Myself; Yourself

Myself; Yourself was released on Dec. 20, 2007 as a game developed by Yeti for PlayStation 2. It is an original game published by Regista, and the character design is furnished by Mutsumi Saski. It was based off of a light novel written by Nakazawa Takumi and illustrated by Wadapen, serialized between March and November 2007. Each of the six-chapter novel is based on the six heroines: Nanaka (Seven Children), Aoi (The Lost Child Aoi-San), Shuri (Me and Him, My Friend), Yuzuki (Close Encounter), Hinako (A Small and Large First Step) and Asami (What Thing Did You Lose?). It was later adapted to anime and aired on October 3, 2007  until December 26, 2007 with 13 episodes. A sequel game for PlayStation 2 was released on May 28, 2009 entitled Myself; Yourself: Sorezore no Finale.

There is an opening and ending theme for the anime

1. Kaori’s Tears Infection
2. Kanako Itou’s Kimi to Yozora to Sakamichi to (キミと夜空と坂道と)

The series is set in a fictional town Sakuranomori. At the start of the anime, protagonist Hidaka Sana is thrown a going-away party by childhood friends Yatsushiro Nanaka, Oribe Aoi, Wakatsuki Shuusuke and his twin sister Shuri. Five years later, a 16-year-old Sana returns to Sakuranomori and lives alone in an apartment building that Aoi’s family runs while attending high school. While some thing have remained unchanged, yet, there are those who have no choice but to bend with the wind. This is a sad story of children coming of age and learning to deal with things and events the best they know how. More importantly, they do so while bravely showing a happy face even though their lives are a mess.

Aoi, Yuzuki, Nanaka, Asami, Shuri, Hinako

Aoi, Yuzuki, Nanaka, Asami, Shuri, Hinako

Enter Hidaka Sana, who seems to be a well-adjusted and very much well-liked kid. However, the reason for his departure from his childhood friends is not revealed, until much later in the story. Before he left, he seems to be interested in Nanaka who gave him a tune she composed herself as a going away present. He is, however, afraid of blood. As school begins, he slowly rekindles his friendship with childhood pals. Aoi immediately welcomes Sana back to the town, being the bubbliest and eldest of the group.

Best of friends: Sana & Shuusuke

Best of friends: Sana & Shuusuke

Then there is Wakatsuki Shuusuke, his best friend, who constantly whacks him on the back in the morning as a greeting. When Sana left, Shuusuke rode his bike out chasing after his train, and eventually stopped to scream something to him. Unfortunately, Sana never heard what the message was, and yet, he clearly treasures this very special bond between them. Shuusuke comes with a package – his older twin sister, Shuri, who is just as cheerful and amicable as her brother, although Shuusuke is referred to as the luckier one of the twins. Even though Shuri acts tomboyish and is outgoing, she is a very caring friend, and have no qualms in welcoming Sana home when news of his arrival spread. She is also the first to volunteer at an old folks home and eventually inviting another classmate, Asami, and later Sana.

When Sana finally meets Nanaka, he simply cannot belief that the beauty standing before him is the girl who he loved before. In that instance, Nanaka assumes that Sana had changed and didn’t remember her anymore. She leaves in anger, but not before slapping Sana. Sana is not only dumbfounded by this reaction but very confused. As the group tries to pull the two friends back together again, Sana realizes something is amiss and begins to question them about Nanaka’s change to a quiet and secretive person. They head out for a fishing trip to lighten everyone’s mood.

Fishing rod accident

Fishing rod accident

In the meantime, Sana gets to know a new girl, Hoshino Asami. She begins bumping into him at different spots and even gets invited into the group’s gatherings. Nanaka becomes suspicious and even jealous of this new relationship. Shuusuke too becomes a subject of a love interest when he happens to rescue an 11-year-old girl from bullies. Mochida Hinako immediately falls in love with him, and tries to find ways to get Shuusuke to see her not as a kid. To do so, she recruits Sana and Aoi for help. Shuusuke charmingly goes along with the match-up but eventually tells her she is too young for him. Even so, they remain good friends.

Intervention

Intervention

Slowly, the friends reveal that Nanaka’s home and parents were lost in a fire incident. She, however, has no memory of what happened before and during the incident. She managed to jump out of her second floor window, only to take with her her precious violin and sakura bracelet Sana gave her.  The police think that the arson may have been an inside job. As the story unfolds, Sana remembers the old, unused post box that the two used to correspond with each other when they were younger to reveal their fears, sadness, joy and happiness. Sana rushes to the mail box, and as he unlocks it, hundreds of letters addressed to him tumbles out. In it, is Nanaka’s fears and trepidation without Sana around, wishing for him only to reappear once again in her life to make everything alright.

Unfortunately for the group, the other friends’ lives seem to unravel too. Shuusuke and Shuri has a step-mom who despises them, and fools around with other men. As a city councilman, their father is constantly making sure that the family portrays a good image for the society. Shuri starts a petition against her own father’s proposal of tearing down the city’s park to build city hall over it. Immediately, she gets called in to the principal’s office and later gets a trashing from her father. She cries alone, but Shuusuke promises to protect her. During their yearly visit to their mother’s grave, the siblings entrust their fears to each other and even strengthen their bond by giving each other a hand-tied blessed bracelet. The next day, they are called into the principal’s office again, this time with a letter accusing the twins of having an incestuous relationship. Shuri is visible shaken, but for their home room teacher, Fujimura Yuzuki, standing up for them. After clearing up the mess, they return to class only to have a crude drawing of the twins on the blackboard. Shuri runs away immediately. That night, their father immediately screams bloody murder for the rumors that are spreading like wild fire. He decides to send Shuri off to London to separate the twins and to stop the rumors of the twins being lovers. Shuusuke promises her then, that they will never be separated ever.

