Intro to Anime Food

Happy Thanksgiving to people from the US! I hope your day was wonderful! In honor of this food-filled holiday, I thought I would do a special on food in anime (so basically Japanese foods).

What are some staple foods of Japan?

Rice

Well one staple of Japan would have to be rice. Rice production in Japan is a vital part of their economy and it’s not uncommon to have rice at every meal (this includes breakfast). Sometimes they will add soy sauce, katsuobushi (dried fish flakes), raw egg, natto, or other various things to their rice, but often times they will eat it plain.

Cute panda onigiri!

They also make onigiri (rice balls) that are really cute and seen in a plethora of anime. The onigiri may also have fillings. Some popular ones include: salmon, salted/seasoned cod roe, tuna, dried kelp, dried plum, and katsuobushi. Often times the onigiri will have nori (dried seaweed) wrapped around it.

Seafood

Being an island nation, Japan has an abundance of seafood in their exquisite cuisine.

Grilled Mackerel Pike

One type of seafood is sashimi. Sashimi is raw fish, which has to be carefully prepared, but is decadent. A lot of fish are great as sashimi, but some of the popular ones include: maguro (tuna), sake (salmon), tai (sea bream), saba (mackerel), katsuo (bonito or skipjack tuna), and kanpachi (yellowtail/amberjack). Sashimi is often served with wasabi, pickled ginger, and/or soy sauce.

Another way of serving fish in Japan is known as yakizakana. Yakizakana is grilled fish. Fish often used for grilling are saba, sake, tai, and ayu.

Noodles

There are three popular noodle types in Japan.

Udon Noodles

First we’ll talk about soba. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and are thin. Soba can be prepared hot or cold, depending on the season (or your personal preference). Buckwheat is largely produced in Hokkaido, so there will be many places to buy specialty soba noodles.

Another type of noodle is udon. Udon is a thick noodle made from wheat. It is usually served hot as kake udon. Udon is usually served with toppings. Common toppings include: scallions, tempura, aburaage, and kamaboko. Regions of Japan have different specialties, so if you plan to take a visit, maybe try some different types!

Traditional Ramen House

Lastly, there’s a noodle with a bad rep in the US, but don’t get your panties in a twist it’s not all that you think… ramen! Ramen noodles are a type of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in broth. In western society we often see ramen noodles in packages, boil some water, add the seasoning packet, and go! That’s instant ramen though. Not all ramen is pre-packaged like that. Of course even in Japan they have instant ramen, but they also have a variety of ramen houses, specializing in appetizing ramen dishes, that aren’t nearly as bad for your health as its instant cousin.

 

What’s with those vending machines?

Long line of vending machines in Japan

In the US we generally see vending machines for two items, snacks like chips and candy, and drinks like soda, water, iced tea, and lemonade.

In Japan, their vending machines aren’t as limited. They seem futuristic almost. You name it, they probably have it available in a vending machine. These things can range from cold and hot drinks to ready made meals to fortunes. If you are out for a walk in winter and shivering from the cold, do not fret! There’s most likely a vending machine nearby with hot tea and coffee calling your name.

Vending machines are very popular in Japan and some of them can be pretty strange (here’s a list of vending machines).

What’s omurice?

Omurice is a cute staple of Japanese pop culture. Omurice is an omelette filled with fried rice and usually topped with ketchup. 

Omurice is typically seen in maid cafes. Maid cafes are a type of cosplay restaurant. Typically seen in Akihabara, Tokyo, these cafes cater to the tastes of otakus. Inside a maid cafe you will see young women dressed as maids. No, not real maids, these are costumes. Typically they will act on different personas that the customer will pick.

In maid cafes when you order omurice, they will ask you what you would like drawn/written on your omurice in ketchup. Typically they’ll draw cute designs.

I hope you liked this little Thanksgiving inspired post! 🙂

 

What to Expect at an Anime Convention 101: Cosplay

Conventions, we’ve all heard of them. Whether we’ve been to one or have just seen the fliers and have heard the ads on the radio, we know that they exist.

If you’ve been living under rock though; conventions are organized events some small and some are huge! Then we’ll have comicconthe ones that are in the middle. The length of them vary the topic, when it’s a craft convention those usually are one or two days but it depends on the size of it as well and how many people they expect to be there. Anime conventions lengths start on Thursdays or Fridays and end on Sundays so you’re looking at a weekend event (though you don’t have to go everyday). Usually are surrounded around a specific theme like: gardening, comics, arts and crafts, of course anime and many, many others. If you can think of it there is probably a convention for it. As much as I’d like to go into some of the other types of conventions, (and trust me I’ve been to a lot of different types) I think it’s best we stick to the anime subject.

Let’s get into the main topic this week shall we? Before we start in case you’re confused, cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character (and no it’s not always fictional). Cosplay is a huge thing at the moment. Dressing up of course has always been a thing but the actual hobby of dressing up as a favorite character from a show is a fairly recent thing. How I see it, it’s a way to let go of the stress of a normal day and putting on the skin of another person.

Deciding Who to Cosplay

Deciding who to cosplay can sometimes be tricky, for others it can be very simple. I’ll break this up into a few simple questions you need to ask yourself, what show/movie/game am I going to choose, who are my favorite characters from said show/movie/game, how difficult will this cosplay be to make/buy, and what is my budget?

What is My budget?

Real talk guys, cosplay isn’t free. It does actually cost to put a whole costume together, I know, I know, it sucks. But you have to think of this as a hobby, this is something you’re doing for you own enjoyment and when it comes to that, well, you have to make sure you can afford it. Being only eighteen, I struggle with this aspect of cosplaying. I want to get everything I need at once but that’s not plausible, mainly because I work a part time job and I don’t get paid enough to spend well over a hundred dollars in one sitting (and yes it’s probably going to cost you this much depending on what you do). My favorite youtuber, Mangosirene has a whole video about budgeting for cosplay and it’s super helpful. I would give you budgeting advice myself but really it’s better to get it from a more professional cosplayer than someone who doesn’t have a ton of experience with budgeting.

What Show/Movie/Game Am I going to Cosplay From?

atla__the_descent_by_catalystsirene-d5vu20rNow that the more mathy, adult stuff is out of the way. We’re going to get to the fun part, deciding what we want to cosplay from! For some people this is pretty simple, they have a show in mind and also a character. But for others it can be challenging, especially if this your first time ever doing this. Trust me, I’ve been there! Brainstorm, take out a piece of paper and write down every show/movie/game that you love and decide from there! Having a hard time choosing? No worries, since anime conventions are usually more than one day you have the ability to cosplay different characters from your other favorites some of the other days! (But remember your budget! If you want to do more than one cosplay you need to budget your money accordingly so that you can afford everything. And you need to make sure you can afford more than one cosplay!)

Who are My Favorite Characters from this Show/Movie/Game?

Have your show/movie/game picked out? Fantastic! Now, take out a new piece of paper tomoe_by_dominicportwein-d5s7ssnand write down your favorite characters. What I like to do is write down what I like about them, decide which one I like more out of all of them. When deciding, think about what they look like, what they wear, do they have a different eye color than you? Will you have to buy Circle Lenses/contacts in order to match their eye color? What about a wig? Will a wig need to be purchased? How difficult is this character to cosplay? (I’ll discuss this in the next step.) These are some of the questions you need to ask! Panicking? Don’t worry, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’ll be worth it in the end, don’t stress and have fun with it!

How Difficult Will This Character be to Cosplay?

If you’re new to the cosplaying world, you might not know how to sew. Don’t worry, remember that youtuber I mentioned before? She has a video on that too!

For my first cosplay, I decided to buy the parts I needed. I decided to cosplay Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan. It’s a fairly simple cosplay, and I thought it would be easier to buy what I needed instead of making all of it. I’m okay at sewing, but I definitely have no idea how to make clothes, so buying some of the basics of your cosplay will definitely help (though sometimes you aren’t able to do that at all). I did however end up having to make the harness he wears because all I could find was Japanese sizing, and atla__takedown_by_catalystsirene-d54l2ecbeing American…those obviously won’t fit me.(A bit of advice! Be careful when you are buying anime produced products from Japan! They are ALMOST ALWAYS Japan sized clothes! You can find cosplay websites that will alter these as well but please be careful and read the sizing chart!)

