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The Dangers in my Heart or Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu is based off of a manga series of the same name. Set in middle school, we follow Ichikawa Ryoutaro, who sees himself as a very “messed up” person. The first episode dropped on April 2nd JST, as a part of the Spring 2023 anime season.
We begin our series with our protagonist, Ichikawa, sitting at his desk in school. Our middle schooler here tells us instantly that he views himself as messed up. As he reads a book about murderers, he tells us that he wants to commit them — and that he wants to kill one girl in particular, Anna Yamada.
As lunchtime begins, Ichikawa goes to the library where he apparently eats because it’s more quiet than the classroom. When he opens the door, however, he sees Yamada sitting at a table, eating rice balls. As he meekly walks by her, a bit shocked, she speaks to him with her mouth full. Unable to understand her, he simply agrees and walks deeper into the library, past a book shelf.
As Ichikawa peeks out from the bookshelves at Yamada, he watches her down a bag of chips before working on a Social Studies poster for a presentation later that day. She writes too big with a marker and ends up cramming for space at the end of the board. In addition, she lost a box cutter or a pair of scissors and begins to tear the paper messily instead. Ichikawa hates watching this and instead offers her his own box cutter. She thanks him and when she’s done, puts it in her own pencil case by accident and leaves.
Ichikawa comes to class the next day, thinking about his box cutter. When he arrives, he notices Yamada put it on his desk before he got there. He can’t help but stare at her and overhears that her group for the presentation completely re-did her poster from yesterday. Internally, he calls them assholes because Yamada spent a long time on that poster.
When Yamada’s group presents, he notices that she looks extremely dejected and upset. When he goes up to present, he notices that she even begins to tear up. Yamada sits by the window, and when a helicopter begins to pass by, everybody looks in Yamada’s direction. Ichikawa, afraid that they will see Yamada crying, uses his box cutter and cuts up their own poster, awkwardly drawing everybody’s attention away from Yamada.
Yamada doesn’t seem to notice this, as she feels better now after seeing the helicopter.
Back at his seat and later that day, Ichikawa overhears a group of boys grossly talking about their fantasies with the girls in their class. Yamada is a point that one boy in particular stresses, stating that he’d even like to be… ahem… in a mutually-beneficial relationship with her.
Kenta Kanzaki, one of Ichikawa’s classmates, states that he’s interested in a girl named Hara because he doesn’t like extremely attractive girls like Yamada. Hara is shown to be a bit more plump than the other girls. This day, when Ichikawa sees Yamada in the library, Hara enters as well because Kenta asked to see her.
Ichikawa once again looks through the bookshelves at the (now) three students, and Yamada seemingly didn’t understand that she’s third wheeling until now. Ichikawa drops a book and meows to make it seem like he’s a cat to go ignored. Having meowed very poorly, Yamada states she’ll go look at it and comes over, meowing more realistically.
Hara amusingly remarks that it sounds like two cats are having a fight. Now, Yamada and Ichikawa meow more violently towards each other, making Kenta and Hara laugh.
Later that day, Ichikawa is on his way home when he sees a magazine shop. Recalling that Yamada works as a model on the side, he is curious about the magazine she’s pictured in. Going into the store, he spots Yamada herself in casual clothing attempting to get noticed.
Seeing that it doesn’t work and she slinks out of the store feeling dejected, Ichikawa rationalizes with himself that he ought to buy one of her magazines to make up for the customers she scared off.
At home, Ichikawa looks at the magazine and notes that she’s unrecognizable in the photographs. Initially throwing it in the trash, a bit angry at himself for being kind and supporting Yamada after he wanted to kill her, he picks it back up and rationalizes it’d be a waste to throw it out if he just bought it.
The next day, he spots Yamada walking to school being hit on by a guy. He continually asks for her LINE account, but she keeps declining, stating she doesn’t know what LINE is nor does she have any social media.
While he starts off playful, things quickly get a bit darker. He stops Yamada from walking and repeats that he seriously wants her LINE account. When she declines again, he grabs her wrist forcefully and says he wants it. Yamada grows solemn and utters “fine,” clearly distressed.
Ichikawa stares at this interaction and tells himself that he doesn’t care. After repeating it over and over, he closes his eyes tightly and throws his bicycle forward down the hill, and it gets so banged up it plunges over a dock and into the water.
One of Yamada’s friends saw Ichikawa do this, and tells Yamada, who was able to distance herself from the boy harassing her. Yamada asks Ichikawa why he threw his bike, and he meekly says he “stepped on the gas instead of the brake.” Yamada laughs at this, telling Ichikawa he’s funny.
Opinions / Analysis
For a Romance series, this episode is extremely strange — in a really good way! Strange just like Ichikawa himself!
Now, let me be clear — I don’t think Ichikawa is a murderer, nor do I actually think he wants to kill anybody. I think he may be morbidly curious about some things, but I don’t think he’s violent — look at the way he meekly avoids confrontation, and doesn’t ever fantasize about the act of harming anybody, just the aftermath of it.
I believe he is infatuated with Yamada, and he didn’t fully understand his own feelings, and channeled that with his hobby of reading morbid books. With these things combined, it’s no wonder that he thought he was a murderer! When push came to shove, he defended Yamada even when he gained nothing from it.
There’s an extremely niche sub-genre of anime that I love, and that’s Realistically Awkward. Loving Yamada at Lv999! is similar in this way, where the interactions between characters are both comically awkward and yet painfully realistic (just like when Yamada urges Ichikawa to meow more dramatically).
The pacing of the episode is superb. So much important content happened with very little time wasted. Scene after scene seamlessly flow together — and it’s apparent that the director really knows what he’s doing!
In a Spring season filled with Romance anime, I have to say, both Dangers in my Heart and Loving Yamada stand out from each other in striking ways, yeah they’re both appealing in their own weird ways!
What do you all think of this anime premiere? What other anime, Romance or not, are you interested in this season? Let us know in the comments!
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