Bloom Into You is an anime about two young, high school girls, Yuu and Touko, who find themselves kind of, sort of dating. This ill-defined relationship spurs them to consider all sorts of things, not just their sexualities (which is kind of a given), but who they are and who they want to be as people. Please watch this show if you haven’t already. It’s a really special anime, one that’s thoughtful, sensitive, and refuses to fall back on the tried-and-true, yet oh-so problematic tropes that plague the yuri genre. Today I will be talking about Touko Nanami, one of Bloom Into You’s two heroines, and a big part of what makes this show so amazing.
The Naruto franchise is far from perfect. Even though I consider it to be one of my all-time favourites I am not blind to its many flaws. A sizable chunk of episodes are filler episodes, most of which are inexcusably awful (ninja ostriches, anybody?), and some of which actually interrupt canon arcs, utterly decimating any sense of tension and/or excitement. Not to mention the massive variation in production quality throughout its runtime…
However, I am willing to overlook these issues on the strength of the franchise’s characters alone. Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden have a huge and varied cast of characters, an impressive number of which are developed and have an interesting set of abilities and characteristics. But the best thing about these characters is their relationships with each other. Given that it’s Valentine’s Day this week, I thought I’d write about some of these. Sure, Valentine’s might be associated with romantic love, but that is just one of many kinds of love – and by no means the most important! Both Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden feature an assortment of different kinds of love and relationships, such as that between a parent and child, between friends, and, yes, between lovers. Below I list some of my favourites. Enjoy!