Friday, March 22, 2019

Best Girl: Sayaka from Bloom into You

She's the rival who needs to lose...but she should also end up happy!

During the 12 Days of Anime, I knew that I was going to write about one character from each of my favorite series from 2018. However, I couldn't decide who I wanted to write about from Bloom into You. I loved the anime and I loved almost all of the characters. In the end, I decided to highlight Touko Nanami because I related a little more to her struggle.

But Sayaka Saeki is another character from Bloom into You that also deserves some attention and is really one of the strong points of the entire series. Because Bloom into You is a romance, when Sayaka is introduced it seems like she's going to be the stereotypical rival that would try to drive a wedge between the main characters. 

While Sayaka is not happy with the blooming romance between her best friend Touko and the freshman Yuu, she's not petty or conniving. Sayaka is just jealous. 

Sayaka has feeling for Touko that she's not sure how to express. She holds herself back, not sure if Touko feels the same way and afraid to risk their close friendship. In turn, she acts cold towards Yuu, feeling like the new girl is going to steal Touko away before she can confess her feelings.

And to make things even worse for Sayaka, she questions her attraction to other girls. For a moment, she questions that her love for Touko is nothing more than admiration for a good friend. She is almost convinced that her attraction to other girls is just a phase. Fortunately she gets some helpful advice that helps her accept herself and grow just a little closer to Touko.

I'm still rooting for Touko and Yuu to get together in the end, but I do want Sayaka to find happiness, even if she can only be friends with Touko. I consider Sayaka worthy of the title of "Best Girl" because she not only has an interesting arc about self-love, but also because sh'es a rival who feels real.

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