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Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series – 02 »« Inuyashiki – 01

Just Because! – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「over and over」by Yanagi Nagi

「Question」

General Impressions

Going into the second episode, Just Because! continues to maintain its stride. This time, past relationships between characters come to light, though some details have yet to be fully revealed. However, the general gist of things seem apparent. We learn that Natsume has had an unrequited crush on Haruto since middle school, while Eita himself has feelings for Natsume. To be completely honest, something rubs me the wrong way with Natsume still having a crush on Haruto. I won’t deny it hits too close to home, and not in a good way. Fortunately, both Natsume and Eita are able to display their selflessness by trying to support the respective targets of their affection. This is important for indicating that they are good people we want to cheer on, as well as highlighting the emotional struggles that will underpin their growth as characters. Or perhaps you generally hate these kinds of protagonists, and want to see them suffer and fail, but allow me to still provide some examples of their virtue. At the aquarium, Natsume bumps Haruto and Morikawa together for photo opportunities, rather than seeking to get between them. Eita could have cherished his time alone with Natsume, but tried convincing her to rejoin the main group, which she stayed away from due to pains from her repressed feelings. The situation is totally screwed, but what can anyone do? You just can’t help loving the person you love, and almost no amount of common sense can change that. Only the passage of time can erode away at such wounds.

Anyway, I cannot bring myself to dislike Haruto – he’s such a nice guy! That much is evident from how he gets along with Morikawa’s younger brothers, despite the fact they pretty much denied any chance for him to successfully confess at the aquarium. He also looked to genuinely care about them, as opposed to merely trying to score points with Morikawa, though I could be overstepping in my positive judgement of his character. Unfortunately, I reckon Morikawa won’t be able to date Haruto, because she has so many younger siblings to look after. That will definitely cause drama down the line, and I’d be surprised if Pine Jam skipped straight past such a juicy opportunity. Also, I firmly believe that Sakurasou’s original creator enjoys making his characters suffer, Nanami Aoyama being my primary case study.

I really appreciate that Just Because! is looking to explore LINE in a different way from Tsuki ga Kirei, which had purer and more straightforward interactions. Following on from a criticism in my previous post, I’m happy to see that the LINE messages have become less obtrusive. Anyhow, let me tell you, messaging platforms are great. You can be downright miserable, look like it, and conceal it with a smiling emoji – which is what we saw Natsume do towards the end of this episode. To be honest, I absolutely hate that, but have been there and done it before. Bottling up emotions like that is certainly unhealthy, and platforms like LINE/WhatsApp/Facebook help enable such a course of action, especially in the context of a one-sided crush. At some point, Natsume will eventually explode from all that pent up pressure. It’s a contemporary issue with modern society and social media that deserves attention, and I’m glad that it’s being incorporated into the story.

Concluding Thoughts

Youth is indeed coming to an end. While many in the West choose to go to university, myself included, it’s a reserve of the elite students over in Japan. Most folks enter the workforce upon graduation, making highschool their final harrumph. These kids understandably want to find closure for matters such as romance, and pursue passions like photography where they can, before an inevitable assimilation into the Japanese corporate environment. When death by overworking is abnormally high compared with elsewhere, to the point of requiring a specific word like ‘Karoshi‘, I can see why the outlook is so bleak.

If I had to guess, Natsume will soon realise her feelings for Eita at Ena’s expense. I think the main issue will be how Just Because! can convince me about the sincerity of such a change, because one wrong step might make it look like a rebound. That said, I’m glad that we finally get a show focusing from the perspective of unrequited love. Usually, that stuff is usually reserved for fringe characters, so the time finally came for main characters to receive their share of the suffering. Last time, I wanted Shiina to win in Sakurasou, even though Nanami was a perfectly likeable character. However, I’ll be rooting for the underdog this time. Unlike Chinatsu’s situation in Tsuki ga Kirei, there is no relationship to speak of between Natsume and Eita, so Ena literally cannot alienate my support unless she does something crazy.

ED Sequence

ED: 「behind」by Mio Natsume (Isobe Karin), Hatsuki Morikawa (Yoshino Yuna) and Ena Komiya (Lynn)

End Card

October 13, 2017 at 5:09 am
8 comments »
  • October 13, 2017 at 3:11 pmEndoC

    I’m really liking this so far. I see many comparisons between this and Tsuki ga Kirei, but Just Because! in my opinion has alot more similarities with True Tears. The number of characters, the setting, a character who is returning after a long absence, and how this character’s return becomes a catalyst to the events of the show.

    Eita and Mio’s relationship is very intriguing. Eita is infatuated with the past image of Mio. Presently, I think he just feels sorry for her for still having unrequited feelings towards Haruto. Ironic considering Mio’s feelings towards Haruto is all but faded until his return. I mean, if Mio still has feelings for Haruto since middle school, then why is Eita the only one who knows this. Surely, Mio’s other close friends would have known considering that she has had feelings for Haruto for a while.

