It has been quite some time since I have reviewed a series. The last time was Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain) episode 2. I have a lot of backlog reviews to go through and edit and post. Real life obligations have taken over but that doesn’t mean anime is out of my life. I’m still hosting anime events for my club, attending regular theater screenings and watching shows on a seasonal basis. Just not as much as I had before. Japanese anime is still a large part of my life so I hope that once in a while I can keep updating this site with new reviews and other content. I am always looking for people if anyone is interested in writing reviews for my site. Please. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are wanting to become an anime blogger. Now onto my review of a series currently airing.
PLOT: Yū has always loved shōjo manga and awaits the day she gets a love confession that sends her heart aflutter with bubbles and blushes, and yet when a junior high classmate confesses his feelings to her, she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yū enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yū sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she’s inspired to ask her for help. But then the next person to confess to Yū is Nanami herself.
Animation Production: TROYCA (Animation Production and CG Work on Aldnoah.Zero / Photography on Anthem of the Heart (film) / Animation Production on Sakurako-san / In-Between Animation on Bungou Stray Dogs / 2nd Key Animation on Shokugeki no Soma Episode 6 / Photography on Inari Koi Kon / In-Between Animation on Mob Psycho 100 / In-Between Animation on Boku no Hero Academia/ Animation Production, Finish Animation , Photography on RE:Creators / Production on Kimi no na wa (Your Name)]
Director: Makoto Kato [Director on Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru / Storyboard and Episode Director on RE:Creators Episodes 2 and 10 / Episode Director on Aldnoah.Zero Episodes 3 and 12]
Series Composition: Juuki Hanada [Script on Accel World Episodes 6, 7, 13, and 20 / Scenario Planning on Ah! My Goddess Episodes 4, 7, 10, 13, 17, 20, and 26 / Series Composition on Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary) / Script on Chobits / Script on Fate/Sta Night Episodes 5, 7, 14, 18, and 21 / Screenplay on K-On! Episodes 4, 5, 8 and 12 / Series Composition on the Love Live franchise TV series and films / Series Composition on Nichijou / Series Composition on Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) / Series Composition on Sora Yorimo Toileting Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe) / Script on Sound! Euphonium / Script on Saber Marionette J / Series Composition on Steins;Gate TV series and feature film / Series Composition on Yozakura Quartet]
Character Designer: Hiroaki Gohda [Director on Ah! My Goddess TV series and film / Character Designer on Amagami SS / Key Animation on Aldnoah.Zero Episode 3 / Series Director on Bubblegum Crash / Animation Director on Sakurako-san Episode 12 / Key Animation on Dirty Pair: Project Eden film / Key Animation on Dream Hunter Rem Episode 1 / Animator on Leda: The Fantastic Adventure of Yohko OAV / Key Animation on Neon Genesis Evangelion / Character Designer on Onegai Teacher / Animation Director on RE:Creators Episodes 19 and 22 / Key Animation on Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love film]
Original Creator: Nio Nakatani (Original Creator of Eclair: Anata ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology (Eclair: A Yuri Anthology to Resound in You)]
Music: Michiru Oshima [Music Composer for the following works: Arc the Lad, Aura: Koga Maryuin’s Last War / BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad / Zetsuen no Tempest / Boys Over Flowers / Buddha films / Casshan: Robot Hunter Casshern OAVs / Le Chevalier D’Eon / Fancy Lala / FullMetal Alchemist original series / Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress film / Gokusen TV-Live Action / Haikara-san trilogy films / Hal film / Kaze no Tairiku (The Weathering Continent) / Legend of Crystania / Little Witch Academia / Maho Tsukai Tai! (Magic User’s Club!) / Massage ni Iko / Nabari no Ou / The Night is Short Walk on Girl / Patema Inverted (film) / Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Live Action film) / Project Blue Earth SOS / Queen Emeraldas / Rokka no Yuusha / Akagami no Shirayukihime (Snow White with Red Hair) / Sora no Wo To (Sound of the Sky) / Speed Racer X / The Tatami Galaxy]
Chief Animation Director: Hiroaki Gohda
Episode 1 Production Details
Episode Director: Makoto Kato
Storyboard: Makoto Kato
