Sing Yesterday For Me (Yesterday Wo Uttate) is an anime that portays unrequited love in a very realistic and subtle way. It does not employ the common elements that are often seen in anime dealing with the same themes. It also completely ignores the standard shoujo tropes that go along with it (well it is not a shoujo anime per se).
Focusing on the lives of the four titular characters, Sing Yesterday for Me tries in earnest to unravel everything that revolves around love and heart break. Shinako Morinome is one of these four characters, and is someone who is often at the receiving end of hate from the fans. You’ll notice her being termed as a bland and irritating character for being indecisive most of the time.
The grumbles of Shinako‘s behaviour rise partly due to the fact that she kept Rikuo Uozumi away from the bubbly and cheerful (and also a fan favourite) Haru for most of the anime. Rikuo had feelings for Shinako and wanted to go out with her. Though Shinako refuses initially she never outright rejects him. They end up dating, but that’s where the complexities begin. In the end they realise that they were more comfortable being just friends.
While it is true that Shinako’s indeciveness was indeed irritating at times, one cannot overlook the fact that she is an absolutely well written character.
Analysing Shinako Morinome’s Character:
Shinako will be a very relatable character to anyone who has suffered a loss, or had a heartbreak in their lives. When you lose someone you loved deeply, it is quite hard to move on. The person who suffered the loss always ends up being stuck somewhere in between.
The same happened to Shinako.
Shinako had been in love Rou’s older brother (even after knowing he will young) and was very close to their family. After his death, she is not able to move on completely or fall in love again. People feel that it’s a crime to forget someone you loved so deeply. Shinako probably was no different. However, deep down she also realised that holding on would only be futile.
These two feelings always clashed inside her mind and prevented her from overcoming the loss completely. Thus she ends up walking in circles never making any real progress. Her cluelessness and indecisiveness stems from this very confusion.
Shinako is actually a good character, contrary to beliefs. While all aspects of her personality are not completely explored in the anime due to the limited time frame, the manga presents a much more detailed version of Shinako, making it easier to relate to her. She is basically a mix of loneliness, depression and some sincere efforts to move on (expecially in the events that take place in the story).
And that’s not the only thing. Shinako’s decisions are also unknowingly influenced by her relationship with Rou. While she was adamant that she saw Rou as only a brother, there is certainly some kind of complex emotions that existed between them. This becomes more evident after Rou made his feelings clear to Shinako. She did not want to stray away from the family that she had been close to all this time and completely cut her ties with them. This is one reason why she left Rikuo hanging for a long time. Even after she started going out with him, Shinako struggled to clearly express her relationship with Rikuo to Rou, making things more awkward.
She had a hard time sorting out this torrent of turbulent feelings that come knocking, leaving her utterly stranded.
Considering all these factors, it becomes easy to understand Shinako’s actions in Sing Yesterday for Me. In her attempts to move on, she forcefully tried to be in a relationship with Rikuo. But while doing she slowly comes to understand her feelings better and in the end decides that she should continue being friends with Rikuo. Even as the anime draws to a close, Shinako has not moved on completely, but this time she seems more confident about being able to figure out her feelings.
What are you feelings about Shinkao Morinome from Yesterday wo Uttate. Were you able to relate to her? Did you find youself in such a situation before? Let us know in the comments section below!