「守ってるよ」 (Mamotteru yo)
“I’ll Protect You”
Sometimes, it’s hard to see and appreciate what you already have when your mind is filled with unattainable things. Sometimes, we simply have to rely on others to see things for us. Once again, Sukitte Ii na yo. portrays the importance of friendship in a beautiful and poignant way. Megumi has been compared with a lot of characters, but perhaps she is more similar to Mei than anyone else. She suffered like Mei, she changed like Kai, and she created “fake” relationships like Yamato – she ended up being a mess. Megumi’s story was long, but it was a great one. She had a little bit of everything, but there was just one thing she didn’t have or even knew of – love.
Sukitte Ii na yo. is a love story before anything else, but it also shows us the importance of human bonds. All characters in this series are stereotypical shoujo characters, but what has made this franchise so special is how it has been relying on connections. It’s not just a girl meets boy story; it is also a beautiful series about growth as a person, and overcoming hardships. Megumi’s story was wrapped up nicely in this episode, and to be honest, the episodes involving her were my favourite ones. To me, she was a very realistic girl. Her development was truly interesting, and while she was meant to be the cunning love rival, she ended up being a great catalyst for everyone else to develop. And when her actions somehow made the others open up their eyes, they could in return, help her.
It’s still hard for me to like Megumi. While she has definitely changed for the better, it’s too soon for me to think positively of her. But it makes me happy to see that there was a kind heart hidden beneath the façade she had created. It’s also very nice to see that the other characters didn’t abandon her. Megumi is in good hands and she has some great friends. While she may not be the nicest person, she doesn’t deserve the treatment she is getting from some of her classmates, so it makes me happy to see that despite everything that has happened, there are people who love her.
With the Megumi arc reaching its end, the second half of the episode showed us a lovely festival. Having friendship as the main theme today, the festival was truly fitting. It was nice to see how all these characters, after so much drama, are still sticking together. It amazes me how much everyone has grown and how they complete each other. Most of these characters have had traumatic experiences, yet their faces radiated happiness. It’s amazing how friendship can change a person, and Sukitte Ii na yo. has done really well in portraying that. Words aren’t enough to describe how beautiful this show is. It may not be the strongest shoujo anime, but it sure leaves an impact on me with its poignancy.
While this episode might have felt like an ending, it’s actually not over yet. There was an epilogue and personally, to me this could’ve been the finale, but more Sukitte Ii na yo. can’t be bad, can it? With so many friendship centred episodes, it would be quite nice to have one dedicated to Mei and Yamato’s relationship. The two of them started this story and it would only be proper to have them ending it, so hopefully this love story will end with some romance!