Akira Tachibana is a reserved high school student who was the star of the track and field team but had to quit when she got injured. Sidelined and depressed, Akira stops in at a family restaurant one rainy day, and after the manager—a 45-year-old man with a young son—serves her free coffee, she is smitten, and soon takes a part-time job at the restaurant. Despite the age gap, Akira is drawn to his kind nature, and little by little, the two begin to understand each other. One day, she decides to finally tell her manager how she feels… but how will he react?
I wasn’t sure about watching this show at first. I knew it was about a younger girl falling for her boss, so I thought it might end up being a bit creepy, and not necessarily because of the age gap, but because it’s anime. You know what I mean. I actually ended up really liking this show. As of right now, I have one episode left, and I’m sad that it’s over. Kondou, one of the main characters and the boss of the family restaurant that the show centers around, ended up being one of my favorite characters simply because he’s not typical. He’s not overly attractive, and he’s not at all charming, but this girl is head over heels for him. I found it endearing. Tachibana, the main character who has feelings for Kondou, was an interesting character. In the first part of the show, we learn more about her. She’s a high school student who used to be on the track team, but can no longer run due to an injury. She now dedicates her time to school and work. In the second half, it’s more about Kondou and his backstory. This anime is an adaptation of the manga, Koi wa Ameagari no You ni. As of right now, nine volumes of the manga have been published. Obviously, I haven’t read them yet, so I don’t know where the story goes, or what they’re planning to do with it as far as the anime goes. I’m hoping for a season 2. The story was good and pretty solid. It’s fairly short though. I would have liked to see more of the story. The animation is beautiful. I like both the ending and opening songs, especially the opening. The main characters and supporting characters were interesting, but I only really cared about Tachibana and Kondou’s relationship. Overall, this was a good show. It’s not really for anyone who isn’t interested in romance/friendship stories. I think there’s a lot more to Tachibana and Kondou as well, such as struggles with loss and connections that are built through pain and failure. It’s about two people from different walks of life coming together during difficult and confusing times. Even though they have huge differences, they share a deep connection.
I was expecting a full-on love story between a 17-year-old girl, Tachibana, and her 45-year-old manager, Kondo, but the story changes its direction halfway through and becomes about 2 people who are trying to rekindle an old passion. The show starts with Tachibana falling in love with Kondo and his response is that she doesn't really know him which results in Tachibana trying to understand Kondo's fascination for literature. Kondo gave up on his passion but is still intrigued by his old passion. Tachibana, on the other hand, has always been passionate about running but feels that an injury has made it impossible for her to run again. Moral of the story, don't give up on something that you are passionate about and try not to go through life regretting things. The art style itself is absolutely gorgeous and the whole show is animated extremely well too. I was really impressed with how they handled the relationship between Tachibana and Kondo, it feels classy which is something I really appriciated.
What I Liked: The two leads (as well as number of the minor characters) are surpisingly complex, with ample time given to their joys and their fears. For an age-gap romance, Kondo and Tachibana's relationship only occasionally tips into morally / ethically uncomfortable territory. Visually stunning, with gorgeously detailed cinematography and enough symbolism to write a hundred analyses. What I Didn't: The plot does suffer from pacing issues towards the end, especially in the final episode. The conflict with Kase could've been better resolved. Final Verdict: After the Rain is less a traditional age-gap love story and more a story about two broken people coming together to learn to forgive themselves and gaining the power to change their life's course. It's a beautifully rendered series, with loads of symbolism and a perfectly emotive score. Sure, the plot gets a bit messy towards the end, but life can be like that until the sun comes out again.
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