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.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Gadget on November 25, 2017, 07:45:22 AM
7
What the hell 'No'? Knowing that Eita got the hots for you and you only got your eyes on baseball boy, and now photo girl want to date Eita and you say no? Now that baseball boys got a chance with band girl, and Eita now  is back up boy?
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: hyperknees91 on November 26, 2017, 02:18:27 PM
7: Essentially yes. Natsume is such a shit character, but Eita really isn't much better.

Look I'm ok with the main character being obsessed with her I guess, but really nothing really shows why he is so obsessed other than...."Just Because" (yes you are allowed to shoot me for that). Like honestly, it's kinda pathetic in a sense. This is turning into KimiKiss.

I'll probably finish it up but this episode in general just made me want to drop the show. Just really cheap ways to garner sympathy for both girls from the director here. Like Natsume gets the short end of the stick? When has that ever been present in this show until Eita has to say it for us? The cop thing was stupid as well, but at least it was over quick and easy.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: hyperknees91 on November 30, 2017, 01:50:03 PM
8 : And the show is self aware that what Eita is doing is moronic. Doesn't make it any less stupid.

Natsume once again displays how shit her character is. First you say "no" and then you proceed...to do absolutely nothing about it. Like cmonnnnn do something do anything. But nope just gonna continue to mope...probably until the very last episode.

Komiya, Haruto and Morikawa make this show somewhat tolerable but god dang.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Zeitgeist on November 30, 2017, 02:23:51 PM
2:

Was the triangle necessary? The purposeful pacing and meaningful scene composition remains so I dont even mind. This production has established that it knows what it is doing.

This guys is playing at high level - get in with the sibling. It not only shows a paternal instinct but those rugrats will sing your praises all day long.
I cant tell how old these God Damn'd kids are. I was waffling between 5 and 10. Seeing as one tripped and began to cry I guess they are closer to 5.

I like that Morikawa's female friend seems to be onboard the ship. We don't need any more plotlines. Though it could just as easily be that she herself likes Kuwabara.

3:

I like Photo-chan.
I am curious if Natsume, through her own actions, is going to wind up a non-entity.

Why are they still using the same group chat conversation?

Why the **** is the dog's name Kevin?

4:

I'm glad Natsume was called out regarding her exams. Frankly I was tired of hearing about them.
Not looking forward to that one friend of Natsume starting shit with Morikawa

5:

To school we go...or not.
Kuwabara conveniently finds his post-school legs.

I'll always dislike the "turns down date cause 'I don't know you'" thing. Accepting a date isnt accepting a marriage proposal. Dating is the process by which you come to know someone. Though I will say it is very much true to their age. This very obvious realization isnt had by most until you are old enough to have spontaneous encounters with strangers and your pool of potential social interactions isn't defined solely by those you were assigned to be near for hours a day(school). When you are of college age or have joined the work-force you will start to have an infinite number of small instances where you interact without someone as your life doesnt consist of just waking up, going to school, and then coming home. You'll get gas, or buy groceries, or simply take a walk. Every time you leave your house you're exposing yourself to an opportunity to meet someone...I think you get the point. Though Morikawa is justified in that she will be leaving for college in the coming months, but her rejection was primarily framed from the whole lack of knowing him angle. None of this is much of anything since this doesnt seem to be the show's actual position

6:

Photo-chan just makes me smile. Both herself and all of her scenes are as if they are from an entirely different narrative. I honestly don't know why her character exists. Her inclusion seems token, as if this were a visual novel adaptation and they were including parts of her route despite Natsume's being the one they were adapting. Photo-chan is completely divorced from the established friend group. Her scenes occur in literal isolation. She may as well be a figment of Izumi's imagination. Though it is really going to crush me when genki Photo-chan is all sad and shit.

Eavesdropping. Everyone's favorite narrative short-hand.
 
I am interested to see how Natsume will play out. She is looking to be the loser for Kuwabara and I want to see how she will handle Izumi's affection. The cast is young. I hope they misplay this shit White Album 2 style.

7:

Where are Morikawa's parents? Have we ever seen them?
This whole snow fiasco is just so basic. Since I mentioned that the writer of Sorata was doing the script, this exact scenario happened in Sorata with the voice acting girl and her audition. Since I mentioned basic-bitch shit, the Main Guy wanting to take the exam for the better school his love interest will be attending is also present in literally every shoujo manga which involves a  transition from middle-high school or high school to college. Except, such a decision is usually made at the conclusion of manga where the characters and couples have been explored throughout the story's run, not in the middle when absolutely zero characters and zero relationships have been fleshed out.

