The Nihon Review Forum

The Nihon Review Topic Discussion => Anime => Topic started by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 05, 2017, 03:13:51 PM

Title: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 05, 2017, 03:13:51 PM
1:

Utterly charming.  The director knew what kind of story he wanted to tell from the beginning, or more importantly the way that the first episode would be presented to us.  The idea of a catalyst, in chemistry, is to use a chemical that is not supposed to be one of the reactants or the products and use it as a way of manipulating the environment of the reaction to allow the reaction to progress without major external factors.  In other words, the catalyst would allow a previously nonreactive chemical formula to suddenly become reactive.  One of the main ways this is done is that the catalyst, though the various physical and chemical properties it possesses, lowers the activation energy required for a reaction to progress.  This level of difference can be overcome if you apply more heat, or pressure, or something, but that requires external work to be done on the system, which is sometimes not a viable option.  In some ways, the catalyst makes the impossible possible, and in other ways, it just makes things progress.

Eita Izumi is a catalyst.

The first half of the show is dedicated to doing two things.  First, it shows us several principle characters who are, for lack of a better term, stuck in a rut.  Their lives are progressing towards graduation, in a very lonely and melancholy finality.  With only one semester left before they leave for the "real world", their high school lives are essentially over.  They have entrance exams, they have jobs to look for, and they have lives to plan out.  Clubs don't matter anymore, extracurricular activities don't matter any more, and their existences don't matter anymore, at least to the school.  It is a period of transition, which can be frightening, isolated, and frustrating.  This is true for all of them, including a transfer student, who is going through his own issues while having to change schools in the same situation.  This is his last semester, too, and he has to do it at a brand new school.  That would suck for anybody.

And yet, he is the spark to bring some life back to these unfortunate graduating souls, which is what the second half is about.  No, he doesn't do anything particularly amazing.  He's not an exciting fellow, not an outgoing sort, not particularly interesting, but he has something that makes him a catalyst:  history.  He was a student in this city in middle school, and some of the people he knew then are still here, and at this high school.  That history, that sense of the familiar along with the prospects of new things, are what will spark life back into the others.  He's already started affecting change, for without him, his baseball buddy wouldn't be doing what he's about to do now.  An old flame, perhaps, also has been rekindled.  A curious artist finds inspiration in what seems to be mundane activities.  And a lonely band girl decides to play a song again, not for duty, but for her own amusement.

It was really well done.  Those moments towards the end were subtle and impressive.  The increasing swell to the music, the movements of the characters, the slight brightening of the lighting, it was all meticulous.  Life is returning to these kids, and the director wants you to know that.  This is an iyashikei anime done the right way.  This is healing, this is drama, this is human.  I'll be watching this one going forward.

As an aside, this is director Atsushi Kobayashi's first head directorial gig.  I'll be watching you.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on October 07, 2017, 09:51:42 PM
1:

Hmm, interesting.

I get this that this is a slice-of-life growing-up story mostly for Type B viewers. On surface, it seems like nothing happens and there's hardly any plot going on. However, it doesn't feel right for me to say that; it feels as though there's a lot more going on beneath the surface and a plot is gradually building up only from now on.

One thing's for sure, I like just how normal this show feels. Most slice-of-life shows are actually anything but slice-of-life; there's always an oddball or two, or something extraordinary happens that go against what really happens in RL (at least most of the time). Plus, there's something quirky about the direction. Maybe it's the LINE scenes (yeah, I think LINE sponsors this show secretly alongside Tsuki ga Kirei), or the quick cutaway punchlines. This show is charming in a very subtle way, and that makes it strangely intriguing to watch.

I want to know where the story goes from here. As I mentioned in the beginning, I'm interested.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Zeitgeist on October 08, 2017, 04:49:03 PM
1:

Brilliant.
Though large casts make me wary.

Photo Girl demands the most intrigue as she, as a second year, seems quite out of place and that isnt even counting the fact that without her there would be 4 characters: Obvious Pair One and Obvious Pair Two

"If this is a show about the ennui brought about byan encroaching graduation then I am all for it" is what I thought at the beginning but the characters all seem to have clear goals and are actively(somewhat) working towards them. I am on record having a massive hard-on for high school characters in anime showing indomitable maturity and acceptance of "life goes on" regarding the uncertainty inherent with the post-high school transition. Cool shit.

Kamoshida Hajime, creator of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, is in charge of the script so that is somewhat promising.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 12, 2017, 11:37:02 PM
2:

See, that's the way you do it bro.  Get in good with the kids, show off your paternal side, and panties just drop.

