At the end of the second semester of third year of high school, four students are prepared for graduation and feel the ending to their high school life. But that changes a little with the arrival of a transfer student.
I normally don't like posting reviews at the beginning of a show's airing run, just because doing so with so few episodes seen is more like doing a first impression rather than a review.
And I've come to realize that people tend to give shit scores when they drop an anime after seeing, like, one episode, which didn't impress them enough. Therefore, a lot of great anime series in recent years (pretty much all of them) started off getting low scores compared to when it finished airing.
For example, a great show from spring 2017 season: Tsuki ga Kirei, which has a 8.38 now,
started off with a meager 7.1 if I remember correctly. The reason for that: the slow pacing bores some people and they dropped it, while giving it something like 3/10, even though they've only seen 1 or 2 episodes of it.
The same thing happened to a lot of anime series, and it seems that shows that get plagued the most are ones that are completely original -- shows not based on a source material such as manga or light novel, which already has a favoring following crowd.
An original show like this is risky business for the creators since there's no guarantee of success or even profit. But oftentimes, shows that are made this way (such as Madoka Magica, Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc.) stand out among the crowd and are often revolutionary, just because the creators are free to explore and experiment without having to stick to established ideas and format.
Even though the result of such exploration may not be desirable, the originality of the anime makers is something to be admired, and that's why I'm giving this a positive first impression: this show has great promises, and it has delivered on it so far, making it the series I look forward to the most this season. Whether or not the rest turns out great or not is yet to be seen.
Story 9: interesting premise about a major transition in a group of teens' like: graduating high school
Art/Sound 10: best part about this show for me. Some may find the color palette to be bland, but I find it quite realistic, since this show is set in mofo winter. The music is calming and on par with what you'd find on a similar show in this genre.
Character 8: The characters in this show feel like real teenagers with real struggles unlike most slice-of-life comedies. My only complaint is that the character design for two of female protagonists are too similar and I totally thought they were the same person in the first episode. Maybe this is what the creators intended?
And yes, I intentionally used more 'just because' phrase in this review than I probably should have....
Just Because strives to make a mundane but realistic slice of life show and fails miserably.
A barebones story and realistic visuals just aren't enough to make a good show, there should be meaningful content to fill in the gaps. However, that's all that Just Because is, a series of blank gaps with sparse amounts of content that had me teetering in and out of consciousness.
I wish I could say that it is a unique take on a tried and true genre, but it isn't, in fact, it's awful. Low effort produces poor results, and this show is a testament to that sentiment.
After elementary school, people typically fall apart from each other. The story of Just Because is those kids coming back together in high school and meeting up again. Eita Izumi left his town after elementary school but now that he has transferred back to his friends' town he is reconnecting with them.
The story is as basic as it needs to be for the slice-of-life and romance genres. We've seen this structure many times over, and it is not at all improved upon in this show. So far, it follows 5 high school students through their everyday lives. They study to get into universities, hone their talents, and try to get dates. In the first two episodes, the show jumps around at such an inconsistent pace between the 5 characters that it's hard to get a grip on who they are and what motivates them, beyond a 1-word description. In the first few episodes, the characters walk around or sit about with bored looking expressions on their faces, evoking boredom in the viewer. I might change my score if it improves, but right now it is a bland story that has weak storytelling.
Just Because wouldn't be the first show I recommend to someone interested in a realistic young adult romance. I wish I could say that the characters make up for what the show lacks in story, but it doesn't
I feel like the characters were meant to be realistic, but they just seem like cardboard cutouts, totally hollow. Each of the characters can be defined in a single word; strict, melancholy, rambunctious, reserved, enthusiastic. Beyond that, you're expected to fill in the blanks.
That sentiment can be applied to most of the show. Typically the audience is shown a bland scene with a pretty background, sometimes the scene is accompanied by an unfunny joke, and you have to come up with a reason why it's meaningful yourself. Just Because can be summed up adequately as fill in the blanks, the (sparsely)animated series.
If you like giving meaning to a meaningless show, rather than finding meaning in a show that was carefully crafted by a considerate director, then you'll probably love Just Because! Usually, I could look past characters that all feel like hollow shells, but when the main focus of the show is the characters, I struggle to get invested.
Just about every scene has music playing. Typically it's orchestral music with a piano at the core. It's meant to highlight the mundanity of life by being so basic and plain. If that sounds appealing to you then maybe it will add something to the experience for you. I think it does a decent job of establishing tone, but I couldn't care less for how it actually sounds because there have been so many better soundtracks like it in this year alone.
Nice backgrounds if a bit on the grey side, I suppose they do a good job of maintaining the mellow tone. They're easy on the eyes but lacking in detail. It feels as if no one cared enough about including additional detail. For example, when we see the characters' bedrooms and homes they have very little detail that adds to their personalities or develops them at all, which was a huge missed opportunity.
The character designs don't pick up the slack in the visuals either. If you remember how the characters in "Gamers!" looked, then you'll know what to expect here. Sometimes oddly shaped, but usually, they're very standard. There is nothing noteworthy about how they look or are characterized.
