In Volume 1 of Nakatani Nio’s Yuri drama, we were introduced to Touko, the competent and driven Student Council President and the girl she falls for, Yuu, who responds not with love, but with loyalty.
In Volume 2 of Bloom Into You, Yuu is “digging into her lack of response to Touko in an interesting way,” as I said in my review of Volume 2 in Japanese. She’s starting to understand what drives Touko (beyond just the example of a deceased older sister) and what Touko (thinks she) wants. But even as Yuu promises to be that for Touko, she actually wants something vastly different for herself.
Touko is playing unfair. Sshe’s insisting she wants Yuu to never change, but she will shortly begin to demand that Yuu change.
And all of this is about to get wrapped up in the tension of an original play for the school festival, which will surface way more of what drives Touko than even she realizes, maybe.
In the meantime, I find myself obsessively watching Sayaka. Where Touko is hiding almost nothing of her feelings for Yuu, Sayaka is hiding everything about her feelings for Touko and she naturally resents Yuu for usurping her place by Touko’s side. There’s nothing dishonest about Sayaka’s position, although it might feel that way, but every gay girl knows that there is high risk in coming out just for that straight friend, However, it’s arguably dishonest to be taking her frustration out on Yuu.
I still – and always will – believe that Yuu really needs to learn about asexuality, even if she believes she wants to fall in love. At least having a word and a concept might giver her protection from the pressure she’s putting on herself. Again, to quote myself, “I’m still not sure if Yuu is supposed to be confused because she just hasn’t had an “a-ha!” moment or because she’s genuinely asexual. I don’t think the mangaka knows, either and I’m positive Yuu herself has no idea.”
The story here is tightly wound and Nakatani-sensei’s art is up to the challenge, but I’m often made uncomfortable while reading it. Not because it’s not good…but because I desperately want these kids to have some adult to talk to, even if it’s an Internet group or something. There’s just no reason to be so isolated now.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 6
Service – 1
Overall – 8 With scrunchy-face making moments, especially around Touko’s lack of gaining consent.
I think Bloom Into You is intriguing, rather than entertaining. What’s your take on it?
Volume 3 is available and has what I consider to be the best bits so far of the series.