Bloom Into You is slowly ramping up the tension as we pass the show’s halfway point. Episode seven contained a wealth of information about Sayaka, and we even got a rare glimpse into Touko’s thought processes.
Touko is a boundary pusher. She likes to see just how far she can take something before somebody pushes back. Take this week’s episode where she calls Yuu by her first name. Unsatisfied with the response, she then tries it at a club meeting. Really, while the pair are becoming closer, it seems like Touko is almost daring Yuu to raise a fuss.
That said, while she’s certainly capable of causing discomfort, she’s not as good at being on the receiving end. In fact, when Yuu uses her name, she gets extremely embarrassed almost instantly. There’s a weird power dynamic game here, and it looks like despite Touko’s best efforts, Yuu is winning.
Sayaka In The Limelight
When we first saw Sayaka, she seemed poised to become this show’s generic meddling rival. However, she’s actually a fairly deep character, harbouring feelings for Touko, and struggling to come to terms with her attraction to girls. Episode seven saw her identify a same-sex relationship between one of her teachers and the local coffee-shop owner, which lead to a frank and adult conversation she sorely needed to have.
The shop owner had no problems talking about her girlfriend. This is reasonably true to life: in high school, everyone keeps secrets, everyone has something they’re embarrassed about, and nobody wants to be singled out for ridicule. However, outside of school, things work differently. You can be who you are, even if you don’t come right out and declare it to the world.
An Idealistic View?
Now, obviously, there are exceptions to this. Bloom Into You may be looking at adult life through rose-tinted lenses, but generally, accepting yourself does get easier with time. It seems like the main cast could really use an older mentor figure, one who would let them know that they don’t have to hide or apologise for who they are.
By the end of the episode, Sayaka realizes that Touko only wants her as a friend, at least for the time being. Ever dutiful, Sayaka casts aside her feelings and fills that role; it seems Touko isn’t the only one with good acting skills. Until now, this anime has been all about how you can’t hide your emotions, though, so it’d be more than a little surprising if this plot point wasn’t revisited before the series ends.