The Ever Watchful Gardener – ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 4 Review

The Ever Watchful Gardener – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 4

What’s the show? Bloom Into You, Episode 4.

So how’s this episode? More of the same—which is absolutely a good thing as I do love this show. Though we are introduced to an interesting new side character that at first seems to be threatening the balance of our protagonist’s precarious secret love, but actually ends up being a different kind of addition to the show’s dynamic.

Oh yeah? And who’s that? Seiji Maki, a first year high school boy and new addition to the student council. He happens to inadvertently witness a secret kiss between Yuu and Touko.

Looks like she’s about to eat her nevermind kiss her.

And what does he do with that ~juicy information~? He talks to Yuu about it, in a rather straightforward matter too—and he’s not there to blackmail her or anything like that his interest in the two of them is ‘innocently voyeuristic’.

What’s that supposed to mean? He is someone that, despite having been an ear to talk to for many a girl for relationship advice, isn’t interested in being in a relationship himself. He’s content to watch the love lives of others from the sidelines and revel in other people’s happiness—and with Yuu and Touko he has found a unique “story” as he likes to call it—unique because no one else knows about it and it’s just for him to “observe”.

He’s either completely innocent or a closet serial killer.

That’s kind of creepy sounding… I guess so, though there’s no perversion or threat in the way he talks about it though. He’s just another person who experiences love differently; there are a lot of parallels between him and Yuu. Both of them have an inability to process feelings of love in a conventional way, it’s just while Yuu desperately wants to feel the feelings she’s read about in shoujo manga herself, Maki is perfectly content in watching and not participating.

When you try to offer a treat but she don’t want the treat.

Well okay, if you say so. So what about our main couple? How are they progressing? Slowly. As mentioned before Touko asks Yuu if she can kiss her and her reaction is… well typical of Yuu. It’s a kind of weird, kind of sweet scene that makes this love story all the more interesting from the usual but it’s in the later scene when Yuu is talking to Maki that we see a real bit of progress. When Maki reveals that he saw them kiss Yuu’s first reaction is fear, a fear that the word will get out to the school population and ruin Touko’s reputation. Maki promises never to speak a word of it to anyone else, not even Touko, but Maki observes that he’s surprised she leapt to her defence so quickly and that she “must really like her” if her first thought was of protecting Touko.

Anime characters love to point, don’t they?

Ah, so there is something there then, a glimmer of hope for Yuu and Touko yet? A bud, waiting to bloom you could say…

I could say that but that’d be trite. Geez, you’re such a tsun…

Don’t call me that. So overall thoughts? It’s still slow going but I’m enjoying every minute of this sweet and unusual romance!

Previous Bloom Into You Reviews:

Love Takes Time – Episode 1 Review
The Flower Blooms Alone – Episode 2 Review
Strength In Vulnerability – Episode 3 Review

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Strength In Vulnerability – ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 3 Review

Strength In Vulnerability – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 3

What’s the show? Bloom Into You, Episode 3.

So how’s this episode? Pretty much the same as the first two—meditative pacing, serene visuals, it’s a slow moving romance story but in the best ways. It’s never boring—but it’s certainly taking its time getting anywhere.

Why do I get the feeling you’re going to struggle to fill it a decent sized review? Probably, but it’s still nice to talk about this series—it’s interesting because I feel like the side characters are written in such a way to compliment the actions of our two protagonists but they’re just as interesting and humanised as Yuu and Touko and their ~struggles~.

I wish I went to a school nearby such a nice woods. But then again, spiders.

And what “struggles” do Yuu and Touko have to deal with this week? Nervousness. Something which might seem slight as far as ‘drama’ goes but consider your own high-school experience, speeches are nerve-wracking things to give at the best of times, let alone when you’re in front of the whole school. And as it turns out its not just Yuu who has some jitters about the speech she needs to deliver but Touko has been putting on a brave face for the sake of her friends and classmates, but she’s honestly scared. She confides in Touko and the two share an intensely intimate but still surprisingly innocent moment. It’s pretty gorgeous and touching and of course Yuu goes onto deliver a speech that goes off script at the end—but shows that maybe Touko being in her life is a good thing—at least as far as adding some spontaneity to the girl’s personality!

She’s warming up!

It doesn’t sound very interesting, just saying… You’re right it doesn’t sound interesting sometimes, but that just speaks to the quality of the writing and direction that it legitimately is interesting. Even the speech, which lasts several minutes, is delivered in full and is filmed kind of statically still manages to command your attention—not the least because of Yuu’s little contradictory commentary is thrown in between the gaps in sentences. This show has a mesmerising beauty that starts with the visuals, continues with the soundtrack and is capped off with the voice acting performances.

A place to rest her head.

Anything else you wanted to add? The world is expanded a little with the introduction of Yuu’s family—mother, father, older sister and grandmother—they run and live above a bookstore and its just another lovely detail that adds to the overall tone of the series. Fact is, this show is so perfectly executed, is that my weekly reviews almost feel unnecessary as there’s no way this show could slip up its adaptation. Certainly there will be those who find it boring or too slow-paced, but for everyone else this show will continue to provide the same level of entertainment for the rest of the season—short of some catastrophic production issue of course!

That almost sounded like you were about to say you were stopping these weekly reviews for this show? I’m undecided, I’ll take it week-to-week and see if I have enough to talk about. Much like Cells At Work last season its consistency and established quality made it difficult to write compelling reviews for—it (almost) did nothing wrong, and Bloom Into You is in a similar boat, though I’m in a worse situation as there’s no surprises to be had for the narrative as I’ve read the manga. I’ll eagerly watch each episode, but whether I review each episode is another matter. Time will tell!

