Happy birthday, Shizuku! I wrote an essay of sorts for her earlier which I'll leave here!
It's not April 3rd where I am yet, but since it already is in Japan, I can officially say this. Happy birthday, Shizuku! But it doesn't end there. I'd like to tell you guys the journey of how I came to like Shizuku Osaka, and maybe it will be enough to explain just how important this day has become to me. If you asked me from any time before last year, April 3rd is not really a day I would have held close to me before. Simply put, I've always had an interest in Shizuku ever since Niji was first revealed as PDP, but that interest did not skyrocket until last year. In the beginning, I was already drawn to Shizuku's double actress and school idol appeal. Anata no Risou no Heroine supplemented that, and pretty much tied with CHASE! for my favorite solo from Tokimeki Runners. However, I was still uncertain if I should consider her my best girl, even if she was the girl I had the most interest in compared to the others. Up until last year, I was still purely an Aqours fan. Niji, while it looked promising at the time, had not yet beaten Aqours for me. This completely changed after the anime aired. The Niji anime changed everything. Or, more specifically, Shizuku changed everything. Episode 8, Shizuku Monochrome. When I saw the preview at the end of episode 7, I knew it wasn't going to hold back, and so I started to prepare myself for it. Seeing Shizuku sad and dejected in the preview hit me painfully hard. She still wasn't officially my favorite then, but maybe I'd already unconsciously made the decision that she would be. Her episode preview was the first one that made me genuinely feel a powerful mix of emotions and had me truly excited (yet scared) to watch her full episode. I lied to myself saying that I'd prepared enough for the real thing when the episode came around, but honestly, I really didn't. I went in with nothing at all, but somehow came out with everything. Watching Shizuku's struggles and anxieties unfold on the screen, the hidden symbolism of black and white Shizuku on the stage - simply put, I cried. I cried harder than I've ever cried for any anime. I cried because of how relatable Shizuku was, because of how I finally realized the actual circumstances surrounding her character, and because of how I'd finally found a reason to proclaim her as not only my best girl for Niji, but also for the whole LL franchise in general. And then I cried even harder with Solitude Rain, listening to how Shizuku was finally willing to express more of her true self. Clearly, it was on that day that Niji and Shizuku overthrew everything. There's still a lot of people out there who don't truly understand Shizuku as a character. They look at her and say, "Oh, boring actress girl! Nothing special about her." And while that may appear true on the outside, Shizuku is not a character that can be defined by just what you see on the surface. It's almost funny to think that this could be the exact effect of her having a deeper character. That she puts up a mask to appear like a normal girl with nothing special about her, when in reality her true self is so much brighter and more unique than anyone could ever imagine. But this would turn into a whole character analysis if it went deeper, which isn't really the purpose of this post, so I'll leave that topic at this: to appreciate Shizuku, you have to dive in deeper than just what she shows on the surface. She's so much more than just a normal actress girl. With that, happy birthday again, Shizuku! Thank you for being you; you've made a huge impact on both my life and the lives of many others. April is your month and today is your day! 💧💙 ~ tira (@tiraamvsu)