Remember though, if you are going the buy everything route, it sometimes ends up being more expensive than making the cosplay yourself due to shipping and sizing. Plan accordingly and as I’ve said before, budget your money.

The Unspoken Rules of Cosplaying

Believe it or not there rules one needs to understand before heading off to a convention and cosplaying. You ready? Alright let’s get to it.

One: Respect

MCM_09___SailorMoon_by_kittenaidI cannot, I repeat, cannot stress enough guys. Respect your fellow cosplayers, see someone who is dressed up as Sailor Moon but isn’t the right body type/skin color/gender? Respect them. Conventions are a safe zone for us nerds, but unfortunately cosplay bullying is a real thing. Respect people of their choices of what they decide to cosplay, if it makes them happy respect that. Even if you are not cosplaying, do this, I’m serious. People go to conventions to connect and feel comfortable around other people like them, not to be teased and judged. Alright? Okay good, moving on!

Two: Don’t be a Creep when Talking to a Cosplayer

What exactly do you mean by this Sara? Well, I’ll tell you. I went to Colossalcon over the past summer and it was really fun but I was basically bombarded by a girl who kept asking me very uncomfortable questions and wouldn’t leave me alone. She seemed nice, but to me it felt uncomfortable and weirded me out. Read social cues okay? I understand if you see someone in a Tomoe cosplay you’re going to want to go up to him and make him your familiar by kissing him. Just don’t…okay so maybe that’s a bit extreme but you get my point, yeah?

Three: Remember Cosplayers are REAL PEOPLEcelty_cosplay_by_riku_risa-d4nwvit

Yes, you may call a cosplayer by the characters name that they are cosplaying. But you need to remember, they aren’t that character. They are themselves, dressed up. Don’t be upset if they don’t act like Tamaki when you come up them. They may act like them if you ask but most of the time they are going to be acting like themselves so don’t be that guy.

Four: Don’t make Inappropriate Comments/Gestures to Girls/Guys in Revealing Cosplay

I don’t want to go on a feministic rant on you guys. But I’m serious guys, don’t say something nasty and inappropriate to someone unless they somehow give you the permission that you are able too. And don’t even think about touching anyone in an inappropriate way. This goes other way as well, if someone is doing this to you when you are in cosplay, if they are harassing you tell security. That is one of their jobs, they will take care of it. Okay? Okay. 🙂

Five: Don’t Critique Cosplayers cosplay UNLESS asked also make it constructive not destructive

I think this one is very self explanatory. Moving on!

Six: Make Compliments

This may be pretty obvious but complimenting people is always a nice thing to do. Even if you don’t think they did the best at making their cosplay, it’s still nice. Now that doesn’t mean you have to compliment every person you see but try to do a good amount of people. Just think how good you feel when someone compliments you. It’s just nice to return the gesture.

Seven: Ask to take pictures before taking them

I’m sure you’re going to see a person cosplaying one of your favorite characters. A lot of you are alice__madness_returns___cosplay_by_rylthacosplay-d5rxfdxprobably going to want to take a picture with them or just of them. That’s 100% okay but don’t do so without asking. I know that this is obvious to a lot of you but if I don’t put it here I fear someone will forget about something so simple. It happens to the best of us.

Eight: Don’t take a photo in the middle of the hallway (or in front of the body pillows)

I think this is pretty self explanatory. 🙂

Nine: Don’t Get Upset When People Aren’t in Anime Cosplay!

Let me explain real quick. Just because you are at an anime convention, that doesn’t mean everyone will be cosplaying anime characters. In fact a lot of people dress up from comic-books, TV shows such as Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Adventure Time etc, movies and video games as well. It’s not just anime. It’s a variety of things! So don’t get all huffy when someone comes to the convention you’re at is dressed up as Booker Dewitt from Bioshock Infinite because he’s not from an anime. Conventions, as I’ve said, are an open space; it’s a free range.

Ten: Anyone is Able to Cosplay

Let Mangosirene speak the words of truth.

