The idea of a high school student being interested in someone over 40 years old can rub someone in the wrong way. It feels as if the show commits the sin of an unhealthy relationship or daydream fantasy. However, that is not how you should experience the series’ intentions. The idea of the show isn’t just a story about two lovebirds. It’s more about how a series tests human feelings. There’s realism as a lot of the circumstances we witness in this show can happen in real life. The main point is to establish how complicated human feelings can be when tested under heavy waters. Right off the bat, we can see that Akira has feelings towards Kondou.
The first episode shows that any dialogue directly related to her manager causes her to react. For instance, some of the dialogues about Kondou’s marital status immediately causes Akira to behave in ways that show her emotions. While this is first seen as cheesy delivery, I see it more as a realistic reaction of how characters should behave. Akira is still young and she doesn’t fully understand what love is. Yet, she feels connected to Kondou because of how kind he is. Similarly, Kondou responds to some of Akira’s feelings such as going on a date and telling how he feels. The way these two connect is incredibly appealing to watch as it’s easy to want to root for them. The charm between their chemistry shines best when they understand more about each other. While it’s easily possible that it won’t be one of those ‘they live happily ever after’ tales, the series still capitalizes on bringing out human feelings at its fullest.
As a good portion of the show puts emphasis on characterization, expect a lot of background stories and character focus. It doesn’t just fall in the case of Akira but other characters too such as Haruka Kyan. Through effective storytelling, we learn more about Haruka and her connection with Akira. I think an important part to note about the characters is that a good majority of them are worth investing time into. Examples such as Chihiro and Yuuta gives us a better insight of Kondou’s personal life outside of his workplace. Even a character such as Kase can be interesting to watch despite my personal dislike of his interactions with Akira. In essence, the main characters easily carry this series while others play valuable roles to influence their choices. The series remains faithful to their personalities too based on the manga.
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni takes the approach of bringing mostly drama so if you’re a viewer interested in such genre, then this will be a wonderful treat for you. The title translates to “After the Rain” and literally, there’s plenty that falls. In literature and storytelling, this symbolizes for depression as it’s what see from Akira’s perspective in the beginning of the show. Still, there’s light comedy with some hilarious moments too for those who think this may be just a drama fest.
The main selling point of the series is undeniably the character chemistry between Akira and Kondou. It’s hard to ever forget about these two even when episodes doesn’t fully concentrate on them. That brings in the question if you think they do or don’t get together. As a 1 cour adaptation (12 episodes), the show can feel more like a titanic ship tease with how the series delivers its storytelling. It’s obvious the show won’t have a concrete conclusion as the anime couldn’t cover every chapter. However, from a fictional storytelling viewpoint, this series is what I view as drama done right. The emotional moments looks impactful and holds special meaning for the characters. I can’t remember how many times I replayed certain scenes to get a better look at how the characters behave and why they do so in such ways. Plus, I think this show really delivers the promise of its premise without ever being distracting. The only time I do find a character distracting is perhaps Takashi as he’s there for more as comic relief.
As a studio that produced mostly fantasy themed series, Wit Studio was definitely not a choice that I was expecting. However, I’m highly pleased to say that they aced this with flying colors in terms of production quality. The scenery in this show looks incredibly well-polished and show their effort through the realistic setting with rich details. These scenes also delivers a melancholic tone that you’d fully expect out of this show such as the smiling and crying. The key animation and choreography makes this show sometimes look like a moving painting. Every emotional segment looks impactful through its tone and captures the importance of human feelings. Scenes such as Akira running under the rain or the bittersweet moments when she feels heavy emotions is bought out through the talents of this show’s creative team. The theme songs contain great usage of sequences to show creativity while the visual style of the character designs bring the cast to life. A beautiful girl like Akira deserved such treatment.
I wasn’t too convinced into the character behaviors in this show until I heard the voices of the cast. Sayumi Watabe may not have an impressive resume but she is able to step into the shoes of Akira perfectly. The way her character speaks brings truth to her personality while showcasing a more delicate side when she’s with the manager. I also felt how real the character cast were whenever they interacted under different circumstances. As a show with heavy drama, Aimer’s performance is nothing short than a spectacle. “Ref:rain” felt like one of the most memorable ED theme songs of this year so far with how melancholic it’s performed. The choreography and mood of the sequences captures the series’ themes at its fullest. Besides that, I think the overall usage of the OST in this series also brings in memorable moments. Between quiet moments of melancholy to more dramatic segments, it’s easily acceptable.