Blu-Ray Review: Bloom into You – The Complete Collection

What does love mean to you? Well for Yuu it should mean a firework of emotion but sadly this doesn’t seem to be the case. A unique story filled with drama and romance is what lies in store in Bloom into You; but what thoughts did we have on the UK Blu-Ray release of this animation based on the yuri manga series? Let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

Yuu Koito thought love would be something amazing and magical, but when a male friend asks her to date, she feels nothing. She doesn’t even know how to respond until she overhears the student council president of her new high school, Touko Nanami, turning down a similar request.

With Touko’s help, Yuu manages to let her friend down gracefully, but then Touko confesses that she, herself, is starting to have feelings for Yuu, leaving Yuu in a quandary. Yuu doesn’t think that she’s in love with Touko, but she does feel something.

As Yuu joins the Student Council, and she and Touko become closer, her confusion about her feelings only continues to grow. Because you can’t control who you love, or who falls in love with you. You can only be true to yourself in BLOOM INTO YOU.

Our View:

Based on the manga series of the same name by Nio Nakatani and animated by studio Troyca, an animation studio known for animating works such as ALDNOAH ZERO and Re:CREATORS, comes the anime series Bloom into You; a heartfelt coming of age story that sees Yuu Koito exploring what it means to be loved and to be in love.

Let’s be clear; Bloom into You is not something I would typically watch, but even I was impressed with how the story was presented, paced and more importantly animated through its short-running thirteen episodes. Understanding ones feelings and falling in love is an obstacle that we all must overcome while growing up and in Bloom into You it explores it in rather clever and tactful ways that is further enhanced by the visual spectacle of Troyca’s animation team.

Even the English Dub, which for a Sentai Filmworks dub has been produced to a higher standard than one would usually expect, helped bring the characters and personalities to life on screen. Basically the English Dub delivers the story that is trying to be told and remains faithful to the type of presentation would one receive when watching in Japanese; and yes naturally a Japanese audio track is included. Regardless of which audio track you decide to watch you’ll find the same type of dramatic experiences waiting; that being a love story that is waiting to bloom.

The story of Bloom into You follows Yuu Koito, a seemingly average school student who believes that “love” will make her emotions run wild, but after being confessed to by a boy on the last day of school she feels nothing. Several months have passed since this fateful day and Yuu is still unable to respond to the boys feelings; that is until she finds herself recruited as a temporary member of the student council and opens up about her predicament to Touko Nanami.

Touko Nanami is seen as the ideal student at the school, and is expected to be the next Student Council President; and upon hearing of Yuu’s predicament she begins to develop an interest in her. This initially starts by offering her advice, with Yuu repaying the kindness by acting as support for the Student Council; but it soon escalates to Touko being infatuated with Yuu which leads Touko to unexpectedly kiss her. This relationship however is one sided as while Touko Nanami, who at this point has recruited Yuu as a member of the Student Council and become president, is deeply interested in her, Yuu herself finds herself at a loss on where her true feelings are and as such remains relatively cold to Touko’s interactions.

This revelation spirals into a journey of self-discovery for Yuu, who must decide on where her feelings and beliefs belong; a feat which isn’t so easy to achieve when Touko shows affection for Yuu in and outside of the classroom. This raises even more obstacles when members of the student council begin to notice; including vice president Sayaka Saeki who has her own feelings for Touko and won’t let anyone ruin her potential of being with Touko – a girl who she admires and loves.

As mentioned love is complicated and this story is presented beautifully across the thirteen episodes; but sadly it is a bitter-sweet ending. The anime series only covers a portion of the original story with the rest being told in the source material of the manga series. Yes it is a disappointment; but the ending is still rather satisfying in its own right and the manga allows you to continue the journey of Yuu and Touko. Naturally those looking for a complete story will be disappointed; but it still opens the flood-gates for a different type of romance story that focuses on romance between those of the same gender and the difficulties it can potentially create within a close working environment.

Extras:

Once again MVM Entertainment are using disc assets authored by Sentai Filmworks and as such the presentation of the discs, as well as the supplementary content on them, are the same as those used in North America.

In this case viewers will find the usual inclusion of textless opening and closing songs, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks related releases, as well as the addition of Japanese promotional materials. These promotional materials are those used in Japan before the series began its Japanese TV broadcast and offers an insight into how anime is promoted in Japan. It’s a simple addition but its nice to see them included in western releases; something of which is not often added due to additional translation required.

A special mention also has to be given for the Sentai Filmworks related promotional trailers; mostly because three of them have not been released (at the time of writing) within the UK. Only Golden Time is available in the UK, of which was released by Animatsu Entertainment, so we get to have a peek at titles we may not have heard or seen about online. Sadly the trailers are nothing special; but it is nice to see them included regardless.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:40:03 (Disc 1), 1:37:48 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Bloom into You is the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name and sees Yuu Koito on a journey of discovery as she attempts to understand what it means to be loved and in love. This initially starts with a confession from a Boy at her old school , of which generates no reactions from her emotions, and soon spirals into exploration of what it means to be loved with her new friend, and student council member, Touko Nanami. Touko experienced a similar situation to Yuu and so they share a connection with each other; but more than that Touko has an affection for Yuu and she begins to show it.

As the episodes progress forward Touko becomes more bold with her affection to Yuu, including a kiss and visiting her household just to be close to her; but in doing so starts to attract attention from a close friend of Touko, and vice-president of the Student Council, Sayaka Saeki. This soon starts a three-way rivalry; but while Sayaka and Touko are honest with their feelings Yuu is undecided and instead accepts Touoko’s affection but offers nothing in response. Love is a complicated emotion and in Bloom into You the story is explored through a unique way, but at the same time almost seems naturally with the way it is delivered and presented to the viewer.

For someone like me, who has little interest in romance stories of this calibre, it was interesting to see how engaged and entertained it kept me. This series is no way a Scum’s Wish, of depicting sexual acts between characters pretending to be in love; this is love and affection in the simplest of ways and finding ones true self within the world filled with so much uncertainty. Regardless of the story the series is presently beautifully by the animation studio troyca and the audio tracks, both Japanese and English, help deliver this emotional tale to the standards you would expect to receive. Special appreciation also has to be given to the English dub cast as it manages to hold up well when compared with its source material.

From a release perspective then Bloom into You as, as with previous MVM Entertainment releases of late, is as expected and manages to offer some additional viewing with bonus features that work well with the series. For those interested in a yuri-based romance drama then Bloom into You offers everything you would hope to receive while leaving itself enjoyable to those who like a more traditional coming-of-age love story. The only disappointment is that only part of the story is told, with the rest being carried on in the manga series; but it is still a solid story that stands well on its own in this animated series.

Score: review-stars-4

Bloom into You is now available on Blu-Ray in the UK via MVM Entertainment.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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