You know how they say that when you make a fresh start, you can be any person you want to be? Yuuji certainly took that to heart.
As a child prodigy, Yuuji has always been envied by the boys in the year above him at his middle school. One day, he picks a fight with three of them, and instead of physically retaliating, they decide to mess around with his stuff. A young Shouko arrives to stop them, but before she gets hurt, Yuuji intervenes.
I think they might have mentioned it in a past ep somewhere, but otherwise I would never have guessed Yuuji was such a child prodigy when he was younger. And obviously, at such a young age, with brains comes arrogance, which led to him being targeted by the three sixth-graders in the year above him. I actually don’t like the child Yuuji as much, though he tried to pull a Lelouch plan and failed, he pretty much acts like a prick to everyone else as well, and his older self realizes this.
By the way he looks like Otonashi Yuzuru from Angel Beats.
He could have been in Class A at Fumizuki, easily having the potential to surpass Shouko. Or he could have gone to a high-class prep school as well. But his choice to man up and save Shouko was an amazing thing for him to do, and it probably started off his reputation and appearance change. Going from a smart aleck to a baka punk, I would never have guessed. Yuuji’s mother doesn’t seem to mind, being one of those mums that seem ditzy on the outside, but actually understand the situation more than anyone.
Like Toradora’s Yasuko!
Despite what he’s said in the past, I believe that Yuuji truly loves Shouko – just the fact that he would sacrifice his WHOLE future career to protect her proves just how much he cares for her, though he denies it at every possibility he can. There was an almost bittersweet feeling of separation as they narrated the episode through their monologues, as if them being together would be some sort of forbidden love. While Yuuji thinks that Shouko could find a much better person that him, Shouko doesn’t see anyone else but Yuuji. In past episodes, we’ve only seen the comedic side of their slapstick relationship, but here we’ve got a much deeper situation, explained in such a way that using slapstick wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. So while this week, BakaTest didn’t have idiots, tests, comedy or Shoukanjuu, I didn’t mind in the least.