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.|