Bloom Into You

Bloom Into You

Bloom Into You anime series cover art
Bloom Into You

Series Overview

Bloom Into You (Yagate Kimi ni Naru / やがて君になる) is a shoujo ai anime that’s probably considered one of the best of the genre by a lot of people. If you’re wondering what the difference between shoujo ai and yuri is, I went over that in my review of Adachi and Shimamura.

Now, going back to the part about this being considered one of the best shoujo ai anime, I’m not someone who believes that to be the case. As you’ll see throughout this review, I think Bloom Into You is quite a bad anime.

Bloom Into You follows a fairly straightforward structure. The series takes place over the course of a year and follows the developing relationship between two girls. However, with this, the anime already runs into a problem: It doesn’t finish the series.

While the series as a whole takes place over a year, the anime is only about 6 months. And what that results in is the anime not really getting to the meat of the series. By the final episode of the anime, the relationship has barely begun.

Now, why is this such an issue? Well, I’m not really interested in the vast majority of the content from this series that isn’t focused on the relationship between the main girls. I could watch any other, average slice of life anime to get the same content.

And further, because the anime ends at the halfway point of the series, it doesn’t resolve anything. It doesn’t end at a good stopping point. It just kind of ends without tying up any of the major plot points built up throughout the season.

It’s not a satisfying anime to watch, and it doesn’t even end in a way that made me want to read the manga to find out what happens next.

Main Characters

The two main characters of this series are Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami. These characters are the next major issue I have with Bloom Into You simply because they’re not very likable. If I’m watching a romance anime, I want to like the characters.

But before I get into the characters’ personalities, let’s take a moment to look at their appearances. The character designs in this series are extremely boring. They’re bland, they’re flat most of the time, and the girls just aren’t cute.

Yuu’s and Touko’s personalities aren’t all that much more interesting than their character designs. And in fact, for both characters, their lack of personalities is used to further the plot. But, since the series ends before their personalities actually develop, it just leaves them being boring.

Yuu and Touko from the anime series Bloom Into You
Yuu and Touko

Yuu Koito’s defining personality trait is that she’s indifferent. She doesn’t reciprocate Touko’s love for her and instead just goes through the motions because that’s what’s expected of her. Yuu doesn’t know what it means to be in love, and frankly, she doesn’t care to find out.

Touko Nanami’s defining personality trait is that she doesn’t have a personality of her own. Her personality is acting how she thinks other people expect her to act. This could have been interesting if the anime didn’t abruptly end.

But, the worst part of these characters is actually the dynamic of their relationship. I’ll go into it in more detail in the following section, but it’s a very one-sided relationship with a prominent power differential between the two characters. In a lot of ways, I would say that the relationship between Yuu and Touko is more suspect than that of Yuzu and Mei in Citrus.

How to Groom a Boring Girlfriend

To understand why Yuu’s and Touko’s relationship is so problematic, we need to look at the power dynamic between them, their personalities, what they’re each seeking from the other, and both their actions and words.

Things start off rocky when you realize that Yuu is a first-year student within the student council while Touko is a second-year student who’s the student council president. Already, we can see that Touko holds some amount of power over Yuu.

On top of that, there’s the fact that Yuu is unsure of herself because all of her peers have experienced feelings of love, but Yuu hasn’t. This leads Yuu to search for someone else who doesn’t know what love feels like. And she thinks she found someone she can relate to in Touko.

Touko kissing Yuu in the gym shed from the anime series Bloom Into You
Touko kissing Yuu in the gym shed

The problem is that Touko isn’t like Yuu at all. When Yuu confides in Touko that she feels comfortable around her because she thinks they’re the same, Touko immediately takes advantage of this and confesses to Yuu.

While Yuu was seeking someone else who she could share in her misunderstanding of what love is, Touko was seeking someone who she can love unconditionally who won’t love her back. So not only is she taking advantage of Yuu but if Yuu ever does develop feelings for Touko, the implication is that Touko would no longer be interested in her.

And then, of course, comes the most suspect part of all. Part of Touko’s forcing of her feelings onto Yuu includes doing so physically. She knows that Yuu isn’t romantically or sexually interested in her, and yet she touches and kisses her without her consent. There were even times when Yuu explicitly stated that she didn’t want to engage in such acts.

Basically, this whole series is about how the student council president grooms one of her underclassmen into being her romantic slave. She forces herself onto Yuu both physically and emotionally and for some reason, people see this series as a wholesome romance.

If Touko was a male character, I think people would immediately try to “cancel” this series for promoting rape culture and I think they would have a valid case for doing so.

Conclusion

I know some people are going to try to argue that Yuu develops feelings for Touko over the course of the series. But what you’re not understanding if you argue that is that Yuu is being groomed and manipulated into having those feelings.

For me, Bloom Into You is a 4/10. I really can’t think of anything I thought this series did well. The fact that it stops arbitrarily without resolving anything is bad. The character designs and characters themselves are bland. And the relationship featured in the series is based on emotional manipulation.

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