Just Because Series Review: High School Romance On Display

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Overview:

Eita has returned to the town he used to live in during his third year of high school. As he is reunited with old friends we see these characters prepare to leave high school and figure out what they want to do next.

Review:

As you can probably tell from the overview, this story isn’t exactly rushing to do much. It really is just the story of the daily lives of these high school students as they think about their future and the people around them. At the core of the story are a couple of romances as Eita’s friend Soma is the love interest of Natsume but has his eyes on the shy Morikawa, and Eita’s had a long time unrequited crush on Natsume but gains the attention of Ena, a junior in the photography club.

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And that is more or less all she wrote about this one. The characters are all very believable as high school students just going through the motions of finishing school and second guessing the choices they’ve made for what comes next. They hesitate, don’t have the conversations they need to have, come up with silly rules (I’ll confess if) and basically mope when things don’t go their way. Despite that, it ends up being an oddly compelling if fairly forgettable viewing experience.

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The animation definitely suffers though. These characters look fine when having conversations but motion (particularly running) ends up looking painfully awkward and to be honest I really just wanted the characters to stay still because at times it was outright distracting.

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Otherwise, there isn’t a lot to say about this. I really enjoyed spending time with this group of characters. They frustrated me at times and made silly choices but they were all characters I could relate to in that I could probably think of half a dozen or so people in my real like that would do exactly what they were doing. The pace of the story is pretty slow and the final episodes really drag, but for a once watch through, this is certainly pleasant enough.

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If you go in expecting a fairly low key romance/slice of life thing, you will probably be pretty happy with this one.

Episode Reviews:


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Just Because Episode 7: Just Because You’re Indecisive, Doesn’t Mean You Can Deny Others

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Review:

Natsume is really annoying me as a character. Okay, Eita is just as indecisive but accepts the consequences of his indecision. He never told Natsume how he felt because he knew she liked Souma (because of some eraser incident that apparently was pivotal in her world despite every flash back we saw this episode giving us the impression that she had a much better relationship with Eita). But, he made that choice and Eita knew that meant not getting Natsume in the end because he never told her how he felt and he accepted that. He didn’t like it, but he would have dealt with it had she ever ended up with Souma or anyone else (or at least that is the impression he’s given). He doesn’t act, but he accepts the conclusion so I can kind of respect that even as we watch him miss out on what he wants time and again.

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However, Natsume doesn’t act. She uses studying as an excuse, she never says how she is really feeling, but she gets jealous and holds in resentment towards others as if somehow the fact that they are having more fun than her is some grand conspiracy to prevent her somehow moving forward. Basically, she likes to play the victim but doesn’t like to do anything about the situation. She had plenty of time to tell Souma how she felt but didn’t feel any compulsion to act until it was too late. She could have accepted Eita’s feelings when she realised how he felt but instead she got angry with him and dumped a lot of the blame for her own actions on him.

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And this episode brings us Ena (photography girl) who has decided after chasing Eita around to get permission to use his photo that he is actually an alright kind of guy and so Ena is asking Natsume permission to go on a date with him. Why Ena would need Natsume’s permission is also beyond me. Even if Ena knows how Natsume feels, which it is pretty obvious, it isn’t as though Eita and Natsume are together. More importantly, it isn’t as though Eita is actually going to say yes to Ena when clearly he is hung up on Natsume. It kind of makes you wonder if Ena is just trying to spur Natsume into some sort of action, but then it kind of seems like the wrong way to go about it. Either that or she genuinely likes Eita at this point which is very likely and to be honest Ena would be a better match.

Okay, I’m invested in this sleepy little love story and I actually want the characters to get a happily ever after but I would really like Natsume to actually do something and not just sit around moping or hiding behind the excuse of studying.


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Karandi James.

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Just Because Episode 4: When You Break Through A Wall, Sometimes All You Get Is A Broken Wall

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Review:

I remember when Tsuki ga Kirei was on and how many people kept saying how real and relatable it felt but I never really got that vibe. That’s probably because I’m catching it from Just Because. Watching Soma build up again to a confession is painful but the show isn’t. This is seeing the pointless and the awkward moments of high school play out with a group of teens that aren’t going to change the world, aren’t actually falling out of society, but a lot of them are just going through the motions and accepting their normalcy for what it is.

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There’s a lot to like this week as the characters all take seem to take a step and the end result is a lot of crushed toes (well, hurt feelings is probably closer to the reality). It isn’t that they have all failed. It is just that life is going one way and they tried to go another and the end result was pretty predictable.

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What I think I liked most this week was seeing Eita lose his aloof and stoic self in the face of Natsume’s blatant self-denial. It didn’t get him anywhere and Eita losing his cool is kind of like normal Eita with the minor exception being that he lets more of his hand slip than normal. Just enough that he regrets it after the fact. It will be interesting to see the fall out of this episode next week and which relationships remain in tact and which ones become strained.


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