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SAY "I LOVE YOU" - - Special Review

Slice-of-life romance that's... thought-provoking?

With a title like SAY, “I LOVE YOU,” this sounded like it was going to be the most saccharine, schmaltzy show imaginable. Seriously, it sounds like some stereotypical chick flick that Jerry would’ve have been forced to take a date to on SEINFELD. So, it’s worth noting that I was rather surprised by this; finding it to be probably the most thought-provoking slice-of-life anime I’ve encountered for this column.

That statement should raise some eyebrows. What could be simpler than the premise of a popular guy falling in love with a pretty social outcast? Shit, that’s only a notch or two off from SHE’S ALL THAT, isn’t it?

Well, for whatever reason, this pilot got me thinking about how so many high school stereotypes - - and all the angst that usually results from their misinterpretation - - are really rather arbitrary when you break them down. Like, you get a little taste of what the popular guy’s minute-to-minute life is like here, and it honestly doesn’t seem that appealing. Dude seems a little bland; his interests determined by whatever the gaggle following him wants to do. Honestly, the only time he does exhibit a personal interest (and this is taking a bit of cynical angle, I know) is when one pretty girl finally isn’t interested in him, and it flares up his compulsive because he kind-of needs every girl to like him.

Again, that’s the cynical angle on the material. But what impresses me about this is that it seems to leave events up to both cynical and idealistic interpretations. Like, from one angle, it’s real solid of this guy to come rescue this girl from a stalker. But from the other angle, it’s kind of scummy of him to exploit the situation to steal a kiss from her when it’d probably would’ve been just as effective to tell the creep to buzz off.

And the girl’s on the other side of that coin. Even keeping her past betrayals in mind, she’s got a legitimately anti-social attitude that should be a buzzkill to any guy paying attention to anything other than just her good looks. It seems like unusual circumstances that have made her like this, on the inside, and it’s unusual (almost arbitrary) circumstances which have set her on the path of (presumably) getting dragged out of the shell.

Yeah, and it’s cute too, all right? That goes without saying. Cute and thought-provoking - - an unusual combination.

Watch this episode, "The Man with Lightspeed Legs" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.

I've heard positive things about this series and it's in my CR queue but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Reading this, it sounds like the exact approach to romance that I enjoy in anime.

YotaruVegetaon Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.

I watched this, and I thought the first ep. was pretty good, but I still haven't gone back to it. It's probably because My Little Monster is more my speed, and it's a lot more comedic.

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:55 p.m.

I watch it an its not bad.Animation is better than average an story an plot stays above average.Not exactly a soap opera but nothing really new either.

Dream moderator on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:29 p.m.

I found it to be another rehash of the old "outcast meets with popular love interest" plot formula that Kimi ni Todoke and Hana Yori Dango have milked. Don't have interest dipping into the same plot formula yet again.

Aleashaon Dec. 21, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta:

I think this deals more with the emotional issues than My little monster does as its more comedy with some deep things thrown in I feel Say I Love you is more about the deep things the emotions and issues that hit on a deeper level its not one I would normally pick out myself but watched it after reading this review and am now caught up to whats available. I didn't feel this way after the first episode and I also preferred My Little Monster but now that im caught up im both frustrated and enticed by the very bald and stark way they deal with issues that effects millions of teens so I really have trouble comparing the two beyond the fact that the main female protagonist is a surly female with horrible social skills but again that is after watching all the available episodes.

@sickVisionz: Heart aching romance for sure.

Dig Deeper into Say "I love you"

An anime adaption of the Japanese manga Suki-tte Ii na yo.

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