Sing "Yesterday" for Me

Alt title: Yesterday wo Utatte

TV (12 eps)
3.767 out of 5 from 2,323 votes
Rank #2,459

Rikuo has graduated from college, but has zero ambition or direction and works in a convenience store. A strange high-school dropout, Haru, keeps coming around with her pet crow. Rikuo still has a crush on his senior Shinako, who is beginning a teaching career, and who shows up in the store one day. Rikuo's relationships with the girls, and his feelings about his life, keep changing as the story evolves, bringing in other important characters—Rikuo's co-worker, the coworker's sister, and a childhood friend of Shinako's, etc.

Source: ANN

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A Misfit's Attempt at Self-Reform

Episode 1

A Misfit's Attempt at Self-Reform

cul-de-sac

Episode 2

cul-de-sac

What Is Love?

Episode 3

What Is Love?

As the River Flows, Shinako Returns Home

Episode 4

As the River Flows, Shinako Returns Home

The Man Named Minato

Episode 5

The Man Named Minato

The Woman Named Yuzuhara

Episode 6

The Woman Named Yuzuhara

Premonition of a Couple

Episode 7

Premonition of a Couple

Innocent Blue

Episode 8

Innocent Blue

Christmas Carol

Episode 9

Christmas Carol

A New Year of Beginnings

Episode 10

A New Year of Beginnings

A Spring Storm

Episode 11

A Spring Storm

The Long Way

Episode 12

The Long Way

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Reviews

Triginta
7

Sing "Yesterday" for Me focuses on Rikuo, who has graduated from a college, but has no ambitions about the future whatsoever and just works in a convenience store. His life is monotonous and nothing happens, however, everything changes when he meets his ex-girlfriend. Rikuo's life changes even more, when he meets Haru Nonaka, who has a pet crow. Based on a manga from the late 90's, we follow Rikuo, a man in his twenties, who gives up on his ambitions, because of his excuses that he does not want to try anymore. Something very similar to what Welcome to the N.H.K. has, but also different. We all know how stressful life may be, some people just give up on their dreams and decide to swim with the stream. This is what this series is about. But there is also a romance going on in this depressing slice of life.  I cannot guarantee you that you will like it for many reasons. Sing "Yesterday" for Me is a bad choice for those who like forced events; this is not going to happen here. Relationships develop way to slow and there are no special plot twists. Some may lose interest while watching this series, some, however, will appreciate the realism of this relationships, some may feel that the story has a bit too many flaws, because the manga, this anime is based on, began serialization in Shueisha's seinen manga magazine Business Jump in 1997 and then it moved to Shueisha's Grand Jump magazine, you feel like many people tried to influence both the manga and the anime, which resulted in Rikuo’s indecision; who is the girl that he truly loves? All in all, this was one of the slowest romance series I have ever seen.  The events of this anime develop so slowly that it might be somewhat difficult not to lose any interest. But those who consider themselves patient viewers, who like very slow romance series, Sing "Yesterday" for Me might be what you are looking for.

zala
5

I don't know whether this is a horrible adaptation of a manga, or a faithful adaptation of a horrible manga. First impression: a quirky romance story about four people competing for love, with much introspection and tragic backstories. There's a crow for a pet! Reality: a frustrating romance story with characters who don't want to advance in life, don't want to change and do not know how to express their feelings for each other in a healthy way. There is a crow for a pet, but that means nothing.  Once in a while, an anime will come around and make you ask: what happened?   I don't mean, how did this anime get made? That's easy, someone thought that the manga was popular enough to be adapted. I mean, what happened for this anime to be so fundamentally flawed? After ten agonizing episodes, I found one answer to this problem. This anime has no idea what to focus on, or what genre it is trying to be. Genres are broad, but they are important because genres focus on different aspects of a story. For example, a story about a family moving to a new city could be a fun slice of life, a gory horror story or a drama about making important life decisions. Different genres have different tools to make you feel a certain way.  From reading about this anime, you might be expecting a complicated love polygon story about four people who have no idea what they want to do in life falling in love with each other. This is a relatable story of unexpressed emotion and trying to move ahead in life. There is potential drama here to be made, and in good hands, this could be a gloriously emotional love story.  So what makes this anime feel like nothing is happening? Why do these people seem to agonize over each other while doing nothing to change their relationships? My answer is that the anime portrays itself as a romance, but has the structure and pacing of a slice of life story (SoL). A romance focuses on the dramatic aspects of relationships: expressing feelings, confusion about making decisions, dramatic events that lead to relationships growing or ending. A SoL story focuses on the lifestyles of certain characters: what these characters do, what motivates them to live how they do and how they might change over time in a more lifelike pace. Romances are dramatic, with high stakes! SoL are muted, with low stakes. Good romances and SoL can be meaningful if used well.  The problem with mixing romance with SoL is that the tools for both genres are very different. Romances use broad action and characters committing themselves to decisions to show changes in relationships. SoL have characters living at a normal pace, with decisions leading to change over time. The problem with using SoL tools for a romance is that the actions feel muted instead of intense and the change in relationships feels needlessly slow and tedious instead of exciting. This is equivalent to creating a serious drama about war with background characters tossing bombs at each other, blowing up and suffering no damage. It breaks the tone of the story.  The most important problems with this approach is that the characters feel inactive instead of active; the dramatic actions taken to advance relationships feel weak or uneventful; and there are no stakes. What romance works if there are no stakes?  I don't know what to label this anime as. As a romance, it is dull and weightless. As a SoL, it doesn't have interesting characters living interesting lives. That means that this anime fails on two fronts. Is this anime bad? I would say yes. I didn't feel any interest in the characters or the story. I don't know what this anime was trying to do or what emotion I was supposed to feel. There was plenty of awkwardness, but I don't watch anime for that feeling alone.  Watch or skip? SKIP at all costs. 

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