Tag: Bloom Into You

Bloom into You (Manga)

Bloom into You (Manga)

Bloom into You Volume 1 manga cover art
Bloom into You

The Redemption Arc

Bloom into You (Yagate Kimi ni Naru / やがて君になる) is a yuri manga about two high school girls who fall in love. This is also my second time reviewing the series. 15 months ago, in March of 2021, I reviewed the Bloom into You anime.

Now, I’ll be honest, my review of the anime wasn’t received well by certain members of the community. If you want to see what I said about the anime, the review is still there for you to read. I’m not going to change my opinion on a series because some people don’t agree with it.

But, even when I wrote my review of the anime, I conceded that the manga was likely better. So, what better time to give Bloom into You a second chance by reading the manga than during Pride Month?

Before I get into the review itself, there are a few more things I need to make clear. First, I read the manga from chapter 1 — I didn’t pick it up where the anime left off. Not only has it been 15 months since I watched the anime, but I wanted to experience the manga as a whole.

Second, I’m going to do something different and say right here at the start that I gave the manga a 10/10. Usually, I leave my ratings for the conclusion of the review. But, I think it’s important to get that out of the way at the start this time around.

Most of this review is going to be comparing the anime to the manga. So I want it to be clear upfront how significant the difference between the anime and manga is. It’s a 4/10 compared to a 10/10. I knew the manga would be better. But I didn’t expect this.

Bloom into You Manga

Bloom into You Manga

Experience Yuu Koito’s and Touko Nanami’s first love in this fan-favorite shoujo ai manga by Nakatani Nio.

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A Complete Story

The Bloom into You anime has a glaring problem. This problem is such a big deal that even the most diehard fans of the series have to admit it. And those who don’t admit it are lying to themselves.

Of course, I’m talking about the fact it only covers half of the manga.

Bloom into You is 50 chapters long (45 chapters and 5 “bonus” chapters spread throughout). The anime concludes at the end of chapter 24. And it doesn’t have an original ending, either. It ends in the middle of the story.

This is something I pointed out in my review of the anime. As I said back then, the anime actually ends before any of the major character development occurs. And, in fact, the anime ends in the middle of an arc — before the climax of the arc.

Touko falling asleep on Yuu on the train from the manga series Bloom Into You chapter 24
Touko falling asleep on Yuu on the train

The school festival/play arc is the point at which the character development begins. This is arguably the most important part of the series. But, the anime misses out on that. It builds up the play and then ends before we get to see it. Because of that, the manga is superior by default.

That’s not all the manga completes, though. Even after the play arc, there’s plenty of content left. Yuu’s and Touko’s story doesn’t end with the play. With the manga, we get their complete story. They graduate from high school, go to college, and end up living together.

At the very end of the manga, it’s even implied that the two of them got married (or engaged). There’s a panel of them walking home together and it focuses on a ring on Yuu’s finger. Compared to the complete package that is the manga, the anime is trash.

Manga vs. Anime

Now, it’s time to get into some of the more subjective ways the manga is better than the anime. And first up is the art. The panel screenshots I’ve included in this review don’t do the manga justice. There are some amazing panels with amazing art. And the rest looks good too.

I wouldn’t say that the anime looks bad. But it’s also not great. And, while not something I usually compliment, the Bloom into You manga has some nice paneling. I haven’t read many manga — 6 manga compared to my 530 completed anime. But, I can still recognize nice paneling when I see it.

Moving away from the art, there’s something else the manga did better than the anime, but I can’t quite explain why. One of my complaints about the anime was that it made Touko’s character come off as a groomer. And I got plenty of backlash for saying that.

Sayaka preparing to confess to Touko from the manga series Bloom Into You chapter 37
Sayaka preparing to confess to Touko

This is another reason why I wanted to read the manga from chapter 1. I wanted to see the depiction of Touko’s initial relationship with Yuu in this medium. And what I found was that their early relationship is the same.

But, reading the manga, I never got the impression that Touko was being too assertive with Yuu. There was still an awkward moment between Miyako and Sayaka. But, Touko’s and Yuu’s relationship was good. I liked the depiction. And I don’t have a solid answer for why I think that now.

So, let’s guess. It could be that the direction of the anime portrayed their relationship in a more toxic way. It could be that the manga gave a better insight into Yuu’s feelings through the art. Or, it could be the voice acting in the anime. Who knows?

Yuu and Touko Get Frisky

Is it weird to say that one of my favorite parts of the Bloom into You manga is when Yuu and Touko have sex? Okay, yes, it’s hot. But, there’s more to why I liked this part of the manga than that.

For one, I usually watch anime rather than read manga. And in anime, we generally don’t get sex scenes. So, this is an important part of romantic relationships that I don’t get to see depicted often. Romance in anime might get to a kiss scene if you’re lucky.

And, it’s very common for the main characters not to even be in a relationship by the end of the anime. The ending might imply they end up together. But that’s not very satisfying. Seeing Yuu and Touko go all the way is a lot more important than I think many people realize.

Touko and Yuu about to have sex from the manga series Bloom Into You chapter 44
Touko and Yuu about to have sex

Look, sex is a normal part of romantic relationships. Does every romantic relationship need it? No. But for the majority, it will eventually come with the territory. Depicting that is a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with it. Yuu describes herself as “naughty” when she fantasizes about Touko, but that’s not bad.

Also, let’s not forget that this is a yuri and shoujo ai manga. There’s going to be plenty of LGBTQ+ youth reading this. And seeing Yuu and Touko at this point of their relationship could be very validating. This isn’t a watered-down depiction of a girl-girl relationship that’s left ambiguous.

Oh, and I have to say that the situation in which they have sex for the first time is perfect. The scenario of it happening when Touko’s parents are out is realistic. And the feelings of anticipation and nervousness that both Touko and Yuu have are spot-on.

