[Readers Request] Tsuki ga Kirei Episode 1: Spring and Hard Times
I had said in our preview when the show had come up, that I wouldn’t watch or blog Tsuki ga Kirei because it looked like the type of show that would be a little too slow, no matter how lovely the show seemed from the PV. And it’s very lovely. But I’m still not wrong in saying that it’s slow, even though the slow events in the episode felt very natural. When the show was airing and when it had finished, I saw plenty of people praising it as being one of the best romances they have seen, and I kinda kicked myself for not giving it a fair chance. I always enjoyed the softness of the art but never brought myself to watching it, until now!
It’s the day of the first day of school. For our main characters Akane and Kotarou, it’s their first day of being third years of their middle school. The episode starts off with lots of scenic shots of the town they live in and then enters the school. It’s very typical as students check which class they were assigned to, hang out with their friends, and then attend the entrance ceremony. For Akane, she’s separated from all her track team friends, and the first obstacle she has to face is being in a classroom full of people she doesn’t know. With the help of her squeezie, she manages to fit in and gets called over by someone she met years ago. But she also caught the eye of a certain boy, who also is in her class. Kotarou. Why? I don’t think there’s any particular reason as of right now. She notices him. He notices her. But they never speak. Luckily for Kotarou, his friends are there with him, but he always seems to be fixated on a book. Then without much dialogue or too much time spent in general, the show gives us a quick look into both of our main characters. We see Akane at track practice, and then we see Kotarou head to the library on his own. Both some pretty short moments, but we see how different the two of them are. And yet, they seem to have some weird sort of connection as they meet each other again in the next scene.
I absolutely loved the restaurant scene so much. When Akane comes home from school, she and her family go out to eat at a restaurant. At a table not too far from them is Kotarou with his family as well. The two lock eyes with each other for a second and look away in embarrassment. Why is it embarrassing? I don’t know, but it just is. This is when I really got the feeling of the “naturalness” of this show. Most people would think, “They’ve seen each other, why won’t they just talk to each other? Or at least say hi?” Because the early teen years are weird. I mean, that’s just how kids are sometimes. You see someone from class you don’t really know, in a public place, but you don’t say anything. It’s not that you don’t like them or anything, it’s just that you don’t know them. So…you don’t do anything. Just pretend like you didn’t see them. Honestly, this isn’t a kid issue, lots of adults do this too. It’s like when I see someone that I used to go to high school with, out in public. Most of the time we just ignore each other, but we know they’re there. It creates this sort of awkward air while you try to ignore each other, but it’s such a real thing. And talking about it is actually kind of funny. It was even funnier watching them ignoring each other at the drink bar. Unfortunately for Akane, her sister just makes it worse like many shitty older siblings do when they want to see their sibling suffer, and tells her parents that Kotarou is in her class. So what happens? The parents introduce themselves to each other. This is literally any kid’s worst nightmare. It’s awkward, it’s hilarious, I love it.
The next day, and many more days after, Akane and Kotarou acknowledge each other’s presence but still don’t speak to each other. But it gets even more tough when the Equipment Club (that’s actually a club?) that Kotarou is in is now assigned to work with Akane’s Track Club. Yay. Akane’s friends tell her that they made LINE groups for both clubs to communicate with each other for their duties, and Akane is too jumpy to tell Kotarou about it.
We get another short moment with Kotarou as he leaves what seems to be a manuscript in the mailbox. Looks like he’s working on a novel as his friends hinted at earlier, so that’s awesome! We see him go to a bookstore. He stares at a magazine with girls in bathing suits before picking out a book by Dazai Osamu called Schoolgirl, a book where the POV is of a young girl. Kotarou ends up getting it, along with the magazine the shopkeep so generously gave him (lol), along with a disc. Sounds like Kotarou helps out with the town’s festival. Also, hilarious that he’s getting a sudden interest in girls.
In the end, Akane overhears a teacher call out Kotarou for missing club. She remembers the LINE group and runs after him into a storage room with sports equipment. Again, things start out awkward as Akane stammers and squishes her squeezie, but she manages to tell him about the LINE group and gives him her ID so he could add her later. The air feeling a lot more normal now, she helps him take out the equipment before going off to her club. Later that night, Kotarou adds her ID and joins the group and leaves a little message of “Looking forward to working with you.” She smiles, he punches the air in bliss. The end.
That was adorable as hell. Nothing really happened but I honestly don’t care. I love how realistic their interactions felt. Not just Akane and Kotarou, but also their families at the restaurant. Usually the character’s family members are really static, but the way Akane’s father had such a hard time picking out what to eat, her sister texting at the table and being annoying and squishing her sister’s cheek, Kotarou’s father looking over at them, they felt like an actual family. They felt like real people, and it’s hard for anime to do that.
Yeah, this looks like it’s going to be a slow show so maybe blogging this might be a little tough, but if the rest of the series is as good as this first episode, then I’m going to have fun. And with all the positive reviews I’ve seen, I’m feeling real good.