Posted by psgels on 5 January 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews

One very annoying aspect of romance shows is what I’d like to call the “soap opera effect”: some drama happens, and instead of the characters voicing their problems to others, they remain silent, only inflating this drama. Characters taking forever to confess to each other also are among this. Sukitte Ii na Yo plays with this, and is also part of the excellent line-up of romance shows of the past season.

This is pretty much what Kimi ni Todoke should have been: the main couple talks to each other, despite the anxieties of the shy female lead. In thirteen episodes, we see her crawl out of her shell and gain more confidence, and grow as a character. She starts with nothing but insecurities, and grows significantly and yet believably as she confides in others. Not just her boyfriend, but also her other friends.

The other friends who actually are also very interesting characters. This show takes care in giving many of them their own story and even growth. And the thing is that when their stories are over, they don’t just disappear or just stand in the background, but form active members of the cast and show off their character development. There is a lot of drama in this series, but you don’t get the feeling like it’s trying to be as dramatic as possible, or letting things escalate for the sake of creating extra drama. I really like how this show restrained itself from going too far. There is one group of characters that this series ignores though: the villains. The girls whose only job it is to make nasty comments. They… stood out at times as annoying, one-sided and clichéd.

Zecxs is a strange animation studio: most of the shows they produce all look the same and generic, and then once in a while that really has its own style. Sukitte Ii na Yo is one such series. The animation may not be anything to write home about, but it does its job well in bringing out the emotions of the different characters. Combined that with the believable acting and good character-development for a 13-episode series, then I’d recommend this for those looking for a shoujo romance. And yeah, it has a manga that’s still going on so the story isn’t complete, and yet I actually liked the life-goes on ending a lot.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Very solid romance, puts a lot of thought into the pacing and plot progression.
Characters: 9/10 – Characters actually do something rather than remain quiet for way too long. Great character-development for just 13 episodes.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Simple but effective animation.
Setting: 8/10 – Standard school setting. Nothing special.

Suggestions:
His and Her Circumstances
Hitohira
Whisper of the Heart

17 Responses

  1. Avatar Sapphire says:

    After finishing this series only one word popped up in my head: bland. Very, very bland.

    • Avatar HunterWulf says:

      Why would bother watching a series to the very end if you found it to be bland !!?, did you expect some plot twist in the middle of the series or something ground-breaking to happen midway through to wash away the supposed blandness or what !!!?

      • Avatar Kaiserin Emma says:

        Going to go out on a limb and say Sapphire is a completionist when it comes to stuff.

        • Avatar Sapphire says:

          Two reasons:
          1) I’ve seen a lot of shoujo/romance anime, I am a big fan of the genre (specially the ones from the 80’s and 90’s) and it hasn’t been done frequently or well enough for the past few years, so I try to give a chance to every new romance with a good premise that shows some potential. Sukitte Ii na Yo was one of these cases.
          2)It only had 13 episodes. I thought of dropping it, but its short lenght combined with it being yawn-provokingly bland (but not downright bad) made me finish it. And I also had a little hope for an enjoyable ending, but unfortunately the final episode ended up being the second worst of them all.

          That was a nice logical guess Kaiserin Emma, but I usually can’t stick with series (even shoujo/romance) that I find bad, specially if they’re long (e.g. Hanasakeru Seishounen).

          • Avatar Alaena says:

            @Sapphire: I haven’t seen too many compelling romance series. This one could certainly be seen as “bland,” but I enjoyed it for its characters because I found the female lead’s emotional development quite realistic.

            Which romance series have you enjoyed in the past?

        • Avatar HunterWulf says:

          Hmmm, well .. that kinda explains things, thanks XD

  2. Avatar Kai says:

    Enjoyed this series, a lot of it sort of felt more like slice of life than romance (which was a good thing).

    @psgels
    Is it me or have you started to use more cut&paste from previous posts than before? I’ve been having several deja vu moments here of late. If it was simply about you talking about the same thing again, I think that would feel different, because the wording seems too identical. Just curious.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Hmm, that is quite possible. I’m not copying and pasting, but try finding different ways to say that a romance is good in a season that has an abundance of them. I’ll try to keep this in mind, though.

