“Kimi to Ai ni Naru” is the spin-off about the relationship between JnM side characters Kagemi Yamiko and Manama Riku. Yamiko is the best friend of Takamoto Haruhi, who has a slightly bigger role in Jinsei no Minna itself.
I picked the title “Kimi to Ai ni Naru” from a song by Oda Kaori which seems to be exactly about their relationship (I was really baffled when I found out the lyrics). It’s a phrase that’s difficult to translate, it’s really Japanese. If I were to try anyway, it would be something like ‘Becoming Love With You’… sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?
It has a very simple shoujo genre story. A girl who seems to be the most common girl in the world and who has an alarmingly low sense of self-worth starts her new school year, where she gets challenged from day 1 on when she is appointed class representative by her homeroom teacher. Her fellow class rep is a boy who doesn’t seem to have any emotions. At first she thinks he is a real oddball, but as time passes she learns how to deal with him and his socially awkward way of handling things. They both grow closer to each other than they’d ever imagined they would when they first met.
The story’s heroine. She is an introvert girl who yearns for something special to happen in her life. She sees herself as the most common girl ever, she lives in a normal house in a normal neighborhood where nothing ever happens. She lives with her mother and little brother. Her father is always away on business trips and he rarely comes home, so Yamiko is angry at him for making her mother feel lonely. Despite that, her parents are still together and life is peaceful except for her monster-like little brother who always pulls pranks on her. Yamiko’s best friend is Haruhi, they’ve been together since elementary school. They share everything with each other.
Besides Yamiko’s desire for a miracle to happen to her, she also suffers from a severe minority complex which causes her to occasionally fall into a state of depression, in the worst case for a few days. She gets envious of other people easily and turns it back onto her own incompetence and commonness. This also has to do with the fact that her mother is a bit conservative and doesn’t go along with trends or new modern times, which makes Yamiko feel left behind in both social experience as issues to talk about with friends and classmates.
Yamiko’s worst fear is lightning. When she was on a family picknick when she was small, she once saw someone getting struck by lightning, and that has caused a trauma for her. Whenever she sees lightning, she experiences that moment again, so to say. Other things she doesn’t like are History, bugs and unfaithfulness.
Aside from her gloomy aspects, Yamiko is a sweet girl and a loyal friend. She is realistic enough to know that love isn’t all rose petals; her parents are living proof. She is a bit naive, trusts people easily and has a weak spot for both people and objects that give off a certain amount of innocence and cuteness.
The male protagonist of the story. He is a boy who lost his emotions at a certain point in his childhood. He used to be a sweet, energetic and kind boy who was respected and loved by his classmates and friends. However, things changed as his alcoholic father returned home one night in a violent mood and started throwing a fit. When Riku had to be taken to hospital to recover from his mental and physical injuries, his father abandoned them. Riku hasn’t been the same since. He lives with his mother, who has been caring for him more than anyone. When he gets accepted into Yume High, the principal and his homeroom teacher make a promise with his mother to help him regain his emotions gradually in any way possible.
Riku slowly finds his place within his class, he gets appointed class rep and eventually even manages to make friends.
Things that he doesn’t like are alcohol, people who bring themselves down and lying.
A peculiar characteristic that he has is that he is drawn with his eyes closed. This is to emphasize his emotionless state, but to stress it even more, there are cases where his eyes open. This special phenomenon only occurs when he experiences a very strong emotion – it turns him back to how he was for a moment. In the previous years, this has never been the case, but as he meets Yamiko, it tends to happen more and more occasionally.
Yamiko’s little brother.
Yamiko’s best friend.
Riku’s best friend.
A girl who befriends Yamiko when she gets placed into another class in her second year.
Homeroom teacher of Class 1-B.
The principal of Yume High.