Trying to make sense of Sukisho! without having played the games is as easy as discerning a character's gender in Angel Sanctuary.
Do you love watching anime with tons of bishonen? Play yaoi games from time to time? If so, then you have most definitely heard of Suki na mono wa SUKI dakara shouganai!, otherwise simply known as Sukisyo! or Sukisho!. While the plot of this yaoi story is divided into 4 games: First Limit, Target Night, Rain, and White Flower, the anime is limited to only 12 episodes in its production. Therefore, it is little wonder why the anime version is so confusing, especially for those who have not played the games.
Well, just what is Sukisho!? What makes this yaoi series so popular in Japan? Sukisho! begins as Sora, the main character, wakes up to find a strange boy crouched on top of him, calling for someone named Yoru. Naturally, Sora has no idea who this Yoru person is, so he freaks out. The next day, Sora is introduced to Nao, who he believes molested him the night before, his new roommate, and his childhood friend. However, Sora has no recollection of him. As the series progresses, Sora finds bits and pieces of information that uncovers his bizarre, forgotten past.
So what other aspects of the anime make it confusing? To start off, the characters are referred to with different names, and this is not limited to the created personae of Sora and Nao. Almost everyone, except people like Aizawa (the villain), Ichikawa (a student who has a crush on Nagase Buchou), and Nanami Sensei, is referred to differently, depending on the relation of the person. For example, Minato is sometimes referred to as Shinichirou; Matsuri is also often called Honjou, and Nagase (Aizawa) is sometimes referred to as Kai. It is true that this first-name-last-name system is not uncommon in Japanese, but referring to the same characters with different names is most confusing in a short 12-episode anime like Sukisho!, in addition to the whole created personae shebang. Yes, to make matters more confusing, there are also two alternative personalities, Ran and Yoru, living in Fujimori Nao and Hashiba Sora.
Another factor that makes the Sukisho! series confusing is that the anime lacks consistency in eye colors, primarily between Sora and Nao. Theoretically, these characters would change their eye colors every time their split personalities take over. When Sora is his usual 15-year-old self, his pupils are light blue. However, when he becomes Yoru, one of his eyes is supposed to turn into gold. Both of Nao's eyes, on the other hand, turn neon red when he becomes Ran. The anime was relatively good with its eye-color-changing formula for the first few episodes, then it seemed like the animators simply did not bother to change these colors any more in the later ones. There were few instances where Sora has clearly become Yoru, yet his eye colors do not change. Another case was when Sora changes into Yoru for the first time, as a kidnapped child in Aizawa's laboratory. One of his eyes should have been gold yet both of his eyes were blue.
Why an anime based on 4 games is limited to only 12 episodes is a mystery. The production does not seem to be very well-planned. While the first 8 comedic episodes seem to be a summary of the first 2 games, First Limit and Target Night, the 'fluff' episodes, the later 4 episodes condense the bulk of the plot, the climax, and the denouement of the games. As a result, the anime feels rather crammed towards the end. Sora manages to convince Aizawa's son, Nagase Kai, that whatever evils that he's been ordered to do is wrong (Is this not evident to begin with?) by merely punching him in the face. Then Kai stops his father's evil by blocking his path in a flower garden. That is how Sora and Nao manage to escape from the burning flower garden. Chances are, the villains (such as Aizawa and his son) do not die this way; thus, nothing is resolved, safe for the fact that Nao does not hate Yoru any more, while everyone else just keeps on living as if nothing has happened.
Perhaps Sukisho!'s producers tried to adapt the 4 games into the anime, but they were unable to imitate the plot of the anime to their heart's content due to TV censorship. However, as a result, things no longer make much sense. For example, in both the anime and the games, both young Sora and Nao were test subjects in Aizawa's cruel experiments. It is true that there is no need for the audience to know exactly what were done to the subjects during such experiments, but we still need to know why Nao is so full of hatred towards his best friend from his childhood, Sora. In the game, Nao hates Sora because Aizawa mind-controlled the latter and killed both Nao's parents and his own. Since then, Nao has always hated Sora and vowed revenge.
In the anime, on the other hand, Nao hated his best friend for having let go of his hands during their escape from the lab. Of course, this was all part of Aizawa's experiments but Nao did not know that. Nevertheless, Nao clearly has legitimate reasons to want to have Sora punished in the game, but the anime was bizarre. Just because your best friend let go of your hand as he is being hauled away by a certain big Shinichirou (yes yes you both knew him as your 'big brother'), you have to hate him for life. So much that you have to doom both him and everyone he loved into a life of living hell (that also includes Shinichirou and Nanami Sensei!). At this point, Nao's actions almost seem psychotic and even sadistic. Hating someone, thus vowing revenge, and attempting to kill one's childhood best friend and his friends over the reason of having let go of your hand are simply not justifiable.
Another point where the anime makes little sense is how Nao, even though he is full of hatred towards Sora, agrees to have physical relationships with him (This excludes the time where Yoru and Ran take over their bodies!) and on school grounds, no less! Soon after that, Nao somehow exposes Sora to extreme fear by activating his forgotten memories, thus making him become a killing machine. (This is as far as the storyline goes, regardless of how little sense it may make.)
But then again, I may be wrong. After all, it's yaoi. In the extremes of yaoi or shoujo, things are not supposed to make too much sense. Guys are supposed to make out and stuff in shonen ai, and everything is supposed to turn out all happy towards the end.
But, like the games, the animated Sukisho! does have its strong points. The opening song, 'Just a Survivor' is quite catchy, and the fluff episodes are extremely funny, too. Thus, even though Sukisho!'s plot becomes extremely twisted towards the end, and the series itself is difficult to follow for those who have not played any of the production's games, Sukisho! is nevertheless a worthwhile series that viewers are sure to like. After all, who can resist an anime with a character who reads One Hundred Ways to Live Comfortably with Tons of Money? (We are referring to Matsuri here.)