Here is the general plot: A high school girl falls in love with a middle aged man. Heh. Sounds like a very generic plot for a porn video, right???!!! Just kidding!!! But that is how you could sum it up for Koi Wa Ameagari No You Ni. It is not surprising and in fact a societal norm that women usually go for older men. Of course the age gap isn’t usually that big but when you have a high school girl really liking an uncle who seems to be down on his luck, just being average and trying to survive his everyday life, and this old man doesn’t even have money to begin with, yeah this really sounds like a tempting plot for a porn series. Thankfully, it isn’t.

Episode 1
You can tell Takashi Yoshizawa likes Akira Tachibana. He is trying to sound impressive but is nervous. Too bad he took too long to ask for her contacts and now she’s gone. No f*cks was given. Tachibana works as a waitress at the café, Garden. Her fellow waitress colleague, Kayo Kubo is always criticising the manager, Masami Kondou because of his pathetic ways of always apologizing to customers for the slightest. Of course Tachibana doesn’t care and we can tell that she has a crush on him. She gets a shock when she learns he has a son, Yuuto. Never knew he was married. Because Yuuto is being noisy playing his recorder for his test tomorrow, dad forbids him doing that at Garden. But when it is a little too quiet later, Kondou finds Tachibana teaching his son outside on how to play. Tachibana gets a bit embarrassed and resumes her shift. She gets another shock hearing that Kondou is divorced. I wonder how many plates she’ll break each time she hears something shocking. At school, Tachibana’s friends are like normal. They like cute guys especially the popular guy in the football team. Tachibana looks like a weirdo because she describes her ideal man as one with traits of an old middle age guy. We see Tachibana meeting up with her old friend, Haruka Kyan. They were in the same track team together but Tachibana had to quit because of her injury on her right heel.

At Garden, fellow colleague, Yui Nishida is talking to Tachibana about Kondou’s bad odour. Kondou already heard it but he isn’t taking any offense and hopes to just act normal. However it gets even more awkward because he came in right at the moment Yui mentions his bad odour. I guess we can laugh it off. Better make a note about his body odour. As Tachibana takes a break, she remembers how she came to like Kondou. She was alone in Garden while waiting for the rain to stop. He served her coffee on the house. And some cute little magic trick too. So that’s the way to her heart? More awkwardness when Kondou catches Tachibana sniffing his shirt! She returns to lunch and acts as though nothing happened. I supposed Tachibana has that mean looks and Kondou being a little pussy himself doesn’t pursue it further. Tachibana gives Kondou her shift times for next month. He is happy she is able to work lots of shifts. He thinks she wants to buy something but we all know her real goal. It freaks him out when she stares at him so closely. As Tachibana leaves, she is being bugged by Yoshizawa who again tries to get her contacts. Kondou thinks he is her boyfriend and for a moment sees himself in his shoes before brushing it off. Oh, Yoshizawa failed again after Tachibana gave him the quick disappearing act. Maybe he should cut out all the impressing stuff and get to the point next time?

Episode 2
Kondou introduces his staffs to a new worker: Yoshizawa! Guess what? Tachibana doesn’t even remember him! Tachibana realizes a customer who just left forgot his handphone. Kondou tries to go after him but he has already cycled a distance and believes he will return when he realizes it. However Tachibana takes the handphone and starts running! Man, she’s fast! She returns and heads back. Kondou is left very impressed. However Tachibana collapses and couldn’t walk. He panics so much so he doesn’t mind all the mess and plates Yoshizawa broke (he was telling the other staffs about Tachibana’s super fast running ability) as he takes her to the doctor in his car. It feels awkward when he tries to stare at her taking off her sock to show her injury so she reminds him he needs to get back to Garden. He thinks of letting her ‘boyfriend’ bring her stuffs to her. She is unimpressed and vehemently denies Yoshizawa is so. She will go back and get them later so please leave. That night, she is surprised of getting a call from Kondou. He heard from Yoshizawa about her injury and hopes to reschedule her shift once she gets better. Tachibana is happy to add him in her contacts. On a weekend she goes out alone, she is surprised to stumble into Kondou. In fact he was going to her place and about to call her. He feels responsible for her getting injured on his shift so he plans to visit her parents. Too bad mom is not in and working. So they end up in a café talking things out. He still wants to visit next time but she insists he should not. Besides, it is her who decided to run and the injury is minor. As they talk casually, Kondou sees her lighter side. She can smile too. He feels a sense of déjà vu as this scene of her brings back some memories. As they continue to talk, Tachibana confesses she likes him. Wait. Was that planned? Kondou heaves a sigh of relief (awkwardly) because he thought she hated him.

