Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MangaTalk: Bokura Ga Ita

In Bokura Ga Ita, one of my favorite angsty mangas there is a line that I both feel for and hate with the burning hatred of a thousand suns, 

"When you are met with two people who are drowning. Who would you choose? I choose the one who can't swim" 

The main male character Yano gives this question to explain his choices about the two woman in his life, one who he thinks of as strong and the other who is in a weaker state of mind.

Guess who he chose. 

What kills me is, he chooses whatshername solely for guilt and misguided repsonsibility, and he justifies his choice in abandoning the girl that he actually love by saying, "She's strong. She's stronger than her, even stronger than me."

As if being strong means that one will just get over the hurt and carry on. 

And to further the hurt is that his misunderstanding of the word strong. It's not that the strong are impenetrable to hurt or pain, they feel it, but they just don't show it.

Admittedly, Yano is twisted by his mother and his  cheating dead ex-girlfriend, and that one of the qualities that he loved from Takashashi is her strength that enables her to be so giving, so compassionate and so cheerful despite the odds and to his thoughts, despite the kind of person that he is.

But what Yano doesn't understand is that kind of strength doesn't come from thin air; it comes from practice, from keeping up a smile in the hopes that for just one second that smile will be genuine. That kind of courage comes from having to face one's trouble head on and living through the wounds. That kind of compassion comes from having injuries and hurts that once gaped bloody and are now scars.

And that killed me, it killed me that Yano doesn't understand that and left Takahashi who, yes admittedly, was able to move on without him, at least on the surface.

But inside, inside she is still that seventeen year old girl, waving her boyfriend goodbye at the train station with only a promise to hold onto.

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