I started reading the manga Say ‘I Love You’ about a month ago. Like any manga that I enjoy, I quickly absorbed it. When I found out that they did an anime adaptation of it I just had to watch it. I will say, this show is not for everyone but if you’re into adorable romance anime’s, this 12 episode series might just do the trick.
The story follows a 16 year old girl named Tachibana Me I who, throughout her entire life, has no friends whatsoever. She generally Lacks confidence and keeps to herself.
Due to an early life experience where she was wrongly punished because some kids blamed her for an incident at school, she has trouble trusting people. For all intents and purposes, she has been invisible her entire life and seemingly prefers it that way.
That is until her run in with her schools most popular student, Yamato, changes her life. Yamato is seemingly the EXACT opposite of Mei. He is loyal, reliable, outgoing and a bit of a player. One day, whilst walking up a flight of stairs in school, a friend of Yamato makes a joke or gesture toward Mei’s skirt. She, in retaliation, attempts to spin-kick Yamato, who she believes, wrongly, is the one teasing her.
After this, for some unknown reason, Yamato finds Mei to be fascinating and pursues a friendship with her. He even saves her from a stalker by kissing her. Eventually their relationship becomes one of love, as the title of the anime clearly would suggest, and Mei slowly starts coming out of her shell.
That’s where the anime really draws me in: getting to see a character grow, steadily, episode by episode makes you simply want to root for them. Mei begins as a shy loner but slowly gains confidence and friends. And, while she does become more popular and outgoing, the core qualities that make brought Yamato to her stay the same.
She never quite gets over her shyness but she does have moments where she overcomes it– even entering her schools beauty pageant. She honestly doesn’t get why Yamato loves her so unconditionally, but still attempts to fight for it in her own ways.
Overall I love the, sort of, pure nature this anime gives off and I love how they allow you to root for Mei. You become nearly emotionally invested in the show and start to not want anything bad to happen to the characters. It is a fairly short series thus far and hasn’t caught up to the manga just yet, so here is hoping for a season two?