Bloom Into You (やがて君になる) is a 13 episode yuri romance series from 2018 by Studio Troyca and originally based on a manga.
Yuu is a first year high schooler who has always loved romance stories and wanted to fall in love herself, but after being confessed to by a boy she was shocked she didn’t feel like she thought she should. A chance encounter with the student council president Touko who ends up confessing she might be in love with Yuu and Yuu is left to sort out her feelings and her sexuality while kinda in a relationship with Touko.
For a series like this to work a lot rests on the characters, and thankfully here we have some strong ones. Yuu is conflicted, alternately wanting to be in love while also convincing herself she can’t feel love for anyone leading to her going along with Touko since she doesn’t think it matters, never noticing the self-delusion involved in her actions. Touko for her part is similarly self-delusional in that she claims to love Yuu since Yuu won’t love her back without ever connecting the dots that Yuu is the only one who knows her true side and that maybe thats why there’s a connection there. This gives both of them complexity without having to resort to histrionics or bumbling antics which loom over so many romance shows. Bolstering these two is a strong supporting cast with quite a few other lesbian characters in it (something complaints in the recent Love, Victor article highlighted as being a rarity in this type of show) including an adult couple in a long term relationship who help at least one self-loathing lesbian overcome her own anxiety.
Visually this is a really beautiful series, not only does it have a bright, gentle color palette fitting for the material there are some directorial flourishes bringing Yuu’s thoughts to the screen which are striking. Images of her floating in water while she considers how isolated she feels help spice up what is otherwise a very dialogue heavy show.
Without getting too spoiler-y, the “ending ” and I mean that in the broadest possible way. Most shows which aren’t covering all of a manga try to at least find a narrative conclusion to stop on or some other thematically good point to create a modicum of closure while leaving things hanging, here it basically just stops after one episode and thats it. Worse, there’s a plot thread running through 10 of the episodes about doing a show at the cultural festival and thats never resolved despite getting to the eve of the festival. Its one of the oddest stops to a show I’ve ever seen1 though at least the full manga is available in the US unlike many similar shows.
Weeb Level: 3/10- low on tropes but you are watching a show about high school girls.
Fanservice: 2/10- Yuu and Touka end up kissing a fair bit, otherwise there’s nothing really sexualizing any of the girls.
Quality: 8/10- A gentle show which is highly watchable. Only slightly hindered by not having any one episode which demands rewatching on its own.
Where to watch: The show is licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks and is available on their HiDive streaming service 2 and hosted on VRV as well.