I guess I’m a little late again to review this. However, with this one, I believe you might want to take your time to properly indulge, but also digest, what you’ve just watched.
All her life, Yuu has wondered about the romance depicted in all the shoujo manga she’s been reading, hoping that one day, she’d experience the same.
After witnessing student council president Touko turning down a confession with such ease and maturity, Yuu can’t help but ask Touko for advice, which leads to the two bonding over the fact that they both have never experienced love before. However, things take a sudden turn, as Touko confesses that she might actually start falling in love with Yuu.
As stated in my First Impression post, the confession that basically sets the stage for the story to unfold happened a little too suddenly for my liking. Of course, this all had to happen within the first episode, in order to convey to the viewers what this show would be all about, but even knowing the source material, I felt a little startled—probably also thanks to the wording that seemed a little different than what I had read in the manga.
I guess I just started out this review a bit awkwardly by criticizing one of the most important scenes of the whole show, possibly giving off the impression that this anime adaptation started off weak, but trust me, this is the only bad thing I can actually say about this show.
After diving into this, at first glance, kind of odd-looking love story, we’re met with one of the most intriguing, complex, and stunning-looking yuri romances ever displayed on TV.
I was actually very pleased to see that the anime follows the events depicted in the manga quite closely. In my eyes—and I’m probably speaking for quite a few yuri fans here—the manga this anime is based on is one of the best, if not the best, yuri manga running right now. So seeing that the adaptation would stick so closely to something that I feel is already so very close to being perfect is quite the relief. Now, add the fact that the animation quality and the art style shown are both pretty much on point, and we’ve got ourselves a very promising-looking anime adaptation. And guess what? Sound-wise, my praising just continues, as both the voice-acting, as well as simply all the music used in this anime, are just top-notch, making it so very easy to fully indulge in this story.
And speaking of which, I might have praised the looks and sound of this anime quite a bit, but the true treasure can be found in the story and the characters. I guess, despite 2018 being quite rewarding for us yuri fans, what Bloom Into You showed us was something new, or in other words, a pretty unique yuri love story. We’re not met with the usual route romances would take. Our protagonists don’t just meet, fall in love, and that’s it. No. This one is far more complex, with pieces of drama sprinkled here and there. Touko is definitely the one character that stands out the most, as her way of experiencing romance is very complex, and in a lot of ways, her needs and wishes towards her target of affection are contradicting, as she can’t have the person she loves love her back. Her whole character is mysterious and seeing how she deals with her feelings can be both interesting yet frustrating.
Seeing that we get a character like Yuu as the other half of this odd couple is simply a great choice. Yuu might seem a bit plain at first, but thanks to her way of being able to see past Touko’s mask, she picks up on the problems Touko deals with quite quickly, establishing a bond that works between the lines of being friends or lovers. I enjoyed seeing how Yuu would simply go along with all of Touko’s selfish requests, especially once you notice that Yuu might not be able to keep her part of the deal – that being that she won’t fall in love with Touko. It’s actually quite the interesting mix, as you can’t help but be happy for Yuu finally finding love, even if it might not be like she pictured it, and yet it’s also heartbreaking, as it’s made painfully clear at a certain point that this is just not what Touko wants.
Now adding in side characters like Sayaka as Touko’s best friend, and I’m now not only rooting for the more obvious pair but now also for her and Touko. As a character, Sayaka wasn’t that one person that would always be added in romances to have some kind of threat to the main pair, no. Sayaka is more of a supporter on the sideline that has been there for Touko a lot longer and would possibly be an even better match for her than Yuu. Seeing her backstory with her first girlfriend, how she got to know and fell in love with Touko, and also how she tried to get help from another gay couple is the cherry on top that just completely sold me on this anime, and even though I know she will probably not turn out victorious, I sure hope Sayaka will find someone awesome, too.
I guess I lied a little up there when I said I would only have one bad thing to say about this anime, as I will now add something else. But, oh well, it’s nothing major and rather stands as a reminder that a second season could happen anytime. What I’m talking about is the ending of the show. Seeing that the whole story built up to the play that the student council would perform, it’s quite disappointing to never actually see it happen, especially since the whole idea behind it is pretty much genius. I would have loved to see it actually play out and see how the changes Yuu pressed for might impact Touko. But I guess that’s for a second season that I really hope will actually happen sooner or later~
All in all, I think as the last one of the “Big Three” (Citrus, Asagao to Kase-san., and Bloom Into You), Bloom Into You definitely impacted the community greatly, in a good way. I hope that alongside the other two, some changes will happen that will hopefully lead to more pure yuri shows in the future.