「人を信じれば……」 (Hito o Shinjireba……)
“When You Trust People…”

Now that Mei has confessed her feelings to Yamato, the two of them finally become a couple, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling insecure and probably never will. To maintain a relationship is one of the things that requires effort and leaves you vulnerable. The bond she shares with Yamato is a big deal and a new experience for someone like Mei whose life has been filled with hardships. While being alone as a social outcast can be hard and sad, in a way, having that kind of past has made Mei more straightforward and honest because she doesn’t know how to approach people or blend in. Her interactions with people are so honorable and admirable, so it’s not hard to see why Yamato appreciates the girl as much as he does.

There are people who have been questioning Yamato as a character, but for me, he is an absolutely normal shoujo male protagonist. From a shoujo-reader’s perspective, males approaching girls in a possessive manner is a quite common concept, which in real life might be considered to be creepy. Perhaps it is hard to watch Yamato act like he does without questioning why Mei isn’t resisting him, but this is shoujo’s way of making the story more dramatic. While shoujo manga tends to focus on the girls’ feelings, the males are the characters who make the drastic moves so the story can progress. The insecure girl will find faith in the male and see a new world through him. All shoujo manga isn’t like this, but most of them are. Sukitte Ii na yo. is quite fast paced and focuses on Mei’s insecurity more than anything. With a mindset such as Mei’s (to be alone so no one can hurt her), there needs to be a catalyst to change her view of people – and that is Yamato, even if he seemed quite like a creep. Hopefully he can be more appreciated this week as he revealed his past.

Like Mei, Yamato also has a past that was very lonely. He has never been socially alone, but emotionally, his life was really lonesome. Living in a very fickle lie to protect yourself from harm may seem cowardly, but unfortunately, this is too common in reality – even when your best friend is being bullied. Yamato feels guilty which is very understandable, but it’s also nice to know that his friend, despite being neglected, appreciated the moments they could talk. There is no way to understand what a victim feels, but hearing a “thank you” from his friend, probably made Yamato open up his eyes, and that’s most likely why he helped so many girls later on. Watching him talk to Mutou Aiko (Uchiyama Yumi), made me smile because what he told her was one of the kindest things he could’ve said to her. Many girls feel like Aiko, so it’s easy to relate to her. In a way, she and Mei are very similar – both are insecure, but what makes them so different is that Aiko tries her best for others while Mei isolates herself. Both are scared – Aiko fears being rejected for her looks, and Mei is afraid of being used. Sukitte Ii na yo. is very down-to-earth, and its portrayal of relatable characters amazes me. The series is also very realistic in the school aspect. Unlike most shoujo, this one portrays a more natural image of high school where people, especially girls, are very insecure and affected by media. The girls aren’t all pure and innocent – this series dares to tackle subjects such as bullying, ideals caused by media, and sex. All those things (and whatever is left to come), make this show something many people can identify themselves in.

Aiko’s introduction may not have been the best one for positive first impressions, but to me, she is a perfect example of what so many people, both males and females do every day – change themselves for others. There is nothing wrong with change for the better, but to change your physical appearance for someone else means that the feelings in the relationship aren’t mutual. It’s sad that people try to appeal to others to the extent of physically changing your appearance. For Aiko, her change left physical scars. She, like Asami, was also saved by Yamato, but Aiko’s appreciation for that is not in the form of admiration. It’s ironic that Yamato who told her that she’s fine the way she is was the reason why Aiko decided to go on a diet. But considering how popular he is, it’s quite reasonable for Aiko to feel that she needs to change to stand a chance against all the other girls around him. Aiko said that she took Yamato’s kindness for granted which is quite funny actually, because what Yamato did to her is very questionable. Was sleeping with her the right thing to do? Was that the only way to convince her that she is acceptable as she is? Maybe the bullying from his middle school made Yamato think that he has to do whatever it takes to help people in need? For him and Aiko, his act was simply kindness – but for us, it’s probably something debatable. But in the end, everything comes down to Mei. She who doesn’t let anyone affect her opened up Yamato’s eyes to a new world, while he is slowly showing her how to trust people. It’s nice to see how they both climb the stairs of hardships, and the tenderness of their way to the top really grabs my heart.

Hopefully, Mei will be able to change Aiko’s look on life too, and maybe make her realize that there is man who wants her for who she is. As it seems now, Tachikawa Masashi (Majima Junji) is nothing more than a friend to comfort Aiko, but to me, he appears to hold deeply romantic feelings for her. As for now, he’ll probably remain the comforter because Aiko will hardly accept the fact that Yamato actually is serious about a girl. While some may think that Aiko is the stereotypical hateful love rival, to me she is quite different from that. It’s easy to sympathize with Aiko and considering her past and all that she has done for Yamato’s attention, it’s only natural for her to feel upset. But, as mentioned earlier, Mei will presumably be the catalyst for Aiko’s “change”, just like she was for Asami’s. Mei truly is amazing and respectable. Despite lacking social experience, she is capable of bringing positive change to others. It would make me very happy to see others return the favor to her, especially Yamato. He is definitely a lucky guy to have her in his life, and hopefully, the same will apply to Aiko someday!

Eyecatch: B-part




  1. well give more past learning develop give mei going with yamato on a parlor/date give til here come aiko.

    yea give mei good in bowling then aiko being bit heel on mei cause she want yamato give in her past over ho-ski herself for another til got used & then fall for yamato.

    also look yamato’s past give punch a well cause person knew has left after hearing mei & yamato kiss while now aiko might over ho-ski to get yamato.

