Anime Attack: Sukitte Ii Na Yo
By: Meg Humphrey
If you’re home sick from work on a Monday and/or are in the mood to have some feelings about a silly romance anime, Sukitte Ii na yo, or Say “I Love You” is the perfect medicine. The show is only 13 episodes long so if you’re dedicated, have nothing to do, or can’t move much due to tummy pains, you can finish it in one day. You’ll probably want to do that anyway as the anime takes place in a fairly short period of time; it has none of that suddenly-it’s-a-month-later stuff. You can imagine the events taking place in a matter of a few weeks. That may not seem long enough to fall in love but remember, it’s a) an anime and b) high school.
The story focuses around a girl, Mei Tachibana, who was bullied while young and has closed herself off to everyone around her except her cat Mochi and (kind of) her mom. She’s 16 with no friends and no boyfriend and she doesn’t have any plans to change that. That is, until she roundhouse kicks the school’s #1 boy, Yamato Kurosawa. Yamato instantly takes interest in Mei and Mei starts to open herself up to love and friendship.
All of the characters deal with the repercussions of bullying, whether as a victim or a bystander. Bullying is a serious issue in Japan, one that causes kids to switch schools, quit school, or in the most extreme cases, commit suicide. I’m sure most people have experienced bullying or some kind of ostracizing behavior from their peers, so I hope people can take comfort in watching this show and know that there are ways to heal from it and move on.
The love story is simple and tender. You can see where they could run away with the usual romance tropes, but the show slightly changes those to make them fit the story’s fairly serious tone and short length. The ending was sweet, but a little unsatisfying. I owe that more to my need for everything to feel 100% complete more than a fault on the show’s part.
If you feel like a mostly light hearted (I cried twice, I think), down to Earth, love anime then head on over to Crunchyroll or your favorite anime provider and start watching! If manga is more your thing, there are 13 volumes of Sukitte Ii Na Yo. I am caught up with the scanlations (through chapter 50) and it is WONDERFUL! It’s more risque than the anime, so only read if you’re comfortable with sexual situations.