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A breakfast scene that hits too close to home.

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.

“An anime scene that made you cry?”

I don’t cry (usually). It’s gotten to the point where I need to downgrade my definition of cry to not feel like a stone golem at times. Whether it’s a movie, anime, or book, I can’t seem to ever shed a tear no matter how immersed I am. There is one specific scene that still gets me teary-eyed however, both because it’s relevant to the show and because it’s relevant to me in real life.

Hinazuki Kayo’s first homemade breakfast.

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I didn’t have a dad. Or well, I did, but he wasn’t ever around throughout my childhood. It wasn’t anything dramatic or tragic. It was just a fact at the time. I didn’t have a father figure, so my mom took up the mantle of raising two kids on her own-which she pulled off excellently despite juggling multiple jobs and a glaring language barrier. How does this relate to Hinazuki’s abusive childhood? It doesn’t. But I’m sure many of us can remember the love and care our parents doted on us while we were younger. I was especially spoiled as a child. Still am actually-sitting here typing this up, the smell of my mother’s stir-fry wafting in from just the next room; almost in the exact way as Kayo’s breakfast scene. It was a scene the conflicted with what I thought was a given.

The flashbacks to Kayo’s past hits hard. Flashes of instant ramen, a slice of bread, or a couple of yen for dinner tell us a bigger story in just a few frames. Solitary mornings in the cold. This is her fact. Her reality. It’s just too much for a single innocent girl to handle.

And when the tears finally hit the table, we’re left with a gaping hole in our hearts.

The show does an amazing job of making me care for Kayo. She feels lonely and vulnerable. Abused in the house and hunted down by someone unknown, this uneasiness eventually becomes a staple for the viewer, leaving us tense and anxious. That fear and tension is dispelled for once in the show when we realize something. That for the first time, Kayo is truly safe. Sachiko’s reassuring presence confirms this.

And we finally take a deep breath of relief.

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Between the tense drama of the show, and the melancholy of real life, this scene touched me emotionally. Unlike any character death or drama, this moment in the show threw me out of the fantasy world of Erased. Back to what I’ve taken for granted all my life. My mother, and her unyielding conviction to raise me through tough times. Our relationship hasn’t always been smooth. But this show brought the good times all back, especially since I’m about to move out for the first time (off to a university further away from home). Do yourself a favor and call your parents. Thank them. Because despite confrontation, arguments, and general misunderstandings, they’ve always had your back. One way or another.

Now if you’ll excuse me for now, I’ve got a delicious supper to finish.