Happy Valentines Day to all my lovely readers! It’s technically not Valentines day in Australia still, but it is Valentines Day somewhere, and I think that counts! I thought I’d take this opportunity to speak about relationships in my favourite romantic* anime, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying.
*All the romantic anime I like are romantic comedies which are heavy on the comedy. These probably barely count, but I’m not a romantic by any stretch of the imagination.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is a series of comedy shorts following the life of a married couple, Kaoru, who is a normal young woman and office lady, and her nerd husband, Hajime. I have a great personal fondness for the show because the husband character reminds me a lot of my husband. They both love nerdy pursuits, can be a bit socially awkward, and have a very dry sense of humour. My husband also has dark hair and wears glasses! Of course, my husband and I both enjoy nerdy pursuits like games and anime together, which is a little different.
Aside from personal relatability, the other thing which really stood out to me about the show was a grounded but heart-warming view of relationships. Kaoru’s friend compliments her on her successful marriage and speaks about how she must have worked hard to make it that way. Relationships of any form aren’t just maintained by mutual interest or attraction, but require input and commitment from both parties to keep them going. Spending time with one another, listening to one another, and choosing to value the other party are all important, and somehow this show where both seasons together have less than a 2 hour run-time seems to capture this really well.
Kaoru and Hajime are also seen trying to understand one another better. In spite of having some very different interests, they make it a priority to make some time to do things that the other one will enjoy. Kaoru takes time to occasionally watch anime, and they go together to outings with her friends in spite of Hajime feeling slightly out of his depth. Over time, they still have some misunderstandings, but they grow to appreciate each other’s views and hobbies a little better. I think to take time to understand another person is a real sign of value and respect. Like the characters, you may not always agree, but to listen, and to be listened to is a great thing.
In spite of primarily being about a romantic relationship, the relationship between Kaoru and her husband doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You see them spending time with their friends and family, and they gain pleasure and support from these other relationships. They also are seen investing in these relationships, like the way that Hajime gradually learns to enjoy spending time with Kaoru’s friends, not just because it’s a polite husband thing to do, but because he enjoys their company. I think that romantic relationships are by no means the most important relationships to have, and it’s great to see a show also look at, and place importance on familial relationships and friendships.
Today (or any day), why not take some time to appreciate the ones you love, romantically or otherwise? I appreciate all of my lovely readers and the great anime blogging community. Thanks so much to the people who take the time to read my thoughts, and to those who take time to put together their thoughts. I hope that you can all find people who you appreciate and want to understand, and who want to understand and appreciate you!