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Just Because! – 03

「Andante」

General Impressions

Since this is my final episode of coverage for the mean time, I may as well express some opinions that I can’t contain. Ena shines through, and I really like her a whole lot. Comparatively, Natsume lacks her sassy charm, and does not compensate in other areas. Ena has a clear goal in mind, and actively chases after it by trying to win an amateur competition, in order to rescue the Photography Club from disbanding. This kind of passion greatly contrasts Natsume, who I dislike for several reasons. First of all, she is frustratingly indecisive. Secondly, she treats Eita quite badly, while offloading some personal problems onto him. What’s more, Eita even calls her out for being hypocritical, and I’ll take his side on the matter. If she doesn’t want to be Ena’s model, then what makes her think Eita would want to be one, considering his somewhat reclusive nature? In my opinion, Natsume had a trivial reason for arranging a meet up. Couldn’t she have given Haruto’s LINE ID herself, or arrange digital contact between Eita and Ena, thus circumventing the need to meet up in real life? Not only is she wasting Eita’s time, which is incredibly selfish, but she is also wasting her own time and not doing herself any favours. If Natsume comes out on top, a lot of work is required so that the inevitable result does not seem like an inconsistent copout. Otherwise, I might end up rioting, and I imagine others would do so as well.

Onto the supporting cast. I’m not seeing anything special about Morikawa, whose personality is plainer than cardboard, and flatter than justice itself. That said, I can sympathise with her situation. She cannot follow through on her dreams of music, because family business obligations require her to remain in Kanagawa. This is also corresponds with the underlying theme of youth ending, alongside aspirations, as seen when Eita and Haruto gave up on baseball. The call of an adult world can sometimes be cruel. Incidentally, her dear friend Yoriko probably ranks second in terms of female characters that I like. She tries hard to be a wingman for Haruto, yet brutally laughs at him when he comes up short due to cynophobia. That scene left me in stitches, and hopefully Haruto can overcome this obstacle in his quest for Morikawa’s affection. With the help of both Eita and Yoriko, what else does he even need to fear?

Concluding Thoughts

Although the show exudes a pleasant ambiance, nothing has particularly grabbed my attention. Of course, I can feel the tension slowly building up as teenage hormones start to run wild. However, there’s no indication that we’re coming anywhere near that point yet. As time passes, I also find myself liking Natsume less and less. Not that I would know, but if many others share my sentiments, Pine Jam are playing a dangerous game here. There won’t be ample opportunity for character development to take place either, since Just Because! will presumably span the 2-3 months left before graduation. In other words, Natsume’s chances of redeeming her own character are becoming increasingly limited. And can they find a way to sort out obtrusive LINE messages? These are issues that continues to persist, much to my chagrin.

Yet even with all these complaints, I’m actually holding a great deal of affection for this series. Maybe because a good chunk of the story parallels personal experiences, which are true to life? Hard to say. I’ll certainly stick around, because I want answers for my other questions, such as Yoriko’s crush or Morikawa’s true thoughts. However, I’m still rather concerned, the studio seem to be making life unnecessarily difficult for themselves. Last I heard, their director launched several complaints on Twitter. So I’ll make my leave, by disembarking from further coverage before I end up sinking alongside this ship.

October 21, 2017 at 10:34 am
24 comments »
  • October 21, 2017 at 3:21 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    • October 21, 2017 at 3:29 pmZaiden

      Which will make it all the more heart-breaking, because Natsume’s victory is written in the stars.

  • October 21, 2017 at 3:30 pmLittle Tangerine

    I don’t trust any man who’s bad with dogs.

    • October 21, 2017 at 3:34 pmZaiden

      Relevant profile picture :^)

      Cats seem to love me, so I have a degree of affection towards them. I’m neither good or bad with most dogs, but the small dogs all seem to hate me :/

      As far as I’ve counted, that would be 2/2 Chihuahuas in my life. Don’t know how I would handle Kevin.

      • October 21, 2017 at 3:44 pmLittle Tangerine

        Oh. That’s okay. I don’t consider chihuahuas as dogs: I consider them as rodents.

