I have yet another revived post. I am realizing a pattern in all of the articles I left unfinished; they are so wordy and serious that I suppose I felt they needed more attention than my usual spazz posts. I still agree with that. I mean, if someone is going to try to be thoughtful about anything, they should really put a decent effort into it. However, I feel bad about wasting the moderate effort I put into things like this, so you’re getting where I left off.
Write Date: March 30, 2010; Note: I have no idea why I let this little gem go to waste. I pretty positive I wrote it after rewatching the whole Nobuta wo Produce series.
Kiritani Shuuji is, as he noted himself, a serious person. There is logical and strategy behind his popularity. He is able to be “best friends” with everyone because he knows what people want from him.
Kusano Akira is the opposite of Kiritani; he is his foil. (For ease of reading, we’ll use their first names from here on out.) At first I couldn’t understand why Shuuji would hate him so much. After thinking about it, however, I realized this: Akira is illogical. Whereas Shuuji uses his head for every decision, Akira uses his heart. Everything is a joke to him; even when Nobuta is getting bullied in the beginning (being soaked with water), he just looks on as a spectator. When he gets bullied for watching (also getting soaked with water), he just laughs and says, “Don’t we look beautiful?” It’s as if the social implications of things mean nothing to him, and that’s what makes him completely different from Shuuji.
Another aspect of Akira is his lack of personal boundaries. He falls all over Shuuji, always trying to lay his head on Shuuji’s shoulder, put his arm around Shuuji, etc. To Shuuji, this is a big societal no-no. Girls aren’t supposed to be this “affectionate,” and guys DEFINITELY aren’t.
Nobuta has shut out society completely. Cancel cancel cancel. She’s almost incapable of speech, which shows that she hasn’t had much opportunity to talk in a comfortable/safe environment. You could say she’s a product of abuse, but it doesn’t seem like much abuse has gone in her family. If anything, silence has been her punisher. She has not received any positive reinforcement from her family, so when society tears her down she has no way of rebuilding.
At one point, Shuuji asks Nobuta how she wants to be viewed by others. He points out that this is all kids at school can think about, “whether or not they’re liked by others, and that they don’t want to be made fun of. They want to be noticed.”
[Meanings of names left at the end of the text, probably because I was going to incorporate this research into my article.]
- Akira (1-明, 2- 亮): Japanese unisex name meaning 1) “bright” or 2) “clear.”
- AOI (1-碧, 2- 葵): Japanese unisex name meaning 1) “blue” or 2) “hollyhock.”
- NOBUKO (信子): Japanese name meaning “faithful child.”
- SHUJI (修二): Japanese name meaning “master/study second (son).”