Must be a small ****ing town.
WTF.
Why are the clothes at the store actual photos rendered as texture? I may be retarded. I'm getting tired.

Might be a bit late to characterize Natsume. I already prefer Photo-chan.

8:

Still no Morikawa parents.
Natsume and Izumi coordinating sweaters.

Serously why is Photo-chan even in the story?

Jesus, can characters not leave their ****ing homes without running into one another? It's as though the writers threw out the school setting only to then realize that they now have no reason for 2 characters to reasonably be in the same location.


I dont even care anymore. Why cant I bring myself to give a shit about anyone save for Photo-chan? The first few episode were great. What happened? Classic example of how easy it is to establish characters and scenarios but you will eventually have to actualize said characters and scenarios. Tone is ease. Detail is hard. Why cant the things I like persist?
They really botched the B plot-line of this series. Kuwabara and Morikawa established themselves far too quickly. With their relationship status on pause, and neither having anything else by which to define themselves, they have been non-entities for episodes now.

Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 30, 2017, 04:38:41 PM
8:

Komiya is a young maiden in love who knows what she wants.
Natsume is a young maiden in love who doesn't know what she wants.
Eita is a young man in love who knows what he wants.  Or at least thought he did.
 
The problem here is Natsume.  Komiya is just acting on her impulses and instincts.  For whatever reason, she's fallen for Eita, and has more or less told him as such by the end of this episode.  Natsume has been an aggressor with Komiya, but not with Eita, and is still using her entrance exams as an excuse, even though her sister called her out on applying to that school in the first place.  Nastume has no direction.  She's doing to her sister's school, because it is easy and familiar, and she doesn't know what her future is.  She calls the others "traitors" for knowing what they want to do in life. She doesn't like change either, which is why she never confessed to Haruto and why she's having a hard time with Eita, even though she clearly likes him.  What is unusual is that she didn't really fight Morikawa, but she's willing to fight Komiya.  I wonder why that is.  Granted, she's not willing to fight FOR Eita, she just doesn't want to let Komiya win either.  Either of them winning would disrupt the status quo.

Natsume is a frustrating character, because she's the kind of person who will continue to avoid doing anything for herself until it is pressed right in front of her and she's forced to make a decision.  She's a coward, and cowards are routinely hard to root for because they typically remind us of ourselves.  Some will hate them, some will wish they'd do what they couldn't.  In either case, cowards make for frustrating characters.  Komiya has fears, but doesn't let them dominate her.  Well, okay, maybe Natsume just needs a fat cat to help her out, too, but she still went through with it.  She's also willing to fight Natsume, but at the same time wants to win Eita.  That's the crux of the problem here.  There is a one sided competition going on here, and Eita is no help.

Though what was with that clumsy end scene.  We just ended the Komiya Eita date on a stinger, and then they have a mood breaking moment with Morikawa and her new clothes.  What the hell.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on December 02, 2017, 10:27:47 PM
7-8:

(https://i.imgur.com/qC7dvGH.jpg)

Why are the animals always the ones to know what's up.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: hyperknees91 on December 07, 2017, 02:47:28 PM
9: Literally the only thing this show is doing is making me feel bad that Komiya is going to lose at the end. They really did a good job of making her a very cute character.

Though I will say this is the only episode where Natsume actually showed some appealing traits. It took far too long though, so unfortunately I still find her character to be a giant miss. Especially for the main girl.

But most of all this whole switch university plot line is dumb as all hell. Like seriously it might be one of the dumbest things I've seen in a long while. Both characters deciding to go to a university based on their love interest is just...like cmon. Do these characters like have any interests or passions at all?

Anyway dropped, not even enjoying it anymore.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Zeitgeist on December 30, 2017, 11:57:26 AM
Just Because

I love Photo-chan's design. She just is a dog. Specifically, she a bloodhound. Her bangs mimic droopy, floppy ears. She's great

I do find the question "Why are you going to college?" fundamentally fascinating. Seeing how I passively was an honors/AP student the question simply wasn't an option. College, for me, or rather, those who sought to guide me, was a given. Sadly, with America's, or at the very least New York's, segregated curriculum, I never interacted with the other 90% of my would-be graduating class once I entered the honors program in the 6th  grade. The anime character I always find interesting are the Yusukes(Yu Yu Hakusho), the Kin-chans(Itazura na Kiss), the Taka-sans(Prince of Tennis)...characters for whom college wasnt an option and had a different life experience than myself. And sure, all three of them basically lucked into a career, the same career hilariously enough(Yusuke inherits his father-in-law's restaurant, Kin-chan takes over Kotoko's Father's restaurant, Taka-san inherits his family restaurant), the basic fact that their perspective at that point in their lives differed so much from my own makes them interesting.

