Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Yagate Kimi ni Naru

Original Run: October 5, 2018 - December 28, 2018
Number of Episodes: 13
Genre: Romance
Based on the Series Created By: Nio Nakatani

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Yagate Kimi ni Naru. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Yuu Koito (voiced by Yuki Takada) has entered high school. In her group of friends, ideas like romance and dating are discussed on a daily basis. However, Yuu thinks she is missing something since she has never once felt the sensation of love. She isn’t even sure if she can feel it.

One day, Yuu believes she has found someone who can finally relate to her, and it is none other than her school’s beloved student council president Touko Nanami (voiced by Minako Kotobuki). Like Yuu, Touko had never met anyone who had moved her heart in a significant way. Or, at least, that was the case until she met Yuu.

Something about her younger schoolmate lights a spark within Touko, and almost instantly, she falls for Yuu. Understandably, Yuu is taken aback by Touko’s sudden deep affection. What is even more mysterious, though, Yuu doesn’t necessarily hate Touko’s feelings towards her.

As these two girls grow closer, their full personalities begin to come out. It would seem they each have a side to themselves they will only show to someone special. And perhaps, they may have just met that person.

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Series Positives

I debated whether or not to include the following comparison. Ultimately, the near perfect bookending of these two shows makes it far too fitting to leave this unsaid.

One of the first series I reviewed from 2018 was Citrus, and now as we inch closer to the end of the 2018 Anime Hajime Highlights period, one of the year’s last is Yagate Kimi ni Naru. The significance of this comes from both shows being yuri (lesbian) romances.

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To give the due credit to Citrus and Yagate Kimi ni Naru, these series were love stories that just so happened to have female couples, and that was, for the most part, the primary objective for both. I would advise: If you decide to go into either, be ready to expect more narrative and less fanservice. That is where the similarities stop, though.

Citrus was – at best – bland and forgettable, whereas Yagate Kimi ni Naru was nothing short of incredible. This was a terrific series.

At its core, Yagate Kimi ni Naru’s success came from an arguably typical premise which ended up being thought-out and well-executed. I can’t tell you how many series I have seen where a person put up some sort of façade. These types of characters would act one way on the outside to mask something much more complicated on the inside. What this show did was not reinvent the packaging but instead add a fresh new layer.

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Without giving too much away, I am mostly (although not entirely) referring to Touko Nanami. The persona she tried to display was one of strength, confidence, and unflappable resolve. She only openly showed a different side to Yuu Koito.

That dynamic wasn’t what made this show special. No, the thing that did that had everything to do with why Touko felt she needed people to think she was a certain way.

The revelation – and later unraveling – of that why-question was what turned Yagate Kimi ni Naru into a phenomenal series. And to sweeten the deal, before this point in the story, the show had already established itself as one of the most solid romance-anime of 2018.

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A massive difference between Citrus and Yagate Kimi ni Naru was that Citrus only had a few decent characters. By comparison, Yagate Kimi ni Naru had several outstanding characters. Specifically, Touko and Yuu were a magnificent pair.

The strength of Touko and Yuu’s relationship came from balance. Neither girl was in full control over what developed between them. In a very simplified manner, Touko was better at affection and Yuu was better at support. On the surface, it may seem as if one quality would be more potent than the other (I will let you determine which might be which). However, Yagate Kimi ni Naru effectively illustrated that depending on circumstances, it really would be a toss-up to discover which outlook would have the advantage.

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When Touko and Yuu talked, but predominantly when they argued, both could stand their ground. Touko and Yuu had the fantastic habit of saying everything they could possibly say in a given discussion. Neither left behind an obvious retort that could have shattered the other’s argument to shreds.

There was a scene where Touko and Yuu had a big confrontation. Touko gave the kind of speech that generally would have shut the other person up because of how definite it sounded; crucial emphasis on the word “sounded.”

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Just because Touko was dead set in her way of thinking didn’t make her right, and it certainly didn’t mean she couldn’t have been challenged. The problem is, I have seen so many characters not give that challenge.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru was great because Yuu DIDN’T let Touko walk away at that moment.

I have to hand it to this show, it took me off guard. I had already been enjoying the series for what it was, but scenes like that proved there was something more to Yagate Kimi ni Naru.

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Series Negatives

There were two aspects to this series that we need to discuss in this section. Although Yagate Kimi ni Naru might have been excellent, it wasn’t blemish free. Luckily, these “missteps” (if that’s what we want to consider them as) weren’t of the game-breaking variety. Nevertheless, here we are.

The first aspect centers around how this show used some of its side characters.

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I have already mentioned how remarkable Touko and Yuu were. Yagate Kimi ni Naru also did well with Touko’s best friend Sayaka Saeki (voiced by Ai Kayano). This trio was more than enough to carry the show and then some. Thus, it was odd when this story tried giving multiple side characters a bit more development only to later abandon the effort entirely.

For example, there was one character who found out about Touko and Yuu’s relationship. When this happened, it was treated as a crucial turning point. However, the person who saw Touko and Yuu didn’t care about what the girls were doing, and the subject was never brought up ever again.

So, what was the point? It was strange how many times Yagate Kimi ni Naru did this.

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The second aspect is more of a thought. No, I think it would be more apt to say: This is a suspicion.

It wouldn’t bother me to be proven wrong, but my guess is many people won’t be too thrilled with Yagate Kimi ni Naru’s ending; as if there was something unsatisfying to it.

On the one hand, I sort of agree.

I must also add how this show’s intention – assuming I am correctly reading into what happened – could have struck home truer had the final moments been clearer.

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On the other hand, Yagate Kimi ni Naru had one of the ballsiest endings of any series I have seen from 2018. I commend what this show did. There was perhaps no better way for the story to end.

I bring all this up because it is okay to not like the kind of finale Yagate Kimi ni Naru went with. Especially since it was undoubtedly rocky. Now, had this series knocked it out of the park, then I would ask you to at least appreciate the attempt made. Unfortunately, here is one of those stories which didn’t quite reach that level of gung-ho enthusiasm.

Whatever your attitudes towards this show’s ending may be, I hope we can agree, Yagate Kimi ni Naru deserves to be acknowledged as the outstanding product that it was.

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Final Thoughts

2018 had several memorable romance stories. This one joins that list.

From taking a standard plot device and turning it into something more profound, to having one of the most engaging couples of the year, this series was a ton of fun.

In addition to that, the animation was beautiful, the voice acting was lively, and the story was hard to put down. If you are a fan of romance, I see no reason not to give this show a shot.

I highly recommend Yagate Kimi ni Naru.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Yagate Kimi ni Naru? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.


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