Known for skipping class on the regular, two girls lives become intertwined when they find each other on the second floor of the gym. From there, Adachi and Shimamura’s friendship slowly grows as they play ping-pong and hang out. But when something happens that changes their relationship, how will they react?
Disclaimer: I am helplessly in love with this show. Finding something special is an amazing feeling, made all the more wonderful when you make that discovery in an unlikely place. Perhaps you've chuckled at a funny memory for no reason in particular, or found a cherished item you could have sworn you lost years ago. That feeling describes how I feel about Adachi to Shimamura, or Adachimura for short. I aimlessly stumbled across the show while looking for a quick seasonal to watch, and left having seen one of my favorites all-year. Why is that? Because Adachimura is enamored with that same special feeling - of meeting someone you never knew you needed, and seeing your life change forever. This review is meant to be spoiler-free, but feel free to skip ahead to my Tl;Dr if you'd like to go in blind. Adachimura is centered around two self-proclaimed delinquents, who in skipping class find themselves hanging out on the second floor of the school gym. Our partners-in-crime form a fast friendship, which grows into something more meaningful. The show explores the uncertainty that comes with having a first crush, the nuance in navigating social dynamics, and what it means to find someone special in your life. Adachimura achieves this by frequently fleshing out the individual perspectives of our leads. At times it goes as far as to retrace its own steps, switching places to the other main character prior to a shared event. It's all about perspective. Getting into the headspaces of our girls is what Adachimura does best, with thoughtful observations providing the audience with plenty to relate to and think about. However, such perspective would be pointless if both girls were too similar, and thankfully Adachi and Shimamura are about as distinct as night and day. Meeting Adachi was like meeting myself; the only difference between her and yours truly is that I don't happen to be a kawaii high-school girl who's good at ping-pong. A habitual introvert closed off to the world around her, Adachi's walls come crashing down as Shimamura barges in. The hopeless romantic I am connects with Adachi effortlessly; I know all too well what it's like to fall for someone way out of your league. Lazy afternoons in the gym hall take on new meaning, as Adachi discovers a need in Shimamura. The smitten "delinquent" and her tumultuous feelings closely represent thoughts I've had for special people that changed my life. And no, I'm not just referring to the rampant hormone-induced horniness Adachi indulges in. Rather, the element that makes her arc so endearing are the changes she undergoes during this relationship. Watching Adachi's journey through her own eyes lets me know just how much her feelings for Shimamura influence her decisions. She second-guesses every tiny interaction, because Shima matters and is worth the extra thought. She trepidly tests the waters with moving the relationship forwards, because she wants to draw closer to Shima. She celebrates every small victory with excitement and relief, because knowing you need someone and are needed in return is the greatest news in the world. The way Adachi relays my past experiences back to me is just shy of a personal attack; at times her goofy naivety and awkward mannerisms leave me laughing as I hold my head in embarrassment. Having been in her shoes not too long ago, I empathize with her and root for every W she can find. Adachi discovers herself in someone else, and seeing her grow alongside her precious bond felt wholesome and rewarding. If Adachi is a character I relate to, Shimamura then is someone I've learnt a lot from. She's charming on the outside, and caring on the inside. Shimamura has her own reasons for killing time at the school gym. While her close friend is only just looking at life through rose-tinted glasses, Shima is one who's seen it all. She's never had problems clicking with peers around her, in fact she's almost spoilt for choice when it comes to picking cliques. But despite her ability to find her place amongst a sea of people, she feels lost, having yet to experience a bond that goes beyond the superficial. And it's not for lack of trying, as evidenced by her attempts at investing in relationships that didn't pay off. Her once excited, optimistic approach to life now carries a tinge of tiredness and world-weariness. Giving her all to others and putting on a likeable image has taken its toll on Shima. Her thoughtful introspection throughout the series shed some insight into interpersonal relationships from the perspective of my loved ones. In the past, my happiness over the notion that I'm liked by my friends sent my expectations of them sky-high and clouded the truth - that these people are just… people. Individuals, with wants and needs, just as I am. Shimamura showed me what it's like to be on the receiving end of those expectations. The show goes at length to depict how tiring it can be to keep up with changing dynamics, when the status quo works so well. Her caring nature is at odds with the idea that getting too attached to people is an exercise in futility. That is, until Adachi proves her wrong. Once again, Adachimura celebrates what it means to meet someone special, gradually