Welp! The convoluted love square has finally come to an end. I won’t beat around the bush… this ending was incredibly frustrating. It felt incredibly rushed for a series where I thoroughly appreciated them taking their time and at the end of the day, I feel like any character development we actually got didn’t mean anything in the end.
While I am unhappy with this conclusion, I must admit that there were still aspects of this episode that I did enjoy. Namely, the final date between Rikuo and Shinako. Last week I talked about how I was happy that the two of them were in a relationship and that although slow they both seemed pretty happy when they were together. However, as much as I wanted their relationship to last and for the two of them to grow, I also recognized that there their relationship probably wouldn’t last. So, when the two of them finally had a chance to talk out their feelings to each other I was content that they both mutually concluded that this relationship is not what either of them wants. They were both happy with the relationship, but they were both facing regret with the decision and they both felt as if they lost someone in dating the other. At the end of the day, I’m glad that they were able to talk it out and move forward as friends.
That being said, I’m frustrated by this ending because it really makes it seem like Rikuo and Shinako finally reached a decision on how to move forward and have worked towards changing some part of them. For Haru and Rou though? They both got what they wanted in the end without having any development or growth of their own. Shinako has told Rou and everyone else time and time again that she wanted to stay close with his family and that the feelings she felt towards him were that of an older sister to a younger brother. And Rou consistently tried to break the boundaries of that. Personally, I would have been fine if she tried to make amends with him and gone back to being the big sister / motherly type character to him, but based on the fact that she dropped the bag when she went to apologize…. I think they are implying a romantic end to those two which I am not about.
Rikuo going back to Haru also didn’t sit well for me. I personally felt that after the first few episodes Haru got very little screen time and development and that her entire identity was based around the fact that she liked Rikuo (and quite frankly that doesn’t seem fair to say because every character was based upon their feelings for others). Unlike Rou and Shinako, Haru and Rikuo barely had any history! And the bit at the end where they flashback to her picking up his lost paper for his entrance exam and then proceeding to just have her walk past him often without actually interacting with him again until he’s graduated college and working at the convenience store? Hmm… that just doesn’t seem quite right. Personally, I probably would have been more okay with the ending had they given Haru more growth and more chances to connect with Rikuo on a deeper level. It’s just frustrating because at the start of the series she could have been a deeply complex and enjoyable character, but as she got pushed into the background this ending doesn’t seem to do either of them justice.
All in all, my opinion of this anime definitely fell flat as time went on and this final episode didn’t help its case. If they had the opportunity to include one or two more episodes developing Haru as well as her relationship with Rikuo I think the ending would have been much more satisfying.
Yesterday wo Utatte had a very strong start to the series, it was visually pretty and the story but honestly fell by the wayside as the latter half of the series began to release. And now after watching the full thing, I realize that I don’t know if I have very much to say about it. I was very excited coming into this anime, it was set up to be a mature romance story that offered an interesting cast of characters, but it ended up focusing a lot more on the drama rather than the trials of falling in love and making a relationship work.
Looking back on it, my favorite aspect of this anime would have to be the characters. We were set up to have complex and emotional characters who were more than just inexperienced teens trying experience young love. From the moment Rikuo was introduced I was very excited to see what sort of development he would get. He was a guy who was putting off thinking about the future because he had just graduated college and wasn’t quite ready to move on to the next phase of his life – something that was incredibly relatable to me as someone who has also placed myself in an in-between state. Shinako was probably the character that grew on me the most, and the one I ultimately appreciated the most in the end. Her struggles with loss and the inability to move forward made her an incredibly moving character and one that I related to early on due to personal experiences. My favorite part about Shinako is that she is a flawed character and mistakes. I am glad that the anime took time to develop her over the course of the series.
Haru and Rou were still enjoyable characters, but both of them suffered from lack of development. From the moment Haru was introduced she seemed like the quirky character with some dark past behind her, but aside from dropping out of school after her job being found out she really was just a girl with a major crush. She was cute and fun for a while, but her obsession with Rikuo became a bit much after a while especially with little to no progression. Rou on the other hand was someone that I desperately wanted to see grow as a person. Perhaps a situation where he comes to terms with the fact that he can never be his brother and should move on from his childish crush. Instead he was possessive despite being told no countless times and even his friends convincing him that it was a pursuit that he should give up.
Story-wise, it was something I was invested in in the very beginning, but over time it definitely turned into a series where I wish everyone could just sit down and have an honest conversation with each other. Everyone was avoiding something which was holding them back emotionally. And over time, it seemed like some of these emotional barriers were lifted as characters talked and connected, but as mentioned above, all of that felt null and void at the end of the final episode. It’s frustrating to say the least. If heavy drama and romantic conflicts aren’t your thing then this definitely isn’t the anime for you.
Overall, I would probably give this anime a 6/10. It had something going for it in the first half, but later on down the line the drama became incredibly frustrating to watch. Quite frankly, even though there were things that I loved about this series, I would recommend you skip this one in favor of something else.