After the Rain (Winter 2018) – A Cup of Coffee on the Table

I am not the kind of person who always judges from a cover. More precisely, I watch everything. Whether people say it is weird at first, I prefer to look at it before concluding it. From here, I want to try “After the Rain” based on the manga by Jun Mayuzuki. First of all, let’s be real. We don’t push anything, especially discussing a quite controversial topic. Most people will say “nope” or something like that. Truly, you missed something so poetic. While the romance between an aging gap, personally, is not a new story. I’ve seen many types of stories like this. One of them was Yumi Unita’s “Bunny Drop” which pissed a lot of people because of its ending.

“After the Rain” is something so unique, so innocent, and so warm. This show doesn’t describe such topics as morality but more into an ordinary situation with ordinary people. It’s about a young girl, Akira Tachibana, who got her beloved person when she was in a restaurant in a cold rain. Just like the title, a seed of romance grows after the rain. By the way, I seem to be one of the people who drive this. Anyway, there is no sexual harassment or physical romance. Just the two that could be described as a relationship between an employee and a boss. It’s more friendship, at first than romantic. They depict their daily lives into a Japanese family restaurant. So do both of them, there is another relationship between other workers. Masami Kondou was very innocent as a widower but nothing could be more innocent than Tachibana.

This show builds its story from beginning to end. It’s such an easy note for Tachibana to immediately express it with the “I love you” word. Kondou even misinterpreted the word. It reminds me of “A Silent Voice” when Shouko expresses her feelings to Shouya. But instead, it is a misinterpretation. But such a simple answer can have an impact at next. Is their relationship going well? Could Kondou understand that little butterfly? On the other hand, what will happen to people’s humble opinions?

Tachibana and Kondou is the duo main protagonist. They are the main focus of this show. There is so much awkward in each other. They are difficult to find a way out how it can run smoothly. Tachibana is a former athlete at her school club and retired due to injury. Feeling depressed because she can’t run anymore, from that, she met Kondou. She is an innocent girl with cold impressions but has a strong curiosity. Even Takashi Yoshizawa was so difficult to conquer that innocent girl.

Kondou is just a widower type who prepares a cup of coffee for the customer. He has a complex flashback from his hobbies to literature, relationships with a best college friend who have become a novelist, and his divorced wife. Fortunately, he still has a son who doesn’t leave him. It also made him difficult to raise his son in his life which was filled with busyness. Also, a decision of how he should answer yes or no to Tachibana’s feelings for him. Only, he thinks that he seems like a person with high ego or someone who feels sorry for her. The two, then, identify what they really need and what’s actually empty.

Wit Studio definitely works a lot on fantasy-themed anime including “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” and “Attack on Titan”. But, “After the Rain” didn’t seem like a fantasy nor shoujo anime. This anime uses more family restaurants and apartments as its setting beside the train station and others. But, it seems rich and many details. Such a deep and full of symbolism creates melodrama tones. Although, it seems like a bit of slice-of-life thing when it comes to Akira’s and Haruka’s backlash. But, that’s a separate drama as well. The artwork sometimes impresses like a painting when it comes to the symbolism scene. It feels with many emotions such as visual style and character designs.

The ending is a minor issue, including for people who have watched this show. It doesn’t solve the main conclusions or themes. While I don’t read the manga, the climax when Kondou still hasn’t said a clear answer for Tachibana is the subject matter. I say clearly this is like a slice-of-life thing but it’s not about ‘slice’ or daily lives. Instead, it’s about love within this both main protagonist. Unrelated characters are also there. Almost these characters only fill the void of all kinds of tropes but don’t really matter. Yet, I love to say “After the Rain” doesn’t seem to have much impact on that.

“After the Rain” gives you a romance between aging gaps with more realistic feel than its own. Just put aside various kinds of topics or other subjective things first. You won’t be able to enjoy it if you keep thinking about it. And this show works really well. I love both opening and ending songs. What a great job to CHICO with HoneyWorks and Aimer with their memorable soundtrack. Voice actors did a great job too especially Sayumi Watabe and Hiroaki Hirata. “After the Rain” is an enjoyable complex story with a bit of slice-of-life things. A seed that grows due to rain then the sun shines on a beautiful day. Plus, a rainbow that makes the whole adventure full of imagination.

4 out of 5 stars.