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
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. A 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!