Quite possibly the most popular shoujo manga makes its appearance at last in anime form. Not only was this one of the shows I decidedly had to follow closely this fall anime season, it's one of the most highly anticipated romance genre shows this season. Sukitte Ii na yo takes the tried and true formula of "socially awkward girl grabs the attention of the most popular boy in school" and puts a very believable twist to this typical shoujo genre recipe.
This season is a very solid one so far for shoujo. First we had Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun which goes along with a more comedic stance on things, followed by Kamisama Hajimemashite which to be quite frank, didn't really tickle my fancy too much. What makes Sukitte Ii na yo stand out from the typical shoujo fare? What makes it worth watching?
This show takes several shoujo aspects and crafts a very realistic, conceptual story. Tachibana Mei (Kayano Ai) is a socially awkward girl who has never had any friends throughout her life. She lives with a distrust for everyone, distancing herself to the point of isolation. By doing so, a significantly more serious underlying tone can be achieved as far as the storyline goes, which is exactly what has happened here. Not only do we have a unique lead female protagonist, Kurosawa Yamato (Sakurai Takahiro), the lead male protagonist, is the most popular boy in school who for once isn't portrayed as a total jerk, a womanizer, or a delinquent. Even though the way the two of them meet is somewhat cliche, the actual event isn't done so in such a typical, "fated meeting" way. Taking into account this first episode essentially paved the way for the coming episodes, it's actually rather evident how the introduction of this show was flawlessly executed. Events may have come fast and furious, however it's all done so at a clear, understandable pace where nothing is really left out. Mei's situation is also completely understandable as it's implied to us that she lives without a father. The story is presented in a clear in articulate manner, with its own sort of artistic flair which truly makes watching this show a treat.
The way Mei is portrayed really characterizes what the basis of the story is all about, and it's one that's totally believable, an honest, down-to-earth love story about the the hardships of being isolated from society. The way Mei's weaknesses were shown to us in the very first episode was a brilliant idea, from my perspective. She may have had to reach out to Yamato to protect her, but she did so on her own accord, showing her willingness to reach out to someone for once in her life. With that being said, the main male protagonist clearly sets himself apart from the usual group of testosterone-fueled guys we see much too often in shoujo anime. With a talented cast of seiyuus voicing the characters, I firmly believe this is going to be one hell of a show which might even take us for a ride on the emotional roller coaster of love, something which I have not had a chance to ride in quite some time...
Possibility of watching: 5/5
Possibility of blogging: 4/5
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