Episode 3
Tachibana is confused about Kondou’s thanks on her confession. Was she supposed to say it differently? She stumbles into a junior track member, Ishii who brings her to the track so she could inspire other members. But Tachibana starts to see visions of her past glories. She can’t take it anymore and leaves. They want to visit the café where she works but she sternly tells them not to. Because it’s far away? Liar. She reminisces snippets of her days in the track club until the day she got injured. Probably such memories evoked something so Kondou wasn’t only surprised to see her standing outside Garden in the pouring rain but she confesses she likes him seriously! Then she leaves. WTF just happened? Poor Kondou, he is confused on what she meant and wonders how he would greet when she returns for work. Well, she acts normally like as though nothing happened. Disappointed and confused as ever. Was it a dream? Or worst case scenario, a prank by Yoshizawa to record his shocked expression? Later when Tachibana is alone with him, once again she confesses she likes him and wants an answer. Awkwardness interrupted when Yui invites them for karaoke as Yoshizawa’s welcoming party. Both decline. Sorry kid. You’re not important. At least Kondou now know this isn’t a dream or a prank. He drives her home so as to talk to her on this issue. He can’t give her an answer as he explains what society will think of them and that he is old enough to be her dad. She doesn’t give a damn about all that. She really loves him. Better not give him any more surprises or he’ll crash the car. Or drink wrongly from the ashtray. Taking some fresh air at the park, he asks a reason for her to like him. Must there be a reason? This particular scene too reminds him of his younger days when he was with his then-crush. Man, she looks like a splitting image of Tachibana. Maybe that’s why he is so confused? He tells her to reconsider this because there is no merit in dating a 45 year old man with no hope or dreams. He thought of creeping her out if she tries to date him. However she gets more eager hearing that word. She takes it as he wants to go on a date with her. Did he just dig his own grave? Yup, those hopeful puppy dog eyes…

Episode 4
Tachibana notices the new duty roster and realizes this Saturday she and Kondou are off. She wants to go on a date then. Since she is pushy and he is a wuss, it’s a date then. Meanwhile kitchen staff, Ryousuke Kase notices Tachibana. He starts mentally undressing her but realizes in reality she is just unfriendly. During their break, he sees her reading a school textbook. It has been years since he read one so he asks her permission to look at it. She does so but moments later she realizes she scribbled a love umbrella of herself and Kondou in it. Too late. He saw. Want to keep a secret? Let’s go on a date then. Tachibana is forced to comply. A normal date it seems. A (lame) horror movie and eating at the café. Clearly she is not enjoying herself and is doing this out of obligation. But when he starts to badmouth Kondou, that’s the last straw. She’s leaving. He stops her and she threatens to cause a scene. At this moment Kondou calls her so she breaks free to answer. It seems he wants to set a place of their date. She couldn’t contain her excitement but it looks like Kase has seen her happy eager beaver side. Time to change to her unfriendly expression. He warns her things will not work out with her and Kondou and should have a healthy relationship with someone else instead. When she lets her guard down, he steals a kiss on her cheek! That’s it for today’s date. On Saturday’s date with Kondou, she dresses up very nicely and even goes to see the same (lame) horror movie. At the café, the awkwardness causes them to panic and misinterpret because she puts the same amount of sugar cubes as his age in his coffee! This brings back memories he tried to impress on his first date and went for black coffee. When his date left for the restroom, he quickly dumped all the sugar in. Good times. Later when Kondou sees Tachibana’s forlorn profile against a scenery, it prompts him to feel sad of her youthfulness and innocence. It is also the fact he is not young anymore. It’s not about what others think but he doesn’t want to get hurt. As they part, he thinks she didn’t have a great time. Suddenly she drops her bag, runs towards him and surprises him with a kiss on his cheek. Too bad that was only in her mind. Nothing happened. Back home, mom wonders why she went to watch the same boring movie twice (free poster hand out) but this distraught her because now she can’t tell which one belongs to the man she loves and the one from the jerk. There’s a difference?!

