Jun 9, 2019
hexashadow13 (All reviews)
tl;dr: An incredibly well told story of a realistic first love.

This is a story about first love between two characters shown in a pretty realistic manner. There's no special premise, parade of tropes, or an exaggerated sense of melodrama. Because of this, there is a general feeling of slowness, with at times it feeling even slower. But at the same time, it's implemented really well and it feels like that's how it should be. It doesn't rely on larger than life situations to get you invested, but rather the accumulation of being able to empathize with the characters after seeing them simply earnestly living their lives and trying their best over a large period of time. It touches on them working hard at things that are down to Earth and feel right for what someone in their situation should be caring about, such as track and grades, and they react to such situations in a realistic manner. The anime captures a lot of emotions and traits not shown often in anime, like general awkwardness, very well, which makes the characters feel a lot more solid. The relationships the main characters have with others, such as family and friends, also feel realistic, and so even the smaller moments feel like they have a lot of value. And that applies to an even greater extent in terms of the relationship between the main characters themselves. Their relationship doesn't just magically appear, but neither does it appear through the two going through extreme situations together. Rather, it just naturally seems to develop, and then slowly grows stronger and stronger due to them simply spending time together, enjoying each other's company, and being there for each other as they lived their lives. And in the end, being built up like that resulted in me feeling like I was invested in them and their relationship in a really deep way that's pretty rare for anime, and kind of hard to describe, wherein I wasn't simply rooting for them but actually felt a lot of attachment to their relationship. This leads up to what I believe may be one of the best endings for a romance I have ever seen in anime. It genuinely made me question what it was going to do and made me incredibly anxious, before turning around and throwing out an amazing finale, followed by an epilogue that turned the ending from amazing to absolute perfection.

The art was pretty good and there were some really good shots, especially during the last episode. The animation was solid for the most part in that it was good when needed, and though there were cases where bad CG stood out, this was generally during pretty non consequential scenes. The OP had solid audio, though it used temporary visuals for a few episodes that were kind of weak I'd assume to avoid spoilers, but that actual OP visuals were solid as well. The ED was okay in terms of visuals, but really good in terms of audio, though it doesn't really hit home until it plays during the final episode where it has a lot of impact. There are also a lot of good insert songs played throughout that are used quite well, though the soundtrack beyond that didn't leave much of an impression. I would also like to note that the usage of LINE, and social media in general I guess, was done very well and ultimately ended up adding a lot and being crucial to the anime, which I feel is something unique that deserves to be commended. There is also a series of short comedic episodes that help flesh out some of the side characters, though it should be noted that though they are amusing they never actually go anywhere.