Shuusuke & Shuri

Shuusuke & Shuri

After slowly coming out of her shell, Nanaka is invited to visit the old folks home together with Sana, Asami and Shuri. There, they meet an old lady who immediately thinks Nanaka to be her dead granddaughter. She begs for a tune on the violin after Sana praises her for her talent in wielding the instrument. Nanaka, however, is not only frightened by that old lady, but by the prospect of touching the violin and slowly becomes withdrawn again.

Said old lady soon becomes ill and is hospitalized. Shuri, Asami and Sana visits her there. Shuri tries to cut an apple for the lady, but accidentally cuts herself. Upon seeing the blood, Sana becomes nauseous. He leaves the room long enough to worry the girls. Asami goes looking for him. Shuri is left with the old lady, who then confesses to the late killings of the Old Folk Home’s bird and cat, which are to be sacrifices to revive her granddaughter. Seeing as how small animals will not do, she decides that Shuri will have to be the next one to go. Sana and Asami return at that moment as Asami jumps infront of the slicing blade and takes the hit instead.

All is well with Asami. Sana visits her the next day in the hospital and is told the most shocking truth. Asami is the culprit behind the accusing letter sent to the principal about the twins. She made it all up because she was rejected by Shuri and couldn’t bear that Shuri could pretend that nothing happened after that confession. Asami began to hate Shuri so much that she began plotting evils schemes to hurt her. Watching her for so long, she knew when the twins would visit their mother’s grave and would then have no alibi for their whereabouts together that night. Such pretentiously sweet smile on a vindictive and evil heart. But Sana tries to see the good in her by saying that she clears her own name when she finally saves Shuri. Just then, Shuri and Shuusuke walk in. After all the niceties, the trio decide to leave. Asami asks that she be allowed to have a talk alone with Shuri.

While waiting for Shuri, the boys have a heart to heart talk. Sana tells Shuusuke that he promised Nanaka that he will be by her side forever, just as Shuusuke promises Shuri. Seems like the boys have a pretty matured view for such tender hearts.Later, the friends share with each other that Shuri will be off to London the following Saturday. So ends their friendship.

The next day at school, things seem amiss. One minute the twins are in class, the next, they are absent. After a while, Sana, the usually dense one, figures it out and immediately leaves class. He runs after them towards the train station, and having just missed them chases them down and cycles after the train. At the same spot that Shuusuke once wished a departing 11-year-old Sana, Sana too is back at that spot. Shuusuke and Shuri see him, but Shuri comments that she cannot hear what Sana is saying. Shuusuke simply states that he knows what he is saying, because he once said that to a leaving friend, “We will always be friends.”

Sana bidding his farewell

Sana bidding his farewell

The remaining three friends are left sadden by the twin’s departure. After inheriting Shuusuke’s fishing rod, Sana proposes that the three head out to their last fishing ground. Aoi, seeing this as a chance for the Sana and Nanaka to be together alone, declares herself too sick to go. So Sana and Nanaka spends the day alone. Before the day ends, Sana shares a secret hideout of him and Shuusuke with Nanaka – inside a cave. Since it began to rain, they spend the night in the cave. The next morning, upon waking up, Nanaka walks out to look for Sana, only to encounter the sunrise, which suddenly becomes the engulfing flame in her house from before. In a trance, she suddenly recalls everything leading to that tragic night.

Nanaka’s violin teacher is also her parents’ best friend since high school. However, upon his death, from cancer, the truth was revealed to her father. The teacher is really Nanaka’s biological father, who her mother loved all this time, but married her father instead. In a drunk stupor, her father beats her mother unconscious one night, and douse both of them with kerosene. With a flicker of a light, he burns them and the house down. To protect herself, her unconscious must have blocked those memories from resurfacing until now. Sana brings the heartbroken Nanaka back to her uncle’s.

Nanaka remembering

Nanaka remembering

Days pass and Nanaka refuses to see or speak to Sana, or anyone for that matter. One day, Sana is left alone in the house with a still unspeaking Nanaka but assumes she is taking her bath. After a while, when she doesn’t come out from the bathroom, he begins to think the worst. There, lying in the tub, is Nanaka with her wrist slit. Sana immediately saves her.

In the hospital, Nanaka chastises Sana for bothering to save her, saying he would never understand her pain. Sana then slowly pulls off his watch, which from the start he seems protective of, and shows her a similar scar on his wrist – a sign of a suicide attempt. During middle-school, he was constantly bullied until he could no longer bear the pain and decided to take the easy way out by ending his life. After he was saved, he slowly withdrew from society by becoming a hermit. That’s why he returned to Sakuranomori, hoping to regain his confidence and friends who really care for him. He reasons that he is alive to save her.

Ten years later, Nanaka is performing in the city park saved by Asami. Sana just proposed to her. Little Hinako is dating Asami’s cousin, who is five years younger than her. What’s more, the twins have returned to see their friends. The name of Nanaka’s self-composed song is, “Myself, Yourself.”

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