After the Rain: First Impressions (Winter Anime 2018)

After the Rain, or better known by its Japanese title: Koi wa Ameagari Yō ni, is a seinen manga series written by Jun Mayuzuki that is being adapted into an anime for the Winter 2018 season by Wit Studio. It is directed by Ayumu Watanabe. When I originally came across this title under the lists of shows being simulcasted for the season, I was intrigued. As a pluviophile (lover of rain), the title immediately hooked my attention. After doing research into what it entailed, I decided to give it a shot. Also, Wit Studio is a sister company to Production I.G., whom I am obsessed with, so that also encouraged my interest quite a bit. Upon finishing the first episode, I can safely say that I am very curious, at the very least.

The series revolves around adolescent, Akira Tachibana, who works at a local restaurant as a waitress after school. Her boss, or more specifically the manager of this restaurant, is 45-year old Masami Kondō. Due to an act of politeness shown by Kondō-san in the past, Akira has found herself to be completely smitten with him.

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I have no shame when I say that I adored the rain aesthetics and that is the biggest reason I want to keep watching the show. As I mentioned earlier, I love the rain… LOVE it! The animation is beautiful and does wonders at teasing my pluviophile excitement. The character designs are well-defined and svelte, enhancing their individualism, which is illustrated via dialogue and persona quirks. The colours consist of soft palettes of pastels and muted brighter shades, further complementing the rain theme and symbolism. The animation style felt unique to me, and does a decent job of setting it apart from other shows this season.

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The romance is something that I can see being an issue for some watchers as it falls under the category of being “taboo.” Watching a teenage girl fantasise romantically about a man who is about three times her age is an uncomfortable notion, and not for everyone. Frankly, it does not really bother me too much as I have seen many people with varying differences in age create successful, long-lasting relationships in real life. Most of those are cultural, nonetheless, not completely unfeasible.

Yet, because of the age variances, there is a distinct awkwardness to our female protagonist that is expressed excellently. When she tries to talk to her friends about their boy interests, you can see her floundering via her facial expressions. Whenever she is in the presence of Kondō-san, you see it again as she struggles to make conversation with him, which in turn comes off as her being rude instead of socially-flustered. This goes both ways as Kondō-san attempts to engage with his employees, all of whom are much younger than him. So, the delicate nature of the romance is captured well. The only flaw to this type of narrative is that it moves a bit slower than others. But for development purposes, I do not mind it so much.

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Aside from that taboo aspects, the romance all-in-all has a rather generic vibe to it, with little else to set it apart from others like it. The rainy atmosphere and characteristics are a delightful touch, but may end up feeling stale as the show progresses. That will be dependent on how it is utilised in future episodes.

The first episode for After the Rain was not a bad one, by far. It may not have been a masterpiece, but it has me fascinated enough to want to keep watching it.

You can catch After the Rain on Amazon Prime Video streaming service.

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