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Last episode, we saw Ichikawa tell us about his bizarre infatuation with Anna Yamada and how he wants to murder her. However, despite that, he decided to act against himself and help Anna as she was getting harassed by a fellow student.
This episode, we’ll probably see the gap between Ichikawa and Yamada close, slowly but surely!
Well, lets get into Episode 2, titled “Died.”
This episode begins with Kyoutarou Ichikawa recounting the same stuff we heard last episode, about him wanting to kill Yamada. However, his focus is now on the fact that the library, where he eats his lunch, has recently been infected by Anna and her presence.
He notes that Anna is super tall, popular and attractive, so he wonders why she’s always eating alone in the library. Even here, we see a bit of a sympathetic side of Ichikawa towards the girl he seemingly “wants to kill.”
One day in the library, he sees her about to make “Nerunerunerune“, a Japanese candy sort of like fun dip, but you add water to it to make a sort of pudding/spread type consistency and you eat it with sugar crystals and a spoon.
However, being in the library with only about five minutes left for lunch break, Anna is hurriedly looking around for a source of water. She runs into the hall and runs back, only to see that she spilled most of the water. She runs back out and Ichikawa, irritated, decides to wipe up all the water she dropped because he feels like the library is his sanctuary.
He sees Yamada continuously fail and with only three minutes left on the clock, he decides to sprint for her to a rec room to grab a glass she can use to transport the water. It’s less shallow, so she’s likely to spill less along the way.
When he returns, he sees that Anna actually just brought the Nerunerunerune to the sink instead, turning a difficult problem easy.
Yamada once again, just like in episode 1 with the bag of chips, gives Ichikawa the trash to deal with before running off to class once more.
We cut to the classroom, where apparently a heat wave has begun. Yamada and her friends are all themselves, but Yamada keeps hitting herself with the paper she’s fanning herself with. After her short friend criticizes her, she replies that she should do it for her. We get a cute scene of the girls all fanning one another. In stark juxtaposition, however, the boys who sit behind Ichikawa are all leering at the girls, because if they’re sweaty, there’s a chance they’ll be able to see through their white shirts.
As once character says he’s going to go over to try and look at Yamada, Ichikawa spurs into action once more and drops his box cutter in front of him as he attempts to walk by. The character swiftly apologizes and hands him the box cutter, to which Ichikawa creepily plays with it and smiles, creeping the character out. The girls then all leave the room, so the character no longer has a chance to be creepy.
Ichikawa tells us that the person Yamada is closest to is a girl named Chihiro Kobayashi, the short girl from earlier. He wonders, however, why Yamada is always alone in the library, even though Chihiro and her are such close friends.
That day, in the library, Yamada borrows a fan that Ichikawa uses. She remarks that since it’s shorted and zig-zagged, she can still keep cool without hitting herself in the face. Ichikawa, not free from being a creep himself, leers at her chest and notices she’s wearing a swimsuit underneath so nobody can see her bra. Yamada gets a call on her phone and tells Ichikawa to hurry and sit in her seat as she hides under the table. Ichikawa is seated in front of all of the snacks she was eating prior.
Chihiro soon enters the room and we see the reasoning behind Yamada’s hiding. She asks Ichikawa immediately if he’s seen Yamada, which he of course denies. She soon sits down in front of him and Ichikawa, unsure what to do, offers her Yamada’s snacks. Chihiro states she can’t have them because she’s allergic.
She states though that Yamada often would often sneak away from her to eat snacks so as to not make Chihiro feel bad. Chihiro begins to praise Yamada, causing her to pop out from the bottom of the desk and beam at her.
Chihiro rolls her eyes and retorts that once you start praising Yamada, she’ll come out of hiding. The two girls walk off together, leaving Ichikawa … ahem. Going camping and pitching a tent since Yamada was touching him.
The second half of the episode focuses on the preparations of a fall festival. The students are making a poster and Yamada, being a tall girl, is cast to play the role of a ghost. Ichikawa and Hara are working on a poster, and Ichikawa, weirdly obsessed with blood and the macabre, is telling Hara how she could add more details to make the tombstones on the poster a bit more realistic. He also stares at her chest.
Hara leaves to get more materials. However, one of the students notices that one of the names on the poster says “Yamada”. Thinking someone is out to get Anna Yamada, a few male students puff their chests and demand to know who did it.
Scared for Hara and worried she might get bullied if its revealed she wrote it, Ichikawa fesses up to writing it. When they demand to know why, Ichikawa spews some cringe stuff about Death not being scary and how we’ll all die one day anyway.
Yamada is playing a ghost, right? wouldn’t it be super easy to say you wrote her name because she’s pretending to be a ghost?
Thank god, Hara comes back and tells them that she wrote it. She apologizes, stating that she just started writing common names down. Ichikawa is let off the hook.
But, later, when Hara and Ichikawa are sitting and working on the poster once more to change the names, Yamada sits beside him and apologizes. Ichikawa is confused, but Yamada leaves without much more explanation.
Our final sequence shows Yamada and her friends being approached by the creepy guy from Episode 1 alongside some of his friends. The two groups form into one and begin walking, but Ichikawa is nervous for Yamada, so he tails them.
He notices the girls are sheltering Yamada in the center, and that helps ease his nerves a bit. He ducks into a room and expects to pop back out behind them through another door, but he pops out too early and instead ends up in front of them. Yamada, however, takes the opportunity to get the hell out of there and basically pulls Ichikawa back into the room, where they see a huge map of the town 80 years ago.
Finding each others houses, Yamada notes that the map is really cool. Ichikawa asks for a photo of the map but Yamada either misunderstands or purposefully misinterprets what he means, taking a selfie with him instead.
Ichikawa notes to himself that he’ll never forget the moment with him and Yamada at that time.
Opinions / Analysis
This episode continues to border on “Cute” and “Horrifically Cringe.” I both love and despise this series for reminding me of the everyday cringe of Middle School.
It’s bizarre that Ichikawa, in this episode, hasn’t yet done any self-reflection on his newfound defense of Yamada in most situations. The way he tails them is both endearing yet horribly creepy. Ichikawa teeters on good natured so many times, and yet can’t seem to see himself as not “Messed Up”. Why is that?
Well, you know how middle schoolers are. It’s a time of your brain expanding at an alarming rate, and your surroundings are struggling to keep up with this developing mind. Ichikawa seemingly suffers from some level of social isolation (whether self-inflicted or not) and this has probably ingrained in him some sort of “I must be the one who’s weird” mentality. At this point, he’s fully accepted that mentality, and even taken it to an extreme.
But… Ichikawa isn’t like that. He just thinks he’s like that. I genuinely don’t believe Ichikawa is even capable of hitting someone, let alone murder.
What do you all think? Let us know in the comments!
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