      • Avatar Kai says:

        @psgels

        No, I understand it can get repetitive talking about similar shows. What I meant was really more like sections of previous posts (on the same anime) getting reposted in later reviews. Not just thematic similarily but whole groups of almost identilcally worded sentences. It’s not a problem per se and I’m not criticizing you, but it definitely got me thinking that you must be busier than usual if you’re copying like that. So if you’re not actually copying, it’s an interesting phenomenon.

  3. Avatar Nic says:

    I kinda liked this series. Especially its female lead. But for some reason, I couldn’t enjoy the male lead. He was shown to be too perfect. It’s not like he did anything wrong per se, it’s just, I enjoy my characters flawed.

    • Avatar HunterWulf says:

      I don’t think he was perfect at all (he only seemed so at the first few eps), maybe he was handsome and famous in his school but that’s it, he was as flawed as the main female character but he was just good at hiding it (i mean come on, they dedicated an episode for his flash-back), another clear thing that shows his flaws where still around is when his old friend came back he misjudged him and also hurt Mei’s feelings in the process .. he was a total douche in that part as well as the part when he fell into Megu’s palms, started modeling with her which resulted in him ignoring and neglecting Mei.

  4. Avatar HunterWulf says:

    Good timing, i just recently got to watch all the episodes from 4 up to 13 in a quick marathon, and i have to say i really enjoyed both the romance between the two main character as well as the slice-of-life aspect of the show with all the side-characters actually playing some active role in the story developments (as simple as it may be).

    But before i talk more i need to say there are two things i hated about it, first the unnecessary excessive kissing that happened in the first few episodes, i get it why the first kiss happened .. but all the ones that came later didn’t make sense, and it impacted the later parts negatively IMO (diluted the emotional development impact and even when they got to kiss for real in the summer festival it felt like “meh”), the series would have been better without that.

    Then there is also the fact they reused a plot device twice in row .. first when Megu came into the picture, took away the Yamato from Mei and almost broke their relation then again when Yamato’s friend came into the picture and caused some tension between Mei and Yamato .. i know each case was different and all but it just felt like they were running out of ideas .. i think they could have done that better.

    Now that the ‘bad’ stuff is out of the way let’s focus on the good stuff, Mei’s character growth was really the highlight for me, as well as gradually learning that Yamato isn’t as perfect as he first seems (and we get to know why), seeing Yamato and Mei overcoming their problems, interacting and affecting each other was fun and heart warming (my two fav scenes were when Mai’s bracelt got broken and they both fall to the ground to collect its parts, and the scene between Yamato and his old friend when they fought with each other).

    Those interactions were also enjoyably becasue of the group of friends around them, i really liked the fact that each of them had their own little story and also changed (even a little bit) by the end of the series (most notable example being Megu’s story followed by Yamato’s friend story and his sister’s story).

    Overall an enjoyable romance series that while it doesn’t break new grounds or has high-production values it manages to be fun and heart-warming .. and above all avoids lots of the downfalls of romance anime.

  5. Avatar Sony says:

    Strange, I have the complete opposite opinion about this show. I think Kimi Ni Todoke succeeded in everything that this show failed at.

    My main problem is the lead female. She is such a Mary Sue. For someone who had very little interaction with people all her life, she has a lot of wisdom to share. I just don’t believe it. It seems way too effortless of her to “touch” so many of the side characters lives.

    • Avatar metocho says:

      Agree. Don’t compare Kimi ni Tooke with this shit anime.
      Its like earth and moon…

      What the heck me download 3 episode of this Sukite blach-ch whatever…
      She’s just starting socializing yet so many speech like she knows everything. Plot too boring, an slow.
      I don’t recommended this to anyone , surely.

      • Avatar void.pointer says:

        What? You’re calling this anime slow? Kimi ni Todoke was INSANELY slow. In fact, it took them 36 episodes to finalize their relationship when it should have been done in 12. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Kimi ni Todoke but don’t spout that bullshit about Sukitte Ii na Yo being “slow” or boring.

        • Avatar Sony says:

          Relationships just don’t happen overnight like in Sukitte Ii Na. Though Kimi Ni Todoke was slow, it was more realistic.

  6. Avatar Anna says:

    In the manga, the villains are a bit more fleshed out I think.

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