Sono Toki Kanojo Wa

April 27, 2019

Having problems with love? However you have no time to watch a freaking double cour anime of the drama romance genre because your time is so precious looking at all the social media clogging up your Smartphone? Boy, do I have a very short drama romance genre that is quick and easy to watch. Because long seasonal romance animes might get confusing with all the plot and drama that you’ll be left confused more than ever. Hence here we have Sono Toki Kanojo Wa. It tells the lives of 4 different girls at different stages in their lives in just 3 minutes per episode. There. Saved you a lot of time from watching those other soapy romance dramas.

Episode 1
Aiko isn’t concentrating in class. Instead, she is looking at the boy she likes and only snaps out of it when the teacher calls her name. Oops. Embarrassing. After class, Aiko is being stood up by her friend. So as she remains in class, she sits on her crush’s desk just to see his view. Then he comes in and wonders what she is doing. Another embarrassing moment? Then he picks up a sakura petal on her shoulder. He asks if she wants to walk home together.

Episode 2
Moe is out with her boyfriend and it seems she is dreading if he would say his usual foolish things. Then they spot a couple opposite and it seems that girl was his ex. She asks and he actually coolly confirms it! Like, WTF?! “Hey, that your ex?”. “Yup. My ex, alright”. Because of that, Moe gets moody and ends the date. I know she asked but can’t this guy take a hint?! I guess he is new in this dating business. When a girl says she isn’t mad, SHE IS MAD! But this guy is also a smooth operator. He doesn’t think she is a bother at all and hugs her. In public?! Even whispering the magical I love you words. How sweet. See? Now she’s all smiles.

Episode 3
Yukari thinks she can nail her guy because of her good looks. After all, this is already their third date. So when she returns to drink with him, he has the words that she is dying to hear him say… NOT! Sorry, babe. The company called. Need to return. But he texts her that he will make up to her the next time. He also noticed the swollen feet and will give her a present next time. Wait. Is she thinking he’ll get her lingerie because she’s hoping he would check her pantsu colour?! I hope she’s not drunk. Frustrated, yes. Yeah, she orders another martini…

Episode 4
Miwako and her boyfriend are shopping for groceries. She sees a kid bugging her mom to buy some stuffs but she only makes him choose one. The kid is still happy she got to buy it for her. But now Miwako’s boyfriend seems to be doing to same thing. Okay. Pick one then. Yay! Déjà vu? After paying for their stuffs, Miwako offers to carry half of the bag together as they walk home. She also bought ice cream but forbids him to eat in advance for he will be full then.

Episode 5
Yuuta shares his earphone to let Aiko listen to his music. Aiko notes how they’ve always been meeting here after school. The truth is she wants this moment to last forever. But soon they have to part ways. But there is always tomorrow. See you tomorrow.

Episode 6
Moe is mad again. Her boyfriend had to go out with his friends at the last minute. He has been texting to her nonstop and even apologizing but she is not replying and giving him the silent treatment. Yeah, this guy really sounds genuinely apologetic and wants to make up to her but she doesn’t give a damn and let the messages keep streaming in. Until he finally finds her as he explains how his friends insisted and did not allow him to leave. I don’t think she’s interested in hearing all that because she’s going to be his queen for today and her slave will get whatever she wants. Yeah, this guy loves her so much that he’ll do anything.

Episode 7
Rainy days make you want to sleep in. Yeah, it probably ruined Yukari’s day for a date. It’s been a long time since their last date and looks like that streak is going to continue. Bugging her lazier boyfriend won’t make it change so at least she gets a hug. Still bugging about that date? How about a kiss then? Is the rain making him lazy to do that? She realizes he did the laundry and had clothes hung out to dry. Oh well. Doesn’t matter. Can wash and dry again. Yeah, this couple still in dreamland.

Episode 8
Miwako is nervous as she sits alone at the park. In this snow? Okay, it’s not that heavy but it’s piling up. She wishes she could cry before her boyfriend. Don’t fear. It’s like he heard her problem and comes to sit by her. After giving her a can drink, he tells her to rely on him even though he is unreliable. I guess better than nothing. So the first ‘reliable’ thing is to swap their drinks. It made her feel better as they walk home.

Episode 9
Aiko and her boyfriend are watching the fireworks. When the final fireworks light up, she will ask him a very important question. But she’s nervous as hell. As she makes her countdown, she is distracted by his question of what she’ll be doing during summer vacation. Nothing. Then she asks him back the same. Nothing too. Except maybe spend more time with her. I guess she need not ask him now. Because the answer was definitely a resounding yes.

