First Impressions: Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)

When a rain comes, it brings with it many things: memories from the past, encounters that wouldn’t occur outside a storm, and a clean chance at a new future. The rain and nostalgia motif plays strongly in Koi wa Ameagari no You ni, a series that’s taking the prize this year for most controversial material in a seriously good show. It features Akira Tachibana, a beautiful high school girl who falls for Masami Kondo, the middle-aged manager at her place of work.

The setup for this series is intentionally troublesome, but maybe one that an anime-loving audience will readily accept—it depends, I think, on how the blossoming relationship is presented. At least that matters to me. Will the series just tell a story, or will it romanticize this troubling relationship? All signs from episode one point to the latter, though there’s not telling how things will end. In the meantime, the quality of the series will carry it through. This is one of the most beautiful first episodes I’ve seen—there were so many beautiful moments (captured here, along with some funny ones and some that are, well, creepy), accompanied by sharp writing that feels fresh, and a beautiful OP and ED. The little flourishes are nice as well, like little moments that predict Tachibana’s injury, and the signs all around (ex. “Live Your Life Freely”). I’m mesmerized by the series—let’s hope it takes us somewhere worth going, rather than using a problematic twist to take us down the same old trail.

 

10 thoughts on “First Impressions: Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)

  1. This has nothing to do with the post, but is Mary And The Witch’s Flower a good anime/an appropriate anime for Christians? My dad might take me to see it on the 18th.

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    1. I haven’t seen it and don’t know specifics, but it’s from a director and other animators who worked at Studio Ghibli, and he worked on some of the friendly family films there; I’ve heard that Mary and the Witch’s Flower fits that mold, both in content and in being an excellent film. I wouldn’t worry too much—have fun!

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    1. As far as I know, it has yet to be picked up stateside. It may be a little too controversial for Crunchyroll…maybe Amazon will get it? We’ll have to wait and see.

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  2. Personally, I just found this show to be a hilarious comedy.

    That’s probably because I’m more likely to enjoy a show featuring a problematic relationship (age gap, incest, etc.) if I don’t take the relationship seriously. So I can just have a good laugh when Akira is sniffing the heck out of the manager’s shirt or trying to win brownie points with his kid. Also, lots of “love bubbles” effects.

    Well, I guess there’s worse fates for a show than being an unintentional comedy. I’ll stick with this one.

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    1. I thought it was quite funny, too. Akira is a GREAT character—so multi-faceted and not nearly as cool or uptight as those around her thinks she is. Love that. It should be a fun series.

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  3. Since I don’t really care for the relationship in this anime because of the age gap, it’s made me think a bit about the manga/anime that do have age gaps where I do enjoy the relationships.

    “Taiyou no Ie” (aka House of the Sun) has a 7 year age gap, between a 17 year old girl and a 24 year old man. Although, they’ve known each other since when they were younger. Why doesn’t it bother me as much? I guess because I understand their relationship a lot better, and it has a stronger basis. They both come from broken families (one due to divorce, the other due to death), and the story is just as much about them helping each other repair their damaged families as it is about their romance.

    “Love So Life” has a 10 year age gap, again with a highschool girl and an older man. The man is raising his toddler niece and nephew after the death of their mother and is completely overwhelmed with his sudden promotion to parent. Shiharu (the girl) is an orphan who works part time at the nursery where he leaves his niece and nephew, and she forms a connection with them. Seeing that she is able to help them and desperate for help, the man hires Shiharu as a nanny. The main focus is on Shiharu’s raising of the children, but there also develops a romantic tension between the uncle and Shiharu. While rather idealized, I guess I’m okay with it because the aspect of an older man marrying a younger woman to help raise the children he’s responsible for is somehow something that feels natural. It also helps that Shiharu is rather mature for her age.

