So my sister brought up how Mihashi’s narrative is similar to an abuse narrative - it’s true that Mihashi is a giant negative person who cries a lot, but it’s not that simple.
Mihashi is incredibly negative and has 0 self esteem because of what happened to him on his middle school baseball team - he was severely bullied (members even threatened to break his arm so he’d stop pitching) and ignored by most of the team (except Kanou). Mihashi also doesn’t communicate in a common manner - he tends to leave phrases out of his sentences when he speaks and as Hanai commented, the way he fidgets etc. annoys people, or supposedly “provokes” people into wanting to bully him. Which is honestly a really shitty mentality (and ableist???). Basically it just means that Mihashi is a really easy target for bullying. [anger noises]
But Mihashi also feels that he deserves all of this, for not being good (how much do you want to bet that Mihashi begged Kanou to not do anything, that he’d handle it on his own or something like that, and Kanou never realized how bad the bullying it was - REMINDER: THEY WANTED TO BREAK MIHASHI’S ARM). This is a similar mentality to abuse (but regarding bullying instead), where the victim finds blame in themself and internalizes a bunch of shit.
So like, when people say that Mihashi cries too much and is wimpy and stuff, I honestly wish they would shut up.
I mean Mihashi was crying when he told Kanou that he was going to quit baseball forever - he even studied to get out of Mihoshi, and Mihashi is terrible at studying. When Mihashi first comes to Nishiura and checks out the baseball club he doesn’t intend to enter but accidentally lets it slip that he’s a pitcher. But before he pitches anything at all, he immediately break down crying because he thinks that his pitching is worth nothing (but he loves pitching so much that he couldn’t help himself). Mihashi really has 0 self esteem.
And so the meeting with Abe is incredibly important. Because if Mihashi hadn’t met Abe, he might have fallen into depression.
Mihashi only has baseball. Mihashi’s only way to really “communicate” with people in a way that they’d understand properly was baseball.
As Sakaeguchi notes:
Back then, he was treated as though he didn’t exist and felt like an invisible man. But on the mound you can’t start until the pitcher throws. While standing on the mound, you know that you truly matter.
If he gave up the mound, his essence would disappear.
Despite being bound by various contradictions and self doubt, and even while becoming a black sheep, Mihashi never let go of the mound during middle school.
And so if Mihashi had really quit baseball (and he was going to, honestly, if Abe hadn’t demanded to see him pitch), Mihashi probably wouldn’t have made any friends and would probably be alone. This is actually supported by canonical evidence:
It’s really depressing to think about, which is why this other doujinshi by Clap Your Hands is important.
What if Abe hadn’t gone to Nishiura? What if no one had really, decisively reached out to Mihashi, even going as far to tell him that they liked him?
The reason why Abe is so important to Mihashi, to the point where Mihashi places Abe on a pedestal and constantly repeats “I’ll just pitch as you say” is because Abe is the only person Mihashi really thinks likes him. Abe is the only person who actively reached out, when he knew nothing about Mihashi, and just straight up told Mihashi that he liked Mihashi.
So Mihashi starts thinking of Abe as some magical thing - as long as he follows Abe, everything will be okay. People will like Mihashi because Mihashi can be useful when Abe’s in control. Everyone in the past hated Mihashi because he wasn’t useful, so the only way for anyone to like him is for him to be useful (brb crying).
Which is why Mihashi fears losing Abe above all. Mihashi is afraid of Abe for the entire “bad communication arc” (from the start of the series until they lose at the bijou game) on some level because Mihashi has entrusted his entire mental wellbeing to Abe’s existence and acceptance of him. Which is a bad thing to do, but entirely understandable given Mihashi’s character and lack of self esteem. Mihashi always worries that Abe is mad, that Abe will want to leave them. If Abe isn’t there, Mihashi can’t be useful - if Abe isn’t there, then Mihashi will be utterly alone.
And at the same time, Mihashi’s negative feedback loop is what actually infuriates Abe (not for very long lol, Abe is just prickly) and so Mihashi and Abe’s relationship for the entire bad communication arc, despite how many cute moments it has, is unbalanced. Mihashi needs constant reassurance, but Abe can’t provide that - no one can provide that. Abe also fundamentally doesn’t get Mihashi, which leads to other communication break downs.
But all those cute moments from the bad communication arc also have a purpose - I’ve spammed character analysis tags about why Abe has control problems; but the main thing to remember is that Abe and Mihashi are both placing their worth / hopes in each other.
Abe: I’ll devote myself to you for the next three years.
Mihashi: As long as I follow Abe’s directions, everything will be okay.