Before I dive into Yagate Kimi ni Naru I want to discuss one of my favorite genre. Yuri. Girls love as known to English speakers. An entire genre of manga and anime about girls and women falling in love. There are many people that might think that yuri automatically connotes stories about sex, however that is not the case. And Shoujo-ai focuses on the romance portion of it. Yuri is meant to express both sexualized and non=sexualized stories. Some fantastic examples of the genre are Aoi Hana, a realistic portrayal of two high school girls (that were once childhood friends) falling in love. Simoun, a series about women pilots that are fighting in a war and have relationships with other women pilots. Two other yuri anime that are highly symbolic series come from its director Kunihiko Ikuhara which are Revolutionary Girl Utena and Yuri Kuma Arashi (Translation: Lily Bear Storm). While Yuri Kuma Arashi, which you can read my full review here contain sexually suggestive themes doesn’t shove it down the viewers throats, that these scenes are meant strictly for the story. These shy far away from what many would see tackle “in-your-face” sexual situations for pure fan service intentions. This include series such as Valkyrie Drive. About the only romance series that I can relate with Yagate Kimi ni Naru is Kimi ni Todoke–how they both handle relationships more realistically– speaking your mind and either agreeing or disagreeing with the other person.
A large reason that put Yagate Kimi ni Naru on the map this season for me, is its music composer. Michiru Oshima. A composer in my Top 10 is probably getting knocked off this list because of her. Her music is incredibly moving and works like Akagami no Shirayukihime (Snow White with Red Hair) and Hana Yori Dango (Boys over Flowers) contain some very powerful and enriching songs. She writes some of the best classical music in TV anime. I only say this because she is the one that heavily carries the hearty romance of this series. The drama is light in this first episode and we clearly can see that Yuu is confused about love because she doesn’t know what it is and how she feels. The violins play a large part with Yuu’s emotional level in this.
We have all the build up we need for a strong romantic melodrama. Yuu Koito feels isolated from most of her friends–this can be clearly seen in the first 10 minutes where we see her discussing confessions with Akari and Koyomi. Akari is head over heels for Oogaki, and Koyomi yearns for romance but hasn’t found that someone yet. I love the framing in this because we get this view of the three of them from the outside and Yuu is divided by her friends and the soft white brush of the clouds illustrate her being separated from the others–a beautifully visual motif of this.
Throughout this episode we get close up shots that aren’t fully in frame–especially with objects in focus and backgrounds sometimes out of focus to depict Yuu unsure about her own future when it comes to love. While we do have a few tropes–girl Yuu witnesses Touko’s confession scene with the boy, the backdrop of the student council allowing the two lead characters Yuu and Touko closer together (another anime/manga that does this is Citrus) and of course the Touko confession towards the end. Like I said before Oshima’s music delivers the acting, and the soft character designs to a new height. A mature perspective in telling a high school love story between two girls. Not to mention the emphasis on flowers [establishing this yuri theme and the change of seasons showing that these two have been in the student council for quite some time without wasting time with “just a phase” and very sexualized viewpoint of yuri romance. Something important to note about Yuu in this premiere is the constant focus that she doesn’t understand people’s obsessions with love poses this question about sexual identity. The balance to Yuu and the love interest is charismatic senior Nanami Touka and while being in the mind of Yuu in this episode points out that Touko has ALL the answers–that she is very mindful and Yuu respects her in appearance, smarts and more. Sayaka and Seiji are some of the minor cast in this that I am sure will add to the melodrama nicely. Given the treatment of this premiere and how faithful they were to the manga I have to wonder where they will end this with only 1-cour (at least announced for now). As for the animation, it has a cute art style that keeps up with the character art from the manga, has a few interesting first person shots and extremely detailed backgrounds that pull this characters into the show more strongly than the super thick lines of the cast in Citrus. Yagate has a softness to its visuals that compliments its beautifully arranged Oshima soundtrack.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10