Now while you’re reading this whole long thing about cosplaying, you may be wondering. Sara, do I have to cosplay at a convention? Do you have to cosplay? Hell no! If you go to a convention, you will find lots of people who don’t dress up and that is 100% okay. For some people it’s just not their thing and that’s fine. Don’t worry about it, and even if you do want to cosplay but you don’t have the money or resources? Forget about it until you do! Don’t bend over backwards if you really can’t afford it! Conventions are meant to interact with other people and make friends, not just cosplaying!

There is so much more I can say on the cosplaying subject and maybe one day I will write a cosplaying part two. But I will leave you guys here. Until next week! Happy Thanksgiving, and happy cosplaying!

Intro to Subbed Anime

What is subbed anime?

Subbed (subtitled) anime is anime with the original voice acting in Japanese with a different language translating what they’re saying with subtitles. Anime is subbed in many different languages. Being a native English speaker, I can’t say about other languages, but finding anime subtitled in English is very, very easy. (Note: Throughout this article I will be referring to my experiences with English subbing)

What are the types of subbed anime?

There are a couple types of subbed anime.

One: Fansubs

Fansubs are anime translated and subtitled by non-professionals, in most cases, fans. There’s a wide range in quality for fansubs. Some can be pretty good, while others can be horrendous. There’s also a worry about if the translation is correct. If you can’t speak Japanese then you probably don’t have a way in knowing if the subtitles are correct.

Fansubs were most popular in the 90’s to the early 2000’s when there wasn’t ready access to professional companies streaming anime online.

Two: Professional, Licensed Subs

These subs are what you’ll typically find nowadays. The quality is more often than not, outstanding, there’s no worries about translation issues, and there’s no worries of piracy. Now that it’s so common to stream videos online, licensed distributors have taken a step up and have begun readily streaming subbed anime to the masses.

What are some anime distributors?

The anime distributors in North America include:

Out of those, Aniplex, Crunchyroll, Hulu, FUNimation, Netflix, Right Stuf, and Viz Media, all have streaming videos online. You can find these on their websites or some of them, like Aniplex, FUNimation, Right Stuf (Nozomi Entertainment), and Viz, you can find on YouTube.

Where can I buy subbed anime DVDs/Blu-Rays?

Almost all anime DVDs/Blu-Ray disks sold in the US have a subbed option on the language settings. You should be able to switch the language between English-Japanese, Japanese-English, and have subtitles or no subtitles.

Anime Castle in Flushing, NY

In-store options for buying anime can be limited. Places like Walmart and other stores with films should have a few anime options, most likely things such as Naruto and Bleach, the really popular anime. There likely won’t be a big selection. F.Y.E. has an anime section in its stores, with a larger collection of around 50+ series, which is nice and is where I go to look for anime DVDs in-store. You can also search for independent anime stores in your area.

Online is definitely the best bet though. You can buy them directly from the distributors sites (FUNimation, Right Stuf, Viz Media) or you can buy them from large online stores like Amazon. Aniplex has a list of sites on their website that they sell their content on. There are also online anime stores like Anime Corner Store and Anime Castle (Anime Castle also has a store in New York), that sell videos and other anime merchandise.

Laura’s Journey: Anohana

I watched the first episode of Anohana.

I’ll admit, I was a little freaked out about the boob talk going on outside of Jintan’s house, and was kind of put off by his ‘women are stupid’ comment. 

As time went on, though, and I realized what he had to deal with Menma, I felt a bit bad for him. At first I thought she was his little sister because, being an older sibling myself, I understood the annoyance. When Menma thanked Jintan’s father for letting her stay, I began to think she was just an annoying relative that had come to stay for a visit.

As it progressed, I slowly caught on to Menma’s whole, not being alive thing. My sympathy for Jintan quickly switched to sympathy for Menma. She didn’t really seem to understand that she was dead, or that that was why her friends couldn’t see her. It was kind of heartbreaking to watch her face fall every time her old friends didn’t acknowledge her.

It kind of frustrated me that Jintan only saw her as a hallucination. I mean, I get it, most, if not all, of us are brought up to not believe in things like monsters and ghosts, but it was still hard to hear him repeatedly call her a hallucination. I also kind of wanted to shake him and tell him that it’s pretty obvious that what she wants/needs from him is for her wish to come true, not for an apology. (Though, I definitely think she deserves one, I mean he called her ugly; that’s not exactly nice.)

