I’ve changed a lot over the years. I recently wrote about how maternal I was becoming. I suppose that growing more sentimental goes hand in hand with that! I used to hate cutesy, romantic fluff. As far as I was concerned, it just got in the way of the good stuff (if you know what I mean)… In fact, one of my very first posts on WWB (waaay back in 2012 – dear God, don’t try to find it) was on that very subject. But, over time, as sex dwindled in importance to love, friendship, and commitment, I’ve slowly come to love fluff! This is reflected in the anime I loved most this year.
Some of the best shows that I watched this year include: My Love Story!!, ReLIFE, High Score Girl, and Bloom Into You. I’d like to take a moment, if you wouldn’t mind, to talk about these amazing romance anime…
I first watched My Love Story!! back in January. And while I’ve watched a lot of anime since, few have managed to top it… My Love Story!!’s hero, Takeo, is a far cry from your standard pretty-boy protagonist, but he has such a good, kind heart. It’s no wonder Yamato falls head over heels for him! I loved watching their relationship develop over the course of the show, since, unlike in most romance anime, they paired off pretty quickly. All in all, My Love Story!! Was just such a wholesome, feel-good show. Definitely one of the best anime I watched this year.
ReLIFE was another awesome anime that I watched in January. Romance may not be its primary focus, but, rather, its characters learning to love life once more, but, even so, my heart broke when Arata and Chizuru struggled to come to terms with the fact that, as part of the ReLIFE program, they’d wind up forgetting each other.
High Score Girl was yet another fantastic anime I watched this year. I loved watching Haruo and Akira bond over their shared love of arcade games, the respect that Haruo had for Akira’s skill (I know plenty of boys who’d have a fit if a girl ever beat them at a game), the way in which their friendship persisted over time and distance, and how their relationship slowly went from childhood friends to (maybe) something more. Their relationship reminded me of my own, my husband and I also bonded over a shared passion (for anime, duh) and spent a significant time apart, giving me this warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Bloom Into You is my most recent favourite, having watched it just last month. This anime’s a rare bird. Bar one impulsive peck on the lips, all physical contact between Yuu and Touko is consensual, the pair are respectful of one another’s boundaries, and their romance (and that of the other lesbian couples in Bloom Into You) isn’t branded as “just a phase”. All in all, this show is sensitive in its depiction of these two young girls, who’re simply trying to untangle their messy feelings for each other. This makes Bloom Into You one of the best and most wholesome yuri anime that I’ve ever seen.
There’s been no shortage of fluff in this year’s anime either! From Kaguya-sama: Love is War (in which you spent the entire show praying that Miyuki or Kaguya would just quit with the mind games, swallow their pride, and confess their feelings to the other), to Given (where we slowly watched as Uenoyama’s infatuation with Mafuyu’s angelic voice developed into something more). From O Maidens in Your Savage Season (with its cringy, true-to-life depiction of first love), to the reigning “King of Fluff”: Fruits Basket. So, what’s been your favourite of this year’s fluff?