Sukitte Ii na yo, aka Say “I Love You”, was the first shoujo anime I ever watched. In retrospect it wasn’t the greatest show ever, nor the greatest love story ever told, but it did provide me with an introduction to “shoujo-type” shows, for which I am grateful. In general I tend to be more of a fan of josei shows than shoujo shows, but for the sake of experiencing everything (or, rather, most things) at least once, Sukitte Ii na yo was by no means a waste of time.
The show’s strengths revolved were related to its school environment, which included everything from communication problems to insecurity and the health issues (both mental and physical) that teenagers can cause each other and themselves. This is something that comes up pretty often in shoujo shows, and I think shoujo shows are in general better at depicting stuff like this than shounen and seinen shows, so it was really interesting to see Sukitte Ii na yo try to make a real story about it.
The show’s main weakness, in my opinion, is pretty simple: Yamato is creepily pushy, and he does some things that are very much not ok to do. Again, this is something that comes up from time to time in shoujo romance shows (not that shounen shows don’t occasionally have their own kinds of problematic characters), and I don’t like it (which is why I avoid the shoujo reverse harem shows). Anyway, to end on a more positive note, Sukitte Ii na yo also introduced me to the “shoujo art style”. To claim that there is only a singular such style is of course gross generalisation, but you probably know what I mean: Big detailed eyes, long eyelashes, etc. It might sound like I’m mocking the style, but on the contrary, I actually really like it now.