Going into “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” I did expect there to be something different about it. I say that about every romance-comedy that I watch so I don’t know why I always think that, but I do. However, there were many a things I didn’t quite so like about “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” and today I will be exploring that.
After her boyfriend breaks up with her for another girl, college student Akane Kinoshita wrestles with a broken heart and the memories he left behind. Loading up Forest of Savior, the MMO they used to play together, she forms a plan to get back at her ex-boyfriend through an in-person event for the game. In the process, she runs into someone unexpected: Akito Yamada, a gaming legend who just happens to be her guildmate.
Desperate for support, Akane ropes the asocial Yamada into helping with her scheme and lending her a shoulder to cry on. The differences between Akane and Yamada soon become apparent as they spend time together, yet they cannot help but notice each other’s inner qualities. As the two gain more experience with one another in and out of the game, their tentative acquaintance may level up in a way neither expects.Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru
I touched on some of it in my ‘midseason review’ post and nothing much has changed since then.
Characters – I’ll be honest, all the characters from Yamada to Yukari Tsubaki, were not all that interesting; they felt rather generic. It felt as though they lacked a personality, each character felt one dimension and it did frustrate me. Part of what can make or break an anime are the characters and whether or not the viewer can relate to them.
Other than the fact that they all play the same game and have met each other because of FOS. I didn’t find myself being able to connect to these characters. Furthermore, I’ve been through enough “I cannot sort out my feelings for this person, what do I do?” moments that unless it’s something that’ll knock your socks off, I’ll subconsciously turn a blind eye to it simply because it’s something I’ve seen multiple times already.
I wish that there was more to these characters than them just being generics who met over FOS, because that’s the vibe I got while watching this anime. They’re just people who met over a game, that’s it, that’s all. Nothing special to them.
Pacing – To me, I think that the pacing was the biggest factor that held the anime back. For some reason, something about it all felt off. It seemed as though each episode felt empty, almost as if there was very little happening. It was very hard for me to stay engaged and focused on each episode simply because there wasn’t anything going on. What bothered me the most was that for ten episodes literally nothing happened, then all of a sudden, everything happened in the final three episodes.
It just so happens that they wanted to leave the confession until the very end. But in doing so, it made the anime feel very lopsided which was poor on their part.
Maybe that indicative of the manga. I mean by comparison, there are currently close to 100 chapters for the manga and episodes 1 to 13 of the anime cover chapters 1 to 41 of the manga. That’s pretty much half way done the manga (it isn’t but for sake of argument, let’s say it is). Maybe the pacing in the anime directly correlates to the pacing in the manga. In which case, it’s pretty disappointing that this rom-com is very slowly paced (something I wouldn’t have noticed beforehand until watching the anime).
If it’s like-for-like, then if you’re into a very slow burner then this is for you, but for me, it’s definitely not for me.
You can argue that “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” is fairly realistic in scope because none of the events in the anime felt unreasonable or unrealistic. Yamada and Akane met in a very normal way, they hung out and did things as friends. With time they slowly started to develop feelings for one another and had to determine whether or not these feelings they felt were real and genuine. Once they realized their own feelings for one another, then they took it to the next step where they’ll presumably go through the learning process of how to act like a couple.
Through this, I can see why many people would come to like “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” because it is as real as it gets. However, in the world of anime where there are similar anime on every corner, where there are better anime around each bend; “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” fails to stand out and distinguish itself from the rest.
For me in particular, in order for me to like it, the anime has to be in some way memorable or impactful. When you’re someone who often dabbles in the rom-com space, there are fewer and fewer anime that stand out because they all follow a similar format. However, it is because of this that IF there is an anime that could stand out above the rest, it WILL stand out simply because it just happened to be that more memorable, impactful and enjoyable to the viewer. Unfortunately, “Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru” is not one of those anime for me.
I find that to be rather disappointing, but it is what it is.