OP: 「Summer Rain」 by コブクロ (Kobukuro)
Watch the OP! Streaming ▼
Kitamura Kou is the young son of the owner of a sports equipment shop, and his family is well acquainted with the Tsukishima family. The Tsukishima family has four daughters, one of whom was born the exact same day in the exact same hospital as Kou was. Her name is Wakaba, and she already acts like a girlfriend to Kou, making him give her rides on his bike and giving him kisses on the cheek in return. She even goes as far as to give him a table of the birthday presents he should give her. In his free time, Kou plays some baseball with friends – driven by his desire to get away from potential bullies – and although he’s not good at catching, he can hit really well.
When Wakaba goes off to camp one day, she takes Kou’s baseball cap with her, and the two promise to go to the summer festival together when she returns. Two days later, however, a news bulletin reports that a girl drowned at a swimming camp. That girl is none other than Wakaba. After attending her funeral, Kou decides to go that night to the summer festival by himself, wearing the hat that Wakaba’s father had returned to him earlier. Kou feels completely lost without Wakaba, and it’s not until he sees Akaishi – a kid who had a crush on Wakaba – crying that he realizes that he just has to cry.
ED: 「恋焦がれて見た夢 」 (Koi Kogarete Mita Yume) by 絢香 (ayaka)
Watch the ED! Streaming – Warning! Contains Some Spoilers ▼
I didn’t expect much from the music out of the series, and the OP ended up being pretty good, but nothing compared to the ED which blew me away. It’s by ayaka, who’s someone I already admired as a very powerful singer, and this ballad was perfect for the entire grieving scene. The reason I have the extra spoiler warning above is because they played the entirety of the song, meaning the actual ED sequence began mid-verse, and so I had to start the video a little earlier. Anyway, I really like this song and am already looking forward to its release later this month.
Wow. That was one helluva debut episode. They blazed through the first volume of the manga, but I can’t complain because most of the important stuff was there. The animation quality was fine, and the series has a really lively soundtrack that always seems to be on, but what overshadows everything is the incredible ending. Even though I had read some of the manga prior, meaning that I knew that the plot twist would be coming, the anime still far exceeded all my expectations for it. The ayaka song was used to such great effect that I even got a little choked up at the end. It’s hard to believe that a baseball series that features elementary school kids in the beginning can be so good. I guess this is why Adachi Mitsuru works are so popular.
I was originally planning on just watching one episode of this because I had enjoyed the manga and wanted to see how the anime handled Wakaba’s death, but this impressed me so much that I’m definitely going to continue watching, even if I don’t end up blogging any more of this (it’s all still up in the air pending how the other new shows turn out).