A Sign of Affection anime has finally premiered and it had a delightful episode 1, showcasing a charming and heartwarming premise. The series follows the story of Yuki Itose, a university student grappling with a hearing impairment. In contrast, Nagi Itsuomi is a polyglot student, someone who can speak a lot of languages and often travels around the world. While it may seem that they are living totally different lives — one enveloped in utter silence and the other exploring the beauty of the world— the narrative, however, weaves a sweet connection between them. Thankfully, the adaptation beautifully captures their love story.
In the initial moments of the episode, the anime creatively showed Yuki’s perspective as a hearing-impaired individual. We gain insight into her world, how she cannot hear anything but her thoughts, and how she interprets conversations by reading lips. While it was weird at first how some of the characters’ lips were drawn so big, it eventually made sense because Yuki can read lips so this detail makes us connect with her, as well as align us with her own experience.
One of the main things I love in the first episode is the charming portrayal of Yuki’s character as a sweet, innocent, and kind-hearted girl. Even though she might seem helpless at times, Yuki’s endearing nature shines through in her interactions and charming chibi-like reactions. Sumire Morohoshi also did exceptionally well in giving life to this adorable character. She handled the monologues pretty well and when it came to voicing her reactions, she did it in the most charming way possible. With her personality, character design, and Morohoshi’s voice acting seamlessly put together, it seems like Yuki was meticulously crafted to be the best girl worth protecting. I also love the dynamic between Rin and Yuki being the loud and silent duo. While both are college freshmen who are hopelessly in love, it’s nice how they are very supportive of each other.
Itsuomi, on the other hand, was made as an ikemen character with a cool demeanor. It’s also quite interesting and refreshing to see a main character in a shoujo romance who can speak multiple languages. This actually adds more intrigue to the story and it’s not just there to make him look more appealing. While being a multilingual character can pose a challenge to his voice actor, Yuu Miyazaki acted exceptionally as he delivered his English lines smoothly.
A Sign of Affection Episode 1 Shows All You Need Is Communication
All in all, A Sign of Affection Episode 1 successfully introduced a beautiful and cute narrative. The moments achieved a cute and funny portrayal with perfect timing. The whole episode was extremely well-paced since there wasn’t a single scene that felt awkward or had to be there just to reach a certain timeframe. Everything was nicely written as it led to a sweet and wholesome phone number exchange at the end of the episode.
The exploration of Yuki’s character, in terms of insecurities and joys, is well-executed. While it may seem like she suddenly fell for Itsuomi because he passed the ikemen vibe check, I don’t think that’s the case here. What I can conclude from this episode is that Yuki may have been just looking for someone who understands her like her friend Rin does, and Itsuomi happened to get the memo. I’m no love expert, but sometimes, all you need is communication to ignite that spark for falling in love.
This series made me realize how being able to hear is such a blessing. As a language major who studied a few communication courses while I was at university, I am very excited to see how the love story of these two (who have been living in two different worlds) will soon bloom and unfold.
Images via Muse Asia
© Suu Morishita, Kodansha／A Sign of Affection Production Committee