Friday, February 4, 2022

Bloom into You Anthology Volume 2 (Manga Review)

Bloom Into You Anthology Volume 2
Bloom Into You was one of those manga series that got better each time I've reread it (finding more nuance) and each time I've rewatched the anime (which only covers about 1/2 the story, but still ends in a satisfying place, FYI). So of course I bought the first anthology volume which was a collection of short side-stories written and drawn by colleagues of the original creator, Nakatani Nio. It was light fluff. Doesn't mean it was bad, but basically, it was a way to get just a little more time with our two main characters. So, knowing full well what volume 2 of the anthology would be like, I happily purchased it.

Bloom Into You anthology volume 2 is more of the same, 13 more very short short side stories with our favorite characters. One nice touch is a side story by Nakatani Nio herself. As a collection, anthology volume 2 is mixed, which was no surprise. Some of the mangaka really seemed to try to emulate Nio-sensei's style (or just naturally had styles close to hers) while others reinterpreted the characters in their own style, while still having enough in common to be recognizable. Sometimes the different art styles works (it was fun to see Canno) but sometimes it doesn't (see SheepD). 

The stories themselves are mostly insubstantial. A few of them, however, feel like they didn't quite get the essence of the original character's personalities. Other stories seem pretty on-the-nose. There is at least some romance, although most of this is just light humor. We get a little bit of a glimpse into some side characters. But on the whole, nothing is really added, which makes sense as this is probably considered non-cannon, but at the same time, there is nothing in it that really is significant enough to disturb the cannon either.

Hard to say much more. Did you really like Bloom into You? Do you want more time with those characters? Do you not mind if it's a bit uneven and insubstantial? Then you've probably already bought this volume. If you were just a casual reader of Bloom Into You, then just know this is fun fluff and nothing more. I wasn't disappointed because I knew exactly what it would be, and I DID just want more time with Yuu and Touko. 


Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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