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Fun Fact: Though I’m still not clear on why they named a day of romantic love, eros, for a martyred saint(s?) at least known for sacrificial love, agape (and apparently, nobody else knows exactly why either), you can’t deny that it’s become tradition throughout the world. In the west, people celebrate it with their loved ones, with Hallmark Cards™, flowers™, stuffed animals™, overpriced dinners at swanky restaurants™, and whatever else it is couples do - or just not giving a damn about the day in the first place™.
For Japan, one thing does remain constant: chocolate. Valentine’s is when all the girls give the chocolate to their crushes, and White Day would be the day the guys give sweets back in return. Christmas is just as good a day, and mistletoe considered, it makes more sense than KFC being the official Japanese Christmas food.
Though it’s probably more important amongst high schoolers and all those young types, they still quantified it into two kinds: “giri choco,” (義理チョコ) or “honmei choco” (本命チョコ). No points for guessing what choco is in English. Giri choco, which literally translates to “obligatory chocolate,” is something like those little paper valentines you handed out to your classmates in elementary school, if you did that kind of thing - it’s cheap, probably store-bought, and you do it just because you can and should, out of courtesy, not much else more than that. If chocolate’s given, it’s assumed to be giri unless told otherwise. Honmei choco is much more serious business, equal to the girl straight up admitting she likes the person. In addition, it’s relatively more expensive if store-bought, more likely to be handmade if they want it to be special, and would probably feature a kitchen montage if it’s the latter.
As with everything, things need not necessarily be as they seem. In the picture above, the girl in the center, Haruhi Suzumiya, the titular character of the series, is presumably giving chocolate to Kyon, the main protagonist. In the picture, the box has “giri” written on the tag, but it’s honmei in blush, gaze, and everything but aforementioned tag. Apparently something along the lines of this happens in the seventh light novel - the other two are explicitly stated and all that to be giri, but Haruhi’s didn’t have anything on the box indicating either one, and the way she acts is the only evidence to indicate how she feels, and for anyone who isn’t a snarky smart alec of an idiot who’s being crushed on by a reality-warping high schooler, that should be obvious. So hey, lesson of the day, kids: don’t be scared of love - you’d have to be an idiot to run away from your own feelings, and for all you know, if you did, your obfuscations might end up breaking the heart of the girl who meant the world to you.