Enter Megu, Kitagawa Megumi (Kotobuki Minako) who may be the designated villain of the piece or a well-meaning distraction on the romantic journey of out two leads. Megu is a model, quite popular and friends with Momo, and when she transfers in the results are about what you’d expect. She causes a huge sensation among the “ordinary” students, and there’s immediate whispering about how perfect she’d be with Yamato – complicated by the fact that they already know each other.
Now, we’ve certainly seen this territory covered before, but it’ll still be interesting to see where this goes, for a number of reasons. First and most obvious is Megu herself – she certainly makes her intentions towards Yamato known immediately, but her excuse that she didn’t know he had a serious girlfriend is certainly feasible, especially given his past history. Maybe her apology is sincere, maybe it isn’t – my instinct tells me it sounded a bit too sincere to really be sincere – but by her mere presence she thoroughly changes the orbit of the series, either way. The question is whether it’s external factors that drive her in between Mei and Yamato, or her own machinations.
The larger issue here is quite a realistic one, both in high school and adult romance, and that’s the issue of one partner feeling the other is “too good for them”. As in most cases it’s completely untrue here, but especially in the world of adolescence where social hierarchy is everything, Mei has to deal every day with the reality that by every superficial measuring stick beloved to teens, she’s not in Yamato’s league. He’s taller, better-looking (as witness Megu recruiting him as a model), and far more popular – and Mei hears the whispers every day of “What does he see in her?” Sometimes as in Aiko’s case they aren’t even whispers. And that constant drumbeat surely takes a toll on Mei’s psyche, to the point where she wonders whether being Yamato’s girlfriend is worth all the angst that goes with it.
So, we have a lot of plates spinning, and a lot of different directions Sukitte could go from here. This could devolve into full-blown melodrama where Megu reveals herself to be a scheming man-stealer, or there could be a situation where she and Mei contest over Yamato without her really intending it to happen. The show could also be a chronicle of Mei’s slow flowering as a person through her relationship with Yamato, but shoujo romance seems to draw conflict like a magnetic force so that was never really likely to continue for the entire run. There’s also the matter of Yamato and Mei consummating their relationship – sex is very much an acknowledged presence in this show, as witness Asami and Nakanishi’s hilariously obvious post-coital bliss this week, and that marks a refreshing change from the usual anime fantasy that high schoolers only think about sex and occasionally mention it, but never actually have it. All of those tracks could be fruitful ones to follow, and I suspect we’re going to get some combination of all of them.