The first episode was nice, and made me really care about the characters quickly. I made a small whining noise when Menma visited her family and her mom set out food for her, despite her having been deceased for what seems like a few years. It was heart-wrenching (which is great, because I live off of stuff like that.) and entertaining.

I know I’ve only ever done one other one, but this one is my favorite so far.

Intro to Shoujo

What is Shoujo?

Some of you guys that are new to anime, may not know what shoujo is so, simply, it is a demographic.

A demographic is, in short terms, material intended for a specific audience. In the terms of shoujo, when referring to anime and manga, is marketed to girls within the age category of 10 and 18. Shoujo (Shōjo and shojo are also proper ways to romanize the word) literally translates from Japanese into English as “little girl”.

Other popular demographics for manga/anime are shounen (for teen boys), seinen (for adult men), and josei (for adult women).

What are some common themes in shoujo anime?

Usui and Misaki (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)

Genre wise, it can be anything, but more than likely when you stumble upon a shoujo it will be romance. Romance is by far the most popular genre within the demographic. Daydreaming teenage girls and romance go together, don’t you think? It’s also highly likely that the protagonist (main character) is a girl.

Art-wise, they eyes will probably be bigger and more shiny than the other demographics (for innocence). There may also be flowers surrounding close-ups of the characters, bubbles, or sparkles. The character’s are usually very pretty also, even the boys. The ones that are exceptionally pretty are called bishoujo (for girls) and bishounen (for boys).

What are some popular shoujo anime?

Poster for Ouran

Some popular shoujo anime are: Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, Ouran High School Host Club, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Skip Beat, Sailor Moon, Kimi ni Todoke, and Kamisama Kiss.

What are some good shoujo to watch if you are just getting into anime?

I’d personally recommend something like Fruits Basket or Ouran High School Host Club. If you want something with more of a fantasy element, go for Vampire Knight or Kamisama Kiss. If you want something less comedic possibly Kimi ni Todoke, Say, “I Love You”, or Nana.

Where can I watch anime?

The main online streaming sites for anime include, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix. A select number of North American anime distributors have streaming videos available on their sites, such as Funimation and Viz Media.

A Review: Inu x Boku SS

Inu X Boku Secret Service

A review by yours truly: Sara

“In the heavily guarded building known as, ‘Ayakashi Kan,’ only those who have undergone a strict review can reside there while being accompanied by a Secret Service agent (SS).” (Description via Crunchyroll)8e9deb3d532eb37c9d437ec63a8fe0901326138594_full

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the title of this anime or the brief description that was given via Crunchyroll. There are a few things though that I could grasp from the summary and the poster though.

1.) The Secret Service is involved.

2.) The protagonist is more than likely a female.

3.) She’s more than likely going to fall in love with the guy with her in the poster.

4.) The guy in the picture looks like an asshole, so he’s probably an asshole.

Storyline:

The storyline is one of the reasons why I actually want to keep watching this anime, even if one of the main characters isn’t fantastic. In all honesty I just thought this was going to be a slice of life anime, about a girl who has some anger issues. But god damn, I was wrong. The basic storyline is about Ririchiyo and Sōshi living in the apartment building, but there’s more to the story than that. The true intentions of these characters or story hasn’t been revealed yet, but if I have to guess it has to deal with how the characters can turn into half supernatural creatures (which is badass by the way).

Characters:

Inu X Boku Secret Service, we’re given quite a few characters in just the first episode.

Ririchiyo Shirakiin

A girl with some serious issues, or at least it’s implied. She’s moved to the apartment building to be alone and “get better” as 3-8she puts it. She has quite the attitude throughout the pilot, making snarky comments and yelling at a lot of the characters she interacts with. She definitely isn’t like a lot of heroines in normal shoujo. I felt like her character was pretty intriguing and I felt like she was overall a refreshing character. Though much development hasn’t been shown on her part, I did enjoy seeing quite a few glimpses of her past throughout the pilot through her dreams.

