Kimi no Iru Machi chapters 31-40 – I Ain’t Even Mad

Apologies for the delay, got a bit off track last week. This week’s chapters focused on the characters’ summer break and the lead up to the town’s summer festival, as well as the festival itself. The timing of the chapters was rather convenient, since it nicely stops for my week’s reading at a big confession scene and the immediate reactions of the characters. There was much drama, but at this point, I ain’t even mad.

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Summary of this week’s chapters: Haruto is thinking about Nanami a lot lately, now that the Eba sisters appeared to have sorta patched things up. Nanami for her part has been trying to reach out to Haruto more, and things are looking up for them. Yuzuki also appears to change the status quo, learning how to ride a bike so she’s not dependent upon Haruto to get to and from school. This is all part of her master plan, of course. It’s just another way for her to switch things up on Haruto: having established a status quo of being dependent and then getting physically and emotionally close to Haruto, she now upsets his routine and makes him worry about her being on her own. So, Haruto is again off-balance and Yuzuki is once again in control of his thinking. As summer break begins, Narumi drives Aoi, Haruto, Nanami, Yuzuki, Takashi, and Akari to the beach for some fanservice a day of swimming and building sandcastles. Haruto and Nanami have some time to themselves briefly, though Haruto continues to be lame and won’t go swimming.

Later, Rin comes to visit Haruto’s house and begins stirring the drama pot. Takashi seems to have a big crush on her, for he knows not the dangerous and powerful forces he is meddling with. They go on a barbecue at the same area that Akari tried going with Narumi, and things get a little out of Yuzuki’s control. Nanami and Haruto are getting closer faster than she anticipated, so she intentionally falls down to get Haruto’s attention and redirect his thoughts from how much he like Nanami to how much Yuzuki ‘always makes me worry about her.’ In the following days, Nanami and Rin are together on a shopping trip when Nanami, ignorant of Rin’s ways and too kind to be suspicious, lets slip crucial information. She’s planned to go to the summer festival alone with Haruto instead of with the group. Rin’s drama gears start turning and then tells her that Haruto missed their shopping trip to Hiroshima because he went to Tokyo with Yuzuki. The night of the festival, everyone’s there except for Yuzuki. No one knows where she disappeared to, but Haruto has an idea and runs off into the woods to find her, even though he was there with Nanami. He eventually finds her at the lake shore, in perfect, drama timing to see the very last firework ‘bloom’ over the lake. They then head back and find Nanami at the convenience store. Yuzuki runs off, knowing what sort of bomb she’s leaving to explode, and Nanami and Haruto get to talking. She finally answers his confession, by saying that they can’t date after all. She spoke earlier to Rin, who kind of leveled with her for once and said that they’re alike in that they’re both too possessive to tolerate bullshit things like running off to Tokyo with another girl for two days. Haruto returns home, at first seeming okay with it. But Yuzuki, wasting no time at all, ‘comforts’ him to set herself up for the rebound. Keikaku doori.

Commentary

Pssh, not with this author.

The main reason why I ain’t even mad with these developments is 1) the author has pretty much neglected Nanami in terms of character development, and 2) Haruto is in the red a bit in terms of how much I like him as a character. Yuzuki has gotten all the attention and has details added to her character that Nanami just doesn’t have. Despite my liking Nanami much more than Yuzuki, this is pretty much only based on her seeming like a nicer person and (much less importantly) being better looking. I really don’t know much about this character, not enough to get really invested in shipping her with Haruto. He is the second problem. And yes, it is a problem when I can’t get into something enough to rage. Haruto started out as average male protagonist, and hasn’t built up any good points for me. The opposite, in fact, as he’s continued to ‘worry’ about Yuzuki and run after her at every opportunity, as well as being a little bitch when they went to the beach and he just sat stewing on the beach when everyone else was having fun. I don’t hate him at this point, but he’s got nothing going for him. He and Yuzuki might become a garbage scow at this rate, like Hiro X Miya in ef: A Tale of Memories. I copyright that shipping term, by the way.

She’s a Shiki! Kill it with fire!

Rin was certainly fun to watch, as she stirred up drama just for the hell of it. She thinks all the people around here are just toys for her amusement, and despite someone like that being a terrible human being in real life, she’s fun to watch here. I especially enjoyed how she threw the water balloon at Haruto when she didn’t get her desired reaction from him. She did have a moment of unusual candor with Nanami though. When she sat and talked with Nanami the night of the festival, she was the most honest I’ve seen her up to this point. Perhaps in identifying with Nanami in that one respect, she had found someone she could open up to. (I ship it.)

The balloon throwing being the highlight of things in these chapters.

The author likes big butts (and boobs) and he cannot lie.

I swear, by the kinds of visual and psychological fanservice in this manga I’m starting to construct some sort of psychological profile of the author. Just as his preference for Yuzuki is very obvious, so is his preference, or at least fantasy, in women. I mean, really. Nanami or Yuzuki have the smallest bust and even they’re above average for Japan. To each their own and all, but he’s not subtle in expressing his preferences through his characters. And on the psychological part, he’s had more than half of the female characters look devious and mischievous, and gives short shrift to the more reserved ones (Akari and Nanami.) First there was Aoi looking like she was going to step on Haruto in some kinky way, then there was Rin’s Shiki look that I referenced above, and even Yuzuki, his favorite that he hasn’t shown as being outwardly devious otherwise, gets the Shiki eyes when she tells Haruto that she’s heard something interesting, referring to hearing about Nanami’s plan to go to the festival with him. Even more evidence of which characters he favors, expressed by how many of his preferred traits are a part of them.

