Sing “Yesterday” for Me – Mid Season Review
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Synopsis: Kei Toume’s eighteen-year youth ensemble classic gets its long-awaited animated adaptation. A story of love and humanity, following four boys and girls trying to live their best lives through hardship and turmoil, in a small town on a private rail line just outside of Shinjuku. Minor misunderstandings lead to big complications, and their various feelings become entangled. A story of daily life lived 49% looking back, 51% looking forward. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Sing “Yesterday” for Me remains the go to character drama/romance for older anime fans this Spring season. It’s drama is lowkey, grounded, and relatable. Each character is written so well that it’s hard to hate any of them even when they’re suffering missteps and making poor choices that only compound and complicate their lives further. The one issue I have though, particularly the deeper we get in, is how interconnected all the characters are with each other. The show often operates on an increasingly level of coincidence as characters from one character’s past crop back up, but are also already known to other members of the current cast because they’d met them previously. It’s gradually causing a sense of contrived story-telling to seep into what is otherwise such a strong character drama.
Linny: Indeed, this show seems to have a real penchant for introducing new characters that are somehow always connected directly to one or more of our main characters. Other than that, one could best describe Sing “Yesterday” for Me as a slice of life for burgeoning, or even older, adults who feel lost and conflicted about the direction their lives have taken and their romantic struggles. There’s a lot of being reunited with lost loves and one sided crushes along with longing for impossible relationships, making a healthy part of the show feel extremely melancholic or wistful. There’s no big main plot to be found here; it’s really just a character piece with the cast moving about their daily lives, coming into contact with one another and affecting each other going forward.
Tom: What perhaps helps to sell Sing “Yesterday” for Me is the exquisite care that has gone into turning this long running manga into its anime incarnation. This series is quite a looker, offering top tier animation with so much care put into more minor details; like the way muscles move when a character puts their weight down on a countertop. You can feel the passion in this project throughout every episode, or the way in which the opening credits are frequently cut out entirely in favor of cramming in as much story as possible.
Linny: Despite all the one sided romances and longing in the story, Sing “Yesterday” is relatively low drama. The characters are all pretty tame in how they express their feelings and it’s really the younger characters, the ones still in their teens, that will occasionally burst into passionate rants only to be met with awkward silence, polite segways or annoyed reactions from everyone else. Most misunderstandings that occur are quickly resolved, making it a good fit for those who want a more restrained and perhaps more realistic tone to their slice of life and drama stories. Though some might argue just how realistic it can be seeing as the protagonist is an aimless convenience store part timer yet manages to find himself in the sights of three different women by the show’s midpoint. All in all, Sing “Yesterday” for Me is this season’s solid pick for the older anime viewer and for those seeking a melancholic but reserved drama that follows around the, for the most part, average and ordinary lives of its cast and the little heart aches and trials and tribulations that can arise just from life itself and of course, love.
Tom: If you wanted a down to Earth drama, largely free of the more bombastic, melodrama teenage overreactions from similar anime, something that’s more post-college focused rather than teen oriented, then a search for such is at an end. Sing “Yesterday” for Me is an incredible title to start the next decade with, marking itself as one of the year’s top offerings. Assuming the series remains as beautiful and intricately written, allowing its characters to breathe, then I can’t help but see myself recommending the series as Spring’s absolute best offering.
Sing “Yesterday” for Me is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com