Omg the convenience store scene. My heart.

10

What is worse(as a narrative device): eavesdropping or misunderstanding? Don't bother with an answer. This show employs both, constantly.

The scene with Kuwabara and W/E, while itself great, just feels like a separate show.
The charms were a great touch. I've never seen something like it and yet it seems like such an obvious over the top gesture that would often be used. All the more reason to be annoyed Photo-chan exists.

Of course the results of her shit and his, unrelated shit, occur the same day.

11:

Is the taking of, or passing of, an entrance exam a binding commitment? This plotline ought be noting more than a "lol we tried to go to each others' schools." as they both proceed to go to the objectively better school.

12:

Honestly, it didn't handle Photo-chan's inevitable loss all too poorly. Though I suppose most of my lack of an emotional response is more due to no longer giving a **** than the show nessacarily handling the scene well.
Nevermind.
When Komiya began to cry it was devastating...the scene was also done well.

the home rn sequence was nothing short of ridiculous.
I had little desire to continue after Komiya's rejection. I liked her. I felt an oblogation to see her arc through to the end. I font gve a **** about the rest of these boring assholes.
This may have been the most unsatisfying conclusion to something I gave zero shits about I have ever seen.
They literally havent communicated in atleast a month(not that they ever shared a meaningful interaction) and all of a sudden she texts him "turn around."...and then "lawl actually we're goin to the same university and also I love you."
*roll credits*


Photo-chan should have never existed. She was never more than a divorced plot device. While she did compel me to watch the series, the treatment her character received would never allow me to actually spend money on the show. Her existence is inherently paradoxical. This show is just a shitty Tsuki ga Kirei(The OST of which I own). She wasn't even given a proper arc or resolution. She gained nothing from having fallen in love with the Main Guy. The photo which allowed her club to persist was taken EP 1. Nothing of consequence, or interest, happened to these characters as a result of the narrative.

This series did have some good editing, on occasion.

4/10.
shouldn't be watched.

Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 31, 2017, 03:38:50 AM
That last episode was a damn drag.  I don't care that Komiya got rejected.  You're talking about a guy who has harbored a crush for years vs. someone he just met a month ago.  Sure, things can change, but this is anime, so no they don't.

The reason I don't like this ending is we have two ****ing retards as main love interests.  Between Eita and Natsume, you'd think that, somehow, someway, they'd communicate a little better, but no.  I don't know how many months pass between graduation and their college meetup, but Jesus Christ are you trying to tell me NEITHER ****ING ONE OF THEM TALKED TO THE OTHER THAT WHOLE TIME!?  Was Natsume just going to be cute and set up the whole "I'll just surprise him at college!" thing?  And what about Eita?  Was he not going to tell her just because he didn't get into her school?  Was he just going to go "well, I didn't make it, so I guess I'll just forget about her, even though I dumped the second option for no reason then."  Let us ignore the plot convenient issue of him failing to get into her first choice and she succeeding in getting into his, nevermind neither one of them knowing the other was trying to **** the whole thing up by doing something different... y'know, because they don't ****ing communicate, but none of their FRIENDS THOUGHT TO DROP THEM A LINE EITHER!?

That ending was ****ing stupid, brought about by two morons who didn't talk, even though they had every reason to do so except they were goddamned stupid.  **** that ending.

6/10 otherwise.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: AC on January 05, 2018, 09:39:35 PM
Final:

I actually like the ending. Didn't infuriate me as much as it did for TIF; at least there's no teenage angst or anything that often plagues high school dramas. There's that feeling that things just happen for no apparent reason throughout this show, and I approve that theme.

It's a 7/10 for me. The production values are poor AF and it's not a strong 7 for me either, but I like how natural this show feels.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 06, 2018, 12:36:54 AM
I'm fine with the resolution, just the execution was retarded.
Title: Re: Just Because!
Post by: Major Tom on January 17, 2018, 06:50:17 AM
I dunno, I kind of liked the end. But after the episode in which we learn that Komiya realises she has feelings for Izumi we also find out that she has no chance and is no competition to Natsume, it kind of let the air out of the rest of the show. With no actual tension, Natsume's epiphany didn't have a lot of force behind it.

Though I did get annoyed at the end, much like TIF did. Natsume, you sent him 2 messages. You have his number. Call him. You know where he lives, GO TO HIS GOD DAMN HOUSE. I don't think the end would have been lessened if did know that she got into Joei.

yeah, 6/10. Could have been better.