Episode 5
Yuuto brings his pet hamster, Tsubu to Garden. Everyone is so infatuated with it. As today is Kondou’s off day, he plans to bring it to his home. Since it is dangerous, Tachibana offers to accompany him. Chance. Kondou is not home and the door is not locked. As he plays with his hamster, Tachibana looks around. Quite messy. Lots of literature. Yuuto is then hungry so Tachibana whips him up an omelette rice. Yuuto could hear the footsteps of his father returning and wants to play a prank. Hiding Tachibana in the closet, he surprises his father he is here. They talk about things and he shows him Tsubu and wants him to keep it. Kondou refuses but he says he might visit him more often if so. Kondou thinks about it. Meanwhile the heat is getting to Tachibana. She cannot take it anymore and bursts out collapsing. Surprised Kondou tells Yuuto to bring water but he does so clumsily and spills all over her shirt. He lets her wear his oversized t-shirt while he takes it to the Laundromat to wash. Yuuto apologizes as Tachibana starts sniffing and rolling her face in the t-shirt. Creepy? When it suddenly starts to rain, they go fetch him. Tachibana talks to him and says she wants to get to know him more. Apparently things have not ended yet ever since the last date as Kondou would have thought. At Garden, each time she wants to talk to him, other staffs usurp her and talk to him about Tsubu. Wow. It’s like they’re all hamster experts. But Kondou starts loving this because he has never had the best conversations with his staff before. It goes on for some time until it looks like some revel social party. So much so Tachibana has to put her foot down and tell everyone to get back to work! Wow. She has much more authority than the manager. Then she tells Kondou if he ever needs to speak about hamsters, ask her because she once owned one. Oh, exclusively trying to monopolize anything hamster related, eh?

Episode 6
Haruka sees Tachibana at the bookstore. However it has been some time since the last they talk to each other and Haruka looks sad. Even more so when she sees her leaving with Yui. While waiting for the train, Tachibana overheard a few young girls talk about some lucky love gachapon. She then goes to try her luck. She could have emptied the machine had Haruka not spot what she is doing. Yeah, a bag full of those weird cat keychains but none of that so called lucky one. She dumps the duplicates to Haruka. As Haruka practises running, she remembers a time when Tachibana often runs ahead of her, leaving her in the dust and gasping for air trying to catch up. When asked why she always did so, it’s because it feels good. When she is running, she can only hear the sound of the wind and that feeling of melting into the sky. That’s what probably got her into running. Later Haruka drops that keychain she is looking for to her. Also a note stating that their friendship goes beyond the tracks. Tachibana visits the library and sees Kondou there. He is surprised to see her but does he have to scream like that? When she asks for a book recommendation to read, he knows she isn’t the type to read. He cautious her he shouldn’t do that because someone said so as she might come to hate reading. But since she doesn’t like books and is here at the library, perhaps there is a book calling out to her. That book may be necessary for her now. She looks around and finds a couple she is interested. She has also applied for a library card and offers to borrow one for him. He takes up on that offer and borrows the book, Window By The Wave by Chihiro Kujou. Tachibana notices he cuts a sad look after borrowing that book.

