Love is Like After the Rain Episode 1: Sound of Rain (First Impression)
Initially I was really worried when I read the premise of this show, but when I had checked out the PV I had the feeling that this story of a high school girl falling for a middle-aged man would be handled with care. I didn’t get any feelings of raunchiness, lewdness, or plain smut for shock value that anime likes to do. I saw from the PV, and especially after watching this episode, of a girl probably confused about her feelings after dealing with a hard moment in her life. I actually feel really comfortable with this episode and am awed by how wonderfully directed this was and how beautiful eyes are drawn in this show.
Akira Tachibana is a girl that works in a restaurant. She’s aloof and a little strange, but under that seemingly cold exterior is a girl in love with her manager, Masami Kondo. Her love came to be after her visit with her chiropractor, due to her sports injury on the back on her ankle (yikes) that brought the end to her days in her track and field team. It starts to rain and she heads to the restaurant where she now works and falls in love with Kondo as he kindly brings her a free coffee as she waits for the rain to end, while also charming her with a little magic trick. I suppose eventually she gets a job there just to be near him and in this episode we see most of her time working there, as well as some snippets at school. This particular flashback scene was nice because of how short it was. It didn’t spend too much time and just showed us what we needed to see, which is what I can say for the rest of the episode. Like, instead of telling us with a monologue how Akira injured herself, we saw her try to attempt to copy the usual track routine, with also a zoom onto her injury. We put two and two together and it’s easy to understand. Showing and not telling really is a strong form of storytelling.
One thing I really liked about this episode was how it was presented to us. Other than its gorgeous animation, the show gave us certain shots depending where the story was and what the mood was. Particularly when Akira is alone, we always get zoomed out shots with a lot of negative space, signifying her depressive side. How she woke up in her classroom after school alone, eating lunch alone, how she stood in front of the track team’s area, etc., all those scenes were zoomed out to really show us how alone and sad Akira is. But when she’s with other people we get the more standard shots. Akira is a quiet character, so through these shots we can understand her character a bit. But she also has a more humorous side, such as when she dropped her plates in the kitchen when hearing Kondo has a son, but learned he was divorced. Her expressions, her actions, etc. With characters like Akira that is aloof and doesn’t have inner monologues, it’s the little actions that have to be observed to understand her. And while she may be aloof, she still acts like a typical high school girl in love.
I think the visuals in the OP is actually what goes on in her strange head. The vivid colors, the weird dream-like scenarios of riding an alpaca with her love. It’s…weird and silly, but I think it’s all Akira’s point of view.
As for Kondo, I’m actually surprised by him. From the art work, I expected Kondo to be a more serious man, but he’s actually kind of a pushover and…pretty lame. ^^; One of the waitresses complains that he’s always apologizing and that he’s pathetic, and the other waitress Akira’s age says he stinks. He’s a nice man but he makes bad puns, he sneezes too loud, sometimes his fly is down, he’s a little sloppy, and…he’s such a dad. Like not even a daddy, but just a dad. He’s sweet and lame and doesn’t know anything about messaging and IDs, it’s hilarious. I fully expect this man to make some sort of dad joke around his son and I want to see Akira’s reaction because she’s completely enamored. I don’t really know why other than that flashback scene we got but that’s why we need to watch more. I like Kondo, he’s lame like I said but he’s seems like a very kind and fair man. The synopsis says that eventually Akira is going to confess to him so I wonder how he’ll react. I’m not sure what to make of the scene in the very end when he imagined his younger self talking to Akira when he thought the boy that has a crush on her is her boyfriend. Maybe reminiscing about his old days, or something else? I can’t tell for sure yet.
I feel like Wit Studio really shines when they’re not doing shows like Attack on EDGE, Seraph of the EDGE, and Kabaneri of the Iron EDGE. I like seeing their amazing animation used in other types of shows, not that they don’t look good in their actions shows because dear lord it leaves me speechless sometimes. But in a show like this with zero action, it has to be used in other ways and again they’ve succeeded. The way scenes were presented, the eyes, the bubbles, the sparkles, and just how pleasing the characters look to me.
I’m just really happy with this premiere episode. I feel confident that this will be a heartwarming, and maybe sad series. I’m sure this show will explore a lot of emotions with its characters and I’m going to get involved with all of it. I’m getting good vibes from this show and I hope people won’t get deterred by the premise and at least give this a chance.
Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed