This is review number one hundred and thirty three. It’s part of the Fall 2012 lineup and it’s another Shoujo anime. There are three in this lineup and I’ve already seen the first one, Kamisama Hajimemashita. This is the second one and I’m saving the last one for a rainy day or something. The anime I’ll be reviewing is “Suikitte Ii na yo” or “Say I Love You” and it’s a simple story about two people in love. It’s thirteen episodes and there are cats in it!!! Let’s read on.
The anime is about the quite girl named Mei Tachibana, who prefers to be alone because she believes friends only uses you, suddenly being the primary focus of the most popular guy in her school, Yamato Kurosawa. He thinks that Mei is interesting and he thinks he has fallen in love. After an incident with a stalker and a chance first kiss, it would seem that Mei might also be falling for the most popular guy in school. Can Mei trust someone and fall in love with him? Even if a lot of girls has their eyes on the guy she is falling in love with?
Taking the Pants Off
This is the second Shoujo anime in the lineup. I don’t review a lot of Shoujo anime so it feels nice to try my hand at it. Shoujo anime are romantic anime catered for girls and it usually talks about the youthful experience of two teenagers. It’s a story we can either relate to or wished we can experience. Either way, it’s a story that’ll make you feel emotional as you feel invested in the love of the two main characters. This anime sticks true to that approach and it truly delivers. There is enough romance in this anime to keep you screaming like a fan girl but there is also a complex plot and some really thought out character development. It’s a very nicely done Shoujo anime.
The interesting thing about this anime is that it doesn’t beat around the bush. Most Shoujo anime would focus on puppy love romance and even ending the anime with the two main characters just being in a stand still. In this anime, the characters become an item very easily and they have a lot of alone time together. Most anime builds the story up for the first kiss or the first hug. In this anime, the story is mostly about the challenges the couple encounter and how they overcome it. There is also a lot of room to work with. We have a guy who is friendly with everyone and obviously have some flirt encounter with a girl in the past. This is often a shock to the girl who is as pure and innocent as can be. Then we have a girl who has a massive inferiority complex. She thinks that the guy can do better and that she doesn’t deserve to be with him. There is a lot of conflict to build up with the two characters together so it’s very interesting where the anime will lead up.
The story of the anime is very simple. It’s about the relationship of two people and the anime nicely displayed their sweet moments together where they’re hugging and kissing and being all cute, their sour moments together where misunderstandings arise between them and their bitter moments where they doubt the person they love. It all combines into a story that most people, who has fallen in love, can relate with. The anime showcases a very typical romantic experience full of up and downs between the two people in love. The Shoujo genre has a way of dragging its story but there is enough development in the span of twelve episodes to keep you intrigued. Like most romantic experiences too, it’s also very interesting just how far the couple will go. It starts out like a puppy dog romance but it slowly grows and just how far it goes is something very interesting to see.
The two main characters are pretty interesting. Mei is this girl who is subtle and rarely speaks her feeling. She thinks a lot though and we get to see her bottle up her frustrations and displease just to make Yamato happy. She has a very nice transformation in the anime. It’s the sort of character development you rarely see in the genre. She starts out as a loner but she slowly becomes a girl that is approachable and even aggressive. With the help of their blossoming romance, Mei comes out of her shell and even initiates some romantic moments you would never expect she’ll do. Yamato is pretty amazing. He is the absolute best boyfriend material ever. Way to push the fantast fulfillment with a guy that only loves one girl despite being surrounded a lot of attractive girls. He also falls for the wallflower which would make any girl scream as you see him chase after Mei or defend her or display his affection for her. I call BS on that kind of character but it’s pretty interesting to see his overly nice personality bite him in the ass. Throughout the anime, a lot of characters keep putting Mei down because they think he deserves better and it causes a lot of tension between them.
The side characters are pretty nice too. The anime was also able to give them some deserved screen time. I was also glad that no time was wasted on the side characters. A lot of Shoujo anime deviates from their original couple so they can accommodate the friend’s romantic experience. In this anime, they are just side characters but they were able to transform as well. That once b*tchy girl would soon turn into a nice and caring friend. There were some nice characters that help push the development of the two main characters and they also add some conflict to the plot. The anime was missing that ultra-antagonist though. I noticed that almost everyone is just a very misunderstood person and it sucks because I wanted someone to steal away Yamato or something.