Previous Bloom Into You Reviews:

Love Takes Time – Episode 1 Review
The Flower Blooms Alone – Episode 2 Review

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The Flower Blooms Alone – ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 2 Review

The Flower Blooms Alone – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 2

What’s the show? Bloom Into You, Episode 2.

So what happens in this episode? Not a lot, and I’m totally okay with that!

Uh-huh… and why do I feel like this is about to be a reaction post as opposed to a review? Listen, it’s been said this show is “slow”, a.k.a. “boring”—and you know what, if something taking its time and being contemplative and meditative and ethereal is “boring” than sign me up for that life!

Let’s not get off on the wrong foot here; nobody likes reading your rants… This isn’t a rant, it’s just an observation—not every show has to a riotous action-packed extravaganza of happenings and drama, sometimes a show can just ~be~ and do so at it’s own pace.

Such a question…

…’kay, so what happens—aside from “not a lot”? Yuu is having trouble understanding what Touko’s confession of “love” ~means~ but more than that she’s having trouble understanding why her senpai Touko wants her to be her campaign manager for the upcoming student council president elections. A large chunk of this episode is devoted to Sayaka—Touko’s closest and oldest friend—dealing with the fact that the person she was closest too has chosen a newbie and relative stranger to take her expected job as campaign manager. It’s ~slight~ stuff that doesn’t amount to much yet but it’s all well written and beautifully shot and…

We have to go deeper.

And what? Sorry, I was just remembering how gorgeous the OP for this show is and I got a bit absent-minded.

Best visuals in an OP this season? Very possibly.

Uh-huh, ‘beautiful OP’—check. What else? So after the student council stuff settles down a bit—at least the ~rivalry~ (if you want to call it that) between Sayaka and Yuu. We get to the episode’s big moment… Touko kisses Yuu! Or at least it would have been a ‘big moment’ if Yuu had reacted at all. The scene is absolutely flawlessly directed—the use of still imagery and colours (and lack thereof) is *chefs kiss* but Yuu’s lack of a real reaction… well it’s ~interesting~. And in an episode people are calling “boring” that’d be enough but no, there’s more!

Yuu’s eye looks so wide it’s almost scary!

Yeah? Like what? Well Yuu and Touka are having their photo taken for the records amongst the other presidential candidates and Yuu decides to take the initiative and grabs hold of her hand just before the photo is taken. Touka blushes, her heart sent a flutter by this sudden show of affection, but Yuu—well she feels nothing and she’s starting to resent this. After all who wants to be a part of a one-sided romance?

Yeah that.

Nobody right?! Well… as it turns out, Touka is ~exactly~ fine with that kind of thing. The two meet in a café to discuss Yuu’s speech that she’s to give on behalf of her candidate and Touka more or less reads Yuu’s mind—saying that she knows Yuu isn’t in love with her but that she’s too enamoured with these newfound feelings of love to let them escape. Touka wants to love Yuu even without the feelings being reciprocated and for whatever reason Yuu agrees to this unusual arrangement—perhaps hoping that something more will grow from her absent feelings.

~crippling depression~

Right. So, uh, thoughts on this episode then? The first episode felt almost self-contained like a short film, whereas this is definitely apart of the story I know and love from the manga version. This series is so beautiful artistically—even if it’s deliberately slight on the pacing side of things. This is a complicated romance that’s unfolding before us and I look forward to see how this adaptation handles things going forward.

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Love Takes Time – ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 1 Review

Love Takes Time – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Bloom Into You’ Episode 1

What’s the show? Bloom Into You, Episode 1.

And what’s it about? Yuu wants to find a love that makes her heart flutter, to make her feel like she’s flying—but despite having had a close male friend confess his feelings to her she feels nothing. After joining the school council she witnessed a girl in a grade above her graciously reject a male suitor, this girl Touko is very popular with boys, having been asked out 7 times since starting high school but she’s rejected them all because she doesn’t understand what love is supposed to feel like. The two girls talk, Touko gives advice to Yuu on how to reject the friend who had confessed to her and been waiting a month for an answer and as Touko holds Yuu’s hand for support the girl realises something—she’s fallen in love with Yuu.


Okay well that’s kind of interesting. That’s not only a synopsis that’s pretty much everything that happens in the first episode. Not to say that this episode is slow, it’s just very steadily paced, its very ethereal—almost dreamlike. Also its probably worth mentioning that I’ve read the manga but I’m going to keep comparisons to a minimal in these reviews because, well I’m reviewing the anime here not the manga. A proper comparison can come at the end of the season if need be.


Right. So is it an enjoyable first episode? At first I had a bit of trouble getting used to the art style, the characters look—well not like anime girls I’m used to so that threw me off a little but by about the half-way mark I was used to it. Speaking of art the show features a very peach through pink colour palette, which again something that takes some getting used to. After these initial hurdles though I was pretty sold on this anime and this budding relationship!

Gorgeous background art though.

And who do you recommend it too? Anyone who wants a high school set yuri romance with a bit of an unconventional edge. Obviously I more or less know what’s going to happen next so I’m trying to be vague but even if you think that there’s not a lot of drama to the story after where it ends in Episode 1—it does get more interested and complicated. But that said based on the manga, Bloom Into You isn’t by any means “required viewing”, it’s very good at what it does, its characterisation is terrific and natural—it’s sweet, even beautiful at times, but its not perfect and its not mind-blowing. But sometimes you don’t need that—not everything needs to be overly dramatic. I don’t know if I’ll continue with these reviews week-to-week, if only because it seems like a show that’ll get plenty enough coverage and I don’t think I’ll have anything that interesting to add to the conversation.

We’ll see if I have enough to talk about come episode 2.

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