Nightmare Fuel: Kare Kano
A good part of the manga is far, far
darker than the cute anime series and the first chapters allow you to see...
- Arima's dark side. Any time that he comes onto the screen, you just know Arima is seconds away from shattering. This is made worse because to the outside world, he appears to be a put together, genius with his only match being Yukino, his girlfriend. It's scary to slowly see his thoughts morph from wanting to be with Yukino, to wanting to isolate her from everyone and keep her just for himself. His fighting with these thoughts proves that Arima is a good guy, but him imagining tying Yukino in chains does not bode well for their relationship. This is a rare case of Stalker with a Crush in which not only is the stalker in a committed relationship with his crush, but he is also portrayed as so sympathetic that you just want to save him from himself.
- The worst has to be the end of Chapter 42 right after Yukino decides that she wants her world to be bigger than just her and Arima. The realization that he cannot bind her to him makes the dark side that Arima was always trying to hide come out. And it is frightening.
- He also stabs himself in the freaking hand in Chapter 72, after he believes that he has raped her, in order to atone for his mistake. Made worse by how that scene comes out: Arima is still in his Break Her Heart To Save Her phase after recovering his memories, and she has given him a Cooldown Hug. Then Arima gives Yukino a Forceful Kiss and pins her to the floor, and the scene pans to her disheveled hair and spread school things as she tells Arima to wait. This is followed by an odd scene where Yukino sees a small Arima in the middle of a thorny path and he keeps explaining to her how Ryouko abused him one last time before she abandoned him and he was taken in by his uncle and aunt. And last but not least, as Yukino lays on the floor covered by Arima's school jacket and hugs it in tears, Arima mentally berates himself at home for "forcing his feelings on her"... and THEN goes the Impaled Palm way. It's both terrifying and heartwretching: how really fucking broken you must be to do that?!
- Yukino's last-ditch attempt to save him can also qualify actually arguing with Arima about whether or not he raped her [he believes he did, she replies (paraphrased) "I *did* want to have sex with you, I told you to wait a little but not to stop!"] and then she smashes her hand on glass to mirror his own hand injury.
- Before all that, Ryouko's treatment of child!Arima is both horrifying and tear-jerking to the nth degree. It can be considered Nightmare Fuel because by the time he was finally adopted by his aunt and uncle, his mother had decided to let him die and left him alone as he starved to death with an extreme fever, right after kicking him across the room for begging for help. Had Reiji arrived a single day or even a few hours later, Arima would have died never knowing anything but constant hatred and abuse.
- And seeing Soichiro's broken little body in the snow from Reiji's perspective was pretty horrifying too. No wonder he immediately handed the poor kid to his brother and sister-in-law and years later wants to murder Ryoko.
- His father Reiji's childhood wasn't much better. His mother went insane and tried to drown them both. The only reason Reiji survived is that he kicked her in the face until she let go...
- The fact that the very first meal Arima had with his aunt and uncle served as the very first meal he had ever had, having basicly survived up until than on table scraps, stale bread and whatever cheap crap his mother left in the house that he could get to. That is how horrible a mother Ryouko is.