It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. There’s someone you really like and want to date, but working up the nerve to ask seems like an impossible task. I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me. is a film to explore that feeling.

I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me. (Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkō Iinkai) is the second film based on the Confession Executive Committee Love Series. The first, I’ve Always Liked You. (Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai), follows a group of high schoolers in their final year as they enter into their first serious relationships.

The main pair of the first film is sporty girl Natsuki and her childhood friend, the stoic Yū. When Natsuki confesses her feelings for Yū and he doesn’t respond quickly enough, she claims that she was just using him for practice before she confesses to her real crush. From then on, she “practices” confessing to Yū again and again, hoping her feelings will reach him.

Rather than a sequel, I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me. is a sidequel to I’ve Always Liked You. and follows Natsuki and Yū’s younger siblings, Kotarō and Hina. But unlike Natsuki and Yū who have been inseparable and deeply in love with each other for years, Kotarō and Hina’s relationship is much more antagonistic. After all, while Hina is Kotarō’s first and only crush, Hina isn’t interested even slightly in the loud, immature boy that Kotarō is becoming.

I’ve Always Liked You. begins three years before the first film with all the characters in middle school and focuses on Hina discovering her first crush and what that means for her. Growing up, she always assumed that a serious, quiet boy like her brother would be her ideal match. Yet, after a chance (and humiliating) encounter with the kind and demure Koyuki, Hina is forced to admit that she didn’t know her own heart as well as she thought. And while Hina does her best to befriend Koyuki, it is all too soon that he graduates, leaving her behind.

At this point, Hina faces a choice: give up on her first love before it has even begun or chase after Koyuki. With their two year age difference, she will have one more chance to win his heart during the single year their times in high school will overlap. Thus, she sets into motion her plan to get into Koyuki’s high school–and, of course, Kotarō does the same to follow Hina.

While many characters appear in both films, it is Koyuki that has a main role in both. In I’ve Always Liked You. it is he who has an unrequited crush on Natsuki and tries to win her heart. Yet, in I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me., we learn that Hina is attempting to do the same to him at the same time. Yet, while Koyuki evolves to try and win Natsuki’s heart, Hina is struggling to even show her feelings to him.

Thematically, I’ve Always Liked You. is about characters beginning to date–getting over that first hump and starting a romantic relationship (with poor Koyuki being the odd man out). I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me. is the opposite. It is about the people who have a one-sided, unrequited love and can’t seem to take that first step and confess their feelings. For Hina, she can’t seem to make herself approach the one she’s chased for so long. For Kotarō, it’s that he knows Hina sees him as nothing but a longtime friend–and an annoying one as of late.

Of course, there are characters beyond the main three that have their own problems along this theme. Kotarō has his own stalker of sorts who works in her own way to help Hina and thus get Kotarō to herself. Likewise, one of Kotarō’s friends is an adept ladies man–surrounded by two or three girls at all times–but never commits to anything serious with any of them. All put together it makes for a heartfelt exploration of the pain and hope behind unrequited love.

The other big aspect of the film is its music. Kokuhaku Yokou Renshuu Series began as a series of vocaloid music videos based around certain events in these characters’ love lives. The films are expansions of many of the stories told in these songs.

Thus, whenever a key event takes place in I Wait for the Moment That You Love Me., the corresponding song plays–often recreating exact frames from the original music videos. Obviously, the music is catchy (or it wouldn’t have inspired the films or novels about these characters) but it basically means that, every so often, we are treated to a montage of important events. Most of the time, this works. However, there are some scenes that would have been better if they were shown in their entirety instead of letting the song summarize what happened.

I Wait for the Moment that You Love Me. is a film that does a good job exploring the many different versions of a ubiquitous experience of the human condition: a one-sided love. But it is the way it intertwines with I’ve Always Liked You., both thematically and plot-wise, that makes it into a film that is more than the sum of its parts. Add to that a strong soundtrack, and you have a light-hearted romance tale that anyone can relate to.

I Wait for the Moment that You Love Me. was released in Japanese theaters on December 17, 2016. There is currently no word on an international release. I’ve Always Liked You. can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.

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