Blue Period: [SPOILER] Challenges Yatora’s Artistic Sincerity

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Blue Period, "Where Are We Headed?" now streaming on Netflix.

Yatora is making progress as a developing artist in Netflix's Blue Period, but Episode 4 brings a new, unforeseen challenge to his doorstep. Ever since discovering how liberating doing art can be, Yatora Yaguchi has been on the path to better himself as an artist, and in doing so, also better himself as a person. Now, one of his biggest obstacles is developing his own style and utilizing composition techniques to make his art stand out more. Even though he's gaining some moderate success in his prep school, one of his peers doesn't see his success as genuine.

In order to develop his skills in analyzing other people's art, in Episode 4 Yatora decides to attend the Tokyo University of the Arts student festival in order to expose himself to other people's work - especially people that he strives to become one day. While he's critiquing various works, he runs into Yotasuke, one of his peers from the prep school.

Yotasuke Blue Period Episode 4

After browsing the festival together, Yatora decides to head off to find his friends from high school. But Yotasuke stops him because he has something to say. He claims that doesn't like him, which, to be fair, is fairly obvious from the previous episode where we first meet Yotasuke. He seems to have an absolute disdain for Yatora. He tells Yatora that he didn't need to come to their side and that he didn't need to do art. Though he doesn't say anything more than that, Yotasuke's words strike a chord with Yatora.

As Yotasuke walks away, Yatora bursts into tears. From Yotasuke's point of view, it's easy to see where his comments come from. Yatora is a somehow successful delinquent, who achieves good marks and has no problem with social interactions. Even without art as a hobby or an outlet, Yatora would likely have been successful in whatever he tried to do. But for some people, potentially like Yotasuke, art is the only thing they have to express themselves and turn to when things are dark.

Yotasuke and Yatora from Blue Period Episode 4

Even though Yotasuke's perspective is valid, he clearly doesn't understand Yatora beyond what he sees in prep school. Yatora works extremely hard to compete with more experienced artists and has even experienced moments of clarity that have helped him become a better version of himself. Though he doesn't know as much about art as some of his peers, he's willing to learn and practice to consistently improve. Therefore, Yotasuke's words cut him like a knife. Even in front of his high school friends, Yatora can't hide the tears caused by Yotasuke's opinion.

Yatora's sincerity about art is incredibly real, though he doesn't know how to fully express it yet. Yotasuke has seen him superficially copy known artists' work and likely drew conclusions. In addition, it's obvious that Yotasuke just sees Yatora as the stereotypical delinquent who can get away with anything, even inserting himself into the world of art without a hiccup. Though Yatora's sincerity is questioned, he uses his anger and his hurt as fuel to push himself further in his artistic development. His small altercation with Yotasuke will likely help Yatora overcome his confidence issues regarding his art.

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