Akira Tachibana, a reserved high school student and former track runner, has not been able to race the same as she used to since she experienced a severe foot injury. And although she is regarded as attractive by her classmates, she is not interested in the boys around school.
While working part-time at the Garden Cafe, Akira begins to develop feelings for the manager—a 45-year-old man named Masami Kondou—despite the large age gap. Kondou shows genuine concern and kindness toward the customers of his restaurant, which, while viewed by others as soft or weak, draws Akira to him. Spending time together at the restaurant, they grow closer, which only strengthens her feelings. Weighed down by these uncertain emotions, Akira finally resolves to confess, but what will be the result?
After the Rain is a series that desperately wants the audience to be captivated by how melancholic, dramatic, and "true to life" it is. While not being any of the things above.
After the Rain continues the tradition of adapting an already existing manga into an anime. After taking glimpses and peeks at the manga it is easy to see why this was chosen. Not necessarily the premise(which does factor into it), but primarily due to how breathtakingly gorgeous the character art is. You have full pages and covers of immaculate and impressive character designs.
The premise has an added spice to it. It essentially
revolves around a teenage girl. Specifically in her second year of high school, which correlates to 17 in the age of Japan, who has fallen in love with her older, middle-aged, divorced, 45-year-old boss at the cafe she works at. Now, this premise can be simple, you can view it as human nature. Love knows no bounds and it is not incredibly uncommon to hear young women interested in men way above their age. Or you can look at all the societal subtext that comes with this taboo relationship and at that point it is way more to unpack.
Whichever way you decide to view it, one thing remains. The fact that this relationship is out of the bounds of what most people would deem to be a normal relationship. The mangaka of the original manga is aware of that and inches closer and closer to you being comfortable with it as a viewer. He accomplishes this by characterizing these two characters and humanizing them so we can see beyond their age.
What is particularly frustrating is the characterization is very selective and shallow. The two main characters, while receiving most of the characterization within the four episodes I have seen; Still, have absolutely abysmal characterization. Probably the most shallow characterization I have seen in a while. Mr. Kondo is portrayed as this goofy, fairly simple-minded, harmless old man. How do they show this to the audience? Well, mostly his internal dialogue consists of "I want a cigarette" or "oh man, this 17-year-old girl is so intimidating". The same thing applies to Tachibana, the lead protagonist. Her defining character trait is that she is mature for her age. Demonstrated by the fact that she teaches Mr. Kondo's young son how to play the flute better, or the fact that she looks at her gossiping classmates like they are idiots.
An A for effort, but I was not particularly buying it. Mr. Kondo is a 45-year-old man who has been through a divorce, manages a successful restaurant, and is reasonably well adjusted. How am I supposed to buy the fact that he would jeopardize his social status by openly dating someone half his age? Am I supposed to buy the fact that he would be able to even emotionally connect with someone who does not have nearly the same life experience as him?
I am just not accurately convinced on the basic tenets of character personality the show is trying to sell me on. Although I am supposed to view Tachibana to be mature for her age, their is nothing the show has demonstrated to sell me on this fact.
To further justify my current low score, the biggest insult to injury are that the other characters are nothing more than simple caricatures at this point in the series. Kase is a one-track mind playboy, her co-workers consist of a comic relief character who has a crush on her. Paired with a nagging middle-aged woman and a ditzy, head in the cloud blonde girl.
Ultimately, the internal logic of the show is bad. Flat out. With that, it makes this show contradictory and confusing in some scenarios and I can not get invested in the characters because of the abysmal characterization and lack of a supporting cast who also feel like more than cardboard cutouts.
It all started with a broken ankle and faithful encounter over coffee.
Simple, sweet, makes my heart flutter. Like pumpkin custard pudding or black and white cats with white socks or chocolate banana crepes.
This blissful story follows our main protagonist, Akira Tachibana, through her life as a 17 year old high school student. Though she used to be the top athlete in track and field at her school unfortunately after an injury she no longer runs. This has changed her high school life as she overcomes broken relationships and creates new ones.
During a faithful encounter on a rainy day, Kondou meets Tachibana and it gives
life to the girl with the broken ankle. With nothing else to do in her high school life she gets a job working with her boss, Kondou, who she secretly has a huge crush on.
At the Garden Cafe she finds a new meaning to happiness and looks forward to working with everyone there. Or, that is what she thought. Apparently having a crush on your boss, and working along side the boy who has a crush on you is harder than it looks.
The art is very pleasing to look at. Often reminding me of old anime styles, giving a soft nostalgic feeling. It may have nothing special to it but if you look closely you can see how elegant the designs in her eyes are. Especially during heart fluttering moments, the anime wastes no time in showing us her emotions through the art, as if it had a daydream effect. Beautiful.
In 2018, I vote the intro and outro songs as best opening and ending. I fell in love with the way they played out, gives me nostalgic feelings to past anime. Apart from the theme songs the background music gives a subtle flare of summer vacation when I was in high school. I can really hear everything happening around the busy city Tachibana lives in as if I were there.
Although there is nothing special about the amazing sounds most anime produce nowadays. I still love it and give my applause to how far it has come.
Akira Tachibana, aside from her normal life she is a serious and awkward teen who might seem too uptight but is just shy. Aside from being shy, when she smiles I bet she could light up a room. Especially the way the anime lights up my screen during heartwarming moments. The anime portrays subtle clues that she is lonely and she isolates herself.
