The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Myself; Yourself

Title: Myself; Yourself
Genre: Drama/Romance
Company: The 5pb/Dogakobo/Myself; Yourself Production Committee/Marvelous Entertainment/Pony Canyon Enterprises/Happinet Pictures
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 3 Oct 2007 – 26 Dec 2007

Synopsis: It’s been five years since Hidaka Sana left his home town and his close friends behind, but now he is finally coming back. While many things in the town have changed, his friends, while now grown up, are largely as he remembered them, and all welcome Sana back warmly… all except Yatsushiro Nanaka, that is, who greets him with an angry slap to the face. Sana has no idea what he did to leave Nanaka so annoyed at him.

The Highlights
Character designs: Female character designs are rather attractive.
Romance: Romance between lead characters feels horribly forced.
Plot: At times absurd to the point of insulting.
Plot twists: Clumsy foreshadowing leaves them either predictable or ridiculous.
Ending: Abrupt; doesn’t actually resolve anything, but tries to act like it has.
Hoshino Asami: Dismally disappointing waste of a character.

Much like Sola, Myself; Yourself boasts the involvement of some big names in the visual novel industry. And, much like Sola, Myself; Yourself has an incredibly contrived script that’s insulting to both its characters and the audience. Here we have something that was clearly trying to be dramatic and thrilling, but all it could deliver is melodrama and cheap plot twists played purely for shock value. Put this anime with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in the daytime soap opera bin.

Myself; Yourself is essentially two anime in one. It starts off feeling like a generic rom-com based off a ren’ai game, but it ends up being an over-the-top melodrama. The transition is gradual, which is what prevents the change in tone from being jarring, and while there is a time in the middle of the series where events are genuinely intriguing and one could believe that compelling drama is just around the corner, Myself; Yourself doesn’t know when to stop. It was when characters starting being antagonistic purely because the script called for it that my suspension of disbelief began being seriously challenged. It was difficult enough, for example, to swallow the idea that the world was against the Wakatsuki twins, but the identity of their adversary was so absurd it was almost laughable.

There’s no tact in the way Myself; Yourself handles foreshadowing. When the show wants you to suspect someone, it’ll fall just short of flashing a big neon sign above their head. This made many of the plot twists predictable… but when they weren’t, they were ridiculous. The characters and their relationships were equally poorly written. The romance between Sana and Nanaka was devoid of chemistry and felt forced, almost as if the only reason they were attracted was because the script called for it. Characters tended to have little depth past their hidden pasts, ammunition for the plot twists mentioned above. And this is without even mentioning the moé-blob, Oribe Aoi, one-dimensional, often grating and ultimately a waste of the screentime she got.

The biggest slap in the face for me was the ending. There were a number of things this show asked the audience to swallow, but when a time-skip “happily ever after” ending literally interrupts, mid-scene, two characters dealing with severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, I could only feel insulted. How Myself; Yourself could see three characters dealing with mental health issues and two characters coping with a significant life change as “resolved” I have no idea, but there is no way that the obvious sequitur from this is a perfect life ten years from now.

Myself; Yourself crumbles under the faintest amount of logical scrutiny. Characters are rarely driven by reason, and the script is clumsy and often feels contrived. I’m relieved that this title tried to be something more than a generic ren’ai love triangle comedy, but, purely and simply, the writers weren’t up to the task of putting together a compelling romance drama. On one hand, this is a well presented series, with polished aesthetics and attractive character designs, but on the other, the things that matter, such as characters and plot leave a lot to be desired.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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