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Manga / We Were There

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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

We Were There (Bokura ga Ita) is a shoujo romance manga by Yuuki Obata. It was serialized in Betsucomi from April 2002 to February 2012 (though with several hiatuses during its run), and compiled into 16 volumes.

The story follows newly-turned high school freshman Nanami Yamashita, who joins a class mesmerized by the extremely popular Motoharu Yano. At first, she despises his carefree attitude, but soon she falls in love with him. However, once she starts to discover what's beyond Yano's cheerful exterior, she encounters a deeply wounded young man who stopped believing in love after a traumatic incident regarding Nana Yamamoto, the older sister of resident bookworm Yuri Yamamoto. A seemingly innocent romance will soon develop into a tearjerker story of betrayal, loss, and over everything, love.

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:

  • The Ace: Akiko is pretty, smart, good at sports, popular at school and the only character in the series that doesn't die or get terribly heartbroken.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Nanami fears at first that her feelings for Yano are unanswered because he still holds feelings for Nana. Yuri has had a crush on him since middle school, and Takeuchi spends most of the series trying to convince Nanami to date him. Also, Akiko had a crush on Yano when they were in high school, but by the time they become adults it's since faded.
  • Betty and Veronica: Yano is the Veronica to Takeuchi's Betty. One of the rare instances where the latter loses.
  • Brainless Beauty: Yano's ex-girlfriend, Nana. Invoked in-universe with her being known as "The Idiot".
  • 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.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: Once they move to Tokyo, Yano's mother starts having pains in her back, which she claims is due to stress. It's pancreas cancer, already in a very developed stage.
  • Domestic Abuse: 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.
  • Driven to Suicide: Yano's mother hangs herself after a fight with Yano and under very small circumstances of recovering from her cancer.
  • Foil: Nice Guy Takeuchi to Yano's jerkass.
  • 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.
  • Love Hurts: One of the central themes of the story, with the poor Nana being a Love Martyr. It's a good thing she doesn't take shit back after a while.
  • Melodrama: Well, it's a shoujo with a Troubled, but Cute guy and Love Martyr girl, 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.
  • Time Skip: There's a five-year time skip in the manga.

Alternative Title(s): Bokura Ga Ita