Which is why Abe getting injured is so fundamentally important. It directly challenges the unbalanced dynamic they’ve set up (destroying their promise that “Abe won’t get injured for 3 years”), and it forces Mihashi to reevaluate how others see him. Tajima as the character who actually understands Mihashi’s speech patterns becomes the replacement catcher, and that’s the first time Mihashi ever shakes his head at his own volition (reminder: the catcher from Mihoshi hated Mihashi and refused to give signs). Mihashi then discovers that it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to disagree, it’s okay to work together to find a compromise. (Meanwhile in the dugout Abe finally comes to terms that his relationship with Mihashi is wrong and resolves to apologize, good for you). In healthy relationships, your “no” is respected.
At the same time Mihashi also learns that he was forcing all the responsibility onto Abe, and that he shouldn’t put all his worth in Abe’s hands. Tajima is there, Hanai is there, the rest of the team supports Mihashi (ONE OUT!). Mihashi is liked and valued, even when he slips up sometimes. They just need to have confidence.
Which is why I love oofuri so much, because it’s just so character driven. Mihashi and Abe are both amazing (and cute!!) characters, and they help each other grow so much.
If he still feels like he belongs here even if he gives up the mound, that’s great.
a young actor not rejecting a role just because he would be playing a (for him, from the start) gay character (even though it’s not ~confirmed~ until s3) and doing his absolute best to portray this character’s journey and struggles and feelings throughout those 3 seasons honestly has me so emo y’all like i talked about this in my tarjei/henrik friendship post, but they’re not the kind of people who say “no homo” after any interaction with each other or homosexuality outside of the show. and this is so nice bc he’s helping to normalize more boys being like s3 isak and learning that being gay isn’t all stereotypes and negative connotations and helping them embrace it i’m :’)
-Marco and Tom have a great time, but they don’t actually engage in anything sexual that night, surprising them both. simply hug and drop one another off at home -Marco rehashes everything obsessively in bed -he never cared before when they were just hanging out and having sex. like, sure, their first kiss at that concert was amazing and definitely special, something that Marco won’t soon forget. but then… the sex between them was mostly… like friendship sex. if that’s even a thing. is that a thing? but it didn’t feel like they were official, or in love, or anything that dramatic. but it definitely didn’t feel detached either. it was something… more grey -however -tonight, going to the dance together it… it was supposed to be as friends, and everything they did looked like just friends…. but it wasn’t. somehow, it felt more like a real date -more emotional -more romantic -maybe it was because Tom was helping him have fun despite the whole Jackie thing? then why wasn’t he more upset seeing her with someone else? why did it feel like… he was supposed to be there with Tom? -does Tom feel the same way? -oh god what if he doesn’t?? -WHY AM I WORRYINGABOUTTHI- -oh no -i only worry about things like this when i- -i can’t -I don’t -I don’t have a crush on- -Tom, meanwhile, does his own thinking -no use denying it anymore, you have it bad for Diaz -dammit, Star was right -but I’m also right. if I let him know, in any way, I could scare him away -scare the only good thing in my life away -and that just can’t happen -but it shouldn’t be too hard to pretend like nothing’s changed. you still get to have sex with him, don’t you? and isn’t that kind of the end goal of a relationship anyways? what should it matter if he knows your feelings or not? feelings are just things to be controlled, like your anger. and look how well you’re doing with that. -because of him -no.shuddup. I can do this on my own too. I have the tools, I can handle this. -I will handle this -the next week was hard, neither of them acting any differently, yet somehow, something was off -by the end of it,Star was out of her mind with frustration at the both of them -she needed reinforcements -with Ponyhead and the Diaz’s help, she crafts her ultimate-actually-subtle-matchmaking plan -because, as it just so happens, next weekend is -Dia De Los Muertos -the Diaz family usually goes all-out in their traditions, but this year was quickly proving unparalleled with plans to host a fancy celebration in their home for all of their friends and extended family -which they were calling “Diaz de los Muertos” couldn’t help myself -Star was naturally very excited