Tag: 2018

I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face Review

I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face Review

Intro to IyaPan

I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face (Iya na Kao sare nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai / 嫌な顔されながらおパンツ見せてもらいたい), known as IyaPan, is a short-form ecchi anime. Just by reading the title, you should be able to figure out what this series is all about.

The series has 6 episodes that are each about 4 minutes long. So, you can watch the entire first season in the time it would take to watch a normal anime episode. And, each episode focuses on a different girl. In this review, I’ll be going through the series girl by girl in no particular order and giving my rating of each one.

Chitose Itou – The Maid

Chitose Itou is the viewer’s maid. Up until the events of this episode, she was a normal maid who had a good relationship with her employer — the viewer. However, that all changed when the viewer asked her to show him her panties.

What I liked about this episode is how it started off with the request and Chitose’s disgust. Then, it went back and showed how different Chitose’s demeanor was before the request. And, finally, we got the payoff of Chitose lifting her dress to reveal her panties.

Of the six girls, Chitose is probably my favorite. Her disgust with the viewer is the most visceral, which is an important factor. I’m going to give her a 10/10 — I want her to show me her panties while making a disgusted face again.

Chitose Itou smiling from the anime series I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face
Chitose Itou smiling

Yuina – The Idol

Yuina is an idol whose number one fan is the viewer. The viewer was one of Yuina’s first fans and is now the president of her fan club. So, in this episode, Yuina invites the viewer backstage after one of her shows to give him a birthday present. She’ll do something he requests.

Naturally, his request is for Yuina to show him her panties — and he doesn’t mean her show panties. When on stage, Yuina wears a second pair of show panties over her real panties. So, the viewer wants her to take those off and show him the real things, which she does.

I thought Yuina was going to be my favorite girl because she’s an idol. But, she actually turned out to be my least favorite. We got a nice scene of her pulling down her show panties. However, once you know they’re not her real panties, it’s not exciting. She gets a 6/10.

Misuzu Tanahashi – The Nurse

Misuzu Tanahashi is a nurse taking care of the viewer after he breaks his legs. She’s a fan of puzzles, so she brings the viewer a puzzle to keep him from getting bored in the hospital. And, she says that if he can finish it by lunch, she’ll give him a reward.

Now, if you watch this episode on AniWave, it’s completely different. For some reason, AniWave has a joke fansub up for this episode and it changes everything. The setting is different, Misuzu’s personality is different, and a lot of it doesn’t make sense. The subs are all wrong.

Going by the real subtitles, Misuzu is a high-tier girl in the series. Her swap from nice to disgusted is almost on par with Chitose’s. And, she’s voiced by Aoi Koga, who you may know as Kaguya Shinomiya. I give Misuzu a 9/10.

Misuzu Tanahashi taking care of you from the anime series I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face
Misuzu Tanahashi taking care of you

Maria Takayama – The Nun

Maria Takayama is a sister at a church. That setting alone makes her episode one of the spicier ones. However, her disgust with the viewer isn’t as extreme as I’d hoped it would be. Yes, she’s disgusted by his request. But, she doesn’t put up much resistance.

The framing of this request is that the viewer’s soul will be saved if only Maria shows him her panties. So, despite not wanting to show him and knowing it’s morally wrong of her, she does so. If it’s to save someone’s soul, then it’s her duty as a nun.

I’m going to give Maria an 8/10. She’s cute and the setting is good. But, if she had been more verbally abusive toward the viewer, she could have scored a 10. She was a bit too forgiving and accommodating of the viewer’s request.

Airi Sega – The Classmate

Airi Sega, like Yuina, is another girl I thought I’d like a lot more than I did. The classmate is a good scenario. However, with Airi, there’s way too much leadup to the part where she shows the viewer her panties.

She keeps on showing just a small portion of them. I get that it’s supposed to be teasing the viewer so they want more. But, it didn’t work. I wasn’t seeing that and looking forward to the full reveal. Instead, every time we got a glimpse, it made me think, “Is this it?”

In the end, we do get the full reveal, but by then I was kind of tired of her. I’m going to give her a 7/10. If there was less teasing, she would have scored higher. And, despite the setting being good, it was also pretty generic.

Airi Sega showing you her panties from the anime series I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face
Airi Sega showing you her panties

Iori Izumo – The Shrine Maiden

The final girl to talk about is Iori Izumo, the shrine maiden. But wait, she’s not only a shrine maiden. She’s also the viewer’s childhood friend. That’s right, we’re double dipping with this one! Though, the fact that she’s the viewer’s childhood friend doesn’t really matter.

