A Sign of Affection Episode 2, “To Affection,” continues to prove that this shoujo anime is one of the season’s delights. Based on the manga by suu Morishita and adapted by Ajia-do Animation Works, the artistry remains a significant highlight. Behaving as a bit of setup for the rest of the story with the patient, drawn-out pacing, Episode 2 doubles down on Yuki Itose’s (Sumire Morohoshi) crush on Itsuomi Nagi (Yū Miyazaki) as she learns more about him.
It’s funny because, technically, very little happens in A Sign of Affection Episode 2. But still, the progress is immense by the end, with Yuki realizing the actual depth of her feelings. She’s only known Itsuomi for a while, and they’ve yet to engage beyond niceties truly. Regardless, Itsuomi sees her, and Yuki is impressed by his fearless approach to life. “To Affection” points Yuki towards her future as she grapples with her emotions over whether what she’s feeling is a crush or love. In doing so, it highlights who she is as a character. Despite its slow pace, we learn why Yuki would be drawn to someone like Itsuomi beyond his evident popularity and looks.
Yuki is fond of her upbringing. She describes attending a school for the deaf with only four students as safe and comfortable. Her happiness shines through in the animation as clips of her adolescence play in golden lighting. Despite this, she still seeks more in the present — longs for more. It’s why she chose to go to university despite some, like her childhood friend Oushi, not understanding.
Oushi is another critical component of the episode and a tether to Yuki’s past. Yuki notes that Oushi, who isn’t deaf, uses sign language as a means to tease her. But others who look on see the significance of him learning it to communicate with her. The series has painstakingly animated sign language thus far, and Episode 2 pushes it more. It does so by addressing how viewers see it being used versus how Yuki sees it. Yuki picks up on Oushi’s gestures and how he signs versus what he’s saying. She hones in on the movement. How Oushi holds his fingers is just as expressive as the words he’s signing. Oushi might think he’s just trying to tell Yuki to be careful regarding Itsuomi, but Yuki can pick up on more restrained emotion through how his hands move.
It’s a lovely detail that works compared to how Itsuomi continues to try to be on Yuki’s playing field. While Yuki is who we spend time with, it’s clear that Itsuomi feels the same way. From learning small bits of sign language on his own to communicate with her to texting her photos of his travels and bringing her home a souvenir, he’s just as engaged. Just as the animation depicts sign language, it demonstrates how Itsuomi accentuates his words to make it easier for Yuki to read his lips.
Itsuomi remains enigmatic to both Yuki and us as viewers. He spends most of Episode 2 traveling again, this time to Laos. While it’s tough to decipher his inner thoughts as he’s shared very few of them. Still, his aloof personality shines through in his physicality. From constantly hovering over Yuki’s shoulder to patting her on the head, he’s tactile. The chibi-style animation works wonders in these moments, ironically making him more human. Most of the first two episodes depict him as this cooler, untouchable character. His open-faced curiosity and disregard for personal space make him more enjoyable. It also adds to the humor of the series, which needs these moments of silly levity. It’s earnest without taking itself too seriously.
A Sign of Affection (Yubisaki to Renre) captures the romance through colors. It’s a story told through small gestures and moments. In turn, the animation captures the overflowing feelings of love as Yuki’s world blooms with Itsuomi’s gaze directed at her. The watercolor effect of colors spilling out around her, and she becomes the central focus on the screen, is beautiful. Despite the stillness, when the series wants to lean into bolder imagery, they do so with finesse. There’s undeniable grace in how this world comes to life.
Still in its setup stages, A Sign of Affection Episode 2 manages to stun regardless. The story has an inherent sweetness, and Yuki is increasingly lovable. As the romance between Yuki and Itsuomi continues to blossom, the series delivers a confident, rich story about how love expands our personal worlds.
A Sign of Affection Episode 2 is available now on Crunchyroll.
A Sign of Affection Episode 2
Still in its set-up stages, A Sign of Affection Episode 2 manages to stun regardless. The story has an inherent sweetness, and Yuki is increasingly lovable. As the romance between Yuki and Itsuomi continues to blossom, the series delivers a confident, rich story about how love expands our personal worlds.