Sukitte Ii Na Yo – Another Run of the Mill Shoujo Anime

Sukitte-Ii-Na-Yo-sukitte-iinayo-32469665-500-711 (1)

Guy initate, girl stands in passive awe awaiting the kiss. Sickening.

Some time ago, one of my friends expressed great surprise when I professed to have watched Kaichou wa Maid-sama and actually liked it. After all, most guys are not really into watching shoujo anime even if it uphold themes of patriarchical oppression where it’s always the girl who swoons over the guy, the male individual who saves the day and the guy who initiates all of the romance and the kissing. I really liked Kaichou wa Maid-sama because it attempts to portray a more egalitarian relationship where the female protagonist is actually not a pathetic, spineless weeping willow and in certain cases, rescued the male protagonist in certain instances.

How can someone not give in to an arrogant jerk like him?

I can’t say the same for shows such as Kimi ni Todoke and apparently, Sukitte ii na yo. It’s so pathetic. In shoujo manga such as these, the female character is always a classic reject, a sad bullied individual who needs the help of the **most popular guy in school** to raise the social status of the befallen girl. Sometimes, I wonder whether does the female protagonist actually fall in love with the character, or the social class elevation that he represents. It’s also no wonder that females portrayed in this manner are pathetic, ugly, downtrodden until the salvation in the form of a ultra popular boyfriend comes along. I hate it. It pervades this ridiculous fantasy for women (and some men) that somehow, being in love, or being in a romantic relationship somehow fixes your life in a spontaneous, natural fashion. It’s always about being broken and getting someone else to fix up your mess. Whereas in Kaichou wa Maid-sama, these two individuals started out having strong character, two complete individuals who just so happen to fall in love with each other.

But of course, I’m sure there are women out there who find such fantasies enjoyable and interesting, who are very comfortable with the idea of a man rescuing them on a white horse. Many women I know are very comfortable with the idea of patriarchal oppression so I’m not surprised at all to find out that Sukitte Ii Na Yo is a minor hit among many Western viewers.


10 thoughts on “Sukitte Ii Na Yo – Another Run of the Mill Shoujo Anime

  1. Excellent post. You put into words what I couldn’t, which is pretty much the reasons shoujo animes usually make me angry. I’ve only ever seen a couple that haven’t managed to offend me (and I’m not even all that sure about that)

    • Thank you striffy! I can’t even finish watching the second episode of sukitte. The guy was forcing kisses down the girl’s throat against the will and the girl was so shocked. She berated him for forcing himself against her and then guess what? The guy continued to force himself against her with twice the ferocity and she went all aishiteru~~~. This is highly disturbing.

      • LMAO, I’m SO glad I never bothered checking out that show. but seriously dude, it went that bad already? by ep. 2? i expected it to become distasteful a bit later on.
        personally I don’t know what’s more disturbing: a) the fact that people make anime like this, or b) the fact that people watch anime like this and go Kyah kyah~ so romanticu!!!

      • i agree, also what turned me off about sukkite ii nayo was when i learned that the main male charatcer had casual sexual flings during his middle school years. that right off tells me that’s he’s man-whore.

      • What. He had casual sex flings? Not that there’s anything wrong with that but i dont find that personally very attractive. >.<

    • I’m personally not surprised. I have studied Japan sociology for a few years in university and I know that it’s not exactly progressive in terms of female rights or gender equality. It’s heavily patriarchal which is why there are so many themes revolving around the idea of “being a perfect wife” or “being submissive to men” that women actually buy into and aspire to.

      I’m peeved that tumblr which has a more western demographic actually buys into that kinda bullshit though. I expect a little more resistance. Thank God the distaste started in episode 2 because I’m usually very generous towards anime viewing; giving them at least a 3 episode leeway. I now have a good enough excuse to stop watching this trainwreck of a show.

      • hah. 3 episodes? that IS generous. i normally give it a one episode chance and that’s it. by the way, what did u think of the first episode of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha?
        personally i nearly gagged. i mean really, if the Demon King was male the hero would’ve killed him, but because she’s actually some bombshell he lets her live? -_- that is beyond my comprehension.

      • My cousin was posting pictures of Sukitte II Na Yo, and I heard all the hype about it- I was actually going to try to watch it. Now that I see this, my previous conceptions are confirmed. If I’m going to have some run-of-the-mill romance, it’s going to be romance that I don’t find so commonplace in the first place. (e.g. gay)

        However…Striffy’s encapsulation of the meeting scene in the first episode of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is quite gag-worthy. I’m trying to remembers the scene where the Hero comes in for the kill, sees boobs, and becomes utterly complacent- but that wasn’t what happened. If I hadn’t known the premise, I would have guessed that all that talking and fanservice was going to be a bait-and-switch for an awesomely bloody fight… And then they talk some more. A lot more.

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