The Dangers in My Heart
Kyotaro Ichikawa is a loner who likes reading a book called The Murder Encyclopedia, and contemplating murder himself; the main target he's thinking of is Anna Yamada, the most popular girl in his class. But when he encounters her alone in the library, his feelings about her may take a very different turn.
"I'm really messed up in the head" - Kyotaro
No, you're NOT, Kyotaro. You're not a psychopath; you've just got the sort of fanciful notions running through your head that are common in younger teenagers, sometimes known as chunibyo (Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions), or more prosaically, as "Eighth-Grader Syndrome" (per Saiki K.).
Kyotaro's got some major problems going into the show besides his fantasies. While his character does resemble Nishikata from Takagi-san in the sense that they're both tsundere (and for really the same reason- they both fear that a girl can't really be romantically interested in them, and must just be out to humiliate them), Nishikata did have his little group of male friends, but Kyotaro, as noted, is a loner; and Nishikata (OK, except for the beady eyes) was at least average looking, while Kyotaro's countenance is mildly creepy. Kyotaro usually doesn't have the best words to reply with- he doesn't even have Nishikata's bluster- and so finds it painfully difficult to express himself. It's a familiar situation- to those of us who were just like this at his age.
Yamada's not much like Takagi, though. While Takagi was approximately Nishikata's height (despite her using the height question as a subject to tease him about), Yamada is statuesque, towering over Kyotaro. (She does part-time work as a model. The statuesque part is perfectly plausible for a model, but Yamada does seem a little more buxom than models usually are.) While Takagi seemed to have just one close female friend (a ponytailed girl who was never named, and I think had only one line of dialogue in the whole series), Yamada has her group of girlfriends in the class. The closest friend she has is named Chihiro Kobayashi, a rather small girl. (Yamada always wants to sit in Chihiro's lap, despite being nearly twice her size.) Yamada is not a genius like Takagi; but she does greet Kyotaro warmly, makes clear that she likes his company, and even allows him minor incursions into some body territory where, in a diagram drawn of her, she warns that if you touch her there, "You're dead." Her girlfriends also seem to be sympathetic toward Kyotaro, who does not come across as a sex-obsessed clown like the other boys. (Actually, Kyotaro has as much libido as any guy; after many of his encounters with Yamada, he has to spend some time in the bathroom, uh, relieving himself.) Yamada's main obsession is with snacking, even in the library. (And her defiance of the prohibition of food in the library shows she has a tendency to defy authority.) And while, as noted, Kyotaro does get along with her girlfriends, she can get jealous if he spends too much time with them. (Takagi's jealousy tended to manifest itself in depression; but Yamada's jealousy emerges as stone-faced disdain, which can be pretty frightening on someone with her build.) As Kyotaro notes of Yamada (in comparison to himself), "She's got a pretty cringeworthy side to her, too."
We also meet Kyotaro's mom, and his older sis Kana. While we know how sisters are usually portrayed in anime- as either brats, or as having incestous leanings toward their brothers- Kana is, refreshingly, neither of these; she, too, is supportive of her brother's relationship with Yamada, though the fact that Yamada is a minor celebrity may have helped. We meet (briefly) Yamada's mom as well. Yamada says her mom's behavior at home is very different from the way she presents herself in public. I'm intrigued about that, and hope we'll see more about it if (when) there's a Second Season.
In comedy, it's said timing is everything; and the timing in THIS show is nearly perfect. These kids are both so awkward (in their individual ways) that you can't help laughing, even as you wish this odd couple- he so filled with doubts; she struggling to find her comfort level with him- should find some way to overcome the barriers their emotional confusion places between them. If it's not as intellectually astute as Takagi-san, the cast here (and especially our leads) make up for much of that by their charm. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: HiDive says TV-14. There's mild sexual innuendo, so we'll say Mature Themes.
Version(s) Viewed: HiDive video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
The Dangers in My Heart © 2023 Norio Sakurai, AKITASHOTEN/The Dangers in My Heart Production Committee
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