OP: 「Kakehiki wa Poker Face」 by (Kana Hanazawa)
「センパイは可愛いので」 (Senpai wa Kawaiinode)
“You Are Cute, Senpai”
I love when a good romance includes some kind of competition. It makes things all the more interesting. When winter sets in, I like my romance with a sprinkle of drama but during the summer season, I much prefer when things stay light, fun, and in this particular case, straight-faced flirty.
Soredemo Ayumu wa Yosetekuru kicks off with a strenuous shogi match between Tanaka Ayumu and his senpai (upper-classman), Urishi Yaotome. He’s still a novice while she is a master of the game. So far, it seems his sole purpose is to join her afterschool club is to beat her at the thing she most loves, so he can then find the courage to confess his feelings for her.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend this premise makes any sense whatsoever, however, I am curious to see how this progresses. This should let you know that I haven’t read the manga, so I’m coming at this with no expectations. Will this be closer to Chihayafuru or will it be closer to Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai? I’m even getting a whiff of Toradora!. Ideally, it sits somewhere between the two with a touch of shogi education and a little banter between our protagonists.
This first episode is slow but gives enough room for our characters’ personalities to shine through. Tanaka Ayumu is one of those people who can keep a straight face no matter what he’s faced with, even gaining him the name “Immovable Tanaka” back in his middle school kendo club. On the other hand, Urishi Yaotome, his senior and crush, wears her emotions on her sleeves. She is easily embarrassed, she can’t seem to receive or give out any direct compliments and is, essentially, an open book. Both Tanaka and her friend, Maki, can easily read what clouds her thoughts.
It looks like the series might keep it simple. A crush, a goal to turn an illegitimate after-school hangout into a real club, new characters to create some obstacles, and lingering moments. And there you have it. The perfect formula for a summer high school romance series.
It’s only the first episode but I’m really enjoying the slow pace so far. The animation is pretty stellar so far and so is the voice acting. Plus, Urishi is absolutely adorable. I had to refrain from taking 36 screencaps of just her facial expressions.
ED: 「」 () by ()
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