ALRIGHT. I’ve finally completed the anime, sorry it took awhile. Adachi to Shimamura has been a mixed bag. Some good and some bad, overall my experience and enjoyment of the anime was a little bit of both. There were some parts I liked and there were some parts I disliked or thought it could have been better.
Somewhere in the school at noon, one might hear the sound of two girls playing table tennis together as they wait for time to pass by.
As if by fate, two students—Sakura Adachi and Hougetsu Shimamura—stumble upon each other on the second floor of the school gymnasium. As they gradually foster a budding friendship, their feelings for one another only become more ambiguous. Growing closer by the day, the two must learn to navigate their contrasting personalities as well as determine the depth of their affection for each other.
The nature of this relationship gradually shifts when one of them starts to develop feelings beyond the boundaries of a platonic relationship. Even so, Adachi and Shimamura must realize if forming a bond stronger than friendship will bring them closer or tear them apart.Written by MAL Rewrite of MyAnimeList.net
Contrary to what is considered ‘normal’ where you have a defined story that all characters tend to stick to, Adachi to Shimamura is all about the individual stories. More importantly, the stories of Sakura Adachi and Hougetsu Shimamura respectively. You can view this anime as two arcs, Adachi’s (1 through 6) and Shimamura’s (7 through 12). Each of them have their own stories of trying to understand their own feelings, desires and intentions. They’re two sides of the same coin. A lot of what they experience, is something that we can all relate to. Finding our place in reality, finding what our purpose is, what our desires are. At it’s core, Adachi to Shimamura‘s story is about two individuals trying to better understand themselves.
Shimamura is probably my favourite because of how complex she is. Shimamura doesn’t mind being alone, yet she feels like she needs someone. She’s fine with hanging out with ‘friends’, but wants someone who genuinely wants to be her friend. Shimamura doesn’t mind acting fake, but at the same time wants someone to accept her as her. She doesn’t mind wandering aimlessly, but wants someone there to give her purpose. For her, it was just a matter of realizing her own desires and acting upon them instead of letting them sit on the sideline. Shimamura as a whole has been one of the more complicated characters I’ve seen. One minute, she’ll be happy then the next she’ll be questioning herself.
Adachi also has similar insecurities and questions, however, she’s able to come to terms with what she wants. In the synopsis it mentions “…one of them starts to develop feelings beyond the boundaries of a platonic relationship.” That’s what Adachi wants, however, by the last episode, I think she is satisfied with how their relationship is at that moment in time. She understands that while it may not develop into something further, as long as she’s there with Shimamura then she’s more than okay with what.
One of the things I liked about Adachi to Shimamura was the character design. The main feature of them that stuck out at me was how big their eyes were. A lot of the fascial expressions were portrayed through their eyes, whenever there was a scene of deep thought, or a moment of realization, their eyes would sparkle, or dim, all depending on the specific scene. It was really captivating to say the least.
One thing I disliked about Adachi to Shimamura was the amount of cringe moments for Adachi whenever she was around Shimamura. Like you know, I get it. When you’re around someone you like or admire you cannot help but feel embarrassed or awkward. However, I feel like we were experiencing that a little too frequently, especially since the first half of the anime can be considered as “Adachi’s arc”. There were multiple times throughout the episodes where I had to pause simply because I felt uncomfortable with the amount of cringe Adachi had flowing from her character whenever she thought of or was in the premise of Shimamura. To me, that’s what ultimately brought this anime way down for me.
I want to enjoy whatever anime I watch, regardless of story, characters, character development etc. That being said, all of that can all ruined if I feel uncomfortable with whatever I’m experiencing. It isn’t something that can go away for me either, once I experience that cringe, that moment of feeling uncomfortable then it lingers with me and it will always be something that my mind will pick out immediately; no questions asked. Which is what happened to me as I watched Adachi to Shimamura.
To summarize, I thought the story was nice, once I understood what story the anime was trying to tell. I liked it. However, when the cringe factor and moments that make you feel uncomfortable fill a large portion of certain episodes at times. It really dragged down and worked against the anime, which was something I didn’t like one bit. Adachi to Shimamura, is one of those anime that could have been good but ultimately fell just short.