She loves rainy days the most out of anything, on the other hand Kondou does not like rainy days.
Konou Masami is her manager who has a bald spot on the back of his head. He is just as socially awkward as Tachibana. Often having to frantically apologize for everything, he definitely shows the father in him. He should since he does have a son and is divorced. One could picture how lonely he must be living alone and working much harder than he should.
One thing is for certain, there are many more things to him that meet the eye than being an "old man".
After watching the first episode I jumped right into the ongoing manga series. Although a lot is portrayed differently in the anime than the manga it is still played out nicely. They add quite a bit to the managers personality into the anime and I can definitely agree with their decision.
Unlike most anime, I don't enjoy watching adaptations from manga I have read. I find it easy to watch Koi wa Ameagari no You ni without being bored, it makes me smile unexpectedly.
To think that all of this happened because of a broken ankle.
Instead of your typical romance series, this story takes up on a little twist where a 17 year old high school girl falls head over heels for her 45 year old manager of her part-time job. I must say...this series is such a brilliant reprieve from your usual generic love stories, and it doesn't try forcing stuff, either. I will try to be a bit brief with the details while explaining the best I can.
STORY: An unfortunate accident for our main heroine turns out as a new opportunity in the most unlikely of situations. The story really shines due to the way of how unique
and complex it really is. Granted, this kind of twist to the series may not seem enticing for many people, but it's nonetheless a good one. The fact that our Akira has to overcome past broken relationships and make new ones is quite the journey in itself in addition to the growing relationship between her and the manager. As for the manager himself, Mr. Kondou, it's nice that the experiences he has had with Akira do remind him of his own youthful past, as he contemplates whether or not this odd situation would work out or not. The support characters are also well drawn out, imo, to where they're not always just simple bystanders; granted, some may try to help or hinder the two main characters' growing and developing relationship through the series. The real conflict here is simply this: WILL this relationship work out or not? Either way, this series will have you rooting for the two to be together. Another note: the usage of symbolism and metaphors in the series is also quite amazing, if one gives attention to it.
ART: I must say that the animation style of this series is quite pretty while not trying to be super-duper fancy; it also can remind one of the classic anime style, giving that great nostalgic feeling that true anime fans can appreciate and be grateful for. In particular, the style depicts the character's eyes and facial expressions VERY well, especially that of Akira.
SOUND: The soundtracks are the kind that can soothe the soul with their heartwarming or lighthearted tones; it's also reminiscent of the soundtracks of past series of the similar or same genre. It's arguably among the best anime music so far this season, barring that from the likes of Violet Evergarden. Funny enough, it really doesn't try to do anything particularly special, but that's fine for me, at the very least.
CHARACTER: The backstories they gave the two main characters do very well in explaining and displaying how they got to where they are, especially Akira's. While Akira is usually now very shy, her smile is something to behold, and something that viewers can rave about. It is so heartwarming and amusing to see the likes of her falling madly in love with Mr. Kondou.
For Masami Kondou himself, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, despite being socially awkward and honest most of the time. He also has a son from a past wife, and has had to work things out as a single parent all this time. It's really nice when certain experiences involving Akira remind him of his own youthful past...it can really get us viewers hoping and praying that this unlikely relationship will work out in the end. He's not a simple old man, either...his personality is quite colorful and definitely a salvation from the usual generic young male persona.
As for the support characters, while they don't exactly stand out, they seem to be handled fairly well. Additionally, a handful of them are involved in the two main characters' relationship, whether to help or hinder them. It creates quite the emotional roller coaster, and makes the series more worthwhile.
ENJOYMENT: Honestly, I did not know what to think when I was convinced to dive into this series. But right now, I love this series a lot for the uniqueness of the love story. I mean, cmon...a 17 year old girl with a 45 year old geezer? You don't see that kind of stuff every day!
Granted, while the manga plays out quite differently, I dare say that the anime probably did it a bit better...and that's not me being biased, either. For example, they showed more details into Kondou's personality, making him a more likable character, for the most part. Never at one point while I watch the series that I ever felt a slight bit bored...and it's funny cause I'm usually the guy who really likes all the action and edginess in anime series as well.
OVERALL: Two Words:
While it may not be everyone's piece of pie, it's a dessert you won't regret. The uniqueness of the story as well as the colorfulness of the animation and the soundtracks should be good enough to keep you interested. Even if you're not a fan of romance series, you'll most likely still end up loving this series in particular.
I now rest my case and wish you may enjoy the show!
I'm generally not one to offer review of anything prior to its conclusion since you usually end up with egg on your face, however, I feel the need in this case since it seems that Koi wa ameagiri has not been given a fair shake by the wider community.
The most frequent excuse I hear is related to the age difference - this usually comes from people who'll then proceed to watch any number of Ecchi Harem stacked to the rafters with Lolis. The main female character is 17, which means she's of legal age of consent in most western countries. I'm sure you'll all be
horrified to hear that 17 year old's do sometime fantasize about older adults...clutch those pearls!
Now that the arbitrary excuse for not watch it has been dealt with I'd like to make to case for this anime. I've found it to be one of the most engaging series this season. It's at time funny, dramatic, heartwarming and treats its subject matter very seriously.
If you have your doubts please watch up to, and including, episode 7. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. there is something very poignant about the contrast between an adult who's dreams have been crush by the passage of time but who, nonetheless, remains kindhearted, running headlong into the intense passions of a young adult experiencing her first love in the face of a life changing event.