I’ve always been a fan of HoneyWorks so when I saw the movie, I literally fangirled. But despite its unique production history, Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita is about as cliched a high school romance anime as you can find. The movie is your typical sweet RomCom, which talks about group of friends being secretly in love with each other and we can’t forget the love triangle. The story wasn’t any new but to me every single one of them has their own charm just like this movie which has it’s unique way of getting them to struggle until they find their way to master their courage to confess.
The film begins when Natsuki confesses her love to Yu but then wimps out, calling it “confession practice.” The two proceed to become a “practice couple,” but with hints from Yu that the feeling might actually be mutual. If you’ve read a lot of romance manga you probably won’t consider the story as very original. The entire movie is about different characters trying to build up the courage to confess their love. However, I do not believe that there are many animated stories of this kind which makes it unique in it’s own sense. Sure, it doesn’t have any super original plot point or anything that makes it very unique, but the story is well executed for what it is and if you’re into more pure love stories, I believe you’ll like the story in this one.
Some HoneyWorks songs really set the mood very well and that was a big part of the movie for me. As for the characters themselves are nothing out of the ordinary, but what is special is the relationships between the character. Natsuki and Yuu are your typical childhood friend love cliche, Akarin and Mochizuki have never really talked with each other properly, and Haruki and Miou are pretty much the two friends who are meant for each other but can’t bring themselves to go for it. It was interesting to see all these different types of relationships in one movie. Through most of the movie I was screaming at the characters to just get together already, but I must say that I really found the story and characters refreshing in a time where ecchi, magical girls and tragedy rules the romance anime industry. If there were any cliches this film didn’t hit, it’s only because of its hour-long runtime.
But I was clearly disappointed when they left out the whole Haruki x Miou and inserted it in the form of a PV we have already seen before (If you follow the series on NND or Youtube.) Like, wow bruh, you didn’t have to do the favor. Honestly a huge let down for the shippers of these two (Yes I ship these two for as long as I can remember.). They take the longest to get officially canon and got the most complicated relationship among the main 3. This should have been a TV series or a 2-3 hr length movie to be honest, the movie felt rushed albeit watchable. I liked the insert songs and song line references. The animation was nice as well. I am mostly satisfied with Natsuki and Yu’s story, less with Mochita and Akari’s but what they did to Haruki x Miou is unforgivable. ( Unless they make a 3rd movie and its about them. The 2nd is most likely about Hina.) As much as I complained, I liked the Slice Of Life parts but the insert Koyuki/Yu drama was not paced well. I will still give it 7/10 counting bias points. Just seeing them animated makes me happy. Though I still think that they really should have made it longer and focused on Haruki/Miou while using the others as sub-plots. What a waste of feels.