Bloom Into You (Fall 2018) – The Wings of Love

★★★★

Yuu Koito (Yuuki Takada) always considers love as in most shoujo manga. It’s beautiful, blossom, charming, and so lovely. But, in reality, she can’t feel such love. After graduating high school, a boy had crushed on her. However, she still couldn’t answer the boy’s feelings. She can only make the boy wait. In high school, she still hasn’t joined any club besides her always helping the Student Council. When she was invited to the first meeting, accidentally, she met with Touko Nanami (Minako Kotobuki), with the same characterization as Yuu, who has a love matter in their respective lives.

Nanami is so admirable, memorable, confident, independent, and very reliable. What’s important, one school knows the figure of Nanami. However, there is a glance that people have never witnessed, namely her real mask. And Yuu saw this after she confessed that she couldn’t feel a single love in her life. Between feeling sorry, sad, or amazed, Nanami just wants to prove that she can, that she can love no matter who she is. And she is Nanami, suddenly taking the first step.

I love this anime. Everything about this anime is rich, but also not the best romance anime and also perfect. But, I can say if this is my most enjoyable romance ever. I don’t care how gender or what human emotions are. It’s really easy to understand, just think love is blind, love and the world are two things that can’t be perfect. We, as humans, just cannot answer it rhetorically, theoretically, or otherwise. At the end of the world, we know that we are all the same, but we just cannot assume that love is normal or perfect.

I always say if I watch everything no matter what others say or what the rating said, I always watch first and then judge it. I also never limit the genre of what I can’t watch and that I can watch every day. “Bloom Into You” is beautiful in a variety of ways. Shoujo-ai, and maybe shounen-ai as well, is one of the genres that always amazes me. “Citrus” is not one of the best but I enjoy it to the end. “Classmates” is one of the most beautiful shounen-ai anime movies. But, with “Bloom Into You”, it makes me realize how two characters only want to express and confess their feelings no matter their gender is the same.

What I love about this show is how the show can make me care about all the characters in the story. Nanami and Yuu are like a realistic character with a different perspective on love. They only lack one in life that is wanting to love and wanting to be loved. Yuu, physically, isn’t a beautiful-looking girl but her kindness makes her always unaware of what makes her a good person; she just doesn’t realize that people always used her but don’t care what the situation is.

Nanami, on the other hand, is very noticeable especially when you recognize the characters in the second and third episodes. She is not a confident girl, despite the fact, people always see her as a perfect student. Physically, she is perfect and she has almost no shortcomings. But, in her heart, she was only pretending that people could rely on her. We know the character later in the specific episode, which made her have to pretend and why.

You just don’t want to see these two prominent characters separate, fail, and their relationship ends tragically. You also don’t want to see their relationship seen by other people. All the drama includes side characters, especially Sayaka Saeki (Ai Kayano), who sells into the story. They act like imperfect humans in general, in reality like you often see them around. This show manages to capture every essence of the character. You see them learn, grow up from the past, and of course, understand what love is.

Sayaka Saeki is one of the prominent supporting cast in the story. At first, you see her, especially she is a friend of Nanami, as a friend. However, she has a crush on Nanami. The second time, she was always jealous of the close relationship between Yuu and Nanami, she acted like a douche sometimes. However, when you know her closely, you care about her. Even though she’s not the protagonist, you only want to see her character succeed in getting Nanami. You don’t want to see her fail and get hurt. On the other hand, you also don’t want the protagonist to fail.

I don’t want to see all these characters fail and want to achieve everything to the end and succeed. I don’t want to see these characters become fragile, rigid, and fail. You care about these characters, what their motivations are, and what their goals are. From the start, this show has great potential until the ending. I like an ending that questions everything, you always find it in the most ambiguous ending in the movie or the anti-climax ending that gives millions of questions without any single answer. “Bloom Into You” isn’t anti-climax because it’s clear what all of these characters want to get. But, it’s a little bit off especially when it comes to this is a romance show.

TROYCA, a studio that holds this project, has a fantastic job with this anime. This show looks more vibrant especially with its character designs and tone. The charm of all characters captures every detail of it. The visual in the opening theme song is beautiful, gorgeous, and fantastic, showing poetically Yuu and Nanami’s relationship simultaneously. I don’t talk much about movement and blocking in anime but this anime has one of the best especially when it comes to the under-the-bridge sequence. It’s portrayed, every step the character takes, emotionally but we understand what it means. And the performance from the voice actors as well did a great job.

“Bloom Into You” quite changes my mind a little about what romance is, what LGBT love stories are, just like the LGBT films I have watched. It’s not just a simple romance story with a one-dimensional character. But, it’s complex in every way let alone this is a shoujo-ai anime. A sensational drama without having to impress excessive or cheap. Every episode always presents many surprises and each episode also works very well because of the tone and drama.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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