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Just Because! | #Anime Universe

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Just Because felt like a breath of fresh air despite the simplistic premise. It’s also made by Hajime Kamoshida, the brainchild behind Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. To me, this show stood out as a coming age of story about characters climbing the stairs to adolescence. It’s a time period for characters to develop and grow up to be more than teenagers. At the heart of the show, we have Eita Izumi alongside a group of classmates. The first few episodes gave me the impression of a melancholic story that’s filled with realistic themes that people can connect with. Beyond just the setting, the characters feel real and can be relatable. This is seen through the example of childhood friends Eita, Haruto, and Mio. As the story progresses, we see the relationship dynamics between the trio that will get viewers invested into the storytelling.

For a show like this to work, it had to make its characters feel they belong there. Luckily, Just Because pulls off the right stops through its characters of diverse personalities. Each of the main characters feel different ranging from Mio’s timid personality to Ena’s enthusiasm. It’s what can draw viewers in as we see how they behave around certain characters. Indeed, character chemistry is an important aspect of this show. It connects between characters visually, dramatically, and meaningfully. Romance is slowly paced and not expressed like a shoujo but rather in a melancholic style.

To me, this show focuses on relationships through character building. It emphasizes on establishing character personalities first while giving them the chance to shine through them. Ena is a prime example in the show as her character interaction with Eita is often noticeable because of how different she is from him. Some people may interpret the show’s character relationship dynamics as part of destiny, like certain characters are destined to be with one another. However, that’s not truly the case as expectations can be different after realizing the person they want to be with isn’t what they would expect. Honestly, I think this show sells its ideas pretty well to express that.

Every character has a goal for the future and although there’s a feeling of uncertainty, they strive to work towards that. Whether it’s becoming a photographer, be part of a band, or just to go to college, it’s inspiring and realistic. Think about the time when you were in high school and had that feeling of what you wanted to do in life. Relating to this anime doesn’t feel so different, now does it? At the same time, the storytelling continues to build relationships between the main characters. While it feels like a ship tease at times, the show never exaggerates or oversteps its boundaries. The drama is mostly lighthearted and doesn’t force it down viewers’ throats. It keeps its pace steady while getting its point across, like the way it should be. In several ways, the drama of this show is realistic enough to relate and easy to get attached to.

There are some awkward segments between certain characters but the timing usually feels right. The downside about the drama is that it occasionally feels formulaic and repetitive. Not to mention, character relationships feel a bit predictable as to who will likely get who in the end. Still, it doesn’t hold the anime back. The characters are all very self-aware and realize what it means to be a high school student. Haruto is a good example as we see his life as a baseball player. The way he adapts to build his future becomes evident like a journey of life discovery. This also expands to other characters such as Mio and Ena. It’s like their chance to climb the stairs to adulthood and high school is one of the biggest steps they have to cross over.

Adapted by Pine Jam, this show is expressive at crafting its visual elements. The key visual itself gives an atmospheric feel with characters being at a train station. Besides Eita and Mio, the others are going on about their daily lives like moving with their future. By raw quality though, Just Because’s biggest selling point is the character expressions. It fortifies their personalities and expresses attitude that connects with their personalities. It’s important to realize that human expressions often depict what a person feels at every moment. This anime does a clever job at capitalizing that to make them feel real. On the other hand, I can’t say the character designs are too impressive.

For soundtrack and music, it’s clear that Just Because needed a melancholic style to make it work. Thankfully, this is accomplished thanks to the music director for its creative themes. It’s lighthearted, slow paced, and consistent to make every segment work. Both the theme songs has a very realistic tone and lyrics that matches with the style of the show.


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