Jun 21, 2018
Erasariel (All reviews)
(Review is spoiler-free.)

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.