Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sukitte Ii na Yo.

Sukitte Ii na Yo. looked cute from the moment i saw it on the preview list. it had been awhile since i had seen a serious love story, which is what this looked like. While some might find teenage drama pretentious (and trust me, it can be), in some cases it can be a great subject for series, it being a window into a confusing time in everyone's life. love, romance, confusion, indescision, a lack of communication, hurt feelings, jealousy, these are all things people experience at some point in their lives, but especially around their high school years. Sukitte Ii na Yo. has all of these, topped off by warm visuals, a solid cast, and a lovely, complimentary sound track.
Nothing like a stalker to drive love along.
the main character, Mei, is a loner who manages to attract the attention of one of the most popular guys in school after she roundhouse kicks his best friend. her cold exeterior is no match for Yamato's perseverance, and the two become friends, and quickly start dating. even for Yamato, who has always had friends to support him, this whole "love" thing is pretty new and confusing, leading to the both of them taking it extra slow since neither are on stable ground here. the result is a sweet, slow-paced anime that will result in a lot of shouting at the TV, likely with utterances of 'JUST DO IT!!' or 'COME ON!!' or 'JUST KISS HIM, DAMMIT!!'
the indecisiveness was both charming and aggervating.
the series is based on an ongoing manga, which might contribute to the slow pacing, though it feels like even if the manga were finished it would take all the time in the world for this series to get moving. to some, this might be a frustrating prospect; why stretch it out over 13 episodes when you can get them together and happy in 3? for others, though, this will provide just the right touch of serious after-school type drama to tug at the heartstrings. the soundtrack pulls no punches, either; it took me over half the series and looping the song for hours just to get to a point where the ending theme didn't make me cry.
over the course of the series, Mei makes some friends whom she can really depend on, which really tugs at the heart.
while this could very easily be written off as "just another romance story" or "just another AWKWARD romance story" or "just another shojo", it has a little spark to it that made it different from other series i've seen. the only way i can really describe it outside of calling it "serious" (which in itself is descriptive; it's kind of hard to find deep anime these days) is to compare it to Kimi ni Todoke; the two series have several parallels. however, unlike Todoke, Sukitte Ii na Yo.'s heroine isn't out to make friends; her sullen personality adds another layer of melodrama to the series. combined with his semi-oblivious nature, it made for some really heartwrenching moments, when i just wanted to jump into the tv and shake both of them by the shoulders till they woke up to each others' feelings. as weird and corny as that sounds, there were enough moments like that in the series to make it worth saying.
the series touches on the emotions that run high during this time in a person's life.
in the end, though, the series ended lightly, with me being satisfied but with that nagging feeling of wanting to know more. i suppose it would be worth it to look up the manga, in that case, but even if i don't, it left me feeling cozy, so i'm happy with that. you could easily show this series to an anime club, your sibling, or your parent/guardian/grandparent. i wouldn't reccomend it for little kids, if only because there are moments of (*gasp!*) holding hands (and Mei gets tackled by a shirtless Yamato in one scene), but otherwise this series is clean, fanservice free, and manages to satiate my appetite for a plot without even really having one.
it is when they overcome the indecisiveness that the series has its memorable moments.
Sukitte Ii na Yo. is available from Commie Subs, Interrobang Subs, AraAraUfufu~, Hadena Subs, Horrible Subs, and Hi10 Anime. the series has also been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks.