The dual movies To Every You I’ve Loved Before and To Me, The One Who Loved You simultaneously released in theaters in Japan on October 7, 2022, and are now available to stream on Crunchyroll. While it’s said there is no wrong order to watch them, after viewing both I found that to be completely false for numerous reasons. This article isn’t a review of the movies but rather a guide so you can have the best experience possible. So if you are wondering about the correct order to watch To Every You I’ve Loved Before and To Me, The One Who Loved You, viewers should definitely start off with To Me, The One Who Loved You and here’s why (spoiler free).
Watch To Me, The One Who Loved You First
The sci-fi romance anime films present something that hasn’t really been seen in cinema much at all and that’s releasing dual movies that could provide a different perspective on the main story depending on which order the viewer chooses. However, after watching both, To Me, The One Who Loved You makes more sense as being the first movie to watch.
One of the biggest reasons to watch To Me, The One Who Loved You first is that its ending is what starts To Every You I’ve Loved Before. The scenes are quite literally the exact same, frame by frame. So in this sense, events just flow better and it won’t confuse the viewer as it would if you were to watch the latter first. If you start with To Every You I’ve Loved Before then the ending won’t match up with the beginning of To Me, The One Who Loved You.
Another reason to watch To Me, The One Who Loved You first is that it provides way more context, especially for the main male protagonist Koyomi and his love for the main female protagonist Shiori. The film does a good job of going from A to B to C and explaining the course of events while slowly including the main female protagonist Kazune from To Every You I’ve Loved Before.
Not only this, but the ending of To Every You I’ve Loved Before is way more impactful if you watch To Me, The One Who Loved You first. In the movie To Me, The One Who Loved You, a specific promise is made. And it’s not just the promise, it’s what one specific character in the film says that ends up becoming extremely significant. So if you watched To Every You I’ve Loved Before first, you wouldn’t be aware of this promise or those specific words, and the ending of the film would feel pointless and confusing.
To Every You I’ve Loved Before
After watching this movie second, it definitely makes you feel like Kazune is the main character out of all of them in its own way. While that can be left up to interpretation, the film leans heavily on her side of the story while To Me, The One Who Loved You has a good balance on both Koyomi and Shiori. However, this film lacks one very important part of the overall story and that’s the thorough explanation of the time lapsing.
This film does very little to explain the intricacies of time lapsing. So if you watch this first, you’re going to be asking a million questions about how everything is working and why it’s happening. I know this because, despite watching the other first, I was still left with questions. Albeit, a lot less than what I would if I watched To Every You I’ve Loved Before first.
To Every You I’ve Loved Before also doesn’t show little details during alternate timelines that you see in To Me, The One Who Loved You. There are some scenes that are exactly the same in both films. But in To Every You I’ve Loved Before, there are some that are the same with details left out that you see in the other film. While this film provides a clearer insight into Kazune’s story and her perspective, which was intended, it still had a lot of parts in it that make no sense at all without watching the other film first. And, overall, the film is also the weaker of the two.
Understanding The Films and Their Characters
Koyomi is the main male protagonist in both films. And as previously stated, Shiori is the main female protagonist in To Me, The One Who Loved You while Kazune is the main female protagonist in To Every You I’ve Loved Before. And even though some say the movies are about showing the different perspectives of the two characters, the storylines get all mixed up if you watch To Every You I’ve Loved Before first.
To further explain, both films deal with time lapsing (it’s also a sci-fi film, don’t forget that part). For those of who you who watched and enjoyed Steins;Gate, you’ll have a good grasp on the whole “parallel universes” aspect of the two films and how they impact one another until you finish both. The explanations get a little muddy at times so pay very close attention to what they say in regards to what’s happening or else you’ll be completely lost.
One more hint for both films is to pay attention to the characters’ eye colors. This will help you remember who is from the original timeline and who isn’t. It’s a very subtle detail that not even Koyomi addresses in both films but it’ll help you keep up with who’s who and from which timeline.
Start off with To Me, The One Who Loved You. It provides more context to the story. The pacing of events is linear for the most part. The entire concept of time lapsing and parallel universes is explained. You have way more character development that carries over into To Every You I’ve Loved Before. And it fills a lot of holes that To Every You I’ve Loved Before left wide open as well. If you start off with To Every You I’ve Loved Before then you’re going to be confused about Shiori and her past with Koyomi, which is absolutely crucial to the story, and you’ll lose a little more connection with Koyomi and his resolve.
To Every You I’ve Loved Before and To Me, The One Who Loved You are currently streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles. You can also watch the trailer for both films below:
To Me, The One Who Loved You synopsis:
Koyomi Hidaka and Shiori Sato meet at his father’s research center and begin to fall in love, but so do their parents, who eventually marry. To avoid becoming stepsiblings, they decide to run away to a parallel universe. Traveling between dimensions is common in their world, but not without repercussions. Does a universe exist for the young couple, and what will it cost them to find it?
To Every You I’ve Loved Before synopsis:
While trying to make friends after her parents’ divorce, Koyomi Takasaki meets Kazune Takigawa, though it seems they’ve met before. Kazune reveals that she comes from World Line 85, an alternate universe where she and Koyomi are lovers. But in a reality where moving between dimensions comes naturally, could it be that Koyomi is the one from another world?
Images and synopsis via Crunchyroll
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