Manga: Bokura ga Ita

Because the opposite of love is not always hate...

''It's easier to put the blame on yourself. When you blame others, you becoming stubborn, saying you'll never forgive... but if you blame yourself, there's nothing you can do about it. So you don't get mad.
Yano Motoharu

Bokura ga Ita (English title: We Were There) is a Japanese romance manga by Yuki Obata, centering around the high school life of freshman girl, Nanami Takahashi. It was serialized in Betsucomi, with the first tankoubon volume released on October 26, 2002. The series ended in its 70th chapter, published in February 2012, after several hiatuses.

The series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. It was adapted into a 26-episode television anime series by ArtLand which aired from July 3 to December 25, 2006. The episodes were released to nine Region 2 DVD volumes by Pony Canyon, with each volume containing three episodes, except the final volume which contained two. The first volume was released on October 4, 2006 and the last on June 6, 2007. A live action film adaptation divided the story into two parts released on March 17, 2012, and April 21, 2012.

In 2005, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo.

This series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Nanami. She can be quite a Cloud Cuckoo Lander at times.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Yano, literally.
  • Betty and Veronica: Yano is the Veronica to Takeuchi's Betty. One of the rare instances where the latter loses.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Every time Nana's abusive boyfriend makes her cry.
  • Brainless Beauty: Yano's ex-girlfriend, Nana. Invoked in-universe with her being known as "The Idiot".
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Though not at first glance, Nanami and Yano.
  • Chick Magnet: Yano. Nanami, Nana, Yamamoto, and Aki all have had feelings for the guy.
  • Class Representative: Nanami didn't want the job, sucks at it, and abuses her power.
  • Credits Jukebox
  • Deconstructed Trope: Yano's jerkass antics do have a reason, albeit not justifying his outright abusive behaviors at Nanami. Turns out his ex was a jerkass herself, often lying and cheating at him even after promising not to do so. Not only that, but he's also the bastard child of the husband of one of his mother's friends and was told all his life his father was an Olympic swimmer when in reality he was dying in a hospital. Given his mother is not precisely mature, she is often acting compulsively and thus has left him to keep his stuff to himself. And then his only real friend falls for his girlfriend and tries to steal her from him. No wonder he has trust issues.
  • Domestic Abuser: Yano has a hard time trusting Nanami completely, displaying jealousy and possessiveness, even to the point of physically abusing her.
  • Drama Bomb: Maybe too much to handle at times. Thank goodness for breather episodes.
  • Foil: Nice Guy Takeuchi to Yano's jerkass.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Nanami, on occasion.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: As seen when Nanami gave his best friend a phone decoration and he reacted by yanking it off his friend's hand and throwing it out the window. Turns out he threw a peanut instead and kept the decoration, then returning it to Nanami. Actually a deconstruction, as Yano has a reason to be so jealous as his deceased ex-girlfriend cheated on him even after she promised not to do so more than once.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Yuri towards Yano , Take towards Nanami.
    • In the timeskip, Yano starts living with Yuri, but he isn't over Nanami.
    • Nanami start dating Take even if not completely over Yano. When he proposes to her, she declines the offer.
  • Jerkass <—-> Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yano, constantly going back-and-forth. -
  • Kawaiiko: Nanami.
  • Large Ham: Again, Yano fits this on occasion.
  • Last Girl Wins: The first one dies and the second is dumped in an arguably cruel way.
  • Love Hurts: One of the central themes of the story, with the poor Nana being The Martyr. It's a good thing she doesn't take shit back after a while.
  • Love Triangle: Presumably one of the few actually enjoyable ones in anime.
  • Love Is a Weakness: How Yano views love after he was viciously stepped on by his ex.
  • Loving Bully: Yano.
  • Melodrama: Well, it's a shoujo with a Troubled, but Cute guy and The Martyr, and a deconstruction at that!
  • The Mourning After: Part of the central concept, but the Yano/Nana relationship is more complicated than it first appears.
  • Not So Stoic: Yano, yet again. This goes hand-in-hand with donning the Stepford Smile. As an example, he breaks down crying upon being confronted by Nanami to let out any feelings of remorse against Nana. Which, given instead of remorse was longing, made the two break up, and with reason.
  • Nice Guy: Takeuchi, Nanami's Hopeless Suitor.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: Sadly for poor Takeuchi.
  • Red-Headed Heroine: Nanami.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yano is red to Nanami's blue.
  • Replacement Love Interest: How Nanami saw herself after, when asking Yano about Nana, he broke down crying and stated that, despite all, he would forgive her. This causes them to break up for a while.
  • Running Gag: Nanami's childish face, oh so much.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Nanami to Yano, who is liked by two-third of his class. If only they knew...
  • Stepford Smiler: Yano, from time to time.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Yano seems like a friendly, extroverted albeit somewhat intimidating guy at first. Turns out there's much, much more into him than what appears.
  • The One That Got Away: The couple's feelings for each other post-time skip.
  • Time Skip: There's a five year time skip in the manga.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Yano.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Yano and Takeuchi.
  • You Are Not Alone: Nanami gives Yano a particularly heartwarming one before they start dating, causing him to start having feelings for her and thus ignore her. Which is not surprising.