Image source: @fuuka_anime on Twitter
Fuuka may be about a female character whom many might label a manic pixie dream girl, but I can’t help but feel that the show would be better served by featuring Koyuki front and center.
I know a lot of things about Fuuka. Having read the manga series prior to watching the anime, I know all the twists and turns that are coming, but as a fan of the anime, I still wish we could hear more about protagonist Yuu’s childhood friend Koyuki, who grew up to become a famous pop star.
Koyuki is seen all over Japan–the sprightly and vivacious Fuuka is even a fan–and while it seems that Fuuka is turning Yuu’s boring world upside down in so many ways, it’s Koyuki that ends up really spicing things up. The childhood “secret admirer” or “childhood crush” trope is a tired one, especially when it comes to anime, so seeing the female point of view when it comes to a lost love that you never had to guts to confess to is a real treat.
I’m not interested in Fuuka’s lack of cell phone use, how keen she is to accuse Yuu of taking upskirt photos just because he had a phone in his hand at the time (don’t flatter yourself, Fuuka), or her overall demeanor. What I do find myself looking for more of it Koyuki’s Twitter messages to Yuu and the little ways she attempts to maintain communication. I want to learn more about her as the anime progresses. I want to see what it’s like to be Koyuki, having grown up into a famous idol after harboring a lifelong love of music.
The idea that Yuu could even speak to Koyuki is downplayed from the first few moments of the show, because we’re supposed to care more about Fuuka, of course. As Yuu’s sisters tease him relentlessly, even making references to the idea that Koyuki would never speak to him now that she’s a popular idol, she decides to reach out and reconnect, something that you rarely see the women in these relationships do. And in an interesting turn of events that mirror the age we live in, she does it via Twitter.
Perhaps I’m more interested and understanding overall because, in reality, this would have been something I’d do. It’s a firm belief of mine that, regardless of current status, if you were childhood friends as close as Yuu and Koyuki were, you’d still have time for someone like that no matter what you’re busy with.
Instead of languishing and doing nothing with her life, Koyuki took her passion for music and made something of it. Yuu is still stuck searching for what he should do next, and instead of having Fuuka give him some sort of epiphany or alternative love interest, Koyuki could open up a whole new world for him. She’s much more likable, more driven, and just plain better for Yuu (and us viewers) in general.
The less “volatile” characters tend to get a bum rap when it comes to teen romance anime series like these, and I’m speaking for several similar characters when I sing Koyuki’s praises thus far. Fuuka is on the cusp of greatness, where Koyuki has already achieved it. She’s got so much she could teach Yuu, and she’s seemingly ready to impart it–if only he weren’t so hardheaded and oblivious to her feelings. Alas, Yuu, like many rom-com protagonists, is thick as a brick wall.
I’m really rooting for Koyuki, though I guess that really translates to rooting more for her type of character. I hope that Fuuka’s success as a series can translate into more women like Koyuki in the future, because we definitely could use a few more.
Fuuka can be see with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.