The Problem With Choices
What They Say:
Yuu has always loved shoujo 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, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she’s inspired to ask her for help. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself. Has her shoujo romance finally begun?
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Well, after five episodes, I think it’s safe to say that the ‘blooming’ has finally started. With Yuu’s strange and uncertain feelings toward Touko being pointed out to her in last week’s episode, she emerges this week with her guard up. And while episode five does an exemplary job of making this known right off the bat, it counters itself (And rather well, I might add) with incessant refusal from our protagonist that can’t seem to grasp the situation she’s landed herself in. And while some may view the vast majority of Yuu’s inner monologues during this particular episode as factual, I’m here to refute that. I firmly believe that the bulk of these monologues are not things she is telling us (The viewer) but herself in an effort to combat her feelings.
Have you ever heard of that whole “Actions speak louder than words” phrase? Who am I kidding- of course you have. You’re not an idiot. Well, almost every single action that Yuu has taken up to this point has been in complete contrast to the dialogue that precedes whatever it is that she decides to do. It’s almost like she’s trying to talk herself out of things before succumbing to desire or curiosity or whatever it is she’s feeling. The fact of the matter is, though, she is feeling something. Sure, it’s not love right now — and it might not ever be love. But it’s overwhelmingly clear that her dynamic with her senpai is unlike anything she’s ever been thrust into before. This idea, though vague on paper, is best showcased in Touko’s first visit to Yuu’s house. Yes, she’s been to the bookstore before. But in this week’s episode, she actually gets to meet the parents of the girl she is sweet on.
The visit, which was meant to be sort of study/tutoring session, quickly turns into something much different — something many of us have had to go through at some point in life. What I’m talking about, of course, is being alone together in a bedroom with the object of your affection. Touko becomes visibly flustered and it prompts a discussion between the two girls that could be interpreted in a number of ways. All of these interpretations, however, all wind up at a single statement from Yuu. This statement can be paraphrased as “I’m going to stay with you because you need me more than anyone else.” While this may seem cold to some people, digging into the type of person Yuu is brings you to a much different answer. She isn’t blowing off Touko’s feelings and saying something along the lines of, “I’m with you because no one else has ever had feelings for me.” We know that much isn’t true thanks to the confession of her previous classmate. What she is trying to say is more akin to, “I like how much you need me.”
Sure, it’s a relatively strange concept — especially considering the nature of the girls’ relationship. But you must ask yourself, “Is Yuu really blind enough to the feelings of her senpai that she would say something that can be so easily misinterpreted?” The fact of the matter is- no, she wouldn’t. Yuu Koito is a very well-educated girl who, thanks to years of shoujo manga, has a fantastic understanding of romance. What she has trouble understanding is what exactly romance is supposed to feel like. But what we’re beginning to uncover is just that. Yuu has started to bloom. She’s happy that someone appreciates her that way Touko does, and she doesn’t have any intention of giving that up despite countless statements that make it appear as if she does. At the end of the day, she’s at a point in her life where everything is confusing. And the only constant thus far, the only thing she has been 100% certain of, is that someone loves her.
Also, there’s absolutely no way Yuu isn’t into Touko with how much she blushes during her senpai’s cuter moments. I refuse to believe it.
Bloom Into You remains just as endearing as ever with the most well-focused episode since the pilot. We get a better glimpse into the life of Yuu’s family and even learn a bit of how relationships are handled in the household with some help from her sister. The Koitos are a pretty normal family. And sure, her dad said something about his heart not being able to handle if his daughter got it on with a girl (Bad paraphrasing), but I’m having a hard time believing that now. There’s no way this wholesome family would object to anyone their daughter grew fond of — especially now that they’ve formally met Touko. Regardless, the series continues on at a slow, yet enjoyable pace. Each episode brings us closer to understanding these two girls as they become more intimate with each other, ultimately uncovering a few things they didn’t know about themselves.
Episode Grade: A-
Streamed By: HIDIVE