bringing color back to Shima's world. It's a joy to watch her slowly open her heart to Adachi and welcome those innocent feelings of youth once more. Adachimura glitters its coming-of-age story with charm and wide-eyed whimsy. Don't worry about the character introspection being nearly as dry as the essay I've put together, as the show strings together its melancholic musings with some great, witty dialogue. The show is brimming with thoughtful quotables about the human condition, as well as characterization through dialogue that gives attentive viewers plenty to chew on. Adachimura also shares the various ways people share their love through its side characters, with pals Nagafuji and Hino taking the show to new, adorable heights of gay. Speaking of side characters, we are introduced to a literal ALIEN who holds no significance to the plot other than comic relief and playing the occasional deuteragonist. IDK about you, but I find that concept incredibly funny. The Alien joins a looney astrologist and a hack fortune teller as a group of oddballs that occasionally make appearances in an otherwise grounded show, perhaps suggesting that relationships between people are as mystic and mysterious as the zany stuff I just mentioned. In any case, a playful, fantastical charm permeates every aspect of the show, depicting the mundane through cute visual motifs and a vibrant sheen. The art style is quite literally shiny, but not all there for flashy effect; strong direction and versatile stylistic choices amplify the message being shared. All-in-all, the show is just gosh-darn beautiful. As much as I'm in love with Adachimura, it's not a show for everyone. One issue is how the show disobeys the adage "Show, Don't Tell." It spells out most of its metaphors out for the viewer with lengthy exposition. While some who struggle with reading subtext would appreciate the clarity, others might find that this adds to the series' struggle with repetition. Adding to that weakness is the constant use of anti-climax. Sure, using that device a story isn't always a bad thing, but the very nature of it inherently robs the audience from catharsis. Adachimura often succumbs to repetition and a lack of "real" progression. Adachi's frequent compromises are seen as the same rinse-and-repeat plot structure we've grown to dislike. Given my biases and personal experiences, all I can say is that such anti-climax is as real as it gets. 'Cause even if things stay mostly the same, there's always joy to be had in sharing that special bond. And who knows? Perhaps life has more miracles in store, and more ways to open us up to new experiences. Whether you're coming into the world with fresh eyes or have seen all there is to see, life will find a way to surprise us through the people we love. Tl;Dr: Adachi to Shimamura is enamored with the concept of love. About what it means to find yourself in someone else, about seeing the world around you in a changed light. It explores how two girls from different places in life stumble upon love, and how that love changes them. Thoughtful use of perspective creates a deep sense of empathy, as a couple of young delinquents open up to each other. Filled with charming interactions and melancholic introspection, Adachimura offered me a connection that's truly special. 8/10~*** STRAY RAMBLINGS: (SPOILERS): Unpopular opinion: I kinda think that Adachi getting rejected would make for a strong story decision. Sure, it'd tear my wee little heart to shreds and go against everything I've talked about so far. But as an exploration of a dynamic that I'm surely not alone in experiencing firsthand, the pair being separated seems like a natural place to be. Adachi's actions could admittedly be seen as unhealthy, so the story heading in that direction and exploring Adachi's recovery could make a lot of sense. How the hell did the author know I don't celebrate Christmas? Yet more proof that Adachi is stolen from my unreleased (and unremarkable) life story, I'm taking this to court! "The level Adachi wants to take our relationship was so impossibly high that I'd probably need to sprout wings to even attain it." This quote hit me HARD, had to pause for a good 5 minutes and get my bearings back. Who else caught diabetes at the Valentines' Day episode, pretty sure it was so sweet that my toes fell off Shoutout to the VA that played Ekishaman, the fortune teller from the subway station. Not only did she provide Adachi with a great character moment, but she also made the most out of her 3 minutes of fame with some hilarious line delivery. BEST GIRL: Tough pick, this just isn't fair. Gonna go with Brunette Shimamura, seeing her true colors slowly emerge as time went on was really sweet. ***That's a wrap, UmU! As one of approximately 5 people invested in Adachimura, I hope the corny personal stories didn't distract from my thoughts on the show. If you happen to like my verbose rants, feel free to check out my other reviews for seasons past and present. Happy Holidays, and expect more ill-informed takes, from me to you. Peace~