        Kevin is a beagle or some kind of small hound mix. They’re one of the sweetest and most sociable of dogs.

        Cats are great too.

      • October 21, 2017 at 3:52 pmZaiden

        Sounds good to me, but I already have set preferences.

        Just wait till I get a Boston Terrier, and call it ‘Iggy’. A Pomsky called ‘Tetsuya’ would work as well. Or a Pug called ‘Apo’.

  • October 21, 2017 at 4:43 pmEndoC

    Zaiden, it is unfortunate that you’re not going to continue converge of this show. With that said, I agree with your post. This episode felt like a needle to the balloon of interested that this show created in the previous two episodes. Back then, this felt like a slice of life anime. Now, it feels like a chain being dragged by Morikawa whose dragging Haruto, whose dragging Natsume, whose dragging Izumi… I will presume that Komiya will learn of Eita’s feelings and would try to push him to take action.

    It would only take one pair to mess this chain up and eventually this show. Perhaps I expected way too much from this anime for it being an original work. Agh… all that wasted potential. It felt authentic, now it feels generic. They should have put Morikawa and Haruto at the promotional videos and posters of this show instead of Natsume and Izumi. All the intrigue between Natsume and Izumi are gone, its just black and white.

    If Natsume ends up with Izumi despite that she has had feelings for Haruto for 5+ years… well this show is terrible. Yep, deep feelings can be switched like a turning on the lights

    • October 21, 2017 at 5:22 pmZaiden

      If I weren’t a university student with so little time on my hands, I probably would have continued covering Just Because.

      It did start with a refreshing authenticity, that has quickly declined into mediocrity. Premise was promising, but the execution on characters leaves much to be desired.

      And that’s precisely what I meant about inconsistency. How am I supposed to take things seriously, when Natsume is going to suddenly decide that she reciprocates Eita’s feelings? I can only describe it as watching a car crash unfold in slow motion, knowing fully well that the airbags aren’t going to deploy.

    • October 22, 2017 at 3:56 pmLin

      Well, if I know my anime 101 as well as I think, then the show will start by making Natsume get over Haruto first. She already accepted to help him with his fear of dogs, so they’re gonna have some much needed interaction, which I believe will lead to Natsume getting over him.

      Next the show will have deal with Izumi’s character development, specifically his denial of his feelings for Natsume. He has to stop running away from his feelings and I think his interaction with Ena will lead to that.

      Then in the last third of the show, we’ll have Izumi and Natsume getting closer. They are already pretty close as friends. They only need a little push to go beyond that.

  • October 21, 2017 at 6:08 pmMaou

    http://randomc.net/image/Just%20Because/Just%20Because%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2017.jpg

    Reminded me of kaoru(amagami)…her personality and curly hair, too bad she will be rem’ed at the end.

    • October 22, 2017 at 2:24 amMagnus Tancred

      I actually called her photo-sexhair in the first episode. :P

    • October 22, 2017 at 3:32 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Yeah, I didn’t think much of Ena in the first couple episodes, but this episode really made her stand out more and now she’s probably my favorite girl unless they pull something really big with one or more of the others.

  • October 21, 2017 at 9:51 pmtheirs

    I picked this up because of the reviews for the first two episodes, so thanks for that. I understand why you’re not continuing with this. Not healthy analysing this when one of the main characters irritates you. Though ironically, one of the reasons I’m going to continue watching is because none of the characters actually put me off. Other reasons would be cause it’s relaxing and Canon™ gear.

    Favorite character so far is obviously Ena. Got a soft spot for passionate amateur photographers. None of the boys stand out so far. As for the other girls, I’m just hoping Hazuki gets more character development. I actually find Natsume pretty normal for a teen. (Sadly know many more girls that are a lot more annoying than her)

    http://randomc.net/image/Just%20Because/Just%20Because%20-%2003%20-%2003.jpg
    I guess this picture sums up my primary interests in this show.

    • October 22, 2017 at 5:00 pmZaiden

      I’m also going to continue watching the show, but with university schedules, coverage would be a pain. It’s worth noting that my dislike for Natsume kind of stems from projection, so it’s not that unhealthy. I’d fumble about the way she did with her unrequited love, and seeing so much of myself in her character makes me uncomfortable. Ironically, she’s probably the character I understand the best.

      My interest in cameras if facile at best, so I can’t really comment on that particular aspect of Just Because!. They do seem pretty cool! What will keep me around is probably any prospective angst resulting from love triangles.

  • October 22, 2017 at 10:46 amrh75

    I guess I just see things differently concerning Natsume.

    I see her feelings for Haruto to be quite shallow since she hasn’t even taken any steps to convey her feelings in 5 years. To me, it looks like she is using her ‘crush’ as a distraction when things get stressful. Now that Haruto has confessed to another girl and wants to spend time with her, Natsume doesn’t have her distraction so she is getting bitchy at the world.

    She is like a person that says she loves to swim in the ocean, but once at the beach only stands on the dry sand.

    Personally, I see no romantic relationships at the end of the series and I’m fine with it.

    • October 22, 2017 at 1:54 pmEnan84

      I feel the same. Have a look how Natsume behave if Eita is near or how excited she become after she learned he is back, you see that she is probably more interested in him than in Haruto. Her affection for Haruto seems to be a kind of displacement. Also Eita and she are similar depressed.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology)

    • October 22, 2017 at 4:56 pmZaiden

      Hey rh75! You do bring up an interesting point about Natsume’s character, and I don’t expect a highschooler to know what they want. In fact, it’s completely realistic that she’s dug herself into a hole. But the two expected outcomes don’t seem satisfying to me

      1. She ends with Eita, in a less substantiated way, that would make me think their relationship only lasts a few months at max.

      2. All might be well and good for a few, but I’m not okay with seeing no romantic resolution. Personally, I come to these kind of things for closure. Consequently, a lack thereof would leave me feeling cheated!

      • October 22, 2017 at 6:35 pmrh75

        Well, I would like to see Natsume and Eita together, but it’s like you said. Two to three months is not enough time for the two of them to sort out their feelings about each other, Haruto, and Ena. Even an after-credit short would be empty so I’ll be fine with no relationship because they didn’t give enough time for the characters to realistically change.

      • October 23, 2017 at 4:42 amLin

        I don’t think it’s a mater of time. Natsume just needs the right situations and experiences in order to change. Same with Eita. Actually, this is what Eita came back for, narratively speaking. He’s here to push the characters who got stuck in the past to change. And at the same time they will help Eita to stop denying his feelings.

        The pace seems relaxed, but it’s actually pretty fast. By episode 3 we got all the introductory character beats already. From here on it’s pure development. And it’s more than enough time to get Eita and Natsume together at the end if the staff play their cards right. We’ll have to wait and see.

  • October 22, 2017 at 4:39 pmRenasayers

    Wait Zaiden, your leaving us!? We’re looking a great writer and commentator? THE HORROR! The World Wide Web has become a cold, cold place. (TT^TT )

    • October 22, 2017 at 4:40 pmZaiden

      Renasayers, you misunderstand! Don’t worry, I’m sticking around for sure. But my commitment for this season will be limited. After considering priorities, I just picked up the series that I reckoned to be worth my time.

      More news on my coverage, when the Autumn Schedule gets released.

      • October 22, 2017 at 7:35 pmRenasayers

        Oh–uh, I guess I was a tad mad on that one. (Doesn’t excuse my previous typo though…) glad to see your not leaving Zaiden.

  • October 24, 2017 at 10:16 pminfo600

    For what its worth, Just Because is moving at a pretty brisk pace time wise – it’s only been approximately 3 days since the start of the show. I’d be more surprised if they reached a conclusion in their minds at this point (after being jump-started by Izumi’s return).

    This show definitely needs to be marathon’d afterwards.

  • October 28, 2017 at 2:20 pmlunascha

    lol Haruto was the funniest this episode. Him riding his bike to where she was is like how most guys react to girls “my parents aren’t home” lol

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