just to participate in another wondrous Earth ritual, but is even more so now because of her Great Plan -Marco has no idea -so after some coaxing and promises of never asking him to wear it again, Star convinces Marco to don his mask and suit from the Blood Moon Ball, while she dressed to match him in her own sugar skull themed outfit -the party starts out normally enough, with just the weirdness of the Diaz clan and Star’s culture clashes to contend with, no big, actually a very fun time for all -until Ponyhead shows up -with Tom -Tom, very confused, glances at Pony with a mix of curiosity and annoyance. he never usually interacts much with the princess, only knows her as well as he does because of his previous relationship with Star and, quite frankly, always thought she hated him even before they broke up. but then again, Pony seems to leave that impression on a lot of people. so when she told him to “hurry up and put this on, mephistop-uhhlease, don’t argue it’s for Star just dooo iiit uuuuugh why are you still wearing clothes??”, and tossed him an elaborately themed suit, he didn’t really have the option of saying no. she then whisked him out the portal and into the night without further explanation, taking him…. to an Earthling’s house? -she better have a damned good reaso- -oh -oh no -Marco is staring. honestly, so is everyone else, but Marco’s doing that kind of staring and doesn’t seem too keen on hiding it either -hard to blame him though, with Tom looking like he does. his suit a perfectly tailored, blood crimson version of a matador’s costume, it hugged his frame snugly, accentuating his shoulders and chest with the structured fit. the pants were cut longer than the usual mid-calf hem though, reaching his ankles to show off his short boots, decorated with the same gold design that accented his lapels, cuffs, and hemlines. his undershirt was a champagne cream color with a flattering amount of ruffles along the neck and sleeves. off one shoulder lay the matador’s cape, however it was a pitch black velvet instead of red, his outfit inverting the traditional color scheme. his hat was missing, but the horns more than made up for it, tipped with gold rather than their natural white. the look was made complete with a magic makeup bomb Star had provided, painting his face in an immaculate sugar skull design, highlighting his three eyes and blending on his skin more like a tattoo than paint, giving it a smoky, gothic tone that her own makeup didn’t have. he was simply -s t u n n i n g -Marco swallows hard and fights just to stand up like a regular person. the partygoers, seeming to have lost interest in the magical intrusion once they saw he wasn’t going to do anything exciting, resume their small talk and ignore the teenagers again -Tom steps towards Marco, at first unsure of his place at a human function, but upon seeing Marco’s gaze, regained a sort of teasing confidence -“Hey Marco Polo. Wanna pick up your jaw there, or do you need some help?” -that seems to snap Marco back to life enough, now looking him over in a more mocking tone -“Joke’s on you, my mask doesn’t even have a jaw. However, your whole deal is more concerning. Are you planning on fighting yourself… or…?” -soon both were laughing like last week never happened -after a bit more cajoling, Marco pulls Tom’s arm through the crowd to have him try some of the Diaz family’s prized cooking before his cousins eat it all up -Star also has to be literally dragged away from spying by Ponyhead -over the course of the evening, the two get on as well as ever, Marco seeming to have lost his awkward edge with a crowd of familiar people around him, and Tom realizing that, even though this was probably a set up, it was done with the best of intentions. not to mention, he was secretly grateful for an excuse to see Marco in that getup again -close to midnight, once all the younger children have been put to sleep upstairs with Marco’s abuela watching over them, the tone of the party shifts to a more adult vibe, conversation mixing with music and the clinking of more drinks being passed around -the backyard is quickly rearranged to make room for a patio dance floor -soon most of the guests are tango and salsa-ing like pros, leaving the boys suddenly alone as the cushion of people around them fall away -Marco rubs his arm with a nervous laugh, voice cracking a little in the process -“We… we don’t have to do that… if you don’t want… it’s some dumb tradition my folks started way back whe-” -he is stopped by a hand in his, leading him to the floor -Tom had always been a great dancer, partly because he was bred to be one as a prince, and partly because when he was courting Star, he took an entire set of courses to impress