  2. Dat awesome mom!
    Dat sekrid bowling skeelz!
    Dat kitten?

    Hmm, honestly I thought that Mei would put up more of a resistance of some kind instead of going along with whatever Yamato proposes, but I suppose this is how shoujo mangas are usually written.. *As pointed out*

    Perhaps it is Yamato’s past that draws him to Mei. Although he has changed somewhat radically since that incident with his best friend (becoming super popular and all), he still claims to be similar to Mei. I don’t know why, but somehow I can see the BAD END route (don’t stake me!) where Yamato betrays Mei. Most likely not going to happen, but my point being – There is a certain sense of insecurity by going out with a super popular and not to mention, kind handsome guy who sweeps girls off their feet just by being in their presence.

    Overall, I like how there are the lighter, comedic moments and then there are the darker side of things, mostly revolving around Aiko for this episode. Vengeance is such a scary and strong emotion, which reminded me of the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”

    PS: And they never went to get their hair fixed after all..

    1. Well, unlike Tonari, the comedy romance show, this shojo is a rather straight-forward serious one, so squeezing+cutting out stuff to fit into one cour show will bound to happen and perhaps anger many manga readers. Very similar issue with what “sakamichi no apollon” had.

      Expect that most of the secondary characters’ backstory will be cut and some plots will be edit down -such as how that boy who is dating the big-boob girl was a goodie two shoes from the get-go. Accept the anime as it is will spare you from continuous angst for the next 9 weeks, man.

      I'm a ghost, boo!
      1. I find Tonari much more faithful to its source that Sukitte Ii na Yo…
        Either way, I love both mangas/animes!

        and as you rightly say, no need stressing over the missed details: that’s what they call an adaptation after all, and not “copy-paste” !

    2. I’m a manga reader for this series too and my main complaint is that the tone almost too soft here… From Kenji being changed from a bully that clearly voiced out his dislike for Mei (until she helped him with Asami) to a much more gentle guy, and then you also have how “easily” Aiko’s sexual “adventures” were skipped and/or implied…

      then again, it’s 13 episodes and not an R18 show…

      I watch and love it anyways !

    3. Yeah I also like the manga more. Their portrayal of Mei is the typical shy shoujo heroine that the super handsome hero rescues. But she really isn’t in the manga. MeI, in the manga, is far stronger. It was emphasized in the manga that she didn’t really care about what others though of her and was very gloomy in her disposition since she didn’t care about whether others liked her or not. Her confusion about why Yamato liked her was genuine confusion and not really because of any insecurity about herself. In the anime, she seems very insecure and not at all strong which I think is mostly because of her voice actress. I envisioned Mei to talk in a low and serious voice rather than a quiet and meek voice. No matter how Strong her actions, the voice is Still making her seem weak. Yamato, as a character also seems very flat. His character’s goodness comes off as mere flirting. He doesn’t have a serious demeanor but in a couple of scenes, I think a little bit of seriousness would have been better to show his sincerity. As of now, it just seems like he sees Mei as a charity case. It frustrates me that the anime is confirming the popular belief that all shoujos are crap.

  3. Aiko walking on glass shards at the end was a nice portrayal on her desperation for Yamato.

    There’s really something in this series that I like which I can’t exactly pinpoint. I’m
    looking forward to this every week and I don’t know why.

  4. I think having a show like this is a nice balance to the more comedic romances this season. I for one am a huge fan of romcoms but it’s nice to take a closer look at more realistic romances sometimes. What I really like about this show is that it brings topics most people tend to overlook in relationships. Sure, you have insecurities and love rivals in most comedies but sometimes it gets a little cheesy. With this show, you can really look at what’s happening to a character and think: “Oh wow, I’ve definitely been there.” So I enjoy this show for showing a more honest side to that (especially through Mei who sees things for exactly what they are since she’s been alone this whole time). I’m really enjoying this show and I was really happy to see some good character development from Yamato in this episode.

  5. @justin

    maybe you are one of those who easily believe what others say they think about themselves and others….

    it is apparent by the animation of this anime, that tachibana mei is a very cute girl….her character design is very very cute and pretty….she has good white skin, big clear eyes, a small nose, and a skinny small frame

    also this does not happen often, but it also does not “never” happen

  6. After following the manga and being so excited for the anime, it’s tough to decipher my true feelings toward the show. The soundtrack is amazing and the VAs for the roles have definitely grown on me. However, the story feels a little disjointed and I’m not developing the same impression of Mei as I did in the manga. The colors feel ‘off’ as well.

    I didn’t know that Ritsuko Okazaki passed away. *sits in sad stupor while remembering ‘let’s stay together itsumo’*
    I love this opening so much ;_;

  7. i hope there is no “drama” in the relationship just for the sake of it. I mean not every relationship needs drama in order to be good. for example, Tomoya and Nagisa had no trouble in the second season after they were married with love rivals or being unfaithful.

  8. This episode was excellent, and went a long way toward humanizing Yamato, who until now has come off as rather pushy. It is, as you say, extremely fast paced – three episodes in and they’re already an established item? – and I for one am loving that. I wish more romance series would GET ON WITH IT this quickly.

  9. This has made me realize how much I can identify with Mei. I love this series all the more for that. The shoujo-yet-realistic approach Say “I Love You” has is absolutely something I’ve come to treasure, even in this short a time frame.

    I’m overjoyed that this has been licensed, because if it continues on the way it’s been doing I will buy it in a heartbeat.

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