rel: yano ayane

Yano Ayane is Chizu's best friend. Although she and Chizu are opposites in many ways, the two of them get along like peas in a pod. They are almost always seen together in school, and as Sawako points out, "always laughing" and conversing, as well as going out after school sometimes to get ramen. In chapter 02, Ayane and Chizu are discussing how they know each other and the boys. Ayane explains how she and Chizu became friends to Sawako:
"Chizu and I became good friends by sitting near each other at the opening ceremony."
(Chizu: "Since our last names are Yoshida and Yano.")
Ayane and Chizu become friends However, we learn in chapter 50 that they didn't like each other right away. In fact, they had negative opinions of each other, with Ayane seeing Chizu as "stupid" and "too loud", and Chizu thinking Ayane was "arrogant". But Chizu liked something about Ayane and was always talking about her to Ryuu and Kazehaya. She even defended Ayane when the boys were talking about the girls in terms of attractiveness, and claimed that she was more "erotic" than Ayane. Ayane appreciated that, even though she wasn't really sure whether Chizu was actually defending her or challenging her. But, when the two both became exhausted during a race and collapsed next to each other, they got to talking and realized one major similarity they share - they both have trouble making friends with other girls. Until they met each other. They were able to learn that outer appearances and voice levels don't define a person; it's what's inside that counts. (Cheesy though that may sound.) And each girl liked what she saw in the other. From them on, their friendship was pretty much sealed.

Even though they became friends later on (compared to childhood/middle school friendships), Ayane and Chizu are so close by the series' beginning that they could be mistaken for childhood pals. Being so close, they know each other very well. When anyone else might find Chizu to be a bit much at times, Ayane, being used to it, knows how to deal with the situation. She takes Chizu's occasional act of dense-ness in stride, and with a sigh. She also knows what Chizu is trying to say even when Chizu doesn't communicate it very clearly.
Chizu [crying]: "It... cause... hard!!"
Ayane: "I think she means to say, 'It's because you [Sawako] worked so hard.' ... I think."
- chapter 03
Different though they may be, they are not complete opposites. Chizu and Ayane are similar in several ways. They are both actually quite tough, despite Ayane being the more girly one of the two. Ayane can hold her own, just as Chizu can, so there is a common trait between the two of them. Of course, another shared 'interest' between Ayane and Chizu is... Sawako, of course! The two former girls befriend Sawako simultaneously, which makes sense since they are always together, including the time when Sawako first talked to them about the Courage Test. Chizu and Ayane work together in a manner that reminds me of a makeover-show host duo, helping Sawako to become more confident in herself and also to get closer to Kazehaya. Now I can't help but picture Chizu and Ayane as the hosts of What not to Wear or, in their case maybe it would be called How Not to Communicate, haha.

What Chizu and Ayane's relationship comes down to is one of understanding and true companionship. They are very close and know each other quite well. They are also both good, caring individuals who work well together and each have their own special qualities that complement the other. So despite their differences, they make a wonderful pair of pals. Truly a dynamic duo if ever there was one!

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