Suzaka is one of the more enjoyable animes in the slice of life genre for me. I remember looking at some of the negative reviews before I bought but I bought it anyway and was surprised why a lot of people dislike this anime. That was maybe a couple of years ago and I just re watched maybe about a week ago, it started with only wanting to watch a few episodes then I found myself watching the whole thing again, twenty six episodes.
This anime is focused on a high school student named Yamato who just happens to be walking by his new school and spots a girl doing the high jump. At that point he falls in love with her and later finds out that she is a resident of the same apartment he’s going to be living and also she is the top high jumper in Japan. The story is really focused on Yamato getting Suzuka to fall in love with him which later gives him the opportunity to join the track team. Also I feel like this anime is about setting goals in life or bigger goals that you want for yourself, nothing wrong with a three year, five year or ten year plan.
Getting Suzaka to fall in love with him is a very difficult task because she can be a little eccentric at times, Tsundere comes to mind also. However, this does not deter Yamato from his task. This is where I think a lot of people don’t like this anime because of Suzaka’s attitude. At one point he saves her life and all she does is chastise him on the method he used. As the series goes on you do pick up on subtle things and eventually the history on why she does the things she does; Part of it is personality, the other is history.
Yamato is very stoic in his love for Suzaka and does not let anything tell him other wise, even though he is given opportunities to stray from the path he does not, he may trip through. While Yamato is a nice guy overall he’s is not the sharpest when it comes to picking up on subtle hints women leave, let’s face it who is, so that’s when he turns to his new best friend Kurtz Webber, that’s not his real name, I forgot what it was, Yasanobu or something, but if you ever seen Full Metal Panic it’s the exact same person and character playing the role and so I’m going to refer to him as Kurtz from here on out. So Kurtz is your typical friend always good to come to for advice but not always a hundred percent effective. He does help Yamato understand his mistakes and does provide some good guidance.
The second person Yamato meets is Honoka, her family maintains the local shrine. She is shy when meeting people for the first time and early in the anime you find out that she met Yamato when they were kids and he helped her. You can describe her as a caring and thoughtful girl always willing to lend a helping hand. The third person is Mikki, Suzakas friend and fellow track mate, she can only be described as a good friend and you can fill for her a bit as she is caught between both Suzaka and Yamato as she tries to help them.
This anime is not all about action and focus is on dialogue and character motivation although its mostly focus on the main two through out the series. Kurtz and Miki don’t develop much and Honoka I think does learn a valuable lesson which I think does change her a bit that we might see down the road if the anime continued and perhaps someone who has read the manga can comment.
In the end this is a slice of life anime focused on dialogue and character growth. I enjoy it because of the main character interaction and comedic points and other points I can relate; I kid you not, I knew a girl EXACTLY like Suzaka and coincidentally she was in track, maybe it’s a tack thing? Love can be an interesting thing for the first time and at that age, there’s a lot of awkwardness and confusion and when left to your own devices it can be hard to just generate a relationship out of thin air and know how to maintain.