What weighs down the visuals the most is the lackluster directing. Most scenes have very boring camera angles, usually pulled far back from the characters making them feel very disconnected from the viewer. Rarely does the director create intimate moments that connect the viewer to a character, they usually feel like random extras in a greater story that has yet to materialize.
I have enjoyed Slice-of-Life and romance shows many times before, but this one just hasn't grabbed me in the slightest so far.
For example, I loved Tsuki ga Kirei, it was mundane but was clearly crafted with talent and care. When I reflect on my time with Tsuki ga Kirei I see that this show has nothing to make it worth watching.
Tsuki ga Kirei introduced its characters and built them into real people with a first-person perspective. Whereas the characters in Just Because feel like robots because we barely understand who they are or what their motivations are. The disconnect I feel for the characters is in part due to an alienating third-person perspective that the show adopts, but mostly due to a banal script and the barren directing style.
The show is shot confidently with long and drawn out scenes like the director can't get enough of themselves, but they did not understand what makes the beautiful mundanity of shows like Tsuki ga Kirei so successful.
Its attempts at comedy are dreadful. Typically when jokes are said there is very little feedback and they are cringy at best but unsettling at worst. The show also uses the social media application Line to show messages between characters, which is another aspect that Tsuki ga Kirei used to greater effect. The messages are usually dressed to look like humor with emoticons and such, but the messages are so nondescript that it could be anyone who is texting, they don't at all add to the characters or relatability.
The reason why I'm so tough on Just Because is that it has taken on a challenge. If Just Because strived to be just another one of the trashy romcoms that we get every season then I would treat it like trash.
However, Just Because has a chooses to be realistic and mundane. I don't believe the creator understood just how difficult it would be to make a good show with such a barren presentation. Instead of aiming to be great he settled on mediocrity, which may have made for a passable show if it was just another harem romcom, but it makes this show feel incredibly underdone.
Provisional Score 3.4/10
Overall, it's really boring, lacking in detail and not at all original.
It sucks to see a genre with great potential reduced to this bland swill.
I'll edit this review as I continue to watch, but if it gets significantly worse I will just drop it and move on.
If the characters are fleshed out and environments are given more purpose, then I could see this becoming a decent show.
Just Because! is the kind of anime which speaks for itself.. I want to get straight to the core points of the review because it's kind of hard to write an introduction based on just 2 episodes.
So, as I said, the anime speaks for itself. By this I mean that it tries to take itself very seriously. The story starts of a bit slowly, trying to give context to the viewer bit by bit as the characters interact and the story continues to pace. I think this is really important because the time zone of the story is like "not typical". So, it does a
pretty good job in explaining the plot. The pacing is absolutely perfect, the slight touch of comedy gives it a bit more shine. All of the main characters are the basic elements of the story. The story itself is nothing too much fancy (as of now) but the other elements, the narration takes it to another level of perfection.
The art style is kind of typical. Now, I don't know what the usual style of Pine Jam studio, because the only I know from their studio is Gamers!. which I haven't watched yet. Now, on it's own, the style is rather simplistic, with backgrounds and some scenes referenced from real life photographs. I think that's a nice touch. Overall the art style is "Good".
The sound quality and the effects are not that high level or fancy. I would tell that it's better than the average. I don't know if people care that much about the sound quality because I personally never had a bad experience with a certain anime because of the sound quality. like I said.. Better than average.
As I said before, the basic element of the story is the characters. The story revolves around the protagonist and some of his friends who are the main characters. Rather than focusing on the protagonist only, the anime focuses on all the main characters equally. We get to see each of their different lifestyles and their goals. Which contributes a lot to give context to the main story itself. I think that we might get to see a lot of character development in most of the characters throughout the story.
Now the best thing about reviewing. I personally have a lot of things to say about this anime. But I want to wait for it to complete because my opinion might differ later on. But now, to me, it's an absolute masterpiece. The story just grabs your attention from the first episode and doesn't let go. I think people might get too much attached to the characters, but for me personally I couldn't relate too much to any of the characters properly introduced till now. Overall I think, It's Great.. A pure masterpiece of story telling..
"Just Because!" is the name of this anime but it is also the reason why im watching this, just beacause... okay, let's jump to review
The story is about a boy who comes back to his old neighborhood where he re-encounters with an old friend of his. As you can see story wise the anime is pretty vanilla wich is not a bad thing but certanly doesn't help to make it more interesting.
The art is ok, but the color scheme is pretty bland giving the anime an even more uninteresting look. Also the animation is pretty unsubstantial from a moment to another you are with a
grounded style of animation an then the show decides to go full on spocon. Sound is good, but nothing to write home about. The characters are more of the same generic slice of life tropes you've seen a million times, with, once again, uninspired designs. Another thing to notice is that the humor is bad, it's all reaction base humor with jokes that don't land.
The enoyment of this series is almost non-existant it is mediocrity at it's best.
Overall don't watch it unless you want to stack another anime or you really like this genre.