    If Eita still has feelings for Mio, then why did he not immediately recognize her the first time they meet? And why did he have a nonchalant reaction when Mio dragged him off to hide from her friend?

    Hmm…
    something does not add up.

    • October 13, 2017 at 6:27 pmZaiden

      Not going to lie, I want to forget about True Tears. The ending hurt so much for me :’(

      But I can see where you’re coming from, in terms of characters, though I reckon the love triangles played out differently.

      You make a really good point about Eita being infatuated with Natsume from the past – mainly because in the OP theme he daydreams about her younger self. That would indicate he’s attached to a past and idealised version, that is removed from reality.

      Also, I agree something does not add up, which is why I suggested that not all the details have been revealed yet. However, I’ll wait and see before jumping to conclusions.

    • October 13, 2017 at 11:19 pmScruffy

      I think things don’t add up because characters are lying, both to themselves and to others. I do not believe for one second that Eita did not recognise Natsume. My take is that he was confused that SHE reconised him and went out of her wat to greet him. In the first episode she was shocked to see Etia in the photo and had to rush tothe window to check him out. Does Natsume really only have feelings for Haruto? Something does not add up. And yes as for to her crush, there must be more to it as why did she not act on it once Eita was no longer around.

      My only real issue with this showisthat Natsume comes across as unlikable. But apart from that I am really liking this show.

  • October 15, 2017 at 2:20 pminfo600

    (Welp it’s been a while since I posted on RC)

    I like how this is going…

    - Komiya Ena wanting Izumi Eita to be her subject in her participation in the photo competition.
    - Izumi and Natsume Mio being sharing the secret of Natsume’s now-long-gone crush on Souma Haruto (and helping the the issue below).
    - Souma’s (open for everyone to see) crush on Morikawa Hatsuki and the ‘attempt’ in this week’s episode.

    The fact that it was already like that before Izumi’s return to the other four’s lives would set things into a faster speed than what it would be if Izumi had not return. (Also Natsume’s OTHER crush towards Izumi won’t even come to light otherwise.)

    Now it’s just Izumi’s flashback that we are missing for his side of EVERYTHING, since he looked like he was already distancing himself during the middle school flashback. (And Ena’s currently-wildcard-like involvement – Cause I seriously don’t see why she would fall for him that quickly)

    • October 16, 2017 at 1:50 amZaiden

      Hey info600! I think I remember you from commenting on my screencap nightmare from last season’s K&M.

      As you said, I really like how we’re missing details, which are going to be gradually filled out as the series goes on. However, I’m not convinced that Natsume has a crush on Eita. If that was the case, why did she look so down and sad when Haruto kept on making moves on Morikawa?

      • October 16, 2017 at 11:08 pminfo600

        (I don’t know what to think on how I’m being remembered – nitpicky(?))

        It is kind of vague on Natsume’s feelings since the only indicator was her extreme reaction of a ‘live’ photo Izumi. Also, I’d also presume Natsume still has her own lingering feelings for Haruto even after 4 years since Haruto is just as bad on acting upon his feelings.

        Like I have said earlier as well, the whole relationship “angle” was on a stand still before Izumi’s return (disregarding how he looked/sounded disinterested at the whole thing).

  • October 17, 2017 at 11:52 amWorldwidedepp

    Rumors:

    Dear Just Because animation Studio,

    I heard (more i read them) Rumors about Production problems with this Anime. The Studio behind the anime is a little one, and they have pacing and timing production problems

    Sorry, if i go there and will sound harsh again, but…

    Are you doing an OAV or Movie? or an Anime?

    I mean, it is noble to show the World, what you are capable of. But OAV TV Episodes are more Ufotable ground, because the have the Manpower and (important) the Budget. Like the Fate series.. But even UfoTable can trip and fall with the face to the ground.. Just look at the “same problems you have” God Eater Anime… They wanted to be “perfect” but their manpower was stretched thin… So, did you watch God Eater at that time, too? Was you disappointed? Yes? Now you go there and are doing the same…

    Do not force the impossible, it is good to make an Name with Quality. but TV Animes is a mix of Time-slots vs Budget vs Quality vs Manpower

    Mastering this make your Name big, not OAV TV Episodes like “5 centimeters per second”, do not burnout the fresh team in an Sprint, you want to run a marathon, right?

    (i know nobody of them is reading here. But i wrote if they would.. No offense, its just my Style)

  • October 17, 2017 at 3:18 amZaiden

    Not at all! You weren’t being nitpicky. Just relating to issues caused by apostrophes and other pieces of punctuation.

    But yes, it’s entirely possible. I’m not a fan of unsubstantiated twists happening for the sake of twists, but humans were always irrational, so I might let it slide.

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