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?
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.