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After the last episode, I was expected something like this. It may have been predictable, but at least Sukitte Ii na yo. cleared up a few of my questions.
It goes without saying my questions weren't about the plot and romantic conclusions. Those were simple and left no questions to be answered. What I wanted answers for was how this series is different from Kimi ni Todoke, which I've compared it to throughout the series' run.
On the surface the two anime are the same, but a closer look tells a different story - at least this episode does it well. Whilst they both centre around shy and inexperienced heroines, the overall atmosphere is different because of their entourages. Unlike KnT, Sukitte Ii na yo's group is all fine and happy in the romance department which gives a different dynamic to the series.
Initially they may have struggled, but they have all been brought together by Mei and they in turn have influenced her. Mei's entourage have not only helped her through a lot, but they have also been helped by her which really gives a better relationship of friendship between her and everyone. Kimi ni Todoke was (to me) more focused on Sawako's transformation as she was being coddled by her two best friends; there was rarely a moment of equality between them because they each had their own problems that Sawako didn't contribute to most of the time due to lack of experience and shyness.
In addition to clearing up this bothersome question, Sukitte Ii na yo really had fun this episode. A departure from the norm, there was some comedy surrounding Mei and Yamato's misunderstanding. It's a familiar setting without a doubt but as someone who didn't like Yamato at times, I got a few laughs out of his exaggerated suffering. Quite sneaky how they brought back Kakeru to really leave nothing unexplained, even though his appearance was extremely short-lived.
As the episode ended, I was proud of Sukitte Ii na yo. Simplicity right until the end, and that worked to its favour. There was nothing extravagant about the end, but it was a beautiful moment where we could see all the couples live happily ever after. My only wish that didn't come true was some kind of Kai x Megumi hint at the end.
Fall 2012 was a great season for shojo romances. The different styles of each one allowed me to watch and blog each one of them, and just like the others Sukitte Ii na yo. was a pleasure.
It's a simple shojo romance plot that stood out for being a little more blunt and realistic. It talked about sex, bullying and insecurities which gave it a more realistic high school setting and that on its own merits some praise.
Character driven, it was mostly about Mei's transformation from loner to girlfriend but it did not forsake any of the other characters and gave each one ample screen time. Those characters were lovely additions to the story and developed on top of helping Mei develop.
There's nothing wrong with using a familiar setting as long as you do it right, and Sukitte Ii na yo. is proof of that. Based on the ending and average sales for shojo romances, a second season is mostly likely out. A pity in some respects but with the way it ended, I have no problems.