Nanami inadvertently enabled her ship to be sabotaged, but as Rin incisively put it while gloating over her work, Haruto really did it to himself. Even without Rin’s meddling, had they gotten together the trip to Tokyo would still be something they’d have to confront. Knowing Haruto, he’d probably try and hide it until someone else would let the secret out, which could possibly have caused them to break up. If he were a more honest person and just came out with it, things probably could have been salvaged. But that’s not something I’d expect from Haruto, really.

Yeah, can’t really get worked up about it. Things have now just proceeded to the next phase of Yuzuki’s plan. She appears to be combining classic rebound tactics with her usual strategy, which I’ve termed jigging after the fishing technique. She prolongs things by repeatedly manipulating Haruto’s affections up and down like you would when using a jig. Daily bike rides, up. “I’m cheering you on”!, down. Comforting him, up. And next, probably trying to repair things with Nanami enough to let them get close, but shoddily enough not to solve the underlying problem. Down. This is expected to repeat until she’s exhausted him enough that he’ll bite on one of the ‘up’ moments. She could move immediately to capitalize on the rebound situation, but I imagine she still hasn’t battered Haruto into submission to quite the consistency of lovesick paste that she’d prefer. Picky eater, that one.

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14 Comments

  1. ectholion
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Let Nanami story be a lesson to you all, relationships are all about timing, those who act usually win those who do not usually lose. as far as anime inaction caused the tragedy of Kei in ef, as well as the Hanakawa situation in bakemonogatari. In Kei situation had she acted before a strong rival appeared on the scene and had an advantage she would have won hands down, same goes for Hanakawa. And so feel pity or rage all you but the truth is Nanami liked Haruto and he liked her but no one did a damn thing about it till Eba showed up and Eba unlike either of them had the mindset of a champion and wanted to win. And so rather then let fear of rejection she confessed and rather then depression and fear of failure she preservered till now victory is all but within her grasp.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Nanami acted, though a bit too late since Yuzuki hit the ground running. Though I think that even if Nanami acted sooner, around the time that Yuzuki showed up, she’d still probably lose. Yuzuki’s just too good at manipulating Haruto, and he’s way too receptive to her tactics. If Yuzuki never showed up I’m sure things would work out between them, but I can’t imagine any scenario where Haruto wouldn’t go for Yuzuki given how he responds to her so much more than Nanami.

    • eternia
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      That case was a bit different…
      Hiro has never liked Kei-chan. He always sees her as little sister.
      Haruto likes Nanami. But the thieving cat manipulated him and took him away.
      :-)

  2. Emperor
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    So after reading some posts I gave it a try. First I was like :| than I was like -_- , but seems like everyone is taking it too serious. Like eba being the badass manipulator etc. I mean no matter how you look on it eba and chef makes the best couple from all aspects. But I admit there is a lot of rage stuff there. Art is fine.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s not looking like it’s going to be on my all-time favorites list or anything, mostly because the author hasn’t devoted enough time to Nanami to make her feel like a viable contender. What I am enjoying about it is dissecting just how good Yuzuki is at winning over Haruto. I get a lot of enjoyment out of analyzing how she acts so skillfully in turning Haruto’s affections towards her. So not so much rage, but definitely a fun case study.

  3. eternia
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    I told you, this author is a masochist, all his main female characters are manipulative and dangerous bitches of some sort.
    :-)
    I stopped reading at chapter 30 about two years ago, but I have read up to chapter 40, to match your writing~
    Haruto is such an indecisive loser. He could have told Takashi, “Hey, I know where Yuzuki might be, could you go look out for her?” The rest of the gang may go too. He can stay alone with Nanami, fix up their relationship, take her to secluded place, hah hah.
    :-D
    But no, he let himself being toyed around by the Eba sisters.
    Such a loser.
    RAGECON 3

  4. Nazarielle
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Haha, you always have such a way with pictures.

    I feel like, rather than rage, you’re just going to get incredibly annoyed. Especially once you start getting into the later arcs.

    Also, I feel like that analysis on the author’s preferences is hitting way too close to home >_>

    • Posted May 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I do think it’s going to be annoyance-into-rage more than anything. It’s kind of like watching a show about characters I hate, like Gundam 00 or the non-Accelerator episodes of To Aru Majutsu no Index. But in a way, that’s fun too.

  5. Nosaj
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    At this point in the manga I was like, ugh, Haruto you’re a moron. Stuff that happens later made me want to spit in his eye and slowly feed him to piranhas. Crazy Dave told me exactly what happened, I read it and still raged, don’t worry, the rage is yet to come.

  6. Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    If you’re up-to-date with it as I am, you give up hope on which girls gets with him. Although he does have a stable girlfriend, he just keeps meeting random girls every single chapter who either 1) misunderstand Haruto liking them or 2) fall in love with Haruto.

    And that’s not the worst of it, you even get some little ones coming up later…

  7. Shinderate
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I did actually feel sorry for Haruto when Nanami rejected him, especially after that montage showing their major scenes together in the manga, as well as some of his memories from before where the manga begins, like the first time he saw her, or watching her in the cooking club.
    He really did bring it upon himself though, not only did he cock up some good chances that came his way, like the Tokyo trip or the fireworks night, he took virtually no initiative in winning her over. I think inviting her round to his sister’s welcome home party was the only time he was vaguely pro-active. he basically told her he liked her then did nothing to prove it.
    I feel more sorry for Nanami though, as she was left taking all the initiative, had people actively or inactively sabotaging the relationship and worst of all it takes her far longer to get over this than it does Haruto, despite all the major fuck-ups being his.

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