Monday, December 24, 2018

12 Days of Anime: Touko from Bloom into You

She's beautiful. She's confident. Touko Nanami is perfect...but is she really?

Bloom into You is proving to be one of my favorite anime of the Fall season. As I am writing this post, there is only one episode left and I can't see it ending in a way that will disappoint me. When I decided that I wanted to write character spotlights for the 12 Days of Anime, I knew that I wanted to focus on a character from Bloom into You but there are actually a few characters from this show that I think are worth writing about and exploring.

I could have chosen to write about Sayaka Saeki and how she comes to discover her sexual orientation and learn to accept and embrace it. I could have chosen Yuu Koito and how she understands love and romance, feelings that seem alien to her. In the end, I knew that I wanted to write about Touko Nanami and the search for her true identity.

To everyone in her high school, Touko Nanami is a charming and perfect student council president. She is someone that it is hard not to fall in love with and that inspires others to do their best and follow her leadership. But that image that everyone adores, is not the real Touko. It is an act that she performs in her quest to become the sister she lost at a young age.

Many people wear masks when in the public eye and I think everyone finds themselves playing different roles throughout their lives. What makes Touko interesting is how she is so dedicated to playing her role, putting so much effort into being a person everyone loves, that she starts to hate herself for it.

It is only around the girl she like, Yuu Koito, that Touko drops the act for small moments. While most of the time Touko comes off as suave and confident, she can sometimes be bashful and coy around Yuu. It's those moments that I can't help but smile and laugh because they're so cute and sweet. Her feelings for Yuu are something that are genuine and not a part of her performance.

While I haven't read the manga and the anime is still not over yet, I'm assuming that her relationship with Yuu will help Touko break free of the mask she forced herself to wear. Or if the anime decides to make things tragic, she may just run away from Yuu and lose herself in a fiction.

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