OP: 「君にふれて」 (Kimi ni Furete) by Riko Azuna
「発熱／初恋申請」 (Hatsunetsu / Hatsukoi Shinsei)
“Heating Up / Application for First Love”
While it may only be week two of a single season adventure, Yagakimi is certainly on the right track. Lingering fears about a hatchet job pacing or reversion to the yuri mean (read: melodramatic fan service) have continued to be avoided, which when it comes to these types of stories is really good thing. Yeah sure problems may yet arise down the line, but right now I’m giddy with excitement at the things to come.
Probably one of the defining features of Yagakimi is its excellent treatment of the relationship between Yuu and Touko, and this was on full display this episode. Often (too often) yuri relationships are asymmetrical, one girl takes the initiative and all but forces herself on the other, who in turn loathes the attention (and various degrees of kissing), but always gives in for one reason or another. Or in other words a very toxic form of love we more or less give a free pass to because hey, pure love and all that jazz. In Yagakimi however, that same feeling takes a back seat. While Touko is clearly smitten with Yuu and engages in the same audacious behaviour as other yuri leads, there is a distinctive lack of sensuality, of the drive for even bolder displays of passion. Not like Touka doesn’t have those thoughts mind you, but actually indulging in them? Yeah that might prove problematic.
Now the reason for this breakoff from the usual shenanigans of course lies with Yuu and Touko and their experience, or rather lack of it. Unlike the usual scenario where one girl often knows what they’re doing (or at least has the moxie to pretend so), in Yagakimi neither of our main pairing knows exactly what to do. Yuu obviously is trying to figure out just why she doesn’t feel a damn thing in the first place, but Touko? She’s actually scared of pushing Yuu too hard and having her outright reject her. Compared to the likes of citrus this is very accurate teenage romance at play, because anyone who’s gone through that gauntlet and all the swirling emotions knows the fear of rejection. When a broken heart appears to be a life ending occurrence (and oh boy does that bring back memories), taking the illusion of happiness becomes a good choice, which is why in part Touko so eagerly proposed and accepted her one-sided love. Our student council stunner wants badly to hold onto the feeling she’s found and is going to do anything she can right now to avoid losing it.
It’s going to be a slow and methodical walk down the path to understanding love, but as Yagakimi will show, it’s one both Yuu and Touko will learn quite a bit from. Might run into the usual array of problems along the way (*looks at Sayaka*), but you can be sure this is one girls love story which won’t be obeying the usual script.
ED: 「hectopascal」by Yuu Koito (Yuuki Takada) and Touko Nanami (Minako Kotobuki)