Day 8: Ice Skaters and Pilots make the best couples

*Warning: Major Spoilers for the anime!*

Ginban Kaleidoscope is the story of a Japanese Olympic hopeful ice skater and a Canadian trick pilot. At the beginning of the series, the pilot, Pete, crashes his plane and dies. However for reasons that are not explained or I can’t remember, he can’t go to heaven for 100 days and inadvertently inhabits the body of one ice skater — Tazusa. Tazusa is a brash but shy girl who believes in hard work and being the best. Pete, however, is more of the go-with-the-flow kind of guy. He doesn’t want to inconvenience Tazusa, but he is unable to do anything about that so he does what he can to help her.

At the beginning, Tazusa is rather hostile to Pete. And who could blame her? He is an unknown ghost boy who is haunting her and can see, feel, and taste everything she can. She can’t even go to the bathroom or change her clothes without risking Pete seeing her. However, as time goes on, Pete’s gentle, go-with-the-flow nature rubs off on Tazusa and she is able to unwind and realize that their situation isn’t quite as bad as she first thought.

As a couple, we don’t get a whole lot of time with them together and that hurts. They fall in love as they aim for Tazusa to get in the Olympics. Right after their final performance at the Olympics, Pete’s 100 days are up and he has to leave. It shatters Tazusa’s world. She had grown increasingly used to his constant presence and despite the obvious feelings the two shared, she was never able to really tell him how she felt. I remember finishing this series very clearly. It was one of the first anime I watched that made me cry (since childhood). Tazusa’s pain felt so real to me and the look on Pete’s face was so calm, yet sad, that I can never really forget that moment.

Their final dance

What makes this couple so dear to me is the transformation that Tazusa goes through as she truly falls in love with Pete. It is a transformation that the entire world can see. At the beginning of the series she is an ice queen. She never smiles on the ice but with Pete’s help Tazusa learns to open up and realize that ice skating isn’t always about the technical stuff, but that she should be having fun as well. As Tazusa comes to realize that she won’t be truly good unless she enjoys her sport, she comes to open up and grow as a character. It is this development that allows her to truly love Pete and the reason that this couple broke my heart several times over with the ending of the anime.

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