Episode 7
Tachibana suggests to her colleagues about having a group chat among the staffs of Garden. But since they think Kondou won’t know how to use the app, they drop the idea. During her break, she tries to sum up her courage to message each other more often but chickens out and talks about the books she borrowed. She learns the book he borrowed is written by a friend of his. As she tries to praise about his love for books, suddenly he drops a serious tone and tells her off that she doesn’t know anything about him. Scary. Awkward silence after that. Next day, Kondou is out sick and the café is experiencing a busy period. Tachibana is still affected by that and can’t focus on her job but luckily manages to get by. When she takes a break, Kase who overheard their talk yesterday ‘advises’ her to stop chasing Kondou. He has a position to consider and she is pressuring herself and knows she doesn’t want to lose something important again. As Kondou is resting in his room, somebody keeps ringing the bell. Who could that persistent salesman be? Oh, it’s Tachibana! So she comes here to be depressed about what he said? She ‘complains’ that is why she wants to know him more. Flashback shows that Kondou said that was because he was replying to a comment on the book’s review. Kondou paints himself in a negative light and Tachibana as a person who has a bright future. But care to explain why her heart still hurts? He explains about the vicious cycle of youth and how it will eventually become the emotions you will treasure. As for her being a nuisance to him, because by being with her he remembers the treasured emotions he has forgotten, he is instead grateful to her. She starts crying in relief but Kondou is sceptical to call this feeling love. He feels the need to put her anxiety to rest and hugs her even though he knows it is wrong. She hugs him back before he realizes this is really wrong. He gives an excuse that this is just a hug as friends. Friendzoned? Next day, Kondou is all back to normal but now Tachibana has caught his cold. I wonder if love sick is applicably appropriate too? When you’re sick, you tend to envision strange things. For her, making out with Kondou in their birthday suit. Yikes. Indeed this may be love sick.

Episode 8
Kondou must have ‘levelled up’. He is thinking of having a friendship between manager and staffs but shells that idea after eager beaver Yoshizawa wants to be his friend. Yup, he notices his bangs too long and notes he might get fired before even becoming friends. Oh my. Yoshizawa is sad over this but Yui offers to cut his hair for him in which he agrees. This makes Yui happy (since she has a crush on him) so she asks Tachibana for advice to go beyond this friendship. Using her experience with Kondou, she gives her hope friendships like this can turn into romantic ones. Tachibana finally gets the courage to ask Kondou for his email address because friends usually text each other, right? It makes her day. They might be friends now but she is confident that will ‘upgrade’ one day. Haruka is not pleased being bugged by the ex-captain of the football club, Yamamoto. He notices Tachibana who is always around her is now not. When he tries to chase her, his knee injury stopped him. Haruka becomes worried and could relate about his problem. She asks him about athletes being forced to retire from injuries. He believes Tachibana just like him wants to continue playing the sports they like. He admits growing apart from football due to injury and exams but in Tachibana’s case, she fears the recurrence of the injury. Having someone like Haruka around helps her feel better. Haruka also feels better hearing that. Kondou finds Tachibana doing remedial lessons of modern Japanese literature. Since it is a book he recently re-read, he gladly helps her out. They ask each other opinions by putting themselves in the shoes of the character in question. He finds her answer interesting and funny because she asks if there is a sequel to this story. None. As he flips through the pages, he then sees the love umbrella and freaks out. Awkward. Timely for him to go back to work. Tachibana ponders if she should invite Haruka to come to the fireworks festival with her. She does so and you can see her face beaming with happiness. Friendship saved?

Episode 9
Hope you don’t mind Haruka bringing her siblings along too. Just when they look like they’re having a nice chat, Tachibana sees Kondou in the crowd and ditches her pal for a second to go greet him. Haruka can tell that she is in love with him. Tachibana gets embarrassed when she points it out but this only makes Haruka mad. Because she has never told her anything recently. Because she didn’t ask? How could she asked? It turns into a full blown argument that somehow leaves Haruka younger twin sisters crying. Damn, now Haruka also crying and runs home. Super awkward. Kondou meets up with Chihiro at the bar whom he has not seen for 10 years. Chihiro is not pleased Kondou calls his recent masterpiece just average. Chihiro then shows him an old self-published magazine they made together in college that contains a collection of short stories written by their circle. It brings back memories. Kondou sees one that was written by his ex-wife. Chihiro teases him about marrying her and blowing their trip to India in which Chihiro made his novel debut. He asks if Kondou still writes. He claims not anymore. Although he writes novels secretly but hasn’t been able to complete it for years. Kondou wishes he could go back to his youthful days where it was filled with excitement they used to share. Haruka avoids Tachibana at school. Friendship taken a nosedive. At Garden, Kondou can tell she is down so she tells him about the recent fight she got with her friend and feels it is now impossible to patch up. He relates having a close friend when he was a student. They didn’t fight or anything but things got awkward and they grew apart. When they meet for the first time in 10 years, they had a great time. It is because they matured that they are able to feel this way although Chihiro quipped with his parting words that they are not adults but classmates. The point is, Tachibana may be growing apart with Haruka now but their shared memories are irreplaceable. No matter how much time passes, that won’t disappear. This gives her hope that their friendship will grow closer again someday.