The one thing that prevented the rise of an ultra-antagonist was this light hearted theme about friendship. There is this recurring idea among the characters that “friends” is just a five letter word. Most people you consider friend aren’t actually sincere and they’re just using you. They’ll most likely abandon you when you need them most and even talk bad things behind your back. A lot of flashbacks were dedicated to this idea that supports a character’s antagonistic personality. The theme of friendship prevails though because in the end, there are people that actually care for you and would be there for you in your time of need.
This was a very nice Shoujo anime. It was able to display powerful emotions that pull you in. The love story showcased in the anime is something very nice to watch and all the elements were nicely incorporated. There were some issues with the pacing, like any good Shoujo, but seeing the characters hug and display their love for each other is enough to cover up any flaw the anime possess. This is a very satisfying romantic anime and I would love to see more of it.
Sight and Sound
The character design is typical Shoujo. The guy is the tall, dark and handsome type. He has a slim build that appeals to its target audience (dem pre-teens). He has a dashing look and a gentle aura to him but also looks like someone that would aggressively pin you down. His hair style is also noticeable. It’s sort of messy and long on the back. When he’s next to Mei, you can clearly see how cute they are together. Mei is the typical Shoujo main. She blushes a lot and she has big eyes that express her emotions. I love how she averts her eyes or glance away when she is face to face with Yamato. She also has a slim build and her hairstyle is also very noticeable. It’s short but a bit long on the back. She has very strong facial expressions which I really admire.
The rest of the cast is pretty much designed the same. There’s a very small cast anyway so there’s no need to overcomplicate. Some characters nicely stand out though like Yamato’s childhood friend with the faux hawk.
These two characters have a lot of hugging and kissing scenes. These scenes do not disappoint. They’re meant to make you fan girl scream and feel excited. The animation has a nice way of establishing the mood and making sure each romantic scene pulls a reaction from the viewers. The hugging scenes are very gentle and sincere. The way the characters blush and the way Mei’s head fall on Yamato’s shoulder was pretty freaking sweet to watch. There are also a lot of alone time between the characters. There are scenes that go into a singular side view like this:
And it’s a nice way to display the character’s body language when they’re facing each other. The moment they touch during this kind of camera angle is also a nice way to bolster up the romantic scene. It’s very effective and as the moments keep getting intense, this smart side view scene also becomes more powerful.
The kissing scenes are also nice. It’s the romantic type of kiss where no one is getting aggressive. Instead, they both just stand still and the mood just go all cute and sh*t. The kissing scenes are pretty fast though and they don’t sink in as great as I hope they’d be. I’m more a hugging fan because those scenes are longer. Nothing beats a kiss though (maybe boob grabbing, but let’s stay on focus here).
The anime’s OP is “Friendship ~ for Sukitte Ii na yo.” by Ritsuko Okazaki. My hair stood up when I heard the OP because this was done by the same person that did the Fruits Basket OP. She’s been dead for eight years though. I’m surprised they used one of her songs. I guess they really wanted to push Shoujo strongly into the animesphere if they’re opting to use nostalgia for the OP instead of some new popular singers. Ritsuko’s voice is gentle and charming. It nicely fits the anime because of the Shoujo element. It has a girly vibe that is very soothing as well. The OP sequence features the two main character in some laid back setting. It ends with the two of them side by side and smiling at each other.
The anime’s ED is “slow dance” by Suneohair. Suneohair is also a very old performer and I distinctly remember him doing some songs for the anime “Honey and Clover”. This also brings back some nostalgia especially since Honey and Clover is very near and dear to me. The ED song has a nice beat to it and the singer’s voice really adds some mellowness to the track. The Ed sequence features some pictures and some different blue colors. There are also some items like clocks, books, and a desk chair. I don’t want to look into it much. You do it.
7/10 “A strong Shoujo anime that’ll make you fall in love.”
This is how you do a Shoujo anime. It punches strong and it’s able to pull emotions from deep inside you. If you’re a sucker for some old school Shoujo anime like me then you’ll love this anime. All of its components are done right and the experience is very memorable. I highly recommend it.