Sōshi Miketsukami

Let me just start off with saying, he was not the asshole I wanted him to be. In fact he wasn’t an asshole at all! The poster mislead me with that snarky smirk he has. His character, at least to me, was annoying. I didn’t hate him tumblr_lxppnsVLBN1r24kh2o1_500per say but I’m not 100% sold on him either. Throughout the episode, he follows Ririchiyo around like a lost puppy (which he kind of is one, but I’ll get to that in a second), constantly claiming that he is forever her servant because she saved him. From what? Well folks, that hasn’t been revealed to us yet. (I know, frustrating right?) I think the only thing that made me able to deal with him is that he can turn into fox/dog with a different number of tails (I didn’t count them okay?). His character just fell flat to me, but hopefully he’ll actually have a backstory which won’t make him so terrible. I’ll guess I’ll have to see.

Renshō Sorinozuka

mikoxzI don’t have much to say about Renshō, though I will admit I think so far, he is my favorite character. Mainly because he makes hilarious comments all the time, also he turns into a scroll type spirit (I’m dead serious, and it’s really funny). There unfortunately isn’t much to say about Renshō and his character due to the lack of his background. All that is given to us is that he has known Ririchiyo since they were kids.

There are a few other characters in the anime that are introduced but they’re so briefly there that I figure it’s best to just let you guys experience them for themselves. But I’ll leave you with one thing, one of them is a raging perverted lesbian.

Overall impression:

The anime was okay, and I definitely think I’m going to continue watching it. There are plenty of moments where the storyline falls a bit flat and I’m kind of just sitting there saying “Okay, let’s get a move on guys.” but what show doesn’t have that?

For now I’m going to give this show three Tamaki’s but maybe that’ll change as I continue watching.

Untitled-1Untitled-1Untitled-1

If you guys are interested in watching the show, you can watch it via Crunchyroll! See y’all next week!

A Recommendation: Say “I Love You”

Say “I Love You”Sukitte Ii na yo.

(Sukitte Ii Na Yo)

By Abby

Say “I Love You”. From the title you can guess the genre: Romance. Though, it’s not your typical love story.

Mei Tachibana is a 16-year-old girl at Toumei High. She’s gone through her entire life having no friends. She would open herself up when she was a child, but when an accident involving a classroom pet happened in her elementary years, she vowed to never let anyone in again.

Yamato Kurosawa is Mr. Hot and Popular at Toumei. He’s everyone’s dream guy. He’s nice, sweet, and has never been interested in a girl before… now.

After an interesting introduction to each other, Yamato can’t get the quiet, anti-social, Mei Tachibana out of his head. He wants to befriend her. Find out what makes her tick, What happened to make Mei this way?

This dramatic love story is a roller coaster of feels. So hold onto your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Pilot Spoilers Ahead

“We Kissed”

The episode starts out with a flashback of Mei when she’s in elementary school. The teacher tells the students about how the class rabbit died. Immediately fingers start pointing. Say I Love You. Sukitte Ii na yo. First Impressions Screenshot 2A boy informs the teacher that he saw three girls around the cage yesterday, one of the girls being Mei. The girls tell them that it was Mei’s fault. That Mei told them that the rabbit would eat anything, and when they told her they didn’t want to, that she forced them to feed it. Mei weakly tries to defend herself, but to no avail. That’s when she decided that there is no need for friends. All they will do is betray you in the end.

Mei wakes up from her dream and begins getting ready for her day at school. She briefly talks to her mom before leaving. We see a picture of her father, whom you can infer has passed away.

While Mei is at the train station a group of girls laugh at her and talk about her behind her back. This doesn’t get any better throughout the day. As soon as Mei arrives at school another group of girls tease her. They ask her how long she’s been single. Mei ignores them; she used to this kind of thing. One of the girls say, “Well, obviously it’s been 16 years.”

Later in the day we get introduced to Yamato and his perverted friend, Kenji Nakanishi. Kenji is going on to Yamato about how he always gets all the girls’ attention when they go out together. Yamato just chuckles at him. He doesn’t care about the girls’ attention, no one’s really caught his eye before. Asami Oikawa calls after Yamato. She has a large chest, but is incredibly self-conscious of it from boys teasing her in middle school. She briefly talks to Yamato before leaving, ignoring Kenji.

