Sunday, January 21, 2018

After The Rain Episode #02 Anime Review

Things that make your heart flutter.

What They Say:
Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling in love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
After a light and refreshing pilot, After The Rain left its mark on Winter 2018 as one of the [few] series viewers should look out for this season. And despite the initial episode not necessarily doing anything that might warrant a strong reaction from the audience, its plot remained what is perhaps the single most interesting story in the entire yearly quarter. Seventeen-year-old Akira Tachibana is slowly but surely falling in the love with her manager. Of course, one of the many things preventing this unrequited love from blossoming is the fact that he more than doubles her age.

In the beginning of this week's episode, two separate conflicts arise within roughly thirty seconds of each other. To begin with, the boy that had been following Akira around throughout the first episode winds up getting hired at the diner. Luckily for Akira, her waitress counterpart (The one who looks like a rejected Sailor Moon character) already has a thing for him. The bigger conflict, however, rears its ugly face when Akira manages to reinjure her leg. When a customer leaves his phone in the store and the manager fails at tracking him down, Akira tears it from his hands and darts down the street, ultimately reaching the man and giving it back. However, once she gets back to the diner, she collapses. Then, in an act with the most sexual tension thus far (And probably the closest we'll get for a while), Kondou lifts her up and hoists her into his car, driving her off to a nearby clinic.

At the end of the day, Akira winds up on crutches. It's clear this isn't her first time with them either as she manages to move swiftly and without any problems for the rest of the episode. But even with this newfound temporary disability, the biggest problem lies within her confused heart. Kondo winds up calling her that night, setting off fireworks inside of the young girl. What makes it even worse is that the very next day, the two run into each other and wind up going to a nearby restaurant. Kondou apparently wanted to apologize to Akira's parents for the inconvenience he has caused. Of course, Akira fends this off and mentions that he had not done anything wrong whatsoever. In fact, she even takes it a step further by- woah, confessing to him right then and there? That sort of thing is supposed to take like, four episodes minimum.

Of course, Mr. Kondou simply takes it as an, "I don't hate you," and winds up buying Akira even more food in a celebratory fit. The episode then cuts to an abrupt close and we finally get to hear Aimer again. Hooray!

In Summary:
After The Rain takes the melancholic elements of its first episode and manages to weave in heavier hints of romance. With Akira sprinting down a path that is sure to be ridden with complications and misunderstandings, this series has already gotten off to a well-paced start. The fact that it is also accompanied by a clean, almost minimalist art style and a relatively cinematic-feeling score only winds up turning the series up several more notches. If After The Rain continues to improve at the rate it has over just one episode, I'm positive the end result will be something quite difficult to overlook.

Episode Grade: B+
Streamed By: Prime Video

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