“Kubo won’t let me be invisible” is a 2023 anime that is currently streaming on Crunchyroll. It is based on the manga written and illustrated by Nene Yukimori. It tells the story of Junta Shiraishi, a high school student who goes about his day seemingly invisible to his classmates and the public in general. Until he meets Nagisa Kubo, a fellow classmate, who is the first person who has ever taken interest in him.
Junta is one of those students who go about unnoticed. His classmates, friends, and teachers don’t see him when he is about. Not literally invisible but forgettable, unremarkable. We all know that one kid who slips through the cracks and is often forgotten, the kid who eats lunch alone in a corner. The show brings this to an extreme for comedy’s sake. He literally walks around and people look right past him. He has trouble in stores when he needs to purchase things. He has to wave his arms in order for people to take note of him When he is out doing errands or doing anything that requires communication with others. Often his teacher and classmates forget that he is there. But this does not make him angry or malicious towards them. Despite this, he is a kind gentle soul. His unnoticeable nature has made him humble, gracious, and generous. He patiently waits for his turn in line. He is a dutiful son and a loving older brother. He takes care of his baby brother who loves him and looks up to him.
Kubo is a popular girl. She has tons of friends, But she seems to sense something in the silent Shiraishi and is instantly attracted to him. She sees his gentle, generous nature. She sees him looking after his younger brother. His consideration for the people around him. He Is the type of boy who will help an old lady cross the street. However, she never admits her attraction, instead, she playfully teases him hiding the fact that she likes him, a fact that he fails to pick up on. To be fair, she does not make it easy for him. She tells him she likes him indirectly. She uses subtle hints. She is coy with him, she does things to embarrass him and make him blush. (Though Shiraishi remains frustratingly oblivious to her affections.) Kubo is not mean to Shiraishi, She cares for him and wants to be his friend. He will no longer be lonely. She goes out of her way to keep him company. She walks him home or eats lunch with him. She goes with him to the store to buy his favorite manga, or to the movies. She doesn’t let him get away with being on his own, even if he might want to be because she knows he isolates himself because he does not believe that other people could value him.
These two soulmates would seem a mismatch. One, a quiet shy introvert, and the other, one of the most popular girls at school. I believe her noticing him unnerves him. He is used to going through life with no one paying him any attention, so he doesn’t know how to interpret this newfound interest. This girl suddenly noticing him baffles him. However, there is a part of him that appreciates Kubo’s friendship. I would imagine the solitary life he is used to is a lonely one. We all deserve friends, no one should be alone.
This anime is about two lonely souls. The boy who has no friends, and the girl who lacks genuine connection. This anime speaks to the lonely person in all of us. I think, at the end of the day, we all wish there were someone who would notice us and think of us as special. Especially someone as kind-hearted as Kubo. In a world where it is so easy to get lost amongst all the other people, it is nice to think of someone who sees us. I believe it is this loneliness that brought these two opposite personalities together. So to me, this show is particularly heartwarming.
The relationship these two people have is adorable and we the audience can’t help but root for them.