Sukitte Ii Na Yo – First Impressions

What is love? Baby don’t hurt me… 

I needed some honest to god shoujo in my life. The mature relationships of Josei are all well and good, but there is something about storybook romances that get to me. Honestly, don’t we all want to be the girl that’s swept off her feet by a guy she meets unexpectedly one day. I know that I do!

Mei is a girl that was betrayed by her classmates. She was blamed for the death of the class pet rabbit even though it wasn’t her fault. It made her distrust humans, especially the ones at school. She describes them as “people that can’t get by through life without putting someone down”. Even though it’s a morose sentiment, he reasoning feels lucid and honest. I can understand where she’s coming considering the scars of her childhood. She is the typical loner.

Yamato on the other hand is the popular guy at school, and he’s too oblivious to notice. All the girls are crazy about him and he doesn’t seem to really give a damn. He’s nice to them all, but it’s more of a formality than anything else. But one day he sees Mei and everything changes.

The pair, when alone, don’t have that much gravitas, but their chemistry together on screen is great. They’re awkward exchanges are heart melting and squeal worthy. Maybe it’s the young teenager fangirl-ing on the inside of me but I don’t mind. Their more serious moments are tempered by a few genuinely funny ones which gives their interaction a nice ebb and flow. I’m interested in seeing how their relationship matures.

The music is your usual shoujo fair, but that’s a good thing. The violin and piano are welcome undertones to the light fair on screen. The lonely instruments do a good job in evoking feelings of isolation, a theme heavily emphasized in the opening scenes.    “Slow dance” by Suneohair is a great closing song, a simple mix male vocals over acoustic guitar. Suneohair’s voice has a slight monotone quality to it which creates a great contrast to the lively instrumentation. It’s as if he’s straining to put emotion in his voice which fits well with the series itself.

A lot about this series reminds me of Kimi Ni Todoke. An unpopular girl gets tangled up with a very popular guy. The formula is tried and true and I don’t mind taking this romp again if a few interesting things are done with the narrative. The characters are bit different in each and the plot can still move in an interesting direction, so I am all eyes and ears for now. I’m just crossing my fingers that it doesn’t follow its structure to tee. That would just be boring.

The visuals even remind me of Kimi Ni Todoke. The muted color palette and delicate character design feel ripped right from that series. The animation doesn’t have anything of note but it does it’s job. The outdoor environments have a leg up on the indoor ones, featuring a bit more dynamic lighting and brighter colors, making them a lot more pleasing to the eye.

Most of the episode focused on the backstory of Mei. I’m hoping that we get some more development on Yamato as a character. For now he seems pretty generic, but hopefully going forward that changes. Otherwise he’ll just end up being another bishounen on the shoujo ladder.

I don’t think there is much wrong with this series, but I do have a feeling that it won’t be one to take risks. It’s a bold claim to make so early into the season, but it so far it seems to be sticking to convention. Again there isn’t anything wrong with it, but can you blame me for hoping that any show exceeds expectations.

2 thoughts on “Sukitte Ii Na Yo – First Impressions

  1. Just wait and see. The original manga wasn’t the top on shoujo charts in Japan for no reason. Although I agree that KnT is similar to SInY, that’s only the popular guy – unpopular girl premise. Mei and Sawako are both completely different, Sawako really having no misconceptions of other humans, she just wants to make friends. Mei, on the other hand, does not need friends, because (this wasn’t shown in the anime) her friends never really cared about her in the first place. Before the pet rabbit incident, her friends made all sorts of excuses that Mei figured out were lies to not invite her to one of their birthday parties. Also, there’s lots of drama with her deceased father, but I’m not going to say anything about that, since it’s a pretty big spoiler (in consideration of how Mei thinks).

    • Haha thanks for the hope! I am not going to write off a series so easily in the first episode. I’m liking what I see so far, and it looks like it can be a lot of fun. 😀

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