Well, here we are. It’s another rousing week of SukaSuka. I’d like to say that I’ve been constantly entertained by the series so far, but sadly, I can’t. SukaSuka rides the line between boring and enthralling, depending on how each episode captures Chtholly and Willem in a beautiful romantic light. When it decides to pull out all the stops, it does a pretty good job of being entertaining and keeping my attention. However, the times that it does shine are few and far between, and I think this inconsistency is one of the largest downfalls of the series itself. Sometimes an episode will pull out a captivating moment, only to fill the rest of its run-time with needless exposition that had already been shown to us through smaller moments. Episode 9 is similar to episode 8, a prime examples of exactly why I like the show, and also why I find this anime with such a unique premise so uninteresting as it progresses.
Mythos talked about in episode 8 how we realize Chtholly is losing her memories because of her condition. We’re shown this through lots of smaller intricate details and aren’t explicitly indicating to the viewer that she’s suffering from these, such as the instance when she forgets where the pepper is while she’s cooking. There are also more direct references like with her not remembering the time when her and Willem ran through the city together in episode 1, which is a bit more typical of shows like this, but still a solid enough moment that I can buy into it and enjoy the story nonetheless. Then we also have parts that don’t add anything to this relationship between Chtholly and Willem, and while I understand that everything can’t be about their relationship all the time, these moments go on longer than necessary and don’t add to our understanding of the world.
Episode 9 is pretty similar in this regard, except with less misunderstandings for the characters involved. This episode, there is some beautiful romantic moments between Willem and Chtholly, even reminiscent of some of the beautiful earlier parts of the show. That scene when Willem and Chtholly were finally talking with each other about their future journey to restore her memories was a really good moment, and I really wish the entire anime would just entirely focus on their relationship, this journey to restore her memories, and her blossoming relationship with Willem.
If that was the entire show, or even just the majority of it, I’d be pretty satisfied with what I’ve gotten out of it. Sadly, each episode so far has been similar to opening a pack of trading cards, where you keep opening more in hopes of getting something good, but being increasingly disappointed with every single one you open, occasionally getting a card you actually want.
This episode has some good scenes, but it has a similar problem that Youjo Senki’s episode 1 did, where the episodes flies by and nothing is explained or really noteworthy happens. Minus the scene that I described above, the rest revolved around Chtholly’s dealing with her loss of memories and how that will affect her moving forward. That’s a pretty interesting concept on its own, but where SukaSuka goes wrong is that it doesn’t focus on this issue enough. The first half is mostly dedicated to learning about Ithea’s character a bit more, which is interesting that it sort of parallels Chtholly’s problem, but I can’t say that I’m really invested in Ithea as a character enough to watch 8 minutes of her backstory being told.
That may seem like more of a personal complaint, but where Willem and Chtholly have been a main focus of the show’s story, it’s really hard for me to justify giving a side character a lengthy backstory that will likely never be mentioned again. It just feels like something to fill for time, and I feel this show can utilize its time much wiser to push that mood of romance and drama that they seem to be going for.
While I do rag on SukaSuka a lot, this was actually one of the episodes I liked compared to the previous few we’ve gotten. We got to delve into Chtholly’s character and learn a bit about how she’s dealing with her condition mentally. To no one’s surprise, she’s pretty much a mess because of being unable to recall those memories that she holds so dearly onto, and she struggles to hold onto the ones she has now, as she figures that they will eventually disappear as now. She realizes how important the memories that she creates now really are, so she desperately has to cherish the present because she may forget these moments in the future.
It’s actually a pretty well-handled moment for her and the show itself, and I’m pretty satisfied with how she positively dealt with the issue and managed to not let it beat her down like it has been in previous episodes. It’s even nice to see Willem supporting her in his own way by trying to resolve the memory loss issue. It’s a really good moment, and I’m proud to see the show actually dealing with memory loss in a tactful way that doesn’t seem too outlandish or melodramatic, as I’ve seen other shows attempt to do.
If SukaSuka just stuck to focusing on these moments instead of trying to make a fantasy plot the main focus of the story like in episode 6, or if they stopped trying to integrate the side characters into the story through trite drama or unnecessary expository dialogue, then I feel this show could be much better than it has been, as the story definitely has the underlying potential to be something great. I just feel like I don’t need scenes about children getting sick, side characters creating misunderstandings with the main character, or large backstories about characters that I can’t even remember the names of. However, all of these things could be used in the story effectively if they are done well. I just feel that this anime doesn’t have the hard-hitting scenes to effectively pull off moments like these.
What makes this interesting though is the format of SukaSuka itself makes sense if there were a more dramatic show like OreGairu or, even from this season, Re:Creators. Both of those shows can get away with doing stuff like long exposition scenes or giving entire large moments to side characters that we’ve only seen once or twice, but only because their hard-hitting moments hit /really hard. This series seems to be trying to utilize that format to its advantage, except continuously falls short because its hard-hitting moments don’t have the necessary impact, as I’ve stated before in a previous post. Perhaps I just prefer the impact of moments that have a lot up build-up and that’s why SukaSuka doesn’t work for me, but it’s something I feel that if this series did that, it would be more effective as the romance drama it wants to be.
The story itself in the light novel could actually be really good at pulling off these hard-hitting moments, as it’s hard to tell just from watching the anime if these flaws are something the novels suffer from as well, or if it’s just poor scene selection that the anime adaptation seems to suffer from. I really do want to like this show, and while I don’t want to fully blame the adaptation itself, as I really have no grounds or evidence to say that the adaptation doesn’t fit the novels, I just don’t feel that SukaSuka is working for me. Someone may like this series for all of its good parts, and I can fully respect that, but something about it is just missing that element of what I really enjoy out of dramatic anime.
To be honest, I don’t know if any future episode can recreate that mystical feeling from the first episode, a feeling tinged with romance, drama, and sadness; something that’s slowly becoming a fading dream-like memory.