So, in this episode, Iori mentions how when they were younger, the viewer said they liked shrine maidens. She then asks if there was a particular reason for this. It’s implied that the viewer says he likes shrine maidens because of her and he then asks to see her panties.

Now, Iori is a pretty good girl. I’m giving her a 7/10. But, again, the fact that she’s the viewer’s childhood friend didn’t actually matter. And, other than her outfit, the fact that she’s a shrine maiden didn’t matter, either. It’s not like with Chitose, Maria, or Misuzu where the setting mattered just as much as the clothes they wore.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I Want You To Show Me Your Panties With a Disgusted Face is a 7/10. It delivers on what the title promises. Could it have delivered on it better by including more ecchi content? Sure. But, I can’t really complain about what I got — only that I didn’t get enough.

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Happy Sugar Life Review

Happy Sugar Life Review

Happy Sugar Life anime series cover art
Happy Sugar Life

Satou & the Sugar Girl

Happy Sugar Life (ハッピーシュガーライフ) is a shoujo ai (girls’ love) and psychological horror series. Those are two genres that you don’t typically see together. But, Happy Sugar Life attempts to combine them. And, I say “attempts” because I don’t think it did a good job.

I’ll get to my complaints about the series toward the end of this review. Before we get to that, though, what’s this anime actually about? What is a happy sugar life? At its core, it’s about the love between two girls. But, there’s a lot more to it than that.

It’s also very much about broken people. Almost every character in the series is broken in some way. And, the different ways in which these characters are broken are what bring them together. Some come together to support each other. And others come together opposing each other.

Satou hugging Shio from the anime series Happy Sugar Life
Satou hugging Shio

Our two main characters are Satou Matsuzaka and Shio Koube. These girls both suffered from family and abandonment issues. And, that’s exactly what brought them together. Satou has been searching for a healthy love, and in Shio, she found that. Shio has been without a stable home her entire life, and with Satou, she found that, too.

But, what’s a bit unique about Happy Sugar Life is that none of the characters are “fixable.” Yes, Satou and Shio have each other now. But, that doesn’t mean their past trauma is gone. All they’re really doing is helping each other cope.

So, I still haven’t answered the second question I posed. What is a happy sugar life? This is what Satou is seeking. It’s what she calls a life without all the unpleasant things she doesn’t want to think about. Her life at home with Shio is the happy sugar life she wants to protect.

Everyone Except Shouko Sucks

Shouko Hida, Satou’s best friend, is the only character in the series who isn’t broken in some way. I already mentioned why Satou and Shio are broken. But, there’s more to say about how being broken affects their lives.

Shio has a fear of going outside. When she was younger, her mother punished her for doing so. And, her mother also abandoned her outside. But, that works out perfectly for Satou, who doesn’t want Shio to leave their apartment. You see, Shio is a young girl and Satou is kind of her kidnapper.

If anyone found out that Shio was living with Satou, it could be a problem. So, to protect her happy sugar life, Satou goes to increasing extremes. She has no issues blackmailing, physically harming, or even killing. As long as it means keeping Shio all to herself, Satou will do anything.

Shouko whispering to Satou from the anime series Happy Sugar Life
Shouko whispering to Satou

I mentioned that Shio is a young girl — like elementary school age. I also mentioned this is a shoujo ai series. So, yes, Satou is a high schooler in love with a small child. And, this is a recurring theme in the series. Satou isn’t the only pedophile around.

One of Satou’s bosses who assaulted high schooler Taiyou Mitsuboshi fits this description. And, later in the series, Satou’s aunt does the same thing to Taiyou. There’s also Satou’s teacher, Daichi Kimaumekawa who’s obsessed with being dominated by Satou. And, there’s Taiyou Mitsuboshi, the aforementioned victim. He also has an unhealthy obsession with Shio.

Not every broken character has an attraction to children, though. Most do, sure. But, there’s also Sumire Miyazaki, Satou’s kouhai who wants to become her. And, there’s Asahi Koube, Shio’s older brother. He believes that reuniting with Shio will somehow fix their broken family and his life.

The Third Quarter Was Decent

My biggest complaint isn’t the fact that so many characters in the series are pedophiles. It’s the fact that the series tries to be extremely edgy. Of course, the pedophile characters are part of that. But, there’s more that goes into it.

