I look at various pairings for various shows, as do many of you do, no doubt. Of course it’s up to the beholder whether they feel they work or not. Won’t name the ones I think work, because while some of them are just too obvious, others are just too weird.
Ever since I started watching Hidamari Sketch, which was a good 4 years ago, I’ve always had a soft spot for the tsundere character of the show: Natsume. Always. To those who don’t know the show, she’s a rival to one of the main characters, Sae; the real truth though is that she’s absolutely smitten with her. And even though she knows Sae has a relationship with fellow classmate and Hidamarisou neighbour Hiro, that doesn’t stop her confronting her and shouting at her awkwardly when deep down inside she really wants to confess.
But even when Natsume is in rival mode, mouthing off this, that, and the other, Sae may well be bothered that someone can look down at her, but deep down, she knows that it doesn’t really matter. It’s only the fact that they’re in different classrooms that makes them so distant; but then again, putting Natsume in the same class as Sae might have just made her less interesting of a character in the show…just some other girl in Sae’s class who she talks to every now and then.
The guys at Shaft certainly did a fine job with this relationship; if anything strengthened it. Whenever Natsume feels happy, her green hair and skin shine with colour, and when she feels sad, the entire room is sad with her, with the black, white and grey of an old and tragic movie of a girl who just got rejected. That first day at school was something Natsume can never forget. She felt alone the moment she got up that morning; her parents didn’t even attend her opening ceremony. She found a potential best friend in Sae: someone she could call and go out with on Sundays…someone they could go to each others’ houses and copy homework…someone to be there when she needs a shoulder to cry on. And then Hiro came to spoil it all.
Jealously? Envy? Or both? Probably both. So of course those three years of rivalry were a mask of her true feelings. She’s a perfect example of a tsundere girl, up there with Kagami, Haruhi, Shana and Taiga. But nonetheless, Sae felt both happy and annoyed at how they interact throughout high school; happy because she met another girl in her year that she could interact with (somehow…despite Natsume’s scorning), and annoyed…at herself, for not doing anything to rebuild/rekindle that friendship.
She may well be kicking herself inside for not doing anything sooner about reconciling with Natsume, but Sae never hated her. Even at the very end, Sae knows Natsume loves her. Her heart may belong to someone else, but Sae still knows that someone else cares for her. They won’t be in the same college, but they may well meet again. Sae gave her her cellphone number, after all…