Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Bloom Into You
Anime Studio: Troyca
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Yuri / Romance
Released: April 6th, 2020
Language: Japanese / English
Yuu Koito thought love would be something amazing and magical, but when a male friend asks her to date, she feels nothing. She doesn’t even know how to respond until she overhears the student council president of her new high school, Touko Nanami, turning down a similar request. With Touko’s help, Yuu manages to let her friend down gracefully, but then Touko confesses that she, herself, is starting to have feelings for Yuu, leaving Yuu in a quandary. Yuu doesn’t think that she’s in love with Touko, but she does feel something. As Yuu joins the Student Council, and she and Touko become closer, her confusion about her feelings only continues to grow. Because you can’t control who you love, or who falls in love with you. You can only be true to yourself.
Going into this one, I knew of Bloom Into You by reputation but wasn’t really aware of the actual story. Now that I’ve watched it, I have to say, this is a beautifully sweet queer romance.
Starting with the aesthetics, I thought that the voice cast was really good in both versions. In particular, Tia Ballard, Luci Christian, and Shanae’a Moore really impressed me as Yuu, Touko, and Sayaka respectively. That they had a good script to work with obviously helped, but their performance was really good and went a long way to making the cast of characters so likable.
Visually, the animation is strong, and the background visuals have that picturesque modern feel that has been so strong in the more laid back of recent series. It’s the music that really shines in this regard though, as the soundtrack does an excellent job of conveying the right feeling with scenes. Early on, for example, when Yuu first sees Touko, the music makes the whole thing feel relaxing and warm.
The story itself is, in some ways, fairly standard. Girl rejects boy, girl falls for another girl, other girl isn’t sure of it all, and they grow closer. Where Bloom Into You sets itself apart though is how it deals with the concept of asexuality. Yuu clearly grows feelings for Touko, but she has no real desire for the physical side of the relationship. This is dealt with really well throughout, and never paints Yuu as being ‘wrong’ for feeling this way. Especially of note is her conversation with Seiji, who is more aromantic. It’s a wonderful thing to be presented.
Even when we get hit with brief glimpses of standard tropes – like ‘but we’re both girls’ – we never really veer away from the underlying arc of romance when one person doesn’t seem to feel like romance stories tell us we should. That is, in itself, so refreshing. The supporting cast is also very good in general, and give us plenty of foils for the main characters to play off. I especially like the bi rep with Riko. That was really awesome.
In essence, my only real complaint here is that the series doesn’t adapt the entirety of the source material. As such, while the story does have a sweetness in its ending, we clearly aren’t at the end of the tale. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a second season.
Overall though, that’s a minor quibble. This is a fantastic anime when it comes to positive representation. It’s sweet, deals with some lesser portrayed orientations, and puts itself across in style. This is an easy 5 out of 5 for me.