We have an interesting web of tanglededness here with the romantic interests.  I just hope someone doesn't Tada Banri this shit.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on October 15, 2017, 05:35:12 AM
2:

Interesting how subtle the whole interaction is. I'm not seeing a love web just yet; it's more of a love chain for now. And I gotta love the OP and ED; Yanagi Nagi can't do wrong.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on October 20, 2017, 06:03:30 AM
3:

(https://i.imgur.com/9a69Zsg.jpg)

Bruh.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 21, 2017, 03:55:19 PM
3:

I am so in love with how the director wants to do this stuff.  That last 7-10 minutes of this episode was pure magical bliss.  Perfect execution of a series of tied together events, creative camera work and scene transitions, and vision.

I heard this week that the director was fussing with the animation production company over quality issues, and we saw a couple of those issues in this week's episode.  I am worried this goes down hill pretty fast considering the kerfuffle over Twitter about it (most of which has since been deleted), because this show is too damned charming to be derailed by business politics.  But, then you look at shots like the overhead train passing / departing shot between Haruto and Eita, which just looked clumsy as hell, and some choppy animation in places, the usage of stills for at least two shots, and yeah, you can kind of see this starting to break a bit.

Too bad, too.  This has all the makings of a classic coming of age / slice of life story centered around a period of time of people's lives that, frankly, nobody ever likes doing in fiction.  It is unique and fun, and I like the direction.  I just hope this holds as long as possible, because fixing things in the BluRays might be too late for the audience.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 27, 2017, 12:43:30 AM
4:

Things is not going well for our two boys.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on October 27, 2017, 06:36:39 AM
4:

Actually, no one got off unscathed this time round. This is bad.

(https://i.imgur.com/absilqL.jpg)

Even Dawg knows this is bad.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 03, 2017, 07:04:25 PM
5:

Fallout from 4, with new wrinkles starting to develop.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Gadget on November 04, 2017, 07:45:16 AM
5
An the pain just goes on. And Morikawa going to crush Souma heart twice?
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 04, 2017, 12:42:05 PM
It is pretty obvious it isn't that Morikawa doesn't like Souma, but that she's right in that she barely knows the guy.  How many times do we see romances in anime start with some random guy or girl confessing to some random guy or girl based on a lot of superficial or barely understandable traits?  Morikawa is simply being pragmatic.  How can anybody just jump into a relationship without knowing anybody?  I think she likes him and likes certain aspects of him, especially how well he is with her little brothers, but she has a lot of family obligations with said brothers, so she can't just run around doing the loveydovey thing when she's got shit she has to do.  Sure, he could help her with that, but that would not be something she'd ask and if he offered it, it would be creepy.

She's in the right mind.  She feels bad that she hurt his feelings, but she can't just jump into a relationship.  What is she supposed to, just go along with it for his sake?  Her feelings matter, too.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Gadget on November 04, 2017, 10:03:57 PM
My main grips is that in the long run, Souma is just going to work in some factory. And Morikawa will be leaving for collage. And Mio will be heading for collage too, leaving Souma back in the home town. So she's still pining on him. The eyes tells the truth when Mio was having coffee with Morikawa. If Souma us really serious, he should be going to cram school to get his grads up to go to collage too. But he's so laid back about the whole thing. If Souma did that, I think Morikawa will put him on hold, instead of a No. Sometimes, emotions don't make sense. Although Izumi seems a better choice for Mio, somehow but she had rejected him long ago, an continue to reject Izumi.
The thing is the camera nut Ena has alreay making 'moves' on Izumi. Who knows when will Izumi find her 'kawaii'. Mio may end up be the biggest looser
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on November 05, 2017, 05:33:44 AM
5:

The only thing wrong that Morikawa did towards Souma is just rejecting him outright. Sure, the outcome wouldn't have changed anyway whether or not she chooses to delay the decision. It's still the right decision; maybe only the execution could've been better. I think that's what Morikawa's trying to get at.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on November 10, 2017, 08:00:34 PM
6:

*pat Souma's back*

Poor Mio, she doesn't even understand what she's feeling anymore.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Gadget on November 10, 2017, 09:05:39 PM

Poor Mio, she doesn't even understand what she's feeling anymore.

You mean like that Eita still could like her? And now she going to have a misunderstanding cause she saw Eita with photography girl. I think Komiya is pretty conflicted herself.

And it's getting painful (and fun) to see them spiraling to nowhere.

edit
Never spring a surprise confession to a girl that cannot take a hint.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on November 12, 2017, 04:02:07 AM
I don't know if Mio consciously knows whether Komiya and Eita are an item, but the fact that she feels something whenever she sees the two together yet she doesn't understand what it is... that's rough.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: hyperknees91 on November 12, 2017, 05:40:30 PM
6: Natsume is really trying my patience with how wishy washy she is written. It'd be fine if there was anything else to grab onto with her character but ultimately there's nothing to her. The saddest part is she's really the only girl they give any screen time. The drama in this show is far too forced with having all 3 love interests suddenly paying attention to the two playing baseball again at the same time.

Ultimately the biggest failing of this show is too much focus is given to the characters feelings without properly defining the characters for who they are first.