Art by @9baMelo on twitter
We all have expectations in life, we all believe and hope for something or may even have a specific goal in mind to what we want to accomplish. If it’s not us, then it’s our parents or guardians who might want a good or better life than they had, and we strive everyday to get to a point of happiness we all desire.
But life is a rollercoaster, and sometimes as much as we try to do our best and as much as we work, life doesn’t always work out in our favor.
Sometimes we stop at whatever standstill we have come towards and ask ourselves- what am I doing wrong?
That is the exact point of contemplation Hanagaki Takemichi arrives at when he realises that his life has gone off the rails completely.
We look at his tiny apartment that is full of trash and the same cup noodles, scattered dirty magazines and laundry that should’ve been made a long time ago. Takemichi sits in front of the TV not even thinking too much of his situation until he watches the current news.
His middle school girlfriend, Tachibana Hinata has died in the midst of some sort of gang affiliated accident.
Everything halts, and he starts to rethink his life choices, while he reiterates that all his life Takemichi has done two things:
Run away and apologize.
His problems have made him fear any sort of confrontation, and his adult years are filled with other people stepping on him on every occasion. The regrets he starts to feel that all of his life he has yet to accomplish something he is proud of looms like a dark cloud over his head.
As a young adult, this is a sentiment many can relate to.
Be it with education, academics, working or taking care of others, as a young adult it’s hard to break out from the safe shell that school had provided before and jump into the cruel real world. Sometimes we get so invested in the daily life full of hardships, that we forget how deep we are riding ourselves into hopeless situations.
Takemichi, has realised that his life is utterly horrible and the only good memories he had were the ones from middle school which now had the dark truth of his ex-girlfriend’s death looming out of it.
So of course, he thinks to himself:
“I never thought that my life would turn out like this”.
What do those words mean for Takemichi?
It means he once had dreams, ideas and expectations on what his future would hold for him.
Maybe it was a certain job, maybe it was stability in financial matters or not being a virgin anymore. Whatever it might have been, his life now as a DVD clerk with thin paper walls and nagging neighbours was not his ideal of life.
In this society that builds heavily on work experience and a common norm that consists of getting a job and earning money quickly, Takemichi much like many other young adults has realised that nothing he does brings him joy.
So he falls into the trap of staying home most of the time, lacking motivation to do anything but eating, working, sleeping and repeating that process.
But what can he change?
In those moments, Takemichi represents many people who believe themselves to have made the wrong decisions. The people that have regrets and blame themselves for not changing what they can when they still had the ability to.
He shows us the reality of a pushover never speaking up for himself, because if he doesn’t stand up for himself it seems that no one else would have.
It’s a sad truth, but since we know that Takemichi has gotten his chance to go back into his past and was able to see what could’ve been changed, he makes sure to at least tell Naoto to take care of Hinata so something will hopefully change.
Hoping to at least leave a trail of newly found confidence behind in his dull life.
He even mentions himself that he never had any confidence or strong will back then, wishing to at least give Naoto the chance to change something.
Of course, we can’t go back into the past to change our lives around so easily. Life is more complicated than it is in anime.
Still, as shallow as it may sound there is always a way to change at least some aspects of your life that make one unhappy. It may sound ridiculous, but as much as Takemichi can rise up from the ground and take matters into his own hands, so can anyone else with their current life.
Change is something that can come naturally and without any warning, but it can also come from none other than yourself.
And if it doesn’t come from the natural flow of life, it is your sign to take matters into your own hands.
Let this be the push for you to start even the tiniest change in your life that maybe could result in a whole new situation for you.
And who knows? Maybe it will lead to much better endings than we believe.