There’s nothing wrong with formula that’s executed well, but I confess the last couple of episodes of Sukitte have frustrated me quite a bit. There wasn’t a whole lot that happened this week that wasn’t by the books, and that reflects a larger tendency with this series. In particular I find Megu’s character to be a tough one, because she’s following the patterns more closely than anyone. And as many of her classification do, comes too close at times to being a plot device.
As things start out, there are hopeful signs that we might actually be headed in surprising directions – Yamato has booked a hotel room and he and Mei are off to Land for a romantic getaway. Might Sukitte actually be the rare teen romance that acknowledges that the main couple has had sex? Given that the relatively unsentimental and realistic portrayal of sexual politics in high school has been on of the strengths of the show, it seemed like a real possibility there for a while but alas, in the end, the mangaka lost her nerve and we ended up with something far safer and more conventional. But more on that in a minute.
Megu’s rise to prominence in the last few episodes has been expected, but I wasn’t really keen to see much of this ep once again revolve around her (looks like her crisis is going to dominate the finale, too). It’s not so much Megu but the fact that we’ve seen her so many times before, and so little is different. She’s gone the traditional shoujo other woman route right from the start to where she is now, first the psychotic/vindictive phase and then the self-loathing/destructive phase. Her false friends have deserted her, she’s made the terrible mistake of reading the fan comments, and she’s revealed to have the mandatory ugly duckling past. Now she’s spiraling into a chips-and-cookies morass of despair, and not answering her calls. I don’t wish her any ill, but I just don’t care about her very much and and her likely tearful redemption next week seems like an anti-climactic way to end the series.
As to the fizzle of the big moment between Mei and Yamato, it comes courtesy of Nagi and her brocon fixation (with a little Meicon mixed in). She’s conned her older big brother Daichi (Nakai Kazuya) into taking her to Land so she can break up the party, and she ends up in their hotel room, which gives the series a convenient escape hatch. It’s not as if there needs to be sexual content for Sukitte to work, but it would have been a much more courageous choice than the very safe cute-and-cuddly direction things ended up taking. Yamato’s miraculous transition into a “take it slow” guy seems complete and I suspect that’s the last we’ll be hearing about consummating things in the anime. It’s all perfectly competently done, but for me the spark has gone out of the show somewhat in the last few episodes and at this point, only Kai’s story seems like it has the potential to turn the finale into something really interesting.