Episode 10
Seeing a flyer on a second hand bookfest, Tachibana takes Kondou there. He recognizes an old man manning a stall to be the owner of a bookstore he used to patron a lot as a kid. Old man mistakes Tachibana to be his daughter. They talk about the world’s shortest letter sent by Victor Hugo in which he wrote a question mark to his publishing company about his book sales and they wrote back with an exclamation mark. It shows how close they are to understand each other like that. Tachibana even cheekily tries it out with him but via texting. As Kondou browses through, the old man tells Tachibana that Kondou used to write novels. There is a book Kondou wants but the old man won’t reduce his price because it is the first edition. Instead he gets to pick a postcard for free so Kondou lets Tachibana choose. Later Chihiro appears on TV and talks about his job. Kondou almost chokes on his ramen. His comments that novels are like his lovers prompts some nostalgic memories of his own. He goes back and goes through all the boxes of his unfinished manuscripts. He finds a ring supposedly from his ex-wife. He remembers he became obsessed with writing that he neglected and hurt everyone else. At Garden, Tachibana shows him a book she bought. It contains an old clover pattern bookmark. She wants to return it but he says that is the charm of buying second-hand. This bookmark is considered as part of this book’s history and it clearly shows it has been used well. He also notices a very faint and faded swallow on it. He tells there used to be a swallow nest outside the door but Kubo destroyed it due to its droppings. He remembers one of them couldn’t fly as they talk about its possibilities and chances of surviving and flying again. Tachibana thanks him for being able to hear his words. She would like to hear more of them and someday read his works. She notices he always makes notes for his novel he is going to write in the future. She is sure she will like them. Kondou feels better as he always felt he wanted someone to tell him that it’s okay.

Episode 11
The track club members read the news that Kurata has made a full recovery from her Achilles heel injury and set a personal 100m dash record. Everyone seems worried for Tachibana because they wonder if she will ever run again. Haruka is in disbelief that if somebody else can do it, why can’t Tachibana? After Kondou leaves for a meeting, Haruka enters Garden. She sounds angry. I thought they made up? Guess not. She asks if she is coming back to the club. Because at this rate they will grow apart and she doesn’t want that. As she leaves, she tells her about Kurata who set her personal record will be at the prefectural meet’s main race today. That girl had the same injury as her 2 years ago. Haruka will wait as long as it takes. Gee, until they’re like 100 years old she’ll wait? Kondou who returned because he forgot something, overheard this. When Kondou hears Chihiro’s book is going to be adapted into a movie, he calls him to congratulate but apparently Chihiro is already outside his place. He wants to write their 1 minute manuscript like how they do in the old days. Both cannot come up with anything. Chihiro then rants about the expectations imposed on him. Once he takes off, he has to continue running with no finish line in sight. That’s why he claims literature is poison rather than helping anyone. He also advises Kondou that it isn’t he cannot write but he doesn’t want to. It is him getting in the way of himself. Kondou gives that age excuse. He knows he can’t go back to those days but still wants to stay true to his dream and writing aspirations. Chihiro can tell from his messy room it is not filled with regret but passion. Kondou views Chihiro as the same as him then. He is holding on to a dream but trying to reach a higher place. That night, Kondou tries to write. He wonders if he keeps holding on to this feeling, would he reach there? Tachibana thinks deeply about Haruka’s words. A customer forgot his handphone again. This time Tachibana shouts out but he is so far already. This time she decides not to run. Kondou talks to her about next month’s shift. He notices she is trying to work more and tries to nicely hint she should you know, take that time and do something else. But she slams the locker door and angrily says she has nothing to do. You know a person is having problems when she walks in the rain without an umbrella despite having one.

