WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 10 of Blue Period, "Our Color Blue," now streaming on Netflix.
In Netflix's Blue Period, Yaguchi Yatora has made it past the first exam to get into the Tokyo University of the Arts and now has his sights set on passing the second exam. After his long journey attempting to better himself as an artist, Yatora is up to the next challenge -- a no-holds-barred painting test. But two nights before the big day, he's faced with a difficult decision: should he stay home and prepare, or should he accompany his friend Ayukawa Ryuji to the beach when something is clearly wrong?
Yatora has previously been called out by Ryuji for not being there when it truly matters, so when he calls his friend and asks what's wrong, he takes the opportunity to meet up instead of putting his own needs first. They end up on a train to the very last stop, a beach town.
Once there, they find a business hotel and book a room for the night. Even though Yatora is exhausted and experiencing some severe hives, he and Ryuji talk about what's going on. Ryuji had all of their things from their bedroom thrown out by their parents due to their genderfluid identity and artistic sensibilities. The only person in their family who supports them is their grandmother, and they don't want to disappoint her by choosing a different art style than the one she taught them: Japanese art.
Yatora also lays bare his soul during their conversation, noting how everyone overestimates him and he feels like he has to work twice as hard to fulfill their expectations. He envies people with raw talent, feeling like he needs to compensate in order to just barely compare. In the process of mentally unloading, they also decide to do nude self-portraits, albeit separated by a screen. This process of both physically and mentally revealing themselves proves to be a valuable insight for Yatora, whose portrait is extremely well done.
But although this adventure was worth it for overcoming his various fears surrounding art, it may cost Yatora the second entrance exam as Blue Period continues. Not only did he not prepare as hard as he normally would -- though an argument can be made that his experience with Ryuji was preparation enough -- but the hives he was experiencing have also grown worse. When Yatora shows up to the exam feeling confident, his stature is shaken when he realizes he has to carry his art equipment up eight flights of stairs.
Not far on his way, he suddenly experiences a sharp pain and a problem with his eyesight. His hives are also shown under his clothes to have become even more severe. In his efforts to be a good friend and a better artist, Yatora ironically ignored his physical body and put his health on the line at the worst possible moment. With the second exam just moments from starting, Yatora is brought to his knees, with his entire future in Blue Period up in the air.