Friday, March 2, 2018

After The Rain Episode #08 Anime Review

Summer is slipping away.

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)
If you thought this week's episode would be the one where Akira and Kondou finally get out of the weird, legal purgatory they're in and just make out, then I will save you the time and say that they don't. For those of you who have made it past that first sentence, welcome! Last week, we got to see new sides of both of our protagonists. Kondou finally said screw it to his stoic way while Akira, on the other hand...Well, she kind of just cried a lot. But the fact of the matter is, we're eight episodes into the series now and both developmental arcs as coming to a close. Hell, even Haruka got some more screen time this week and I was pretty confident that we were done with her.

So, back to the task at hand- Akira and Kondou are friends now. I think. Honestly, I'm not really sure. The sheer number of times they have to vocally reaffirm that with one another is actually rather concerning. I have never felt the need to remind any of my friends that we are friends three times in the same conversation. At the same time, however, I am not friends with nearly as many high school girls as I was five years ago. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. We have gone from ever-impressive three female compadres to zero. Are you proud of me, dad?

I digress. The point is, Akira and Kondou have managed to jump over another hurdle separating them. Now that they're more than just 'manager and employee,' their relationship can begin to climb up other steps. This is even said by Akira during a conversation with that girl who looks like she's from Sailor Moon. Once two people begin to spend more time with one another, they can gradually progress into something more. Now, I'm not sure how large the friend-zone is over in Japan, but I think it's safe to say that Akira hasn't really thought into it all that much yet. What she has thought of, however, is a foolproof way to get Kondou's phone number.

While digital access to the manager may be another trophy in the life of Akira Tachibana, this week's real reward comes in the form of some sound advice from the object of her affection. Akira, struggling to grasp the concept of the Japanese classic "Rashomon," before an exam, engages in a conversation with Kondou where he manages to shine some light on it. Rather impressively, he correlates the book to both youth and aging, mimicking notes of both himself and the young girl next to him in another surprisingly poetic sequence. Despite being just some dude with pretty much nothing going for him, Kondou certainly has a way with words. And if you can somehow connect Rashomon to a slice-of-life series about a minor trying to bang her boss, I think the writers deserve some props as well.

In Summary:
To be completely honest, this is the worst episode of After The Rain thus far. From spending way too much time on the symbolism of a pimple to the introduction of a new character from the soccer team for the sole purpose of reintroducing Haruka, episode-eight has a hard time figuring out what it wants to do. While I haven't read the source material, I'm going to chalk this up to another 'Trying to fit too much into too little' situation. It's cool, though. All shows are allowed one or two subpar episodes. And considering that the rest of the series has been an absolute pleasure so far, I won't let this week tarnish my affinity for it.

Episode Grade: C
Streamed By: Prime Video

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