And now it’s time for more thematically relevant musings featuring the Prince Yuki Fan Club (or rather Motoko Minagawa-senpai).

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Their current plot revolves around President Takei’s appointments for the next student council (the one Yuki will be stuck with as president)

Motoko: Okay, you don’t have to give us the names of all the members! Just tell us whether any of the new members is a woman! That’s the only problem we could have with your choices!

But since Takei’s feelings for Yuki are at least as extreme as Minagawa’s (and both are looking to graduate at the end of the term), they don’t really make any headway.

Minami: Um, by the way, Motoko-senpai? […] Isn’t it about time for you to decide on the next president of the Prince Yuki Fan Club?

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In the midst of her obsessing/plotting over Yuki, Motoko actually runs into him for the first time in a while.

Motoko: (internally) That’s right. The goddess of fate had given me a chance here. I have to keep the conversation going for as long as possible! My big chance! I have to make it a lively conversation and give him a favorable impression of myself. I have to speak and act in a way that will capture his interest! The countdown to graduation is bearing down on me, and this is my chance. I can’t afford to screw it up! (aloud) Yuki! What did you have for breakfast?

In the end, Motoko’s just an ordinary teenager who happens to over-obsess over her crush.  She romanticizes her life, argues with her mom, and has trouble articulating her feelings.

Motoko: (internally) When did he start smiling so warmly? When did he start to change? I’ve been watching you for the past year and a half, ever since we met, but I never noticed. You changed somewhere I didn’t know about, in a place I couldn’t reach. When did that happen? Are you going to keep changing? Out of my sight, and through the power of a girl who isn’t me? (aloud) Stop it…don’t touch him! Don’t flirt with him!

Change can be a frightening thing, even when you know in your head that it’s change for the better – especially when you yourself feel stuck.

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Motoko: I can’t believe myself. I showed Yuki my ugly side…I was hysterical! But I know that’s how I really feel. I hate all the girls who cozy up to Yuki. That includes Tohru Honda, any girl who joins the student council, and the new president of the Prince Yuki Fan Club. I can’t stand the thought of choosing someone else. I hate all of them. They’re all my enemies. But most of all, I hate my ugly self for obsessing over it every moment. My rivals are stupid, calculating, and arrogant, but that’s also what I see when I look in the mirror.

Beneath the surface of quite a lot of bullies is a mound of self-loathing and insecurities.  It doesn’t make what she’s done any less wrong, but knowing why she is the way she is helps the reader to empathize with her and people like her.

Motoko: It is an honor to have the cool Yuki worry about me.

Yuki: I’m not cool, believe me. In fact, I can barely keep it together.

Motoko: …I think I can barely keep it together, too.

For just a moment, they make a connection.

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Motoko: It’s not as if we’re totally out of time. I may grow between now and then. I may become someone new. What I’m saying is, I’m not giving up yet! (internally) It’s still too early to close the curtains on this love. That’s right. I can still change myself in a big way. I may yet become someone completely new.

In all likelihood, her love for Yuki will never amount to much more than this, but it would seem that it’s helped her to make a change for the better. That’s really the most you could say for a lot of the things we think important in our youth.

This chapter made it into the anime almost unscathed – the sole casualties were Arisa’s ex-delinquent groupies and these people who have something to do with the student council:

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Until next time…

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