Bloom Into You By Nakatani Nio Starts Off Strong

This is the first piece in a new column brought to you by Danielle, where she will walk you through a manga step-by-step, so join us and enjoy the ride

Nakatani Nio’s Bloom Into You is primarily the story of Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami and their navigating what it is to love someone else. 

The summary on the back of Volume 1 reads “Yuu has always adored shoujo manga and yearns for the day when someone might give her a love confession that would send heart aflutter.” This makes it evident the mangaka is aiming to delve into those tropes of shoujo manga such as young love and love confessions and show how such stories end in a relatively realistic setting as Bloom Into You.

In addition to the considerations on love by the main characters, Nakatani Nio puts front and center the angst a queer teen can feel. This is shown one-third of the way into the first chapter through the distance between Yuu and her friends when they talk about boys. Textually it is all too clear Yuu Koito is a lesbian, and her slowly discovering this will come to make up a large portion of her character arc in the series.

During its initial publication, Bloom Into You was published in the monthly manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. Nio takes advantage of the monthly format to expand each chapter and thus enable the reader to think of the story as an hour-long drama. This is bolstered by the chapters being labeled “Episodes” and given extravagant titles such as “I Cannot Reach the Stars” and “Campaigning for Love”.

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