Bloom Into You’s Touko Nanami seems perfect to her classmates. Not only is she the Student Council President and top of her class, but she’s also popular, athletic, and beautiful, always being confessed to by young men at their high school. Touko seems to juggle all of her responsibilities with poise and confidence, at least outwardly. However, once she meets Yuu Koito, Touko’s outer façade begins to weaken.
Over the course of Bloom Into You’s first season, viewers slowly learn through Yuu, the protagonist, about a family tragedy that changed Touko’s life forever. Touko’s beloved older sister Mio died in a car accident, which has left Touko trying to take her place in life. Yuu’s mission in Season 1 is to help Touko overcome her past, but this task proves more difficult than she expected.
When Yuu first meets Touko, she only sees her as everyone else does – flawless. Touko is the perfect student, always striving to be better than she already is. She always gets the top marks and is extremely organized with Student Council events. Her peers cannot find fault in her – while writing the script for the Student Council play, Yuu’s friend Koyomi Kanou comments on how difficult it is to fit Touko’s character to her personality since she has no outward flaws.
However, Yuu slowly sees through Touko’s façade. From their first moment together when Touko helps Yuu turn down a boy who confessed to her, Touko says that she feels differently around her. She explains she has never loved anyone before, which seems to help her reveal more of her true self to Yuu. She even admits that she’s nervous before the Student Council election – Touko is worried about maintaining perfection for the sake of her classmates. Yuu reassures Touko that it’s okay to show weakness sometimes.
When Touko proposes that the Student Council revive a tradition of putting on a stage play for the Cultural Festival, Yuu does some digging to find out why. She learns that Touko’s older sister Mio was the President seven years prior, but she sadly passed away in a traffic accident before performing in the play. Yuu understands Touko’s adamance to revive this tradition is part of her persona – she wants to be perfect, like how she remembers Mio. Touko’s goal is to become exactly like her sister, almost replacing her, to honor her memory. Yuu tries to confront Touko on her actions, but she tells Yuu that she would rather die than give up on being Mio.
Her memory of Mio is challenged at the Council’s study camp as they prepare for the stage play. Mio’s former classmate Tomoyuki Ichigaya comes to coach the students through rehearsals, and Touko asks him what Mio was like when they were in school. Shockingly, Tomoyuki says Mio was actually a slacker sometimes, not perfect like Touko remembers. This revelation shatters Touko’s perception of both her sister and herself since she has based her entire personality on her memory of Mio. Touko begins to hate herself more, causing her to work even harder on the stage play to better perfect herself, despite what she learned about Mio.
Touko’s struggles concern Yuu, though she doesn’t get far by addressing them head-on. She tries telling Touko to be herself, but she reaffirms that she hates herself and therefore doesn’t want Yuu to love her. Touko cannot imagine someone loving her when she cannot love herself. So, Yuu begins helping in more covert ways – she makes Touko confront her feelings under the guise of practicing for the stage play while they are at the aquarium. Later in Bloom Into You's Season 1 finale, she also approaches Koyomi about rewriting the script's ending.
In the stage play, the main character loses her memory and tries to learn about herself from her hospital visitors – in the original ending, she chooses to be like her lover’s version of her. However, Yuu suggests to Koyomi that the character should just be who she feels she is in the moment, rather than sacrificing a part of herself to please someone else.
Yuu’s hope is that the rewrite of the play’s ending will help Touko indirectly with her identity struggles. By playing a character who does not need to become someone else, Touko may learn to truly accept both her sister’s death and her own identity. Season 1 of Bloom Into You ends before the stage show, so fans are looking forward to Touko’s reaction to the script revisions in Season 2. Though there’s a chance that she will be initially upset or hesitant at the change, viewers are hoping Touko will have a positive experience with the play and learn to love herself in the end.