If there's one thing that grinded me about Myself; Yourself, it's the fact that the opening sequence misrepresents the anime by implying that there would be a band of some sorts present. Alas, this turned out to not be the case, and sadly I found that fact more depressing than any of the events that transpired in the series. I mean come on, they went through all that effort to make the opening sequence badass but then shoot the series off in an entirely different direction - what's up with that?
But I digress. In actuality, Myself; Yourself turned out to be an enjoyable watch despite having some rather glaring pacing issues. It traces the poignant tale of five childhood friends who are reunited after five years of separation, but unlike many anime that share a similar plot, it does so in a relatively realistic fashion. On the surface none of the friends, save Nanaka, seem to have changed, but as the story pans out this notion slowly fades. Though the first few episodes seem to display the characters as happy and carefree, the series soon shows this is merely superficial. The characters each must struggle with their own personal problems, ranging from death to abuse to neglect, which provides for rather bleak substance beneath its heart-warming shell. Because of the pacing problems, though, they spend too much time on some of the lesser characters, which really squeezes the life out of Sana and Nanaka's story and causes the series to end rather anti-climactically.
Still, even though the series peaks a bit early, it certainly peaks strong. Though some of the drama seemed a bit forced at times, especially with Asami's story, it never came across as awkward. As such, the buildup to the climax carried a fair amount of emotional weight, and streamlined the jovial-to-serious transition of the series quite naturally. In lieu of its problems, this smooth and efficient feel is really what carried my interest; despite not having an exceptionally intricate plot, the storytelling is exceptional, and that in itself makes it at least worth watching.
Vibrant and beautiful, the animation in Myself; Yourself is, without a doubt, top notch. Visually I felt quite a part of the series, as the character designs and scenery were all lavish with detail; it probably didn't hurt, either, that the female leads were attractive (I'm guessing the males were too but I wouldn't know.) All the characters seemed drawn to fit their personalities, and this definitely helped in creating the dramatic environment that the series aimed for. Character facial expressions proved especially well animated, which really allowed very subtle personalities like Nanaka's to come alive. If nothing else, it's a very pleasant visual experience, and that is never a bad thing.
Of all the series I've sifted through over the years, it's been quite rare for me to not only like both the opening and ending themes of a series but like them a lot. Myself; Yourself happens to one such rare exception, and perhaps this is part of the reason I enjoyed the series as much as I did. Both songs are exemplary and manage to capture the duplicitous nature of the series quite well - the opening is rather upbeat and energetic whereas the ending is more poignant and melancholic. In addition, the insert music wasn't half bad and the voice actors did an excellent job at fleshing out their characters, so there's really not much to complain about.
The characters were definitely the unequivocal heart and soul of Myself; Yourself. Each person carried a specific role, and this kept comedic relief characters (like Aoi) from becoming obnoxious during important moments or scenes; hell, Aoi virtually disappears entirely after the first few episodes. The main pacing problem comes with the introduction of Hinako who, while a tragic character in her own right, simply lacked importance regarding the central relationships of the group of friends. Asami would have been a more appropriate emphasis of the two, though I would have much preferred a more detailed focus on ending the series well rather than more side character development.
Surprisingly, though he did not initially appear as such, Sana proved a very solid, intelligent male lead and Nanaka foiled him well. Though their romance seemed a little contrived, enough backstory was provided to make it believable. Watching their pasts unfold and their friendship slowly redevelop is perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the series, but I must admit Shuu and Shuri's arc was also quite well done. Even with the series' flaws, both arcs proved surprisingly empathetic; I wasn't really interested from the first few episodes, but as they introduced complexities into Nanaka's background I gained appreciation for her and was soon hooked.
Despite being the central focus of the series, though, the Sana-Nanaka relationship was given little emphasis until the very end, and thus was rushed far too much to be as powerful as I'm sure the writers would have liked. Asami also seemed to be somewhat discarded, which bugged me since her character showed a lot of potential during the beginning of the series. She obviously shows some romantic interest in Sana, but the events toward the end of the series seem more an excuse to displace this notion rather than resolve it, so it left her story rather incomplete.
Though I highlighted more negatives than I had intended to, Myself; Yourself certainly is certainly an above-average series. Its drama is both tactfully and skillfully orchestrated which, when coupled with a relatively quality-driven presentation, provides for an enjoyable watch. I might have scored it a bit high, but I downed the whole series in a thirteen episode marathon and happened to quite like it, so I do have my bias. My annoyance with its flaws likely comes from the fact that I know it could have been so much better, but many series have wasted potential so there isn't much reason to fault it because of this, especially considering that the flaws were relatively minor. If you enjoy light romance and/or serious drama, I'd definitely say give Myself; Yourself a whirl.
To start with, Myself ; Yourself is one of the best anime I have ever seen. In my opinion, it's seriously underrated and deserving much better ratings. It’s truly an epic anime you need to see!!
I liked everything about this series even though it is based off a visual novel (some are just horrible). If you wanted to know what you'll find in here, it's a lot:
Hatred, Betrayal, Twin Incest, Suicide, Malicious plots, Crushes, F*cked up Memories, Trauma, Drama, and best of all romance to the core!
Right off the bat you get the image they're all one big happy family, no worries, everyone is happy. You have to remember they are all just little kids. But then, everything steers right to a steep cliff when Sana leaves.
Fast forward 5 years later and he is back and getting the gang back together, this seems to be a problem at first. A lot of crazy stuff happened while he was gone and a lot happened to him while he was away which gets explained in rather good detail. He was beat up and bullied tried to commit suicide and almost died. He doesn’t even remember Nanaka when he starts school again. This turns out it’s because she is so beautiful and he gets slapped right in the face, that’s what you get when you forget friends. I love those types of beginnings because you know he has his work cut out for him and needs to mend the relationship all over.
Before Sana left he and Nanaka had made a pact and a secret by making old mailbox into their own in which only they could open. This happens to be a good idea and if I’m correct is a first in an anime.
Nanaka seems to have had a very horrible time losing her parents and suffering through child hood without her dear friend. She almost died in a fire and lost nearly everything she loved. After getting back home in one episode Sana opens the mailbox in which the two secretly established to remain close. He finds a lot of letters shouting for help and unfortunately for Nanaka he never got them.
I wish they had put some of the opeing band in the show but it never happens. I also like that no ecchi scenes or obscene fan service exists. It's pretty clean and fun and the beach scene is playful.
The story really revolves around how things can go wrong in life and how things can go right as well. It seems Nanaka has always been Sana's first love but for some reason him and Asami seem to run into each other all the time. A love triangle of sort’s forms at first but eventually the story turns for the better. Fortunately for Asami turns out to be not the woman he thought she was in a very bad way which leads him back to Nanaka :)
Nanaka goes into a state of depression and remembrance of what happened the night her parents died in the house fire. It all starts while she was traveling and sightseeing with Sana on basically a date. She has flashbacks and finds out who really killed her parents although her mother cheated it was before they were married but her own father of all people! She shuts Sana out of her life and tries to forget the world for a while. Nanaka tries to commit suicide in the tube and is only awoken by Sana and his story of how he tried to commit suicide the exact same way.