that moment, tell her that you love her. Tell him, that you wish to be his.
“I want to repay her what she did for me, even if takes the rest of my life.”
Takayuki isn’t a stupid person. He is fearful and lack the insight to understand the people around him to an extent, unlike me who is very understanding of the people around me but I decide to ignore them unless they’re said out loud. I have no excuses for being this kind of asshole. All of what he lacks is humane, and every reader/viewer has seen themselves in his shoes. This is why he is so hated as a main character, as we all see from the outside his situation and scream at him, but when we’re in same situation we wish somebody would be there to tell us what to do. We all know there is none. Some decisions are made in split seconds, and some decisions are lost forever because they’ve never been made.
Ultimately, the ending I regard as the one true ending is with Hayase. The only true bad endings come with the side characters, where Takayuki may be broken down to a child’s level. Him ending up with Haruka would mean that he would become her support, and she would grow as she always has, but Takayuki’s reasons to stay with her would’ve been more about devotion and duty rather than of love. Hayase would become a lonely and broken person anyone to use.
With Hayase’s ending Takayuki and Hayase would grow more together, supporting each other while staying true to their feelings. Haruka would’ve been devastated, but she is strong and understanding. She will find someone to lover her some day, and she will always have her friends.
That is important. Outside Hayase’s endings, the three won’t stay together as friends. The image of the four small animals are from Haruka’s book she would write and illustrate without Takayuki. It tells a story of four friends, of which one of them is left behind. This one small creature strives to catch her friends on top of the hill, and when she finally gets there, her friends greet her with happy faces and open arms.
They all strived to be friends, and to live their lives with their true feelings. The world moved on, and all four had their own lives to go by. Haruka was never left behind; she had her friends waiting for her on top of that hill.
I admit that I am a hopeless romantic. I share fare amount of traits with both Hayase and Takayuki, which coincidentally form an entity that resembles MuvLuv’s Shirogane Takeru quite a lot. I wonder about things too much and never take enough actions, but then again I would be willing to throw my whole life for someone I love. I am rather colourful on the outside, but there is one person who knows, that deep inside I am smaller than I appear to be, that perhaps I am lacking that self-confidence and respect I should have towards myself. It’s almost ten years since Kimi ga Nozomu Eien was released, and back then I was too young to properly learn from it, just as I have learned things from MuvLuv. Learn is actually the wrong word. Replace that with realize and we’re good.
It’s a betrayal to say that you have to think KimiNozo with reason rather than with heart, but if one takes a step outside and looks the picture as a whole one might find that it’s a gut punching story, with few good ways to end. It took me eight years to do that, and I doubt some people are ever willing to think things through from any other perspective other than their own and properly ponder matters at hand.
My place is rather similar to what it was three years ago, and lately I’ve been thinking what to do about it. Perhaps I’ll say something the next weekend, something that I might regret. However, decisions have to be made in a split second, or there are times when they’re going to be lost forever.
Next time I begin to read Kimi ga Nozomu Eien visual novel, it will be the first time in a sense. I’ll walk down the routes as Takayuki, as myself; the bastard who can’t decide soon enough what he wants.
We’ll see how it ends.