Overview (Spoilers Below):
A mysterious figure in a space suit floats down the river.
Shimamura (voiced by Amanda Lee of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear fame) talks about skipping class, and how she and Adachi meet in the gym to play ping pong. The two hide behind the screen in the loft while a different class heads to the gym for PE, then enjoy some snacks.
Later, Shimamura is in a bookstore eyeing a volume about ping pong when her classmates Hino and Nagafuji show up. The group walks together chatting, and spots Adachi (Megan Shipman, aka Black Clover‘s Grey) sitting on a bench. She reflects on how relationships are like free diving, and how getting close to someone can be like getting pulled deeper into the water. She doesn’t say anything to Adachi, and passes by with her friends.
Adachi accepts Shimamura’s invitation to walk home. They go to Adachi’s house in the rain, with Shimamura riding on the back of her bike in an “illegal” manner. Shimamura reflects on how wild Adachi’s hair looked while they rode.
When Shimamura and Adachi meet in the loft one afternoon, Nagafuji and Hino join them. Hino invites Shimamura fishing, saying she has to see the “spaceship kid”. The next day, Shimamura is in the loft alone, reflecting on how odd it felt to see Hino and Nagaufji in her and Adachi’s special space. She realizes that’s not what she wants.
She heads back to the bench where Adachi waited for her previously, but finds she’s not there. But then Adachi arrives on her bike. The two walk home together.
While fishing, Hino asks Shimamura what Adachi’s like. Shimamura says she’s not really sure, but is prevented from elaborating by the appearance of the little astronaut.
I’ve had this series on my “to watch” list for a while now, so I was excited to see the dub has arrived!
I’m not generally into the romance genre, but this show has me hooked. First of all: it’s stunning. The soft eye treatments, rosy cheeks, and flyaway hairs on the characters sets up the soft romantic look, while their personalities contrast with considerably more edge than you’d expect from first glance.
The prismatic lens flares and heat distortion lend both a sense of reality and a general feeling of heat to the late summer scenes at the beginning of the episode. The cicada moment also provides a sense of depth, while letting our protagonists show off their personalities a bit more overtly.
The opening theme, “Kimi ni Aeta Hi” sets the stage for the daydreamy pace, while the closing theme, “Kimi no Tonari de” (performed by Akari Kitō, Adachi’s Japanese voice actress) wraps things up with an upbeat but reflective tone. The sequences accompanying both songs give us flashes of what to expect throughout the season.
While the visuals are the main draw, the plot and humor more than hold their own. The pacing might seem plodding to the point of being boring for some viewers, but I think it allows for time to focus on how Adachi and Shimamura’s feelings are slowly developing.
There’s a decent amount of humor to be found in both the lines and the dub itself. AmaLee uses a similar approach to her character of Yuna in Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear to lend a worry free, but still thoughtful tone to Shimamura, while Megan Shipman gives Adachi just enough edge to give her delinquent reputation a spot of credibility.
The lines themselves seem minimal at first, since the characters are just casually hanging out. But that quickly shifts to more playful banter. When Adachi is airing out her skirt, and Shimamura jumps in with, “Oh my, how risque! Show a little more…uh, what’s the word?”
I definitely laughed. Similarly when Shimamura’s voiceover describes her classmate Nagafuji as a “typical glasses chick” who’s “kind of an aloof bimbo, with huge aloof bimboobs.” What even is this show? Interspersing girls’s daily delinquencies and boob jokes with an elaborate visual metaphor about relationships as free diving? Not your typical yuri, I suppose.
CGI pingpong balls, raindrops, and the light delicately reflecting off of Adachi’s bike spokes help lend to the slice of life feel by focusing so intensely on everyday imagery. But the brief interludes of the “spacesuit kid”, especially right at the end of the episode seem to be hinting at a slightly more strange bent to the overall plot.
While I’m hoping for more of a Regular Show approach where the weirdness serves to further develop relationships between characters, it’s possible this series could reach FLCL levels of surreal. I truly hope not, but only time will tell!