Episode 12
Kondou continues to write deep into the night until it is morning. Hope he hits a big one. With the students having their career survey coming up, we take a short detour learning Yui wanting to become a hair stylist. Also, a few lovely moments between Yui and Yoshizawa as distraction. One evening when Kondou is supposed to be back at Garden but did not, this has the staffs speculate about his recent and frequent visits to the main office. Could this mean he will get promoted? If he does, a new manager will be hired here. Kubo is vouching on this but the guys aren’t. When Yuuto is around, Tachibana watches him practice his run. When he trips, he picks himself up. Little kid has some meaningful words for her that will make her rethink. It doesn’t matter how many times he falls, he must get up and cross the finish line. Of course those words are said by his dad. The next time Tachibana talks to Kondou, she gladly tells about Yuuto’s progress. Kondou talks about neglected promises he made and currently he is trying to learn from it. He notes that she too has one. A promise that she almost had forgotten. This has Tachibana think back about her past with Haruka. She makes an effort to go through her survey career and possibly rehabilitation. Kondou gathers the staffs for his announcement. As they are aware of his visits to the main office, he reveals he was sitting for a test for a new menu but since he failed, he needs to retake them again. So their branch is the only one who won’t be having this new menu. Kubo so disappointed… On another day he is supposed to visit the main office, Tachibana notices he forgot his notes. He is already a distance away. Memories of her injuries that day flash through her mind. And more Haruka friendship thingy. She didn’t run this time but manages to catch up since Kondou realizes he forgot his stuffs and purposely missed his bus. They stare at each other until his handphone rings. Tachibana walks back. As soon as his call is over and he calls her, she turns around and dashes into his arms. Sorry folks, but they’re just trolling us as that was just an imagination!!! F*ck you!!! They both note that once they have fulfilled their promises, they will let each other know. Tachibana texts Haruka before her run and this little encouragement motivates her.

Same Love, Same Rain
So uhm, status quo? I believe this is for the best for now because imagine if they hit it off to become a couple at the end, it would just feel so rushed. Everything was progressing so slowly and for the sake of finishing this story since the episodes are running out, we don’t want their romance to turn into something cheesy. But even if their love will truly stand the test of time, I hope that they will not take too long. Kondou would be old enough to have grandkids and in that time things might have changed. Don’t say things will stay the same and drastic to small changes might happen. Whether or not they will still have interest in each other is another story. But if you look at it from another perspective, it feels like the promise to fulfil is an excuse, a wall to inhibit the development of their romance. It’s not impossible but it gives them some space to further think if this is what they should want together.

The drama and the story are paced slowly to flesh out the main characters sufficiently. Hence those who aren’t used to this sort of heavy melancholic romance drama might find it a chore and a drag to sit through if it is only a dozen episodes. I am not a veteran in such genres nor am I obsessed in them but after watching it all, I find that there isn’t anything special after all. It is the age gap between the interested parties that captures your attention. If both were to be of the same age group (whether be it teens or adults), it wouldn’t have stood out as prominent. It would be just your another average heavy romance drama. So having a wide obvious age gap between them feels like the attraction factor for you to stay and watch what will become of this love. Will it blossom and flourish like any other love and risk the wrath of society especially in conservative Japan? Or will it fail and break everyone hearts and scar them for the rest of their lives?

With a lot of focus being given on Kondou and Tachibana, the focus doesn’t necessarily be on both of them trying to become more than just friends. Though Tachibana is hoping for that, Kondou just wants status quo. Both characters also have their own issues and problems apart from their current feelings for each other. For Tachibana, her lengthy and seemingly permanent injury has hit her hard not only for her bright running future, but also affected her friendship with her best friend and fellow runner. Perhaps that is the fear that both friends do not want. Because Tachibana has changed ever since she has got injured. She is no longer the Tachibana that Haruka knows. And for a girl who is her best friend, that is scary. Things might not always stay the same but if it has a chance to return to where they once were, why not? Maybe this is what Haruka was hoping to see and expect from Tachibana. Sometimes I feel that friendship is a bit fragile. As long as Tachibana doesn’t come back, there will be moments of insecurity of Haruka. A little positive note to allay the anxiety but then the good times of the past creeps back up and it’s back to square one again.

