Apparently, this is a thing now. I apologize, but I never know what will grind my gears until the gears start grinding, you know? I don’t mean to complain about seasonal rom-coms, but for better or worse I just keep getting passionate about the genre.
I can’t help it! I absolutely love rom-coms, and when you love something, you get passionate about it. Last season I expressed how lied to Osamake made me feel, and this time I’m telling you about Girlfriend, Girlfriend.
See, Girlfriend, Girlfriend is a simple, sweet love story. Since birth, a young high schooler, Naoya, has been nagging and confessing to his childhood friend and crush Saki Saki. After years of harassment, they get together. Now, I would fall in love with her just to marry her and save her from that god-awful name she has, but she’s also adorable. I mean, look at her.
But more than that, she puts up with Naoya and his eccentricities, and that’s really just my way of calling him an idiot if you didn’t pick that up. This guy is so weird we need to invent a new word just to call him. He’s honest to a fault, but not in a good way. He would be the type to share your darkest secrets just because he’s allergic to lying.
Yet, Saki still loves him. She accepts the fact that he can’t take jokes. Accepts the fact that he randomly hugs her in death grips without a care for who’s watching. Accepts the fact that he’s confessed to her since he could talk and still agrees to go out with him.
This guy, who really should end up alone, managed to get someone as caring and understanding as her, you know, as the childhood friends usually are. What a sweet anime! Man, why didn’t I watch Girlfriend, Girlfriend sooner? I mean, the name seems a little weird, but hey, it’s Japan. Japan is always weird! It must be a translation issue…no, no, you’re kidding.
Oh, Naoya is being confessed to by another girl? Sure, she’s cute and really likes him, but he’s an upstanding guy. I mean, just look at how much he loves Saki. He literally just said he would never cheat on her. He made such a big deal about how faithful he is. Wait, why the hell is he taking this homewrecker’s hand? Dude, wait!
Wait, slow down, man. You’re going to your girlfriend, Miss Love of Your Life Since Birth, who actually loves you, and you’re going to ask her if you can have two girlfriends. This man has what every protagonist wants, and he cries polygamy?
Oh, there we go, Saki! You shut him down! Yeah, punch his stupid face! Make him pay! Now, he’ll stop asking…wait, Saki, no. Wait, it’s manipulation…what are you doing? Are you stupid! He doesn’t care about you, even if he begs! This guy’s a moron. Leave him! He’s asking something ridiculous. No, don’t cry over him. He’s a jackass! And this, ladies and gentlemen, was my first experience with Girlfriend, Girlfriend.
Now, in case you can’t tell, this post was mostly a joke, but my feelings are not. I actually like this series. Really, it’s not half bad, dare I say good. The art is real good at times, and then also real bad. Saki’s voice actress is stupendous. She makes the show. The comedy actually hits my funny bone really good, I laugh a ton, but this entire story kinda pisses me off.
I have no problem separating fiction from reality. I know this is a story, but I have had this on my watchlist just sitting there because I knew it would make me mad. I enjoy nice, wholesome, sweet rom-coms. I also have a strong desire to see one where the childhood friend finally wins. Like what I thought Osamake would be before it beat me into submission.
This was an example of something I knew would make me mad. The synopsis is practically “guy finally gets girlfriend, then asks to go out with another one.” I knew if any of the characters were even remotely likable, I would hate the main character so much I’d wish death on his eventual children. I would feel so bad for the first girlfriend in Girlfriend, Girlfriend, but I didn’t even know the half of it.
I had no clue the first two and a half minutes of episode one would be full of how cute Naoya and Saki are. Sure, Naoya’s weird, but he’s honest, and he loves her to death. It’s two minutes of cute interactions like I’ve always wanted, with two characters that have a good enough dynamic that it could be its own thing. Once again, it looks like I’ve got what I wanted, except I knew that wouldn’t happen this time. You know what I didn’t know before getting into this? That Saki was also a childhood friend.
Did you have to do Saki so bad like that? She was freaking heartbroken because of Naoya and then he and the homewrecker laid a guilt trip on her to manipulate her into being in this relationship that will only bring her pain and suffering, making her feel like the bad person. They are both utter trash. Not to mention that she constantly doesn’t feel like enough. She feels bad. The saint in this situation feels guilty.
I just don’t know why the beginning had to be so messed up. I get that this is a comedy, and the point is that Naoya is really honest about his feelings and nothing he’s said is a lie. He does love Saki with all his heart, but he also loves homewrecker! None of that’s a lie. And when he says he’ll honor them both, I’m sure that’s not a lie either, but just wow.
From a comedy perspective, he’s funny, but that beginning could make some people cry it was so screwed up. It makes light of a really bad situation and just leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I almost feel bad for laughing. Someone must have hurt the writers before because this feels almost personal.
It’s supposed to be a rom-com, but it’s like this series is just a slap in the face to love in general. Hell, the main character doesn’t even know what it means. Girlfriend, Girlfriend genuinely feels like it comes from a place of pain. And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, Naoya shares sweet moments…with his two Girlfriends.
I’m not here to talk to you about polygamy, you decide how you feel about that on your own, but this anime actually takes a real stab at trying to portray it in a somewhat positive way. It’s wild but incredibly brutal when you think about it.
Let’s take a look at this relationship. Naoya is in the relationship because he deeply loves both homewrecker and Saki. Ok, not the worst, I guess. At least he’s not cheating. Saki is in it because she loves Naoya and feels unwanted and guilty. Ok, a little worse. And homewrecker’s there because she knows Naoya won’t leave Saki, so she’s the “third” member because that’s all she can get. Wow. That suddenly got bad. But it’s funny, so don’t worry!
Do you know how the same exact thing could have been done better? Have Naoya be alone at the beginning, making him crush on both Saki and homewrecker, and have both of them confess to him at different points in the day. He says yes to both. Everything would play out the same. The only difference is you’re not backhanding this one girl’s heart into oblivion.
Don’t set me up a good, wholesome romance just to step on it. You want a comedy, set it up as a comedy, not a drama. Making me feel like a horrible person for laughing is not a good way to get some giggles, I’ll tell you. But you’re lucky that dark humor is right up my alley.
Really, I think there’s only one correct way for this to go. Saki clearly has some bisexual tendencies. She has said multiple times how cute homewrecker is and that she would marry her if she could. Why the hell not?
Through this relationship, Saki and homewrecker grow closer, realize Naoya is garbage, leave him, and they both get together. Naoya will have given them both something they can treasure: each other, and he’ll die alone. And hey, Saki can still change her name to whatever homewrecker’s is. That’s a happy ending, right?
In reality, this is actually a pretty good anime. Once you get into it and stop thinking so much, it becomes frankly hilarious. I have not had so many giggles in a long time. It was nice, and I’m glad I decided to watch this dumpster fire. Because that’s what it is. But it’s a good dumpster fire. I just really wish Saki didn’t get the shaft constantly. It’s cruel.
Thank you very much for reading
Please, Japan. Just stop hurting me. You’ve done enough.