Friday, February 9, 2018

After The Rain Episode #05 Anime Review

The scent of rain

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)
The last several weeks have been both literally and figuratively packed with rainclouds. Considering we're dealing with a budding romance between two characters with an almost thirty-year age gap, I suppose expecting anything less than that, though, would be kind of silly. But with every rainstorm comes an inevitable sunshine sometime after. This week, that sunshine comes in the form of a joyous child and his hamster named Tsubu.

If you couldn't tell from my segue, Kondou's son procures a new pet in the fifth installment of After The Rain. However, when he shows up to The Garden to show off his furry friend to his old man, he's met with the news that today is actually his father's off day. Being like six or seven or something (I honestly don't remember the kid's age. He's young), Yuto can't just walk across town by himself. Of course, Akira jumps at the first mention of Kondou's name and offers to walk him there once her shift ends in only a slightly-stalkerish way.

When they finally reach Kondou's apartment, Akira takes her "totally not a stalker" personality up even further by hiding inside of Kondou's closet until almost passing out from heatstroke. Before we get to that, however, I do want to mention that the stark contrast between Kondou's living quarters and Akira's further drives home the star-crossed lovers' theme. While Akira's room is brightly colored and clean, Kondou's entire apartment looks like that of...well, a divorced 45-year-old man. There's garbage strewn all across the floor, empty cigarette boxes laying around, and plenty of books about how to successfully be a manager. It's clear the director wants us to recognize this based simply upon the amount of time spent detailing each and every half-burnt cigarette and trash can.

Okay, back to the closet. When Akira finally busts out in order to preserve her life, Kondou is a little bit surprised, to say the least. In fact, he's so surprised that he even has his son pour tea all over her to cool her off...All right, that's not exactly how it went down- but it may as well have been. With her blouse now ruined, Akira's dreams come true when she gets to wear one of Mr Kondou's t-shirts. Kondou, on the other side of things, heads over to the laundromat and somehow thinks washing Akira's clothes will be rightful penance for fawning over a teenage girl. 

While rain has been used up until this point as a means of signifying clouded judgement or emotion, the rain in this scene takes on a different meaning. Despite beginning in the same manner, with Kondou quietly contemplating his current position, it's cast aside when Akira and Yuto show up with an umbrella. Suddenly, the rain seems less treacherous. So much so that when Akira drops the classic "I want to know more about you" line, Kondou only stammers moronically for roughly five seconds- a new all-time record!

In Summary:
What episode five lacks in plot, it makes up in character development and subtle hints at the world surrounding our protagonists. Small things like the restaurant staff warming up to Kondou and even something as simple as the mention of Yuto's mother go on to sculpt a completely believable setting. With relationships advancing all around, not just between Kondou and Akira, After The Rain remains steadfast in its pursuit of being the most brightfuly melancholic series of the season. As always, I am very much looking forward to the next episode.

Episode Grade: B+
Streamed By: Prime Video

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