Sukitte Ii na yo – 06

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I guess it can’t be a shoujo romance without a serious love rival to deal with.

[HorribleSubs]_Sukitte_Ii_na_yo._-_06_[720p].mkv_snapshot_00.04_[2012.11.13_10.23.02]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.

[HorribleSubs]_Sukitte_Ii_na_yo._-_06_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.03_[2012.11.13_10.23.57]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.

[HorribleSubs]_Sukitte_Ii_na_yo._-_06_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.26_[2012.11.13_10.25.20]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.

[HorribleSubs]_Sukitte_Ii_na_yo._-_06_[720p].mkv_snapshot_06.28_[2012.11.13_10.28.21]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.

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  1. S

    This is a good read into (what I thought form the manga) was a very enjoyable story. If I remember right, as with most shoujo's, be prepared for misunderstandings and deception like you noticed already (Megu apologizing). I can't wait to see how the voice actor for Megu lines up for the part. So far she seems perfect.

  2. A

    I wanted to slap Mei's best friend for asking him to show her around the school.

  3. Yeah, that was a little irritating for sure.

  4. K

    Mei was disgusting in this episode. Actually both of the main characters are hypocrites. Kurosawa told that idol girl that she is shallow, however Mei felt inferior and jealous to that same girl. So who is more shallow after all?

    And why shouldn't he show her around the school?
    Hayakawa should come back, probably the only fun character.

  5. s

    You clearly have no understanding of people like Mei.

  6. K

    Feel free to elighten me.

  7. K

    Mei has very low self esteem and self worth. She has never really had any friends (for a long time) and when she looks at Kurosawa and he is so handsome and popular she just can't really believe and accept that he is in love with her.

  8. K

    By putting beauty and popularity on such a high pedestal, and admiring people who have that, she is equally if not more shallow that Megu for example. That's why I found Kurosawa's comment hypocritical. If you think about it, his discussions with Mei had very little depth to them. Not once did they express their opinions on various subjects, trade arguments or even talk about their interests. I really dont know why I should be invested/interested in Mei, or even Kurosawa for that matter.Their relationship feels fake and forced. They just fit various tropes and are all cuddly together because the plot says so.

    Actually most characters on Sukitte are like that. That's why I mentioned Hayakawa before. We saw him only for one time,and he had more character than all the cast combined.

  9. That's certainly a valid opinion, but to me it seems heartless and unrealistic. The stress and pain of being unpopular isn't something you can turn off like a switch, especially as a high schooler. I think the best thing in Sukitte is the way it depicts the weight of being one of the pariah kids, and the unsentimental and unjudgemental acknowledgement of sex in the teenage social hierarchy.

  10. K

    But popularity is meaningless. Especially in the way that Megu is popular, being surrounded by people she doesn't even know, who idolize her because she is pretty or something.Having friends is a whole different thing. But is Mei interesting enough, so that people actually should approach and talk to her? I personally doubt that from what we've seen so far.

    Mei feels inferior because she is kinda empty.She has no interests,no talents and doesn't even voice her opinions often and with clarity, so her whole attempts to find friends seem a bit weak to me. She hasn't even created a strong sense of self, she doesn't think she is interesting herself, so then why should she be popular? Why would Yamato believe she is super interesting compared to other girls, when she obsesses over his good looks,like so many others do,and feels inferior to him?

  11. A

    LOL at popularity is meaningless. You must have been home schooled. Becoming popular for many kids is the most important part of going to school only rivaled by finding someone to hook up with. Sadly getting a good education comes in a distant 3rd.

  12. K

    Of course I went to school. Popularity is meaningless in middle/high school compared to things such as gaining a sense of self, finding what you like to do in life, meeting friends that you communicate with, and yes education like you said.

    Being liked by random people, panders only to some teenagers gigantic ego. For example Kurosawa doesn't care about being popular. He realizes it's something without real meaning. Mei does though and feels inferior to popular people. That's why I called her shallow and him an hypocrite. They both have this warped image of each other, and that's why their relationship feels fake.

  13. A

    When Megu came to the picture that was when I didn't like the series… though I suppose when "he" came later on the series did better.

  14. B

    when megu came into the picture, i was a little irritated. Only because it fees like this scenario happens way too often. The third wheel enters the picture and their relationship is under strain. And just when they are getting better it happens again. I just feel like they need to cut back on that and keep it simple with just focusing on the two and their mates. I get where Mei is coming from, but i still find it really irritating how she feels like she isn't good enough. She should either leave him or stop feeling so sorry for herself. I think they might just be exaggerating with her character. I mean, they make it out as if he's some higher being or something.

    I know i sound really negative but I do like the series. It's just a few things that are ticking me off right now and becoming a little too repetitive.

    and i'm with you on that. that apology was nowhere near sincere. but i think he knows it too.

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