Kenji adores Asami, even calling her “Asamicchi”. Kenji begins ranting to Yamato about his love for Asami. Yamato tells him that he only loves her for her boobs. While trying to defend himself (very passionately) he bumps into someone, knocking them to the ground. He turns around and apologizes. He’s knocked over Mei Tachibana. She doesn’t take being knocked over very well. She glares at him and leaves. After Mei walks away, Kenji tells Yamato, “What a weirdo.” Yamato asks who she is, looking intrigued. Kenji tells him who she is, then he goes on to say “She’s always like that. She never talks. I bet no one has ever heard her voice.” and “I don’t know what her deal is. She’s not my type anyway.” Yamato has a far off look on his face, not really paying mind to what Kenji is saying about her.  He smiles.

Later in the day, Kenji is being the all time pervert he is and peeping up girls’ skirts on the stairwell. Yamato is just an innocent bystander in this whole mess of perversion, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Kenji excitedly spots a knee-length skirt. He walks up to the unassuming girl and tugs on her skirt. Wrong move, Kenji. It’s once again, Mei Tachibana. For a moment she freezes in shock at what he’s just done. Then the next thing you know she’s preparing a heavy, roundhouse kick, straight for… Yamato?! Her kick sends him sailing down the stairs. He lands on his butt on the mid-flight landing.Mei yells, “Everyone always says it’s ‘an accident’ so why does it keep happening? Leave me alone you jerk! I hope you die!” and storms off angrily. Everyone begins to comfort Yamato while he just looks shocked. Then… he laughs. Everyone looks at him like he’s crazy. Kenji asks him, “Did you hit your head?”

 When the school day is over, Mei goes to get her shoes out of her locker. As she pulls them out, thumb tacks and a note fall out to the ground. She picks up the note. It says, “How dare you kick an innocent guy! Apologize!”.

Yamato calls out her name, but she doesn’t hear. He calls her again and she looks up, surprised. She hides the note. He apologizes for Kenji’s behavior, which shocks Mei. She shyly apologizes about kicking him and he laughs. Mei, embarrassed, asks if she can leave, and Yamato apologizes, again, for laughing. He tells her that he thinks it’d be fun to get to know her. Mei brushes him off and walks away.

Behind the school, Mei kneels down, feeding a stray cat. It’s a cute moment, where you get to see a more caring side of Mei. When she’s done feeding the cat she begins to walk out of the school, but someone stops her. Yamato. He scares her, saying “hey” out of nowhere. He boldly tells her, “Let’s be friends.” and asks to exchange cell phone numbers. She refuses, but he’s undeterred. He writes his phone number down on a slip of paper and gives it to her, telling her to contact him anytime.

She takes the paper from him and then grabs a band-aid from her pocket, giving to him for his hurt hand from where she kicked him. He blushes slightly and thanks her and then jokingly says, “but I’m not sure this little bandage will cover it.” Well Mei was prepared for that and brings out a huge strip of band-aids and tells him “Let me know if you need more.”

Mei works at a bakery after school and there’s one customer that seems a little too interested in her. He checks her out without her noticing, before checking out his bread and pastries and leaving.

The next day at school Yamato follows Mei around despite her constant disapproval. He asks her about why she hasn’t called and she tells him that she doesn’t need friends and walks away.

After she gets off of work, Mr. Creeps from yesterday is back, and this time, it’s a little more dangerous than before. He’s stalking her. Mei, understandably freaked out, hides out in a convenience store for awhile. She tries to call her mom but she doesn’t pick up the phone. There’s no one else she can think to call… except Yamato. She hesitantly calls him and he hurries over to her rescue.

Upon arriving at the convenience store, Mei explains the situation. Yamato then buys ice cream, saying he got hot from running over there. He puts an arm around Mei and they exit the store. The stalker comes up to them and asks Mei who that guy is. Yamato says, “Mei. I love you,” and quickly kisses her. Yamato glares at the stalker near the end of the kiss. The stalker grimaces and walks away. Yamato pulls away and tells Mei that’s he’s gone. She stands there, blushing, looking at Yamato in shock.

That was her first kiss.

This anime is really a great story. It’s not just another shallow love story. It’s more realistic and deals with real world problems. It’s a great watch. I recommend it to everyone. I hope you check it out!

 You can watch Say “I Love You” for free on both Hulu and Crunchyroll.