What They Say:
Masaki wants to deliver the chocolate she painstakingly made for Valentine’s Day. Just as she is about to approach Shun after school, a girl from another school stops Shun with her own chocolate and a confession. After witnessing the event, Masaki tries to leave, but Chizuru notices and chases after her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to holidays and school, the evil one can definitely be attributed to Valentine’s Day and White Day in Japan since there seems like there’s always someone left out and feelings hurt. With You & Me, the show kicks off by letting us see just how, um, normal Chizuru can be, which feels weird. Seeing him go through a near-wet dream over Mary is certainly cute, especially since in his dream he tries honestly to get her to stop, but then goes with the reality afterwards when he wakes up about how he wouldn’t. Yet you know that he really would try to get her to stop because it’d be a situation he couldn’t handle well. Chizuru is a kind of standard character and bothers me sometimes, but they do give him just enough nuance to have him feel fun and amusing even when he could be frustrating.
With the holiday in full effect in school, he’s definitely having a hard time of it because he knows he’s not going to get anything and seeing others get stuff just drives him kind of nuts. To make matters worse, when he does see Mary, well, he can’t help but to remember his dream and that just makes him all manner of awkward. The stab to the heart though is that Mary is still interested in Shun, who plainly has no interest in him, but Chizuru can figure things out easily enough. It’s not an outright pained expression, but there’s an honesty to his reaction that feels just right as sadness creeps in around the edges. He recovers well enough as the day goes on, but there’s a muted aspect to him at this point that lets you know it’s gotten to him.
Because of Mary’s interest in Shun, Chizuru continues to play the good friend role. Not that he really isn’t, but his concern is kind of double edged as he tries to comfort her over the way thing unfold while hoping that she’ll realize what his real feelings are. It rarely happens that way in the real world, so you have to feel for Chizuru as he tries whatever he can while trying to help her, only to go a bit too far in both his and her mind. Though this isn’t exactly a romantic triangle, there are the core elements there and it’s fun to watch it play out since it does keep things fairly muted and without big, extravagant plays and the like. It goes into a few awkward areas, a little spying never feels right even if it does happen, but there’s an honesty about the way all three involved deal with the situation.
You & Me starts to deal a bit with the situation at hand that exists with Chizuru, Shun and Mary in a way that works well, even if it feels like Chizuru is going to be disappointed in the long run. There’s no easy way to work through this situation but he does his best, even if you want to encourage him to just be friends and move on, to cope with the unrequited feelings as a part of life. For Mary, she really does shine well here as she copes with the pain of her affections and the way it unfolds, especially with how Chizuru gets closer to her in order to try and help her. It’s simple, laid back slice of life material that works well, building on all that has come before without rushing into it or dealing with grand gestures that feels out of place. It finally left me caring about both characters, something that I hadn’t felt since the start of the series.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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