On the other hand, Kondou looks like a failed writer at first impressions. He has literally given up on his writing dream and now runs a diner of his own. In his case, is it considered a successful failure? He might not be out there winning the Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize or even the Nobel Prize in Literature but at least he is out there running a business that isn’t making a loss. He has a pretty decent living and with his simple life, is this not considered a success? But for a guy who has dabbled a lot in literature since his youthful days, the dream is hard to die. It will always be there, bits and pieces inside his heart, gnawing and nudging him with perhaps false hope that maybe he could do it. He isn’t going any younger by the moment and the more he procrastinates, the dream will literally stay a dream. But having such dreams and being successful with it certainly could be like a double edged sword. Take a look at Chihiro. He might be a successful writer but he doesn’t sound really happy about the direction of his success even if he flashes the occasional casual sunshiny smiles. It is a good thing Kondou and Chihiro are in touch with each other as Chihiro has already been down that road so he could give his friend some advice if he decides to tread that road.

But the essential difference between Kondou and Tachibana regarding their dreams and hence affecting their outlook in life is that Kondou still has the interest to pursue his dream whereas Tachibana does not. The latter has seemingly almost fully given up on running. She has youth but he has not. He has the experience but she has not. It’s interesting to note the different contrasting state of them. Even in terms of their romance, Kondou has been through love, married and divorced but Tachibana who has the looks that any guys would die to date for, this is the first (romantic) spring for her. You can say there are lots of ‘wasting’ in both states of the character. It doesn’t make them perfect and in a way we could relate to these issues. Basically, fleshing out Tachibana and Kondou’s characters are pretty decent. There is slow development and growth in their character but I don’t think it is so beautiful that you would want to cry. Perhaps only obsessed romance drama fans would.

So it feels a bit odd that it made me think that because these characters have lost something in their life that once made them full of potential, hence God felt sympathetic towards them and decided to turn this into a twisted blessing in disguise. He made them somewhat attracted to each other (at least from Tachibana’s point of view). Injured heel led to some coffee led to this odd romance. Yeah, love sure works in mysterious and funniest-cum-weirdest ways. Uh huh. Because if you really like a girl so much and no matter how much you try, if God doesn’t approve of it, you will never get her. Look at Yoshizawa’s case…

As for the other supporting characters, I wonder if Kase has completely given up on Tachibana. He is smart enough to know that she is the stubborn and pursuing any further would do no good for him. The short time he tried to date Tachibana was perhaps to set some sort of love triangle rivalry but it didn’t work out. It could have gotten messy had Tachibana’s feelings were confused but I’m glad she still stuck to her true heart. It’s questionable she likes an older man but hey, it is her who is in love and not me. So perhaps Kase has gone back into the shadows of the background and just silently watching, hoping Tachibana would fail badly and that is when he pops out to taunt and mock her “I told you so”.

Yoshizawa feels like the comic relief character. It’s like a mini running joke that each time he asks Tachibana for her contacts, by the time he realizes that it is too late, she has already ‘disappeared’. But towards the end, looks like Yoshizawa and Yui are getting along pretty fine so he might give up on Tachibana and not get involved in another messy love triangle. So could you say that his crush on Tachibana led him to the real love of his life? Yeah, he doesn’t bug Tachibana anymore and it is a win-win situation for Yoshizawa and Tachibana herself. Essential the other side characters feel lacking and feels like they exist so that this series isn’t just about a world of only Kondou and Tachibana. I don’t think Kubo hates Kondou despite always reprimanding his pathetic state most of the time. Despite the only one hoping he would get promoted, at first looks you may think she really wants him to go away so that Garden would have a better and reliable manager. Maybe. She perhaps wants him to have a better life than forever stuck in this rut. I mean, he can’t be doing this manager job for the rest of his life, right? Better to live a failed dream than a safe mundane normal routine one. Until you realize the former doesn’t pay the bills…

