In episode eight, Bloom Into You moves away from petty schoolyard arguments and gets closer to the real, tender romance show we all knew it could be. While fairly light on plot, it certainly helped deepen our understanding of certain characters, with Sayaka in particular getting a lot of screen time.
What Is Ordinary?
When we first met her, Sayaka was a fairly unlikeable love rival to Yuu. However, fresh from her conversation with the coffee shop owner, she seems to have a new outlook on life. This episode saw her bump into her first girlfriend, who apologises for making her “this way” and is glad that Sayaka seems “ordinary” now.
This kind of language is something that LGBTQ individuals experience constantly. It might not necessarily be intended to hurt, but it implies that the listener is “not-ordinary” or somehow strange for being attracted to a specific type of person. Although Sayaka lets the vocabulary choice slide, she does take the opportunity to make it obvious that she’s very close to Touko. Nice.
Who Gets Touko?
Sayaka and Yuu also get to reconcile this week, with a shared visit to not-McDonalds (side note: “Y’Donald’s” is the weirdest anime-friendly version we’ve ever seen). It’s clear that they both deeply care about Touko, but ultimately, only one can be with her. The obvious choice is Sayaka, since Yuu still hasn’t admitted to herself that she’s romantically interested.
That said, Bloom Into You showed several scenes where the pair interacted like a couple might. Drying each other’s hair, asking deeply personal questions, sharing an umbrella and bickering over who gets to hold it; all things that are at home in any romance anime. Could it be that we’re finally about to see Yuu change her mind?
A Little More Development
It seems that Yuu might be the last person to know what her feelings are. Even her sister admits (although not specifically talking about romance) that she struggles to commit to anything. It sounds like Touko is exactly the kind of person that she needs: someone forceful, impulsive, and excited to try new things.
Of course, we don’t actually know what Touko wants in the grand scale of things. Will she go to college? Maybe even move in with someone? Will that someone be a woman? More importantly, is Yuu willing to follow her? The stakes, as ever, are remarkably small. That said, Bloom Into You excels at making every plot point feel like the end of the world – not in an overwhelming way, but one that echoes the mindset of a high-school-aged character.