Adachi to Shimamura is a light-hearted, relaxing shoujo-ai series released in this season. Believe it or not, I was actually interested in watching this show mainly because I am a fan of the seiyuu cast, and character designs look aesthetically pleasing. I decided to watch this, and thankfully, it piqued my interest. It has become one of my favorite yuri series, and it's my personal favorite anime in Fall 2020. The main duo of the aforementioned names, Adachi and Shimamura, are the highlights of the show, and I would say that they are some of the best written and most relatable out of all the yuri series I have watched so far. Both are extremes of emotional states all of us have felt at one time or another, and both are fundamentally flawed human beings in different ways. Both of them called themselves as "delinquents" because they had a habit of skipping class. It is their gradual emotional development that makes up the substance of the series, both in general and to each other. Hogetsu Shimamura is a reasonably functional, sociable girl who just has no real attachment to life. She is unwilling to put relationships beyond the bare minimum effort towards them because she feels that human relationships are bothersome and require too much effort to maintain such balance. She is passive, she's never takes the initiative, and she doesn't speak her preference about where the flow of time carries her. She's also a bit of an airhead, as well as being an indifferent kind of girl, and it made her to skip class as well as not being aware of Adachi's own flaws initially. Shimamura has two of her other friends, who are Hino and Nagafuji. Sakura Adachi, on the other hand, is both shy and unsociable. She's so introverted, she finds herself incapable of connecting with others because she can't clearly speak what's on her mind, and it make the entire situation difficult for her. She is very lonely in every sense of the word, she didn't even have much of a relationship with her family. It's this suffocating loneliness that has made her to also skip class. Adachi has finally met her first partner, Shimamura, the first person she ever truly wanted to interact with. Then they eventually became friends and started getting into the relationship together. Shimamura was my favorite because she's actually pretty sweet and humble, albeit she's indifferent, & she likes to tease sometimes. Also, she's voiced by Miku Itou who is my personal favorite seiyuu because of her sweet voice. Then I noticed that Adachi has an introverted personality that is similar to mine because she and I have had some emotional problems. It makes her especially relatable to me, and it also makes her such an interesting, well-written character. If I'm Adachi, I would feel pretty similar when I get to have a relationship with someone because I'm pretty introverted myself, and I wouldn't mind at all if I can meet a person like Shimamura. Both characters are very likable with different kinds of flaws, and both end up in relationship in a pure, simple way at a slow, but steady pace. Hino is a bubbly, petite girl who enjoys fishing, and she often complains not having friends who have a similar interest. Her childhood friend Nagafuji is a busty, mature girl who's also an airhead, and she slaps Hino whenever Hino touches her chest. Those two are both very lovable and entertaining, and they even give some helpful advice to Adachi and Shimamura to balance out their conflicting relationship. Yashiro, the mascot of the series, is a girl in the astronaut suit who turns out to be a glowing blue-haired alien girl. She really loves sweets and she can even eat them under her helmet! Personally, I find her annoying, and she's the only part that I don't like in the anime. She seems to be out-of-place, and I can tell that Shimamura feels irritated when she meets this alien loli. The artsyle of this is both crisp and beautiful, and I would like to give props to Tezuka Productions, which is the same animation studio that made The Quintessential Quintuplets. I'm really impressed on how beautifully illustrated the animations and character designs are, and the lighting helps highlighting the emotion scenes well. The voice acting is incredibly well done, and Akari Kito, Miku Itou, Manami Numakura, and Reina Ueda all have done an amazing job portraying their characters. To me, a plot doesn't have to be ground-breaking to make the anime enjoyable. Adachi to Shimamura proves itself to be a highly entertaining romance anime without wasting the viewer’s time bringing up typical, nonsensical tropes. The main characters are relatable and well-written, and their relationship gives me a wholesome feeling. Adachi to Shimamura is one of my personal favorite yuri series I've watched, and I recommend this to the fans of the slice-of-life shoujo-ai series.
Best Anime of 2020 By Far! I had a wonderfull time enjoying this masterpiece. Adachi and Shimamura easily made my favorite's list. We have Adachi which is shy and has difficulty creating relationships with other people and Shimamura which has difficulties mantaining relationships with other people. I could relate and see myself in both of the main characters , i could see how my childhood was , and how it could have been. This anime does a wonderfull job in every category. Story revolves around the 2 main characters and since Adachi and Shimamura are so well created is a 10 for me. Animation is perfect , at the start of the anime i was reluctant since it wasnt exactly my animation style , but it fit the story perfect and i loved it. Sound 10/10 it fit perfectly. Characters are just amazing! It was a perfect fit with the story and animation , i loved the realism in this anime , every single facial expresion or mannerism was well done. Some of the best and most realistic characters i seen so far. Overall , i would highly recommand it. Adachi and Shimamura are the best.
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