Conclusion

As I said toward the start of this review, I gave the Bloom into You manga a 10/10. I tried to think of any reason I could come up with to give it a lower score. And in the end, there was nothing. It deserves this rating.

If you’ve read this review for some reason without having seen the anime or read the manga, pick the manga. I know there are people who like the anime. And some people will say to watch the anime and pick the manga up where it leaves off. I’m telling you to skip the anime entirely.

The manga is so much better — and I’m not a manga person.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Bloom into You

Bloom into You

Bloom into You anime series cover art
Bloom into You

Series Overview

Bloom into You (Yagate Kimi ni Naru / やがて君になる) is a shoujo ai anime that’s probably considered one of the best of the genre by a lot of people. If you’re wondering what the difference between shoujo ai and yuri is, I went over that in my review of Adachi and Shimamura.

Now, going back to the part about this being considered one of the best shoujo ai anime, I’m not someone who believes that to be the case. As you’ll see throughout this review, I think Bloom into You is quite a bad anime.

Bloom into You follows a fairly straightforward structure. The series takes place over the course of a year and follows the developing relationship between two girls. However, with this, the anime already runs into a problem: It doesn’t finish the series.

While the series as a whole takes place over a year, the anime is only about 6 months. And what that results in is the anime not really getting to the meat of the series. By the final episode of the anime, the relationship has barely begun.

Now, why is this such an issue? Well, I’m not really interested in the vast majority of the content from this series that isn’t focused on the relationship between the main girls. I could watch any other, average slice of life anime to get the same content.

And further, because the anime ends at the halfway point of the series, it doesn’t resolve anything. It doesn’t end at a good stopping point. It just kind of ends without tying up any of the major plot points built up throughout the season.

It’s not a satisfying anime to watch, and it doesn’t even end in a way that made me want to read the manga to find out what happens next.

Bloom into You Manga

Bloom into You Manga

Experience Yuu Koito’s and Touko Nanami’s first love in this fan-favorite shoujo ai manga by Nakatani Nio.

Shop Now

Main Characters

The two main characters of this series are Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami. These characters are the next major issue I have with Bloom into You simply because they’re not very likable. If I’m watching a romance anime, I want to like the characters.

But before I get into the characters’ personalities, let’s take a moment to look at their appearances. The character designs in this series are extremely boring. They’re bland, they’re flat most of the time, and the girls just aren’t cute.

Yuu’s and Touko’s personalities aren’t all that much more interesting than their character designs. And in fact, for both characters, their lack of personalities is used to further the plot. But, since the series ends before their personalities actually develop, it just leaves them boring.

Yuu and Touko from the anime series Bloom Into You
Yuu and Touko

Yuu Koito’s defining personality trait is that she’s indifferent. She doesn’t reciprocate Touko’s love for her and instead just goes through the motions because that’s what’s expected of her. Yuu doesn’t know what it means to be in love, and frankly, she doesn’t care to find out.

Touko Nanami’s defining personality trait is that she doesn’t have a personality of her own. Her personality is acting how she thinks other people expect her to act. This could have been interesting if the anime didn’t abruptly end.

But, the worst part of these characters is actually the dynamic of their relationship. I’ll go into it in more detail in the following section, but it’s a very one-sided relationship with a prominent power differential between the two characters. In a lot of ways, I would say that the relationship between Yuu and Touko is more suspect than that of Yuzu and Mei in Citrus.

How to Groom a Boring Girlfriend

To understand why Yuu’s and Touko’s relationship is so problematic, we need to look at the power dynamic between them, their personalities, what they’re each seeking from the other, and both their actions and words.

Things start off rocky when you realize that Yuu is a first-year student within the student council while Touko is a second-year student who’s the student council president. Already, we can see that Touko holds some amount of power over Yuu.

On top of that, there’s the fact that Yuu is unsure of herself because all of her peers have experienced feelings of love, but Yuu hasn’t. This leads Yuu to search for someone else who doesn’t know what love feels like. And she thinks she found someone she can relate to in Touko.

Touko kissing Yuu in the gym shed from the anime series Bloom Into You
Touko kissing Yuu in the gym shed

The problem is that Touko isn’t like Yuu at all. When Yuu confides in Touko that she feels comfortable around her because she thinks they’re the same, Touko immediately takes advantage of this and confesses to Yuu.

While Yuu was seeking someone else with who she could share her misunderstanding of what love is, Touko was seeking someone who she can love unconditionally and who won’t love her back. So not only is she taking advantage of Yuu but if Yuu ever does develop feelings for Touko, the implication is that Touko would no longer be interested in her.

And then, of course, comes the most suspect part of all. Part of Touko’s forcing of her feelings onto Yuu includes doing so physically. She knows that Yuu isn’t romantically or sexually interested in her, and yet she touches and kisses her without her consent. There were even times when Yuu explicitly stated that she didn’t want to engage in such acts.

Basically, this whole series is about how the student council president grooms one of her underclassmen into being her romantic slave. She forces herself onto Yuu both physically and emotionally and for some reason, people see this series as a wholesome romance.

If Touko was a male character, I think people would immediately try to “cancel” this series for promoting rape culture and I think they would have a valid case for doing so.

Conclusion

I know some people are going to try to argue that Yuu develops feelings for Touko over the course of the series. But what you’re not understanding if you argue that is that Yuu is being groomed and manipulated into having those feelings.

For me, Bloom into You is a 4/10. I really can’t think of anything I thought this series did well. The fact that it stops arbitrarily without resolving anything is bad. The character designs and characters themselves are bland. And the relationship featured in the series is based on emotional manipulation.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the Bloom into You manga is available now. I read the whole thing, from start to finish to give the series a shot at redemption.

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