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Whisper Me a Love Song
Episode 1 & 2

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Whisper Me a Love Song ?
Community score: 4.0

How would you rate episode 2 of
Whisper Me a Love Song ?
Community score: 4.1

whisper-1-2

I'm not certain that it isn't a coincidence, but I think I've encountered more explorations of the asexual and aromantic spectrums in Yuri stories than anywhere else. Whisper Me a Love Song isn't nearly as blunt about it as Doughnuts Under a Crescent Moon and isn't trying to make a point like I Want to Be a Wall, but its first two episodes are still positioning it to incorporate ace-spec elements. Mostly this comes down to the disconnect between its two leads and their feelings for each other: Himari's declaration of love at first sight to Yori turns out not to be quite what Yori assumed it was, based on how both interpret the word “love.”

Yori is much more straightforward on the subject. Although she's never been all that interested in romance or wanted to talk about it with her friends, she tumbles headfirst for Himari when the younger girl declares her feelings. It's what's called a coup de foudre in French, which I think is more evocative than English's “love at first sight;” Yori is hit with a bolt of feelings like a lightning strike to her heart. If it were strictly up to her, she and Himari would be dating and doing all the “normal” girlfriend things…but Himari's definition of “love” isn't in line with that. When she tells Yori about her feelings, it turns out that she's trying to describe how hearing Yori play with a band at school made her feel. It was Yori's music that she fell for rather than Yori herself, and that leaves Yori with feelings that she's not sure how to handle.

It also opens the door for us to think about Himari's emotions. She may very well have just fallen for Yori as a musician and only started to think about Yori the person after getting to know her better, which might put her somewhere in the realm of demisexual and/or demiromantic. It means (in a very general definition) that she doesn't feel sexual or romantic attraction to Yori without getting to know her first. She likes the way Yori plays guitar and sings, but she can't go further than that until she's fully cognizant of who Yori is. That's why Himari doesn't begin to question her feelings and Yori's for her until after their date in episode two because before that point, she was just a fangirl and now they're friends. But it's also very important that Himari realizes that Yori's “love” may not be the same “love” that she's been saying. It's painful and frightening to realize that you're not on the same page as someone you enjoy hanging out with, especially when you are sure that you are. Himari doesn't want to give up on what she's building with Yori, but she is concerned that with a drastic difference in definition, she may have to.

That leads to the none-too-subtle realization that Aki, the older sister of one of Himari's friends and Yori's classmate, has been in love with Yori for a long time. (Or at least before she bleached her hair; we don't know when that was yet.) Aki's reaction to Yori going on a date with Himari and rapidly falling for the younger girl is upending her world. Previously, she might have assumed that Yori wasn't interested in girls or that she hadn't reached a place in life where romantic attraction was in the cards. She may have been biding her time, waiting for Yori to get there, or simply felt secure in the fact that even if Yori didn't like her back, at least she didn't seem to like anyone else. But now Yori does like someone…and that someone isn't Aki. It's too early to say how this secondary plot will pan out, but it feels fair to say that the various definitions of love will butt up against each other in ways that aren't going to be comfortable for everyone.

Despite the strength of the romance plot(s), this adaptation starts to feel a little iffy in the second episode. Mostly this is down to it being way too clear where scenes start and end; there's no organic flow of the story, but instead abrupt starts and stops, and those aren't helped by the weird insistence on using a flowing rainbow band against a white background anytime someone didn't feel like putting in more context. I also don't love how the opening scene of episode one doesn't play SSGirls' actual song, mostly because it feels awkward, but since we do get to hear it later, I can overlook it one time. Mostly I'm still feeling positive about this, and tentatively hopeful that it will do the manga if not full justice, then at least something close.

Rating:

Whisper Me a Love Song is currently streaming on HIDIVE.


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