Yui Yamada, a timid girl who enjoys tending to her school's greenery, falls in love with the boyish and athletic Tomoka Kase. The two eventually begin dating, and the story follows the pair as they face various challenges in their relationship.
Asagao to Kase-san is the most accurate depiction of a lesbian couple I have ever seen. Being a lesbian myself, this OVA made me so extremely happy and I really recommend it to other lesbians and bi or questioning women.
Although I love this movie, there is little story until towards the end, which is why I gave it a lower rating. The art and music is absolutely amazing. I fell in love with both the main characters, Yamada and Kase. Every moment of them interacting with each other just gave me such a great feeling.
Overall, Kase-san had me laughing, crying, and very happy. I
really related to this movie, especially since I am in a long distance relationship. It had me wanting to hug her so bad! This movie is a must watch for all yuri fans.
The agonizing wait for a good vanilla yuri anime has ended. Asagao to Kase-san brilliantly delivers a finely crafted lesbian love story, with romance and drama blended in perfect proportion.
Vanilla yuri fans have had a rough time when it comes to original anime or adaptations. Although there have been tons of series with undertones of lesbian relationships, outright and/or serious lesbian romance hasn't really graced anime since Sasameki Koto and Aoi Hana (2009) or Sakura Trick (2014). With the recent advent of adaptations of derivative yuri series Netsuzou Trap and Citrus, I had hoped that this would herald a revival in good old
vanilla yuri romance.
And it did with this fantastic OVA. Let's talk about it.
The story in itself isn't anything special or new. Two girls fall in love with each other - one is more experienced, the other incredibly naive - and they go through the highs and the lows of their relationship. The first couple of scenes establish their relationship very quickly (thank goodness), so the rest of the anime focuses on the nuances of an already established romance. It is wonderfully paced, giving the viewer balanced proportions of sweet fluff and substantial drama and conflict in turns. The conflicts come up very organically and feel very natural in the course of the characters' relationship, and they're interspersed with sweet scenes that paint the relationship with further detail. The climax of the story is nothing new, but it was built up and executed well. As a result, the anime is a very tidy hour-long package, smoothly summarizing multiple volumes of the manga in a well-paced and well-executed manner.
The OVA is finely crafted, with excellent art style, music, and voice acting. The characters look and sound incredible, and animation is excellent - you can feel the emotions displayed by the characters from the screen. Music comes up appropriately and with impact, further tempering the mood being expressed in the scenes. Such great execution was very critical to enjoying the story being presented in this OVA.
I actually do not share the complaints of this OVA being too short or not covering enough material. It covered very pertinent strains of the manga and stands alone very well as a fantastic summary of the series. In fact, I had not read the manga before watching this and had a very effortless viewing experience despite my lack of prior knowledge.
If Asagao to Kase-san is any indication of what the future holds for vanilla yuri romance, I am incredibly excited. What the OVA lacks in novelty it more than makes up with solid execution of a high-quality vanilla yuri plot, making for a highly enjoyable romantic anime.
This is one of the most shallow, frivolous anime I have ever watched. It has exactly two good points: Art and cutesy moments (which is at least 50% art, the rest voice acting and atmosphere). But outside of that there is nothing I can even find remotely redeemable about this anime.
A quick list of some of the very obvious problems with this anime:
- SHALLOW characters: Yamada is literally just the insecure, innocent, shy girl. That's everything about her character. She loves Kase, because she is nice? She gardens because why not give her a random hobby. The friend, while being my favorite character,
is still basically just the stereotypical spunky friend, with glasses because why not. Kase doesn't even have a personality, she just runs fast, is popular, and loves Yamada because why not. The only personality traits she exhibits is that she is "nice" and she is dense as a brick when it comes to their relationship (although that is obviously just plot reasons).
- SHALLOW, STUPID, PREDICTABLE story: Shy girl loves the popular girl. Jealous of the attention she gets. Acts shy. Other girl has a misunderstanding, think she doesn't love her. Makeup. Rinse and repeat. Then towards graduation end it with "I'll follow you to Tokyo". Literally the whole story.
- REDUNDANT, OBVIOUS Exposition: She repeats herself multiple times in monologue saying when she started dating Kase & that she loves her. Why? Just show the damn story.
- CONTRIVED Plot & Conflict: Misunderstandings only absolute idiots would have just to further the conflict. Also, they come to the point of tears before communicating at all. Just ask her if something is wrong, stupid. Also, dumb random things. You could clearly see the view of the clouds out of any of the windows, but she was like "You have to see this." Dumb af. Apparently texting somebody in the middle of the night, and them not responding, should be enough to cause drama. Also, the way they make the ending sound was so stupidly predictable.
- LOOSE ENDS & NO CHAR DEV: The little bit of drama, conflict, and character development that might have been dealt with was just left hanging. Yamada never really faced her briefly explored issues of jealousy and trust (proving the relationship was shallow at best). She basically went to Tokyo because she thought Kase would move on, not because she actually was just going to miss her. It was clearly a selfish motivation (or else she would have said something along the lines of "I don't want Kase to feel lonely" which she didn't). She also never addressed her naivety and innocence (Made painfully clear when she didn't know what "do it" meant). They just never brought it up again and she stayed the same sheltered child. Kase never got to truly explore a deeper relationship with Yamada even.
-ENDED RIGHT WHEN THE STORY GOT INTERESTING: The normally innocent shy girl made the rash decision of following her love to Tokyo, and has to deal with acclimating and actually getting into a college there. Kase, who spent the whole OVA trying to deepen their relationship, finally got the step forward she wanted, and their relationship could finally step beyond the shallow bits of high school puppy love. That should have been the rising action, the real start of the story, not the conclusion.
So yeah, it was trash everywhere except the art and VA.
EDIT: I responded to a comment about this review and it made me think of a good point. My review of Asagao to Kase-san may be a bit heavy-handed, but part of that has been because of how well received it was. If I am watching fan service nonsense, I am expecting a shallow experience with no substance. Kase-san's reviews betray it, making the experience similar to diving head first in a shallow pool. It makes it shallowness that much more unbearable and revolting.
I had very high expectations for this OAV since I've been following the manga for a long time now.
I was not disappointed.
The episode tells us the story of Kase and Yamada a little after they start dating (if you haven't seen the PV you should it's only 6 mins long and tells us how they start dating). It follows the general guideline of the manga but since the OAV is only 1 hour long, they decided to cut some scenes which I respect.
Story-wise this is excellent. We can see how the girls struggle but it never falls into angst. The
fluff is here without ever being cheesy, and their love matures but the tone is always right on point. Honestly I'm impressed by the choices made here, every bit of story is carefully chosen and well told, I was completely immersed during the whole episode. As for the animation it's simply GORGEOUS, while the music melts perfectly with each scene.
Being a lesbian myself, I was saddened by the lacking amount of good yuri anime and this happened. This is a gift. I can tell a lot of effort was put into the OAV and I'm immensely grateful.
I'm not sure anyone can hate this because the love story told is just so pure and beautiful. Honestly I was grinning during the whole episode! This earns a solid 10.