Happy Sugar Life reminds me a lot of Angels of Death, which actually aired during the same season back in 2018. The entire point of both series is to be edgy. And, because of that, they’re pretty cringe, as well. But, I’d say Happy Sugar Life is the worse of the two.

The first half of this series didn’t have much in terms of redeeming qualities. It was all about setting up how terrible and broken all of the characters are. But then, the third quarter of the series gave me some hope. It brought the mystery aspect of the series back into the spotlight.

Satou's aunt committing arson from the anime series Happy Sugar Life
Satou’s aunt committing arson

From the very start of Happy Sugar Life, we knew that Satou had a dark secret. There were bloody trash bags stowed away in a locked room of her apartment. And, we didn’t know what was in them. The implication was that these were the remains of her aunt.

However, I never thought that was the case. And it’s a good thing I didn’t because it turned out to be wrong. I assumed these were the remains of Shio’s mother. My guess was that Satou killed her and assumed her role as Shio’s caretaker.

But, that was also wrong. I’m not going to say whose remains were in the bags because you can watch the series for yourself. But, this is also the point in the series when things begin unraveling for Satou. That was fun to watch until all the edgy action happened at the end.

Happy Sugar Life: 4/10

I don’t think Happy Sugar Life is a good anime. It had some interesting stuff going on with the mystery surrounding Satou’s apartment. But, aside from that, it was bad. And that’s why I have to give it a 4/10. It would have been so much better if it focused more on the mystery than the “edginess.”

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Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway anime movie cover art
Penguin Highway

The Great Penguin Conspiracy

Penguin Highway (ペンギン・ハイウェイ) is a sci-fi, fantasy, mystery anime about penguins in a Japanese town. It’s a weird movie and I thought it was going to be a lot better than it was. Unfortunately, Penguin Highway isn’t a very good movie.

One thing that made Penguin Highway watchable, though, was that I didn’t watch it alone. I watched it as part of the DoubleSama Discord server‘s monthly movie night event. Penguin Highway was December’s movie. And yes, I’m only now getting around to the review.

So, what’s Penguin Highway about? It’s about a conspiracy — at least, at first. You see, one day, Penguins appeared in a small Japanese town. Where did they come from? Why were they there? And, most importantly, do they even actually exist? That’s right, there are penguin truthers in this town who don’t believe the penguins are real.

Aoyama looking at the penguins from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama looking at the penguins

Now, you may be thinking that it would be pretty easy to prove the existence of some penguins. But, after their initial appearance, the penguins disappeared. Nobody knows where they went. So, it kind of makes sense that those who didn’t see the penguins themselves don’t believe they existed.

Naturally, the most popular theory was that they escaped in transit. But, that doesn’t appear to be the case. No local zoos or aquariums reported the penguins missing. And with that, most of the townspeople lost interest in the mystery of the penguins.

However, there was one boy who didn’t lose interest. Aoyama, a nerd, wants to get to the bottom of the mystery. So, he recruits the help of a local dental assistant with whom he has a questionable relationship. Together, this unlikely pair unravels the truth behind the penguins — and, as it turns out, the universe.

Main Characters

Despite being a nearly 2-hour-long movie, Penguin Highway only has 4 named characters. These are Aoyama, Uchida, Hamamoto, and Suzuki. But, there’s also 5th character worth mentioning, the Lady. We never learn her name, but she’s one of the 2 main characters, along with Aoyama.

Aoyama is a middle schooler at the latest. He’s a young boy who’s interested in things like space and chess. So, as I mentioned earlier, he’s a nerd. He also doesn’t have many friends. Though, this is likely due to his failure to pick up on social cues and the fact that he’s annoying.

Uchida is Aoyama’s one friend (of the same age). He’s also a nerd. But, he seems more well-adjusted than Aoyama. He’ll grow up to be a normal person. However, as he is now, he’s kind of useless. He’s afraid of getting in trouble and doesn’t want to get beat up, for some reason.

Hamamoto, Aoyama, and Uchida from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Hamamoto, Aoyama, and Uchida

Speaking of beating people up, Suzuki is the class bully. Of course, that means he picks on Aoyama and Uchida. Though, I have to say Aoyama kind of deserves it. Suzuki is also the leader of the penguin deniers in Aoyama’s class.