    “Takane to Hana” is a completely different age gap of 10 years, as it’s a romantic comedy, with the emphasis on the comedy. It’s also a pun. Takane is the man, and his name is very elite, the kind of name only given to the son of a rich family, as it literally means “mountaintop.” Hana is the girl, and her name is one of the most common in Japan, meaning “flower” and is roughly equivalent to naming your daughter “Daisy.” Of course, Takane is an elite, from a rich family, and working at high level management in a large corporation. While Hana is a common Japanese highschool girl. What happens is that Takane’s grandfather has been trying to make a marriage match for Takane and hasn’t been able to find a successful match. He meets Hana’s older sister who works at one of his company’s department stores. Impressed with her demeanor and poise, he decides that since matches with “elite” women hasn’t worked out, maybe he should try matching Takane with a more common girl, so he contacts her father (who also works for one of his companies) to arrange an omai (a meeting for the man and woman to get to know each other and decide if they can develop a relationship, with marriage as the eventual goal).

    However, Hana’s older sister already has a boyfriend, so she refuses to attend. Feeling unable to refuse the Chairman of the Board of his company, the father decides he can’t refuse the omai, and so substitutes his younger daughter Hana. Thus Hana, a highschool junior, ends up attending an arranged marriage meeting with an older man Takane. Takane is unimpressed with Hana (assuming she’s just after his money), and rudely rejects her. Hana, unlike her sister, has a bad temper and throws her wig at Takane, scolding him on his ungentlemanly behavior. (Yes, there are definite Pride and Prejudice elements here). This intrigues Takane, and he begins to pursue Hana, but he has no idea how to impress women except with money, and this completely fails to impress Hana. Thus the pun, since there is saying in Japan “takane no hana” which literally means “flower upon the mountaintop,” but has the cultural meaning of “the unobtainable woman.” As in “she’s too high above you for you to reach her, so only thing you can do is admire her from afar.” Thus despite Takane’s superior social standing, Hana becomes his “unobtainable woman” that he is stubbornly trying to woo.

    Why does it not bother me? Probably because it so clearly a wish fulfillment story, treated as comedy, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    The last one is probably the one that addresses the age gap most seriously. (Oddly, since it’s a fantastical manhwa with a character that can talk to animals, and other low fantasy elements). “Dear Only You Don’t Know” is about 6 different women, each of whom has a secret they are concealing. One of these heroines, Soojin Mi, is a 15 year old highschool student. Puberty has hit her very hard, so she looks much older. This also has introduced a lot of complications into her life, as men have suddenly started to notice her, and she seems to attract a lot of aggressive men (since she has no father in her life, this actually is statistically realistic). While out at night, she’s assaulted by one of these men who’s drunk, and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Rescued by Ian Pi, a 30 year old man passing by, she develops a crush on him. Realizing he would never be interested in a highschool girl, she tells him that she is 24 years old – and this becomes the secret she’s trying to conceal from him.

    Ian believes her, but from his perspective, even 24 is too young for him (actually he’s attracted to older women, and has a long standing unrequited love). Further complications are that Ian is a single father with a 10 year old daughter, Ruri. Soojin keeps on trying to pursue him romantically but her immaturity keeps sabotaging her attempts. You completely understand why Ian isn’t interested. Except there is one area in which Soojin does develop a strong bond, and that is with Ruri. You see, Ian is a great father, but he’s a terrible mother, and Ruri is starved for female attention and guidance. Guidance and attention that Soojin proves to be very capable at providing. Additionally, Soojin quickly comes to value Ruri, and thus puts helping Ruri as a higher priority than romantically pursuing Ian. Furthermore, she and Ian start to have very mature discussions about how Ruri should be raised, Soojin providing Ian with a female perspective that he has been lacking.

    This one is very confusing to me, in that the age gap is so large that I have a lot of problems with it. On the other hand, Ruri needs Soojin so badly, and they work so well together, that part of me can’t help but cheer for Soojin’s success. I guess that again the idea of a man marrying a younger woman to provide his children with a mother just feels more natural and less creepy to me than other motivations for marrying a younger woman.

    Anyways, those are just my thoughts on age gaps that were stirred up by this post on After the Rain.

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