Review | To Me, The One Who Loved You & To Every You I’ve Loved Before
“To Me, The One Who Loved You and To Every You I’ve Loved Before are two love stories that transcend time and universes. These are two heartfelt and deeply moving interconnected films.”
To Me, The One Who Loved You and To Every You I’ve Loved Before are two anime interconnected films. They were released on the same day last year in Japanese cinemas. Outside of Asia, they were released on April 20 on Crunchyroll. They are based on the light novels of the same name written by Yomoji Otono and published in 2016.
You can watch them in the order that you want. And depending on your watching order, you will get a different perspective at the story and the characters. Not every viewer will experience them the same way. And I insist on the word experience, it is not something you simply watch, it is something you experience. This is why I am doing a joint review of these two films rather doing separate reviews.
Even though, I won’t recommend a certain viewing order, my preferred way of watching these films is how I first experienced them – To Me, The One Who Loved You then To Every You I’ve Loved Before. There is a feeling of having a linear story with the second one feeling like a continuation of the first but from a different point of view.
Undoubtedly, this is a creative way to tell a story. To Me, The One Who Loved You focuses on Koyomi Hidaka and his love story with Shiori Satou. When the two learn that their parents are going to remarry, they decide to jump into another universe where they won’t be step-siblings. However, things don’t go as planned when Shiori is hit by a car in that parallel universe. It leaves her stuck as a ghost in every universe where Koyomi and her meet. Koyomi tries to find a universe where she can be alive again. This task becomes his life’s work.
In To Every You I’ve Loved Before, we follow Koyomi Takasaki, it is the same character but in a different universe. In this universe, he doesn’t know Shiori. Instead, he falls in love with Kazune Takigawa, a character who also plays an important role in Hidaka’s life. Koyomi and Kazuni live a happy life and create a family.
In both universes, the characters work on parallel universes but they don’t have the same goals so they discover different things. Moreover, the two films cover the entire life of Koyomi in each universe so this is a pretty big and consequential story. Koyomi’s love story with Shiori in one universe and with Kazune in the other is something that transcend both time and universes. Their stories are intertwined. There is something so powerful about this. And I guarantee that at the end this will lift your spirits. But before that, it will definitely you bring to tears a few times. These films are heartfelt and deeply moving. They explore the power of love through the lens of fleeting time. It is a lyrical look at life itself.
Furthermore, these films have striking visuals. The scenery is beautiful to look at and there is an insistence on nature. Indeed, we often see close up shots of flowers through the seasons which represents the passing of time in To Every You I’ve Loved Before. While in To Me, The One Who Loved You, we often see water bubbles which represent the parallel universes. Each film has its own visual language.
This marks the first time actor Hio Miyazawa provides his voice for an anime. I think this is a great anime debut for him, he has chosen a project that is truly special. And he delivers a performance that feels earnest and authentic. Ai Hashimoto as Kazune and Aju Makita as Shiori also deliver amazing performances in their respective roles.
Finally, Takashi Ohmama has composed a touching score. Each film has its theme song. Kumo o Kō (雲を恋う) by Keina Suda is the song for To Every You I’ve Loved Before. While Shion by Saucy Dog is the song for To Me, The One Who Loved You. Both theme songs capture the essence of each love story in a beautiful way.
To Me, The One Who Loved You and To Every You I’ve Loved Before are two love stories that transcend time and universes. These are two heartfelt and deeply moving interconnected films.
To Me, The One Who Loved You and To Every You I’ve Loved Before are now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert