OP Sequence

OP: 「メロウ」 (Mellow) by (Keina Suda)

「ピカピカ」 (Pikapika)

I knew it was going to be good when the episode started off with a romantic imagining of how Mitsumi (Kurosawa Tomoyo) wished she left vs. how she actually left. It perfectly sums up the recurring theme of this episode (and of life in general)-the grand plans in one’s head never make it out to see the light of day-some unforeseen pitfall always appears.

Mitsumi’s grand future planned out in minute detail was the spitting image of my high school, even college self. “I have a clear road map for my future”-famous last words. Maybe some people can make a grand plan for their future and actually get there, but I off-roaded on that map long ago. Not that it’s a bad thing- I would not be happy now with the destination I marked out then. It’s pretty unrealistic to have things mapped out to the nth degree with no emergency contingencies and no concept that the me as I am now might not be the same me several years from now-plans and interests change. But for a high schooler, especially a type A one, that kind of thing is hard, even scary to imagine. There’s comfort in feeling you’re in control, of having a future you can tangibly imagine and all you have to do is take the bull by the horns.

And take the bull by the horns she does. Mitsumi moves from her hometown out in the sticks of Ishikawa to Tokyo, arms full of books and a head full of dreams. That one scene peeking into everyone’s morning-of routines did a fine job amping up the first day of school tension, a perfect segway to Mitsumi’s train station breakdown. As a head in the clouds Type A personality, I know full well the awful plummeting feeling in your gut when your carefully laid, over-idealized plans shatter in the face of reality-especially when it’s your own clumsy foot that did the dream in. I can so relate to her panic of almost missing a train because she didn’t pay attention. But, I’ve learned over the years, as I’m sure she learned at her ceremony, that somehow or other, things always manage to work out, even if you arrive almost, but not quite, on time, socks and hair wildly flapping in the breeze.

I can already see how the dynamic between Mitsumi and Sousuke (Egoshi Akinori) might work-his laid-back personality offsets and complements her Type A-ness (it seems already a given that they’ll form a pair). The reassurance he provides her in her panic button moment could potentially help her relax more, or not. The once concern I have is that he could become a crutch, someone who always helps her out of scraps, creating a dependency on him. Especially with her head in the clouds, rosy glasses way of thinking, I could see her being easily susceptible to a knight in shining armor and coming to rely on that as her “get out of jail free” card. On the other hand, she strikes me as incredibly independent and driven, so even if he tries to help her, she would try to do it herself. It’s still too early to tell, but I have hopes that it’ll be the latter case.

While she arrives at school looking a total mess-her brain is anything but. It turns out she’s the top incoming student and representative for her freshman class. In an impressive presence of mind, she remembers-and quotes-her whole speech (which she forgot in her bag in her hurry) without blinking an eye. While academics may be a piece of cake, social interactions, not so much. I can so relate to her panic of “Oh crap, how do I friend people” or even “I haven’t talked to someone my age in so long-what do I say”- that was me verbatim at that age. It was a happy moment to see that in spite of her awkward beginning (and unfortunate first impression as “the puker”-I feel sorry for the poor teacher) she managed to connect with a few people. It’s an absolutely glowing “Yes! I’ve leveled up!” feeling when you manage to make a potential friend or two after a rough start.

Even though it’s only the first day of school and everyone else is out celebrating, she already finishes up her paperwork and even Spring Break homework. That’s totally me as well-if it’s something I’m passionate about like studying, I’ll steamroll miles ahead on it while the rest of the crowd takes it at a normal, relaxed pace. When she went to bed my first thought was “Is she going to stress about the self-introductions and get up to write her whole introduction word for word”-because that’s what I would do. And, I totally called it.

I’m not really familiar with the manga, but from what I’ve seen from this premiere alone, it’s totally up my alley and I’m super looking forward to spending the rest of the season with it. It’s always refreshing and exciting when I find a series where I intrinsically get the characters.

ED Sequence

ED: 「ハナウタとまわり道」 (Hanauta to Mawarimichi) by (Rikako Aida)


  1. This one was awkward and it’s hard to describe why. I feel like it’s the direction though.
    I get what they were going for, the smart girl who is also ditzy and the nice guy but who is also a slacker, but I’ve seen these characters introduced in other anime and done better.
    I do like the characters so I’ll give this another episode to see if the direction improves, but this one was very hit and miss for me.

  2. Episode 1 is literally chapter 1 of the manga in animation. Have been reading the manga since 2019 it has been one of my favorites since. While this appears to be a romantic comedy/shoujo romance, it is more of a character study narrative. Mitsumi, Shima, and others don’t easily fit into a popular archetype characters, they are multifaceted and have a lot of depth.

    That said, If PA Works is going to stay as close as possible to the manga like they did here in the first episode, there might be some minor issues in terms of pacing. Still, as long as they don’t do the Horimiya skipping chapters pacing and instead go slowly-like they did this episode, then this should be a home run.

  3. Ah, the quintessential suburban young adult moves to the city for school and urban life. Many of my friends did this for College too. From NJ to NYC, and in 3 years, they are forced to move back to Mommy’s place and are poor. (High rent in NYC, Student loans)

    Whenever I see characters like Iwakura Mitsumi, what comes with these characters is their youthfulness and sometimes coming-of-age experiences. I would get excited and inadvertently reflect on all that I haven’t done now that I am a full fledge adult, then I feel like ****.

    Although I say this, I don’t think it does Iwakura Mitsumi any good to be overly conscious that she isn’t living up to her expectation. Urban environments and services always overwhelm suburban residents.

    1. Believe me, Mitsumi is not suburban – she’s flat-out rural. Her town doesn’t even have a train line anymore (and this has happened a lot in Japan with rural depopulation – train lines get shut down and accelerate the problem),. Suburban areas in Japan – especially near Tokyo – have extensive public transit and are pretty connected to modernity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *