Sing "Yesterday" For Me
Rikuo Uozumi is a college graduate but an admitted slacker about pursuing a career (he's currently just marking time, working at a convenience store.) He has a longstanding crush on an ex-classmate named Shinako Morinome, who's now a schoolteacher; he didn't have the nerve to confess to her in college, but now hangs around her as much as possible, hoping a relationship will happen. Shinako, on the other hand, has never gotten over her love for one Yuu Hayakawa, who died some time back; she still hangs around the Hayakawa household (it's comfortable familiarity to her I suppose), which has encouraged Yuu's younger brother Rou to hope that HE has a chance with her. (He seems to regard her as a legacy he should inherit.) Meanwhile, a very young lady (and school dropout) named Haru Nonaka has a crush on Uozumi. How on Earth can this mess of feelings get sorted out?
"I ruined it" - Shinako
Yes, Shinako, you certainly DID- you're the chief offender, anyway. And the title of this show is really not quite appropriate: for the Beatles' "Yesterday" is a song about yearning for a lost past, but YOUR problem, Shinako, is that you can't yearn for something "lost" if you never really gave it up in the FIRST place.
This show is mostly 12 episodes of Shinako's emotional inertia; Uozumi's continued hanging around Shinako hoping something will happen (even though she explicitly "friend zones" him early on); and poor, weird Haru, who hangs around Uozumi in HER turn hoping that he'll take an interest in HER. We've also got Rou, who thinks his longstanding familiarity with Shinako entitles him to be her boyfriend, and he starts making passes at her, which she at least initially rebuffs. (I'll call Rou the "Safety Pin" guy, since his wearing of a safety pin earring is one of the only two things noteworthy about him, the other being his ambition to be an artist. I'm not sure if his fashion choice marks a revival of punk style in Japan, or if he's just trying to be retro.)
But Shinako's feelings vacillate constantly, which results in her repeatedly playing Lucy-and-the-football with poor Uozumi's emotions, sometimes inviting him to be closer to her and then, almost immediately, changing her mind and shutting him down. At one point she tells Uozumi: "Maybe this is selfish after I've already rejected you, but I wish you had the pushiness that Rou-kun has", a statement that's insulting on several levels, among them being (1) reminding Uozumi that she's already rejected him, (2) comparing Uozumi unfavorably to a kid (Rou's several years younger than her), and (3) calling Uozumi a wimp. But when he actually tries to follow her advice and be more forward with her, can we guess how well she receives it?
To clarify: I don't think that Uozumi is entitled to a relationship with Shinako, any more than our Safety Pin Stud is; but her cold-versus-less-cold thing is a manifestation of her own inability to make a clear choice between remaining in the "comfort zone" of her past, versus embracing a future of change, and frankly if I were trying to date her I'd give up until she'd sorted her feelings out a little better. Her character's behavior is just exasperating-and this dynamic dominates the whole show. Judging from the Wiki article on the manga, the side characters the show introduces- but does VERY little with- may have had much larger roles in the manga.
AND there's the issue of this show not really having any "good" ending no matter WHAT happens. If Shinako "chooses" Young Master Safety Pin, what exactly does that mean? She says she has an obligation to him because he's "family", so is she just going to be a surrogate big sister/mother to him (which is basically the role she's played up until now), or will she become his lover as well (which is obviously what HE desires)? But if she really could commit to Uozumi instead (never mind the Herculean effort seemingly required for her to get over herself), that would toss into the dumpster all the effort poor Haru has made to get Uozumi's attention- and Haru is the most genuine person here; whether her feelings are "crush" or not- and despite the fact that SHE, in turn, is ALSO a bit too young for the object of her affection- at least Haru's sincere. I feared that, like Noe in True Tears, she was going to be left standing when the game of musical chairs ended, and Uozumi's attitude toward her certainly wasn't encouraging; throughout the show, he treats her with bare toleration at best, and he regularly stands her up if Shinako suddenly discovers some chore she'd like him to do for her instead.
Haru, as mentioned earlier, is a dropout; she already knew Shinako at the start of the show- Shinako was one of her teachers. Haru now works as a waitress at a bar/restaurant called Milk Hall. She keeps a pet crow, and sports a short, untidy hair style, which I guess are supposed to mark her as a free spirit. The show gives Haru and Uozumi one episode each with a different potential partner: Haru's is a serious, focused guy who wants to be a photographer; but Uozumi's is a ne'er-do-well girl named Chika Yuzuhara, who has a reputation as being disruptive (and we see the truth of this); Chika's at least an entertainingly annoying person, as opposed to Shinako (and sometimes Uozumi) who are just as annoying, but less entertaining.
(By the way, a note to a certain male character: you shouldn't preface your confession of love with a comment that you're actually in love with being treated "nicely" by a girl. It might make the lady doubt your sincerity.)
I have to give this show some credit: I mean, I've despised characters in shows like Domestic Girlfriend, A Town Where You Live, and others for certain familiar character flaws, but THIS one has characters with flaws I'd never even ENCOUNTERED before. No points for originality here, though; I'm only giving raspberries. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Mature situations, but I didn't note that much fanservice. I'd go PG-13 here.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Sing "Yesterday" For Me © 2020 Doga Koba
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