Sukitte Ii na yo – 03

Mei mentions she needs to go to the hair salon, and Yamato decides to make it into their first date, which Mei isn’t immediately comfortable with. Before going to the salon, he suggests they take their time, and bump into his friends Aiko and Masashi and go bowling with them. Aiko pulls Mei aside and tells her to stay away from Yamato if she doesn’t like him, telling her they’d “done erotic things together.” Mei runs off, and Yamato goes after her. He finds her with the stray cat, then shows her his middle school where he punched through a wall out of disgust with himself for not defending a friend, and tells her why he likes her. He asks her if he can kiss her and she lets him.

When you trust someone and get to know them, you’ll eventually learn about their wounds, too.

This is one of the lessons Mei gets out of her somewhat complicated first date with Yamato. She’s just looking to get a haircut, but he inserts himself into that innocuous errand. Yet she still worries about what to wear, and isn’t upset about him being with her. If anything, she’s worried about him being embarrassed to be around her, which is absurd on its face, as Yamato asked to spend the day with her. But with Yamato getting scouted and hit on by women left and right, Mei can’t help but continue going back to that thought prison of “Why is he with me? What does he see in me?”

Those thoughts are only reinforced and then turned to pure fear and panic when Aiko corners her, pretty much tells her she doesn’t deserve Yamato, and mentions she had intimate contact with him. Yamato loses points for letting Aiko do so; Mei is not used to social situations and especially vulnerable to head games, and in any case, suddenly turning a first date into a double date is just not something you do. Though watching Mei throw a Turkey was simultaneously awesome and not altogether unexpected, as she already exhibited hidden athleticism in the kick Yamato fell for. Yamato does get points for A): connecting the dots and realizing Aiko made Mei run away, B): knowing where Mei would run to, and C): asking nicely before kissing her.

But while there’s a symbolic image of Aiko stepping on glass vowing to destroy Mei and win Yamato back, she’s not altogether evil, just imperfect, and like everyone else, wounded. Some of those wounds are her own: losing weight and ruining her skin with cosmetics, all out of a self-imposed obligation to “work hard” for a boyfriend and appear as beautiful as possible when around him. She sees Mei as ugly, dreary, indecisive, and lazy – everything she fights not to be – and fumes over Yamato’s apparent attraction to her in spite of those traits. But we heard from Yamato’s mouth a very good explanation for liking her. Unlike Yamato and Aiko, Mei doesn’t hide. Like the stray cat, little by little Mei is getting used to the fact that Yamato is someone she can trust.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

P.S.:  One the one hand, Masashi seems like just a placeholder for Yamato, and knows it, which is kind of awful; on the other hand, he (and she too) may well just be in it for the sex. Aiko certainly doesn’t seem that into him.

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Sukitte Ii na yo – 02

Mei is still nervous around Yamato, as she ponders what his angle is. Asami is continually bullied by two “cool girls”, and Mei gets slapped standing up to them. Nakanishi, who always liked Asami, also defends her, and later tells her his feelings, and they start going out. Meanwhile Mei is curious about Yamato’s intentions with Arai, the only cute girl he hasn’t kissed. Mei goes to the Karaoke bar and sees Yamato outside. Yamato takes the opportunity to make his feelings clearer.

Kurosawa is the most popular guy in school and can have any girl he wants, even without asking in some cases. So the plain, introverted, taciturn Tachibana Mei has every right to rack her brain over the question: “Why does he seem to be pursuing her?” While she doesn’t quite get the thorough explanation Asami gets in Nakanishi’s confession (that was a quick, tidy pairing!), Yamato prefers to show rather than tell, specifically what kisses mean what. There’s a nice little moment when the initial tension between them is released, and Mei’s observation that the kisses tasted like fried chicken was both funny and poignant. Taste is a big part of a kiss.

Yamato can be an aggressive guy, as we see here, and he’s clearly more comfortable kissing someone than Mei. But the previously passive Mei is becoming more assertive by the day. Calling Yamato last week was an act of desperation (she needed rescue from a stalker), but this week she stands up for her friend (getting a slap for her trouble) and also decides to run out to the karaoke night she passed on to find out for sure what was up with him. She didn’t go there just to flee at the sight of him. If Yamato had left with the frisky Arai, well, that would’ve been that, but it turns out he wasn’t interested in Arai. But if Yamato is more than just a man-whore, he’s going to have to prove it to Mei, and not just with kisses.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

P.S. The OP’s a little dull, but nice. Simple, light and breezy.

Sukitte Ii na yo. – 01

“Everything starts when you start it.”

Tachibana Mei’s mom says this when she tells her about the wind chime she put up, making it sound like summer when it isn’t. We hear the chime again when Mei decides to execute a sweet spinning kick to the boy on the stairs behind her who pulled on her conservative knee-length skirt. Only she kicks the wrong boy.

This boy just happens to be Kurosawa Yamato. Girls want him, guys want to be him. But all the swooning girls look alike to him – except Mei, whom he thinks is “interesting”, perhaps because she’s so utterly uninterested in him. Wanting what you can’t have, or what doesn’t want you. Guilty over the kick, she apologizes to him, an act of kindness that opens a door. He gives her his number. She gives him band-aids.

Early in life, Mei decided to give up on having friends, because they would only ever betray and hurt her. This is laid on a little thick overall, but it’s not unreasonable to assume a regularly-teased girl who won’t conform to her peers would avoid relationships. So she’s naturally dubious of Yamato’s winning smile – she’s seen smiles before.

But when she finds herself in a (rather convenient) pickle by a stalker, and has no one to turn to, she calls Yamato, who rushes to her rescue, executed with a confession of love and a kiss. It may not be enough to change her mind about having friends, but it certainly starts something…which is when everything starts.


Rating: 9 (Superior)