“Being Here / Chapter 84 Summer Vacation (Part 1)”
Saturdays at 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
The sisters get excited over getting to work the summer festival, as Hina has fresh memories of her time with Chiho, away from the memories of their bullying. Meanwhile, her school is still struggling with the fallout.
I will never begrudge this show from indulging Hina, so it was nice to see the sisters come back and immediately warm our hearts. Seeing Hina’s energy is always such a joy, as you can see how it brings out the best in her family. This festival was a great opportunity to tie together multiple threads from the past few storylines. I think her desire to move forward with her life is given form in the sweets shop. It’s a good message of finding what is important to you, even if it’s not the most profitable way of living. It also gives them a cute way of involving Rei based on the thriftiness that comes with their passion. We also get more from Grandpa than we normally do, seeing through his eyes the lives he’s lost, but knowing that through these girls their memory is not forgotten. Most importantly, we have to talk about Chiho.
I knew our trip to the farm wasn’t going to be completely sunshine and rainbows, but I was surprised at how Chiho’s mental breakdown has manifested itself. We don’t normally associate PTSD with bullying, but it’s clear that we don’t really know the magnitude of what those girls did to her. Hina continues to show her maturity, being understanding of Chiho’s new frailty and not trying to push her beyond what’s necessary. She sees that there is real fruit in how Chiho has been able to recover, and doesn’t want to do anything to disturb that. Hina needs friends her own age just as much as Chiho does, so she cherishes the time she can get. As an aside, I love how the cat’s internal monologue is almost always selfish, whereas the dogs just wanna love the two of them.
“I wanted to become a better person than I was back then.” With a simple phrase, Hina’s teacher speaks to the heart of what needs to motivate people. So often, we look at what we can gain the world from a material perspective. We’re obsessed with how we’re going to get a better job or the things we want or get to know the people who we think will be edifying. What we tend to forget is that first of all, the path of life is one of self-improvement. One of the best things I’ve heard recently is “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re sliding back.” There is no stopping the march of time, if we are not improving in even small ways we’re wasting the opportunity to become better. What Hina’s bully needs to understand is her anxiety over this world has to start from her. No one is going to hand her life over to her, she needs to seize it with her own hands. That is why we put in the effort. That is the impetus for my own life. Not for vainglory, not for the trappings of life, but in order to be able to look back and say “I am becoming better than the man I left behind.”