「恋愛初心者」 (Renai Shoshinsha)
“Beginners at Love”
It was hard for me to keep my emotions in control while watching this episode. Sukitte Ii na yo. is truly a fantastic anime. Its tenderness, poignancy, and warmth are just a few of the things that grab my heart and keep me attached to this show. While all love stories are emotional, this one truly stands out in the realm of shoujo. There is maturity, realism, and logic in this anime. People can relate to the situations and feel what the characters are going through. It has been a long time since a shoujo show had me on the brink of tears.
Frankly, Yamato hasn’t been very deserving of Mei’s love lately. He has been ignorant and oblivious to her true feelings. It upsets me that he who claims that he loves Mei, needed a wake-up-call from Aiko to actually realize that he has been hurting his girlfriend. Most of my accusations in this arc were directed towards Megumi, but now, Yamato has truly done it. Megumi was the catalyst for this issue of trust to appear between Mei and Yamato, but in the end, this would’ve been such an insignificant matter if the couple would’ve been stronger. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to demand that Yamato pays more attention to Mei. Maybe the same should be requested from Mei as well, but judging these two people based on their backgrounds, Mei has every right to feel the way she does. Yamato must have understanding for that. When Mei noticed that Yamato was watching her, she felt uneasy because of all the negativity inside her. Her being blunt might’ve been startling but Yamato walking away from her truly surprised me. He knows Mei is different, that was one of the reasons why he found her interesting. He should know how difficult it is for Mei to be social. While Yamato’s social life might’ve been the reason why he has grown to be such an oblivious person, he should’ve learned by now. Perhaps this is why he couldn’t help his bullied childhood friend, or his sister? Perhaps he slowly began to take people for granted because everyone around him did that to him? If so, then that is truly sad.
Don’t take me wrong though. My words may sound harsh, but my view on Yamato as a character is not bad. He is a decent character, but as Mei’s boyfriend, he hasn’t been very respectable. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he is going remain the way he is. Hopefully he has realized what it means to truly love someone now so he can redeem himself. The final scene in this episode was so touching. While this was vastly different from how things went in the manga, which to me was quite disappointing but easy to forgive, the anime made more of an impact on me. Both these characters are so emotionally unstable and new at true love. Both of them find it hard to express their genuine selves in front of each other. It was hard for me to hold my tears back when the episode ended. While the scene was very different from my expectations (which were based on the manga), it was truly a pleasing and beautiful scene.
This realization both characters faced is a huge step for them, but the hardships won’t end. Megumi will probably not give up, so perhaps now is a better time to start accusing her for being a selfish nightmare. The love rivalry is on, and the love triangle is very likely to become a love quadrangle now that my second favourite character, Takemura Kai (Maeno Tomoaki), has been properly introduced. He has already introduced himself to Mei, plus he is enrolling in her high school. The development from this stage will be very interesting to watch. A male rival might be a bit of a cliché, but a very necessary one in this case, because this might make Yamato realize how important Mei is. While he does care for her, he needs to have a clear look at her importance in his life. A broken bracelet can be fixed, but to do so, one must be very careful and have patience.