I know I said blogging about Bloom Into You was a “maybe” but honestly, I don’t think I was thinking straight at the time. The relationship between Yuu and Nanami piques my interest so much that passing up on discussing it, at least this early on, would be a mistake.
No doubt, it’s complicated with these two girls. Last episode threw quite the curveball with Nanami confessing her feelings to Yuu and this episode explores the somewhat awkward aftermath and the validity of those feelings. It does seem as though Nanami isn’t entirely thinking straight. Let’s start with her asking Yuu to be her campaign manager. I do buy her claim that she’s doing this to appeal to freshmen (spoken like a true campaigner there) and she is asking the favor as a friend. But let’s not kid ourselves, she does subconsciously want an opportunity to be close to Yuu and this favor very much fits the bill. Then there is the kissing scene which, no doubt, is very spur of the moment. A response to Yuu trying to downplay the idea of them being romantically together. But as impulsive as that was, it does cement the fact that what Nanami is feeling is completely genuine.
How Yuu reacts to the situation is also fascinating. Evidently, she’s peeved to discover that Nanami is in love with her. The scene where she holds hands with her upperclassman for a campaign photo particularly indicates this. Seeing Nanami get all flustered forces Yuu to accept that they aren’t entirely alike when it comes to romance. What she thought was the one person she could relate her insecurity with is now leaving her feeling like an outlier all over again. It’s also pretty alarming that this is what gets Yuu hung up. You’d think she’d be bothered over her first kiss getting stolen but instead, she’s concerned about what it says about her as she ultimately feels very little in any possible way.
Considering the effect this dilemma is having on Yuu, you have to wonder why she agrees to Nanami’s plea. Let her upperclassman love her while that person accepts that she doesn’t love her back. It’s such a one-sided arrangement that could potentially only get more awkward from here on out. There’s a lot of ways to look at Yuu’s decision. Maybe she’s just trying to be nice and let her friend be happy. Maybe her lack of attraction is what compels her to think she won’t mind it. There’s also the possibility that perhaps Yuu really does feel some sort of way about Nanami and this decision taps into that subconscious. Who knows right now but at the very least, it is an extremely compelling direction to take the story into.
There is one subplot going on in this episode involving Nanami’s friend Saeki (Ai Kayano). Being the childhood friend and second best in their academics, Saeki is naturally upset that Nanami chose Yuu over her to be the campaign manager. She eventually concedes since she’ll become Vice President if Nanami wins and, as evident in gym class, the two of them are still very close. But I don’t know, this surely can’t be it for this character. You can’t expect me to think that this girl isn’t the least bit jealous of Yuu. Yes, she provides a speech draft for Yuu to use but I wonder what would happen if word on Nanami’s love life got out to her.
I got to say: the direction in the Bloom Into You anime is quite good. It seems to be playing close to the panel work in the manga as far as I can tell but the added benefits of sound and animation is enhancing the original work. Adding the ringing sound of the train crossing bells during the kissing scene is a particularly great touch. Substituting the sound of Nanami’s heart rapidly beating as she decides to kiss Yuu as proof of her love. The hand holding scene is another great example. I really like the transition to monochrome and while the static is kind of there in the manga, the added sound makes it even better.
All things considered, Bloom Into You is shaping up quite nicely. I am thinking about covering it some more; at least up until the midpoint though I have a feeling that this anime is here to stay for the blogging lineup.
OP: “Kimi ni Furete” by Riko Azuna
So many flowers. I guess it fits given the title.
ED: “hectopascal” by Yuu Koito (CV: Yuuki Takada) and Touko Nanaim (CV: Minako Kotobuki)
A cute little sequence; I really like the use of a cup telephone to symbolize Nanami’s love trying to reach Yuu.
Thanks for reading!