Entry #12: Soredemo Boku wa Kimi ga Suki (SoM 2018)

soredemo boku 1

I’m gonna try and frame this review in a fashion similar to how this manga structures its story. Buckle up.

I’ll begin by focusing on a criticism that I think is fragile without further explanation. “The main character is an idiot.” I don’t really like this criticism on its own. I don’t like when people say “The main character is an idiot” and that’s it. I think, especially within drama, that a main character shouldn’t be tremendously smart, at least when dealing with people, or else there would be no drama. If a main character is going to be smart and not cause any issues, the drama would always fall to the partner character for making an ass out of themselves.

So with this in mind, we have our main character, whose life is focused on from middle school all the way to his late twenties(?). He rides home from work on his moped only to see a girl from his past he recognizes, which causes him to lose control and crash. He wakes up in a hospital bed and soon enough receives a call from the girl he saw before his crash, asking to meet up with him. Of course, this isn’t during the lead’s middle school years, so one can already assume that the story takes various timeframe detours.

So with the criticism of “The main character is an idiot,” there are some exceptions to the rule that make it a better complaint. One such example is when a character doesn’t learn from their mistakes despite repeated attempts. Like, if a character is constantly cheated on because they don’t give their partner enough attention, so they continue to not give future partners enough attention. That’d be a valid complaint.

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The girl who calls the lead says she wants to meet up, so he starts going over the girl he believes it might be in his mind, based only on one line she states in her conversation with him. This will end up being the basis for how the story goes about itself, with the lead thinking back upon his tumultuous romantic life in which he screws up over and over again. This sounds depressing, but there’s always some sort of silver lining to his experiences, even if he doesn’t realize them at that point.

Because at the heart of Soredemo Boku yadda yadda is character. These characters learn and grow from one another. The relationships they have and the things they learn from one another is what makes their development all the more outstanding. That is, of course, when the focus of an individual arc isn’t loaded with complete garbage bullshit—as some are.

Continuing with the “The main character is an idiot” argument, if one takes into consideration the sort of narrative impact that occurs when a character is too smart, it ends up feeling like an OP character in an adventure or Shounen product. It’d be like having the male lead from No Game No Life except in a drama series, where they know everything their partner is feeling and recites it back to them only to have them completely and totally defeated. That almost sounds cruel in hindsight.

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The male lead’s life goes somewhat along a repetitive path, whereas a girl shows up in his life at random, at times perpetrated by his own actions or by complete coincidence. There’s probably more intrigue to the situations where the lead acts on his own accord rather than having everything fall from the sky for him, but there is a specific character who ends up appearing out of thin air to become one of the most intriguing, though perhaps not completely developed character in the entire story.

And another thing about the dumb character argument, I could see if a character was so stupid that they end up blabbering about random garbage completely unaware of their impact. Kind of like an oblivious male lead in a Harem flick, a character could be so stupid as to have someone make direct contact and whisper into their ear to make love to them, in which they respond with “What does it mean to ‘Make love’?” Within drama, a character has to have some level of stupid to them in order to have them grow into a more complete person, but not a perfect one. Perfect characters don’t exist except Togame; even in reality no one is perfect all of the time. They can only become accustomed to their own feelings and temperament.

Similarly to Itoshi no Karin, this story has some pretty great cover art, though the style in general is pretty sketchy and at times incomplete. I was kind of disappointed to see something with such a soulful cover end up being some sort of hashed bits of lines that tell the story fine, but don’t give the extra effort to know that the artist tried their absolute hardest. Some of these characters even looked similarly to one another, especially female characters. Some looked very alien-like, others simply had that stock (for their own interpretation) beautiful face that oozed of radiance and maturity. I can think of four girls the lead encounters with that same face. Still, that look is a hell of a lot better than stock high school girl faces.

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Yamaguchi is a really cute character. She’s the character I mentioned that ended up being one of the most intriguing characters. She’s super self-conscious and was brought up in a hilariously oversheltered home, yet continues to be assertive with what she wants—that being the lead. She just had a really nice spark of enthusiasm to her and I ended up wanting her to stick it out with the lead… that or just have the story focus on her because she’s more interesting.

God, I hate my father.

Alright, I’ll stop the shtick. See how these paragraphs are set up? With little to no coherency? That’s how this manga plays out. It’s such a huge mess of narrative viewpoints and intentions that by the end, I couldn’t help but furrow my brows at just how inconsequential everything felt in the end. The original synopsis amounts to basically nothing, and all the history with the girls he’s gotten close to are just memories. They help him grow, sure, but what exactly is the point? Especially with all the sub-plots involving his own family life and the focus on assimilating into the workforce, what exactly was the mangaka’s goal with writing this story? Just a really overdramatic/romantic slice of life about some naive dude? It’s just… a mess. That’s the bottom line.

Despite all that, it’s an enjoyable mess. It’s a mess as enjoyable as splashing your best friends with paint in a playground setting. Whether the “point” of anything makes itself known, there are genuinely immersive moments in the story that rival that of well-renowned dramas. Though again, it comes in parts, because some arcs are consistently good, while other are just complete garbage. Uninspired, pointless, stupid garbage. It’s a wonderful love-hate relationship that I would recommend more as a fix for drama lovers. But watch out for that stupid lead!

Final Score: 6/10

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

To see the ratings for all entries in this Summer and all others, check out the Summer of Anime Archive!

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