Nana broke my heart, in more ways than one. So after I dried my tears, I put on some lipstick, my best dress and went searching for a rebound anime. That’s when I ran into, Say “I Love You” (Suki-tte Ii na yo.).
I’m pretty picky with my shoujo since I typically prefer josei and seinen manga and anime. But of course, I find myself falling for some amazing shounen and shoujo like Bakuman and Ouran High School Host Club. I find a lot of shoujo anime too unrealistic for my tastes. I know, I know, that’s just the nature of the beast. But Say “I Love You” is not your typical shoujo. I found the characters and its depiction of high school life realistic… Well, as realistic as possible when you’re in shoujo land.
On the surface, it seems like the typical teenage romance you’ll find in a manga. Handsome popular boy, Yamato, falls for the wallflower, Mei. Yet, under the surface, there’s a lot more going on in this anime. But don’t fret shoujo-lovers! Say “I Love You” definitely has plenty of sappy moments and enough blushing to remind you what kind of anime you’re watching.
Despite their cliché appearance, the main characters have some depth and interesting qualities. Mei starts off as a socially awkward loner. She is quick to push people away and slow to trust others. But she’s emotionally stronger than she looks. As the anime progresses, she becomes more approachable and opens up her heart to friendship and love. She doesn’t make a complete change, but she’s getting there.
Then we have the charming Yamato, however, we discover he isn’t as perfect as everyone thinks. Mistakes he made in his past haunt him and he even makes some mistakes in his relationship with Mei. But he tries, and we love him for that. Although I do admit, I wish Mei didn’t need to fall in love with Yamato reconnect with the world… But it beez like that sometimes.
Because Nana was more mature and intense, I often felt like I was constantly getting my heart broken. Say “I Love You” was different. Oh trust me, it has its fair share of baby heartbreaks, but it also gives you moments that mend your heart.