her -Marco had always been naturally gifted with rhythm, but being in the presence of the most attractive guy he’d ever known was quickly turning his legs to jelly -“Nervous, Diaz?” -“Psssh no! No I just… suddenly forgot how to salsa…” -“How about a tango then?” -“What?? No way, don’t be-” -all he could see was Tom backlit by a starry sky, a lavender hand cradling the curve of his spine in a dip -“… ridiculous….” -the kiss came next, slightly clumsy thanks to Marco’s mask, but not unwelcome. his hand gripped Tom’s shoulder for balance as he kissed back, drawing it out as long as possible before any adults noticed the two boys making out among them -just because his parents were cool didn’t mean everyone was -they part and Tom stands Marco back up again, a familiar wicked look in all three of his eyes -“Tom, I-” -the look dissipates a little, as if realizing itself -“Oh… right sorry… you’re with family and-” -“No! …. No I meant…. we should go to my room” -his grin comes back and Tom lets himself be led into the house by an eager human, a human that he’s sworn to be just friends with -and yet… -if he doesn’t do this now… -“That’s good… because I have something to tell you anyway…”
-Star looks over as her boys kiss then run up to Marco’s room, sighing proudly as she leans against an indifferent Ponyhead -she’s Done It, and it was Good
I remember when I first heard Rihannas “Te Amo“ while a friend’s parent drove us home from a swimming pool and just being like !!! this song!!! it’s!! about a girl!!! in love with a girl!!! and telling my friend and she was like oh it’s probably a cover :) from a guy :) no gay here :) nope :)
what they mean:
LUCAS AND FARKLE ARE SO GAY FOR EACH OTHER RILEY AND MAYA ARE SO GAY FOR EACH OTHER JESUS CHRIST DID YOU SEE WHEN RILEY RESTED HER HEAD ON MAYA'S SHOULDER AND MAYA WAS LIKE "yep she's back" wOW JUST GET MARRIED OH MY GOD AND THE WHOLE EPISODE LUCAS WAS LIKE "NO DONNY BARNES OR HOWEVER YOU SPELL IT I WANT MY BEST FRIEND BACK" ONE- BEST FRIEND? MORE LIKE HUSBAND HONESTLY AND THEN AT THE END LUCAS REMEMBERED SO MUCH ABOUT FARKLE AND HE WAS LIKE "i'll be here next to you" oR SOMETHING BUT THAT. THAT HONESTLY KILLED MY SOUL IT KILLED MY SOUL, MATE THEY ARE SO GAY FOR EACH OTHER THIS WHOLE SHOW IS SO GAY BUT THE WRITERS ARE LIKE NOPE ITS EITHER RUCAS OR LUCAYA LIKE WHAT ABOUT ALL THE GAY WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THE GAY SO MUCH GAY I'M SO DONE DO YOU SEE THE WAY LUCAS LOOKS AT FARKLE LIKE HE ALWAYS LOOKS SO PROUD OF HIM ASDFGHJKL AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON RILAYA SON. RILAYA'S BEEN GAY SINCE LIKE KINDERGARTEN AND I DIDN'T EVEN SEE A FLASHBACK TO KINDERGARTEN I JUST KNOW THAT THEY WERE PROB SO GAY ALL THE OTHER KIDS SHIPPED THEM AND NOW IT'S JUST A HUGE MESS BECAUSE LUCAS IS BETWEEN THEM WH A AT AND FARKLE. FARKLE YOU LOVE THAT FREAK YOU LOVE HIM WE CAN ALL SEE IT YOU EVEN QUESTIONED YOURSELF IF HE THOUGHT OF YOU AS A BEST FRIEND IN FLAWS BUT HE REASSURED YOU AND NOW YOU'RE WAY PAST THE BEST FRIENDS LINE HOLY ASDFGHJKL I CAN'T DO THIS I CAN'T DO THIS AT ALL liKE LARKLE AND RILAYA ARE SO G A Y BUT ITS ALWAYS RUCAS AND LUCAYA IN THE NEWS even though i ship lucaya bUT I SHIP MY GAY BABIES TOO I SHIP THEM A LOT I DON'T CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE YEARBOOK WAS SUCH A GAY EPISODE JESUS CHRIST WH A T T T T T AND YET NONE OF THE GAY WILL BE ENDGAME I'M SO UPSET I DON'T KNOW WHY OH MY GOD D D D I HATE THIS SHOW SO MUCH WITH A BURNING PASSION IT'S SO OBVIOUS THE GAY'S SO OBVIOUS BUT MICHAEL JACOBS IS OVER HERE LIKE lol nope liKE YOU'RE GIVING US SO MUCH GAY SO. MUCH. GAY. AND YET YOU JUST SIT THERE AS THE FANDOM ERUPTS AFTER YEARBOOK AND EVEN THOUGH YOU WROTE PROB ALL THE LINES FOR THE GAY YOU'RE LIKE lol what's rilaya and larkle there's only rucas and lucaya liKE HOLD UP YOU WROTE ALL THIS GAY OK OK I ACtually don't know if you wrote it bUT IT'S STILL ALL YOUR FAULT. aLL. YOUR. FAULT. eFF I'M SO EMOTION ALL LL LL L L L SO MUCH GAY THE FANDOM ERUPTED BECAUSE OF THE G AY BY E E E E E E I HAVE LIKE FIFTEEN DRAFTS OF LARKLE FANFICTION IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT BRO ALL YOURS AND I HATE THIS I LOVE IT SO MUCH BUT I HATE IT WHY MUST YOU GIVE ME SO MUCH GAY MY HEART HURTS DO YOU EVEN UN D ER STA ND THAT YOU'RE BREAKING THE FANDOM WOW YOU MADE 99.9999999999% OF THE FANDOM SHIP ALL THE GAY MAYBE EVEN 100% or 101% OF THE FANDOM AND 101% ISN'T EVEN POSSIBLE HHHhhHHHHhHHh h h hHHHHH h hHHHHHH BY E AT YOU I JUSt sTOP IT STOP BREAKING MY HEART STOP HURTING MY SOUL WITH THIS GAY and jusT THE ENDING OF YEARBOOK BROKE ME IT BROKE ME TO THE CORE EFF YOU I'M SO do N E E NE EJE BOH OUGSUY GVIAV KAJG VUGSKH VBK BWKGB KGW HKJBH KW INCOHERENT SCREAMING bYE