The last of the named characters is Hamamoto. Hamamoto is the popular girl in Aoyama’s class. Suzuki has a crush on Hamamoto. But, she’s more interested in Aoyama because they share similar interests — like space. As the movie progresses, Hamamoto inserts herself into Aoyama and Uchida’s circle.

Finally, we have the Lady. She’s a dentist’s assistant who befriended Aoyama at some point. They play chess together at a local cafe. But, their relationship is a bit worrying. Aoyama has also been to her apartment alone at night to “play chess.” And she even takes him on an out-of-town trip alone.

Pocket Dimension of the Sea

Are you thinking Penguin Highway sounds like a pretty good movie so far? Well, hold your horses. I haven’t actually discussed any of the weird stuff yet. You see, this is a sci-fi anime. And the sci-fi aspects of the movie make no sense.

Let’s start off by spoiling where the Penguins come from — the Lady. That’s right, the Lady is the one who created the penguins (without knowing it). She can turn random objects into penguins by throwing them. And, for some reason, this only works if she’s in direct sunlight.

In case you’re wondering, no, this is never explained. But, it gets weirder. The Lady also creates leopard seal-like monsters that can swim through solid ground. These, she creates while she sleeps. They’re the spawn of her nightmares — or something like that.

Aoyama, Hamamoto, and Uchida looking at the "Sea" from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama, Hamamoto, and Uchida looking at the “Sea”

Then, there’s also the pocket dimension known as the “Sea.” The “Sea” is a giant sphere of water in the middle of a field. And as we later learn, it’s a portal into another dimension. So, you may be thinking that this must be explained at some point. Well, you’d be wrong.

The closest we get is when Aoyama’s father uses his wallet to explain pocket dimensions. He doesn’t actually explain the “Sea.” He’s just explaining pocket dimensions in general, for some reason. And after this cursory explanation, he hops on a bus and skips town.

Oh, and then there’s another mystery involving the stream that surrounds the town. It’s a circle. It starts and ends at the “Sea.” Again, this is never explained. I assumed this was going to be important. Maybe the stream is a boundary of some kind and will connect back to Aoyama’s father leaving. No. That would make too much sense.

The Dentist’s Assistant Who Never Was

With all the weird stuff surrounding the Lady, it wasn’t much of a surprise when we learned she wasn’t real. Well, she’s real. But, only temporarily. You see, like the penguins and leopard seal monsters, she’s from the “Sea.”

And once the penguin energy (yes, that’s a thing) returns to the “Sea,” the Lady can’t stay around. The “Sea” collapses in on itself and everything from the “Sea” starts disappearing. By the end of the movie, the Lady is gone and Aoyama is only left with his memories of her.

This leads us to my favorite part of the movie. Well, one of my favorite parts. My first favorite part came early on because we watched a poorly translated version. We only realized the movie was available on Crunchyroll after it was over — I assumed that as a movie, it wouldn’t be.

Aoyama and the Lady riding the train from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama and the Lady riding the train

Anyway, back to my favorite intentional part of the movie. Throughout the whole thing, Hamamoto was flirting with Aoyama. And, as you might expect from Aoyama at this point, he wasn’t picking up on it. But, at the end, after the Lady disappears, he mentions that he still has someone special.

So, he must have finally recognized Hamamoto as a girl, right? Wrong. He’s talking about his memories of the Lady. First, Hamamoto had to compete with a mature woman. Now, she has to compete with the memory of a mature woman. She can’t win.

I’m kind of surprised Aoyama even remembers Hamamoto’s name. She seems so far off his radar that at times it seems like he forgets she exists. It sucks for Hamamoto. But the fact that Aoyama still unintentionally rejects her in the end was too funny to me.

Conclusion

I had to give Penguin Highway a 4/10 in the end. The movie looks nice. And the Lady is cute. But, the plot made absolutely no sense. There were so many twists and turns that ended up going nowhere. You’d think everything would get tied up at the end and make sense. But you’d be wrong.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. And I’d like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms anime movie cover art
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Movie Overview

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou / さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう) is an original anime movie by P.A. Works. Its genres are drama and fantasy, and it was definitely made specifically to make you cry — as many P.A. Works anime are.

The movie follows an Iorph girl named Maquia. Iorphs are immortal (long-lived?) people who live in a distant land separate from the continent of the humans. There, they spend their days weaving cloth that records the history of the world. They call this cloth Hibiol, though the word is also used to describe something treasured.

Maquia is an orphaned Iorph. I don’t believe we were ever told what happened to her family. But, the village elder raised her, so she’s not completely alone. And one lesson the village elder taught her was to not care about humans if she ever met any.

