This show is average. Not bad, not good. Just average. That being said, I wasn’t entertained watching this, not even from laughing at how bad it was, because it wasn’t bad. It was just average. Despite what most people think, being average isn’t a terrible thing, so as a little disclaimer, I am not saying everything about this show sucks for everyone who might take this review badly. This is just my opinion, that being said, these are my reasons:
The show is very clearly, a romance genre. The key to any good romance media is the relationship: nothing else matters that much. My problem with
the show is that it doesn’t try to make the relationships between our main characters all that interesting. An issue with many yuri or yaoi animes are that they use the idea that they are in a homosexual relationship to hide the fact that there is no real substance or development; they are too lazy to create anything interesting about the relationship besides the fact that they’re lesbians. The setting isn’t the issue either as there are a ton of romance anime that do well in mundane settings (and even if a romance media is set in a more unconventional and/or radical setting- the relationships itself isn’t taken over by the setting) because romance genres aren’t really supposed to be about exterior factors that govern the story's universe per say, rather a device to tell a love story. My point being, the environment or exterior factors shouldn’t be the most important part overshadowing the characters, but should be used as an effective agent in portraying a relationship. However, Bloom Into You makes this mistake repeatedly throughout its course as boring subplots distract us from the main focus of the anime, the relationship.
So why was the relationship so uninteresting? Or, at least why did I subjectively find it bland? Well, it has to do with the romance development/buildup and characterization. A great romance anime that does this very well is Kimi Ni Todoke. There are certainly a lot of cute romance scenes in Bloom Into You, but it isn’t memorable or as effective as they could be. This is because there is no real buildup to the romance scenes or context, (for God’s sake one of the main characters doesn’t even reciprocate the same feelings) which makes the scenes unsatisfying and coming out of nowhere. There is no longing, no real angst that make the romance scenes worth while in this anime. Kimi Ni Todoke, my aforementioned example, takes the time to show longing, reciprocation of feelings as well as showing who each of the characters are: this is what makes trivial scenes of even the characters smiling at each other enjoyable and satisfying- overall making it an effective romance medium. Bloom Into You doesn’t do this very well either. Even in supposed-to-be emotional scenes, I fail to sympathize with any of the characters, and I’m a really emotional person, so it says a lot! There is no real character in dialogue, visuals or voice acting. It feels completely bland and lifeless, a very frustrating issue because the anime is centered around our characters and their relationship with each-other. There is just genuinely no substance in dialogue either which makes it very hard to emotionally relate with the last-minute backstory. Just overall making the characters less likable and therefore the romance/ their relationships less interesting and engaging.
A very important note I’d like to mention is the trend in a lot of animes that I’d like to call The Aesthetic Effect. The Aesthetic Effect is used in animes with “pretty” visuals, stories, music and concepts to be used as a facade to it’s mediocre nature. How vague the show is and the inoffensive factors of this anime make it desirable and appealing to a lot of the general audience. I think not only is this anime extremely bland, but also quite offensive at times by using lesbians as a token to justify dislikable behaviour to say the least of the main character Nanami forcefully putting herself upon the clearly uninterested Yuu. Not to be THAT person, but if a male character did things Nanami did to Yuu, it would be seen as extremely creepy. I found these scenes very unsightly and uncomfortable, which is the least thing you want for a romantic scene in a cute anime. To wrap things up, it is very clear this anime was made by people who see lesbians as an easy token key to attract audiences without adding real substance. Bloom Into You is just vague, pretty, attractive concepts jumbled into an unprofessional mess with the name of aesthetically pleasing romance. I will never understand why this anime is so overrated and put on a pedestal for being some sort of groundbreaking anime as it is just plain out boring with not really anything new to offer. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch this anime, it’s just a waste of time and it will leave you with nothing.
TL;DR - boring and mediocre, uses gay tokenism to hide behind it’s flaws.