The art and animation are very simple and clean. The scenes are also bright at times and the background and sceneries sometimes feel a bit real. Although the characters look simple, I realized that when I look a bit closer, the character designs have this retro feel to it. Just slightly. Also, the characters have this lanky look especially the female runners. I don’t know why, but Kondou somehow reminds me of that of that middle aged police guy in Kochikame. Maybe this is how Kondou would be if he had all that passion? And doesn’t Yui look like Sailormoon? Is this what Usagi does if she didn’t become a magical girl? And why does Kase remind me of a mean version of Satou from Working!? Also, Chihiro looks like the most out of place among the characters. I know ‘creative’ people tend to have this crazy unkempt look but sometimes he feels like he popped out from some fantasy movie. Not too sure if he is the mad evil scientist kind of character or the carefree hero type. Hmm… Because of this looks, it seems that Chihiro has not aged at all compared to Kondou because he essentially looks the same! Is he a time traveller too?! Finally, can’t help think that Tsubu was a rejected hamster from Hamtaro and thus appeared here. This series was produced by Wit Studio who brought to you the awesome Shingeki No Kyojin, Mahotsukai No Yome, Koutetsujou No Kabaneri and Owari No Seraph.

I know that the series is trying to stay true to its title so in every episode you can expect some sort of rainfall. Yeah, summer time in this series must be really a wet season. Nothing about the rain except that it feels like an overused cliché to signify heavy drama. Oh, more rain, even more drama. The heavier the rain, the heavier the so called drama. Yeah, this show could have been called Heavy Rain but I noticed that there is an episode that bears this title. Damn. Uh huh, they love the rain so much that every title has a rain to its name. I guess they are only short words because otherwise I could have gone on making bad rain puns like raining cats and dogs or raining in my heart or when it rain it pours or right as rain or getting a rain check. Maybe even purple rain? Told you they were bad puns.

At first I kept wondering why Kondou’s voice sounded familiar. It took me a while to realize Hiroaki Hirata was behind it. You know, One Piece’s Sanji. Ah… It was the waiter part that hit me and made me realize although technically Kondou’s job isn’t really a waiter but that was the point of realization. I guess he is already of that age to voice that character with such conviction. The other casts are Sayumi Watabe as Tachibana (Shiki Mori in Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu), Emi Miyajima as Haruka (Akechi in Centaur No Nayami), Mitsuru Miyamoto as Chihiro (Ayame in Fruits Basket), Tomoaki Maeno as Kase (Junichi in Amagami SS), Haruka Fukuhara as Yui (Himari Arisugawa in Kirakira Precure A La Mode), Junya Ikeda as Yoshizawa (Jun in Cheating Craft) and Junko Takeuchi as Yuuto (she is the voice of Naruto! Believe it dattebayo!).

The opening theme is Nostalgic Rainfall by Chico with Honeyworks. Although it is relatively a lively and upbeat anime pop piece, the weirdest and funniest part is at the beginning when the singer stars off with something that sounds like “OOooo~”. I thought somebody was pinching her tits! Haha! No, seriously. I thought the way she said that (which is actually “Houkago~”) to start off the song was really indeed hilarious. Also, the opening credits animation feels like a trippy one. Like as though this is the drug fuelled fantasy of Tachibana with lots of weird odd colour contrast, a macho version of that weird cat keychain and get this, riding happily on an alpaca. Yup, somebody might be doing drugs. Please don’t ever do them. The ending theme, Ref:rain (is this a clever way to spell rain in the word?) by Aimer sounds better although it is a slow rock and has this heavy melancholic retro feel. Also to note, there are also a few nice calming guitar pickings BGM too.

Overall, nothing really special about this series and that it is just another one of those series that is heavy on the romance drama. This isn’t also the first show that has this setting of a younger girl liking an older man. I did not watch Ristorante Paradiso but I know that anime has a young girl and many older Italian men. With glasses! Then there is Koi Kaze too but I didn’t see that one either. But I guess this case isn’t so ‘bad’ as Okusama Wa Joshikousei whereby the high school girl is literally married to her teacher! So if you are into this age gap romance drama thingy, a simple search on the internet could yield many results. I wonder if this age gap romance thingy is like killing 2 birds with a stone. In the sense that it proves it is never too late to fall in love and it is never too young to start falling in love. It goes to show that rain or shine, love is all around. Sorry. Bad rain puns again. Sorry about raining on your parade after watching this decent series. Oops. There I go again…

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