Why Watching Yesterday wo Utatte Was a Waste of Time
Hello everyone and welcome to our shelter! ? The 2020 Anime Spring Season is almost done, which means it’s time to write some reviews. One of the shows I’ve been religiously following for the past 12 weeks was Yesterday wo Utatte (Sing Yesterday for Me in English) and let me tell you… Although I enjoyed the series overall, it was a big waste of time plot-wise. The premise was great, and the characters had enough background to be complex and interesting, but everything ended up falling short. There will be spoilers throughout this review, so be aware of that. Though I’m not sure if I can even call it spoilers, as all ‘plot twists’ were easy to predict right off the bat.
For the ones who haven’t seen Yesterday wo Utatte at all, allow me to explain what it’s all about. Yesterday wo Utatte is a story following Uozumi Rikuo – a guy that didn’t know what to do after college and ended up settling for a part-time job in a convenience store. Another thing he wasn’t able to get over was his love interest Morimone Shinako, who is now a high school teacher.
One day a cute and energic girl shows up at the convenience store, and while Rikuo doesn’t recall her at all, Nonaka Haru seems pretty interested in him and makes an effort for them to have any kind of relationship, even if only friendship. As it’s easy to guess, this ends up in a love triangle among Rikuo, Haru, and Shinako. Well, four, considering Rou, who appears a little later who is in love with Shinako appears).
Extremely Slow-Paced Story
The very first thing that you need to be prepared when going into Yesterday wo Utatte it’s the extremely slow-paced story. Overall, I’m ok with slow-paced Anime. I’m a fan of slice of life, which, as we all know, isn’t known for its lightning-speed pace or heavy-action scenes. However, Yesterday’s pace is so slow that it literally goes backward here and there. Just finished a heartfelt episode where the main character just developed a lot? Don’t worry, they’ll fall back to how they were before that scene right away. This translates into poor character development, as you end up not understanding what drives these characters to behave as they do.
Here’s an example: the main thing about Shinako is that her first love died when they were teenagers. Of course, this means that she will address any type of romantic relationship very slowly – I’m ok with that, and it actually makes sense. Despite this, after watching an episode dedicated to her, where she goes back to her hometown and seems to be finally coming to terms with this tragic event, you would expect that she will go forward with their life. That’s not what happens. Instead, after one episode or two, she returns to her initial self and continues to lead Rikuo into a relationship that may or may not happen.
This happens among the four characters. Every time one seems to be growing up a bit, they just seem to regress after a few episodes. Even Rikuo, who does change his approach to his career due to Haru’s being in is life (in my opinion at least), when it comes to his romantic self, he seems to stay flat throughout all the season, except for the last episode, but we’ll get into that in a bit.
Basically, there’s a lot of nothing throughout the twelve episodes. Especially when the ending felt rushed and not rewarding at all. It seems that the series started with an excellent premise, but then dragged itself to match the quota of episodes released (speaking about the Anime, the manga may be written in a better way).
Underwhelming and Predictable Ending
Major spoiler here, as I’m going to address the ending. Skip this section if you’re interested in the series. But, again… Weren’t we all expecting Yesterday wo Utatte to end this way?
In the last few episodes, Rikuo and Shinako are finally dating. Although they don’t do anything witch each other… Not even kiss… For months! This because Shinako is still tied up to her past (even after the episode that seems she’s finally ok with what she went through). So, ok… Things are looking grin and, surprise, surprise, they end up breaking up and stay as friends. Rikuo goes running to Haru and confesses to her, though there wasn’t a hint about his love to start with, and Shinako decides to give Rou (her dead boyfriend’s younger brother) a chance… Really? I’m sorry, but that’s just a recipe for disaster.
The Spring Season has finished, which means it's time to do an overview of what came out and share with you my top favorite Anime of Spring 2020.
The Spring Season has finished, which means it's time to do an overview of what came out and share my top favorite Anime of Spring 2020.
Look, I would be ok if either Rikuo or Shinako showed a romantic interest for Haru or Rou, respectively, throughout the series, but they do not. Rikuo is, most of the time, dismissive towards Haru, which by itself is a problem. Shinako, on the other hand, also saw Rou as family, that’s it. No romantic interest whatsoever, just caring for him as an older sister would care. So, doing a 180º turn just for the main characters to end up with the favorited ships doesn’t sit right with me. It seems rushed, with no explanation whatsoever, and what was supposed to be a cute moment ended up being enraging. In fact, I believe it would be a better story to have Haru ending with Rou or any other guy that deserves her more than Rikuo. The same goes for Rou. But that’s a story for another day.
What I Liked About Yesterday wo Utatte
I really don’t want to transform this review into a rant. Truth is, there were some things about the Yesterday wo Utatte. If anything, my strong feelings about this Anime come from the place of believing that there was a lot of potential wasted. This story could easily sit as one of my favorite romances of all time. Instead, it’s a mess and deep down at the bottom.
What stands out the most is the animation – Yesterday wo Utatte is beautiful. The backgrounds, especially, are gorgeous and very close to real life. The characters are also well designed, and even though they might look a little bland when they’re far away in the shot, overall, it’s pretty good. Of course, as romance Anime usually is more conversational, which means there aren’t many scenes with a lot of action happening. That’s true for Yesterday wo Utatte, but the creators did a great job in maintaining movement throughout the scenes by adding great shots and angles to make things dynamic and interesting to watch.
I enjoyed Haru’s character as well. She’s just a good character at face value, which means that she’s enjoyable to watch even without developing that much throughout the series. That said, I still don’t understand how a girl like Haru would be around a guy who doesn’t seem interested in her for so long. But I believe that’s just poor story writing.
Should You Watch Yesterday wo Utatte?
Honestly, I did enjoy Yesterday wo Utatte overall. However, I still believe it was a waste of my time. Unless you’re an Anime addicted like me, who follows several Anime each season, then I don’t see why you should spend your time on this. There’s no way around the fact that there are many obsolete episodes that wouldn’t make a difference if they were there or not. They don’t even make you like or dislike a character more, they’re just there.
The ending is also underwhelming and plain nonsense. It basically reaffirms again that most of the story is a waste of your time. In the end, characters just seem to at the same step as they were at the beginning. Yeah, they’re dating now, but where’s the character development? Rikuo has a last-minute change of heart, which reason isn’t properly shown beforehand. Shinako decides to continue her non-healthy life by choosing to stay with Rou. Haru, basically, just ends with someone that doesn’t deserve her. And, Rou, basically ends up with someone who will make him compare with his brother for the rest of his life (which is basically his main problem).
So, yeah… I can’t recommend anyone to watch this. It’s a shame, really, as it was really promising. In fact, at the beginning of the season I even though it would end in my top 3 Animes for the Spring Season. But, alas, that’s not the case. If you feel that you’ve watched the most popular Anime romances, and are looking for a hidden gem, then I recommend you to watch Natsuyuki Rendezvous instead.
What about you? Have you watched Yesterday wo Utatte? What are your thoughts on it? Leave your opinion down below in the comments 🙂