Maquia from the anime movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Maquia

Why shouldn’t Maquia care about humans? Because Iorph are effectively immortal. Any human she cares about will die long before her — and then she’ll know what true loneliness is. Right from the start of the movie, we can tell that this is exactly what’s going to happen to Maquia.

So, after this is all set up, some humans attack the Iorph homeland. They capture the women and children and slaughter everyone who tries to stop them. Maquia, however, suffers a different fate. One of the dragon things the humans arrived on goes berserk and carries Maquia off on her own.

When Maquia wakes up, she finds herself on the human continent. She doesn’t know what happened to her homeland or whether she’ll ever be able to return. Not long after this, she finds an orphaned baby human, names him Ariel, and decides to raise him as her own.

A Bit More Explanation Needed

Maquia is a very good anime. But, there were a few things I would have liked a bit more explanation of. Of course, I often say that not everything needs a complete explanation. And I still believe that. But, sometimes, a bit more explanation is necessary.

The first thing I would have liked to have explained more is the Hibiol. We know it’s a cloth woven by the Iorph. But, as it turns out, humans can weave it too — Ariel does. So, that seems to imply there’s nothing particularly magic about it.

Iorphs also use their weaving of Hibiol as a form of writing. When they say it records the history of the world, they mean that literally. But, other than it being a vague form of world-building, I’m struggling to see what the point is. It’s important because we’re told it is — that’s all.

Lang, Deol, Maquia, and Ariel (and the dog) from the anime movie Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms
Lang, Deol, Maquia, and Ariel (and the dog)

Next up are the Renato (the dragon things). At the start of the movie, there are only 5 Renato left in existence. They routinely die from the “red eye disease” that makes them go berserk before burning up. I’d have liked a bit more explanation of this.

Leilia assumes that the red eye disease is a product of the conditions in which the Renato are kept. The humans keep them chained up when not used in war. They’re pretty much just there to be a metaphor for the captured Iorph. But, it still would have been nice to have a definitive explanation.

And the last thing I want to bring up are Iorph-human hybrids. There are 2 we know of in the movie: Barlow and Medmel. Barlow has the Iorph’s long lifespan. Medmel does not. I guess Medmel just got bad genetic RNG.

Everyone Is the Worst

What surprised me most about Maquia is how all the characters ended up being terrible people. Some of them I can forgive more than others. But, they all made pretty selfish decisions, some of which I still don’t really understand.

Let’s go through a few of these selfish decisions while spoiling the rest of the movie.

First up is Ariel, who comes to resent his mother, Maquia. As he grows up, he realizes that he isn’t her biological child. He ages and she doesn’t, so it’s pretty obvious. It gets to the point that he basically disowns her. In the end, he does come back around, though.

Okay, so Ariel had a rebellious phase. I can forgive him for that even though the things he said to Maquia were uncalled for. But, I’m having a hard time forgiving Maquia’s actions.

Maquia kissing Ariel after he dies from the anime movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Maquia kissing Ariel after he dies

After reuniting with Ariel and helping his wife give birth to their daughter, Maquia dips. She leaves Ariel, who’s like 20 and begging her to stay. And she doesn’t see him again until literal minutes before he dies of old age. She abandoned him, and for what? There was no real reason.

Speaking of abandonment, there’s also Leilia, an Iorph kidnapped by the humans. They forced her to marry the prince and bear him a child. But, since the child (Medmel) was a mortal girl, they considered both Leilia and Medmel failures.

Now, why does this make Leilia a bad person? Well, ever since giving birth, she wasn’t allowed to see Medmel, despite wanting to. And likewise, Medmel always wanted to meet her mother.

But, when they finally get to meet each other at the end of the movie, Leilia jumps off a cliff in front of her daughter. Again, for what?

Maquia: Recommended

I complained a lot in this review of Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. But, I still think it’s an 8/10. It’s a very good movie and I do recommend it. But, the fact that it’s hard to like most of the main characters does leave a bad aftertaste.

You see, I’m pretty sure the movie wanted me to be crying at the end. But, instead, I was pretty mad about Maquia and Leilia abandoning their children.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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.

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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 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 with who she could share her misunderstanding of what love is, Touko was seeking someone who she can love unconditionally and 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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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the Bloom into You manga is available now. I read the whole thing, from start to finish to give the series a shot at redemption.

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