Sukitte Ii Na Yo
The anime world can sometimes be an extremely harsh one; not only is it filled with deadlines, release dates and a general stress, but the community is also extremely hard to please since everyone will like different things. As a result, it’s not surprising to see some anime with a lot of time and effort put in the beginning and then the rest of the series slowly going down a slope into oblivion. Sukitte Ii Na Yo had exactly that problem, not only did it start pretty well, and seemed to have a fresh new view on things on the high school romance genre, it showed a lot of promise when it comes to the actual romance.
Sukitte Ii Na Yo had actually a pretty classic girl meets boy type of story, but the fact it seemed to look at things from a much more mature and adult point of view (at first) made it a lot more interesting in the beginning and quickly got me hooked to the story since mature subject matter is often avoided in shoujo and shounen; or actually in most highschool romances. Around the fourth episode, I started feeling something was off with my original feeling since it started to take a very different direction, relying on rather cheap and soap opera like drama to please and try to keep my interest; that alone was the biggest disappointment of the series for me since cheap drama and love rivals often feel like a plot staller, which was the case for Sukitte Ii Na Yo. On the positive side, the story did initially have an extremely interesting fast paced type of storytelling, effectively making this very captivating and almost mesmerizing Past that initial feeling however, the show simply seemed to be going in every direction possible, or rather, moving away from the initial interesting points it had to pursue cheap drama. The ending however was nice, as the beginning as well, but it was extremely hard to enjoy this middle part since it simply seemed aimless and tried to shock rather than tried to impress. The beginning and ending were enjoyable, but the in between was so painful and long that it was hard to bear. I could only recommend this to fans of the genre since, well, it was more annoying and boring than it was interesting.
The characters were enjoyable enough but hardly diverted from the clichés of shoujo anime. They were all so cliché that almost everything they did seemed to be exactly the general cliché you think about when you start looking at shoujo anime/manga. The major problem I had with them was exactly that, a lack of originality and a general lack of uniqueness. A part from the occasional joke, the main cast was pretty forgettable, the emo kid we have as a main character gets hard to bear eventually since most of the solutions to her problems seem to obvious and easy to solve, it becomes hard to relate to her / them since it basically seems like a bunch of dogs barking at their shadows rather than actually doing something. The character development seems to stall and even backtrack once in a while, and that just seemed to wreck the anime even more since the character development was an actual enjoyable point before it started to go back.
The music was actually a point I very much enjoyed, not only did it have a lot to do with the general mood (which was at times good) but it helped keep the anime more interesting and seem less done before. The art, was of a classic shoujo, nothing to our of the ordinary and nothing too good either; although the starting episodes seemed to be visually more stimulating, it wasn’t enough to make the anime that visually interesting.
All in all this did feel more adult oriented; it seemed pretty nice and very fast paced, the fact it treats of romance as a more ‘’adult’’ and sexual thing makes it easy to take seriously and to appreciate. It feels less like a high school romance but rather like an actual romance, which is very cool. But I just have to ask: why the love rival? That’s just a piece of pointless drama right there, serving nothing but to impede the natural flow of the anime and character development while in couple. It gets so obvious and obnoxious at times it’s painful. This isn’t a bad anime per say, but it was a letdown from what it sold itself to be.