Bloom Into You

Alt title: Yagate Kimi ni Naru

TV (13 eps)
Fall 2018
3.978 out of 5 from 5,973 votes
Rank #1,093

Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and awaits the day she gets a love confession that sends her heart aflutter with bubbles and hearts, and yet when a junior high classmate confesses his feelings to her... she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That's when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she's inspired to ask her for help. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself, has her shoujo romance finally begun?

Source: Seven Seas

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Like a delicate flower, Bloom Into You acts upon its namesake, as the seed of the slept-on dark horse blossoms into one of the most charming shows to blindside me this year. I’m glad, for had I not stumbled upon the glowing reception for this treat, it may have never swept me off my feet. From its mostly charming depictions of lesbian love to its authentic showcasing of friendship, each interaction is filled to the brim with charm and care. Said charm and care also show in a majority of the revelations which make this surprisingly relatable and whimsical cast come to life even more than one could imagine. The revelation for Maki and subplot for Koyomi might be my personal favorites of the show, each bolstering integral portions of the show’s three overarching plotlines. Seeing them intertwine, how each colorful character bounces off them, and how Yuu evolves from them, is simply heartwarming. This show may be repetitive and melodramatic in places, but the monologues and forced wind blowing aren’t enough to smear the beauty on display here.Speaking of display, Makoto Katou’s directing is a major selling point. While it occasionally feels forced like with the focus on scenery in emotional moments, we more often get the most luscious visualizations of each characters’ headspace, along with some mesmerizing and communicative shots that can be hung on a wall. These are the scenes where Makoto and his team at TROYCA shine. Adding onto the visual splendor of this show, the lovely art style and facial expressions translated from the manga do well to accentuate the tender yet lively nature of the characters and their interactions. The fashionable school uniforms and other equally elegant wardrobes only compliment this even further, and the female uniforms look particularly wonderful. While there are certainly flat moments and sparse bits of unsightly CGI, the show rarely fails to remain as pretty as its females.To add to this beauty one last time, there’s the delicate OST Michiru Oshima composed. Several of the emotional tracks do well to complement each scene, adding to the heartfelt and loving nature of the show. My personal favorite example of this is the insert track from episode 9: “Rise” by Riko Azuna, as it is one of my favorite insert tracks of the year. Nothing embodies the pleasant nature of the show more than this one track, not even the fun ending theme by the main leads’ VAs, or the opening theme by the same artist. "Hectopascal” and "Kimi ni Furete” respectively make for good songs in their own right despite the questionable techno in the former and the questionable vocals in the latter, so there’s nary an issue to be had, even here.If there’s a word that encapsulates this delicate beauty, it would be “endearing”. The banter and interactions feel so authentic and lifelike that amidst the lampooning and exhibition of shoujo tropes lies a surprisingly wholesome and equally elegant tale of lesbian romance. For every moment of repetitious interactions and monologue, there’s an impactful revelation, beautiful interaction, or heartwarming moment to counterbalance. There may be lulls and missteps, but this beauty has enough elegance and charm for me to brush that all aside. She’s wonderful, ain’t she?Written and Edited by: CodeBlazeFateProofread by: Peregrine

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