Sukitte Ii na yo Half Season Review
Sukitte Ii na yo, or Say I Love You, is a somewhat generic shoujo show. It suffers from many of the same trappings that are stereotypical of the genre, as well. The female lead is dragged around by bossy friends and an uncomfortably forward and dominating love interest. The romance and character development are slow and work in fits and spurts. Each arc is about another person, mostly female rivals, trying to interrupt the telegraphed OTP. However, if you look beyond this genre framework you’ll find why Sukitte is actually a great show.
Shoujo as a genre provides a set of expectations. Shows have to meet a certain number of these to fall within the genre, but the guidelines are fuzzy. Even if a show may seem to be greatly generic, it’s the details that set them apart. This is where Sukitte nails it. The part where you want it to be a cartoony shoujo show are exactly that, but then when you want characters who act like humans, complete with human trappings, it will deliver as well.
I know some complain that the show is too slow, but that’s because it has nowhere to get to. The real story is about the insecurity of youth. It’s about those moments when you first fall in love, and you’re feeling passion for someone like never before, and you stop to wonder if you really deserve that person. It’s about learning to deal with jealousy, hurt, and mistrust. It’s not about seeing the characters shag, or graduate, or even live happily ever after. Maybe it is drama for the sake of itself, but at least it’s good drama and it’s resolved in an honest way.
It takes a careful eye and a little patience, but so far Sukitte succeeds where flashier shows fail: at being real.