Episode 10
Moe is supposed to be on a lunch date with her boyfriend. However she ends up waiting for him as he shops for the perfect suit for his interview. Now do you know how it feels when a man has to wait for a woman to finish her shopping? When she sees him in his suit, she is so super smashing. Not sure if she is trolling him or too shy to say it as she says she likes his necktie. She hopes once he gets the job, they can go for grilled meat. At the best restaurant. With extra specials. Man, this guy better have that earning power. And let’s hope she’s in love not with his (future) money…

Episode 11
Yukari wants to look more mature before her boyfriend. Although their date is tomorrow, he calls her and surprises her that he is near. Can we meet up? Because she is dressed very casually, she lies that she has a dinner date with a friend. Yukari thinks she is not dressed properly to meet him but her friend doesn’t think that she should be an excuse. She should just be honest and show him the truth. Yukari thinks for a while and then goes to meet him dressed the way she is now. Just promise you won’t laugh.

Episode 12
Miwako returns home but her boyfriend is not in. She notices he was reading a wedding magazine and placed too many markers. Then we hear the girls narrate the many negative aspects of naturally what a girl is. Lonely, selfish, possessive, stubborn, jealous, not honest, greedy, want to be spoilt… You mean they’re not made of sugar, spice and everything nice? Oh well… Despite all that, they still want to be with the guy the love. Thank goodness for guys being dumb enough to still want to be with you! Oops. I think we can lump it all in this crazy thing called love. Thank God for love!

Ready For Love, Whenever You Are
So have you learnt anything? Were you entertained? Absolutely… NOT!!! It’s quite sad to say that this short series didn’t bring anything much to the table. Not to say that I am a veteran in watching this kind of genre but if I should describe this series in a word, it would be boring. Yes, I did say in my opening paragraph that having a short series means doing away with all the convoluted twists and unnecessary drama that just prolongs the series but this one is just too short to even leave an impact. Before you know if there is anything going to happen, it has already ended. Heck, not like anything really happened at all. I don’t know if it is a good thing if you fall asleep while watching this. Heh. Could be a personal record if you do so. Thankfully I didn’t. I was more like so bored that I wished it ended sooner :p. I guess that is the only very positive thing for a short series like this.

The characters too aren’t interesting and despite them being at different stages in life (actually, just different professions, high school student, college and working adults), it just shows their perspectives, thoughts and worries about the crush and love they have in life. I know that it is a big deal for them since it could make or break their future but in terms of showbiz material, this doesn’t quite cut it. I mean, there are other ‘better’ dramas out there for this topic. Like, a boyfriend being caught cheating with another girl. Yup, no such sort of drama here. Therefore the worries and insecurities of these girls feel mild and insignificant when you compare and start thinking about other bigger problems pertaining to love.

Hardly any dramatic character development to say the least. I mean, you can see the relationship of each of the girls with their boyfriends and eventually it falls into the cliché good happy ending like a fairytale. Like Aiko finally getting the boy of her crush to go out with her. Because of the very limited and short duration of the episodes, it feels like something is missing in between. We start off with her being worried if he likes her and the next time her story is back, she’s already dating him like as though they’ve been at it for some time. And finishing it off with fireworks watching. Wow. So touching. Did I miss something here? Moe and Yukari sound like they complain a lot but I guess it must be common for women to have mood swings. Hey, who am I to say? And Miwako looks like she’s got it perfect but on the other hand, it’s not. Is she okay? There’s something bugging her but the series doesn’t delve deep enough for us to find out and care. In the end, these girls are very lucky winners in love because they’ve got great and caring boyfriends who are willing to stay by their side and listen to them. Yeah, every girl’s dream for a guy like that. I suppose that’s good.

Other than the very wafer thin story and characters, I believe my biggest gripe for this series is the art and animation style. Master Lights is a very new anime studio and this is their debut work. So can we forgive them for being amateurs in this department? Unfortunately with today’s standards being so high even for the minimum level, it’s not. The animation style is sketchy and lacks a lot of animation. Like as though they drew a few pictures and then try to animate it like a slideshow fashion. Sometimes the whole thing comes off as one big lazy water sketch art. But hey, it’s art. Subjective. But the worst part is how all the girls look the same to me! Aiko, Moe, Yukari and Miwako look like quadruplets! Is this realism?! And why do the girls look a bit chubby?! OMFG?! What am I saying?! Must be their puffy cheeks and lips… Now we know and appreciate the importance of Japanese girls having wild hairstyles of different colours. Anyway, the art style isn’t good. Too simple that it’s not worthy. Period. Maji De Koi Suru 5-byou Mae by Mei Fukuda sounds like a slow little lullaby but sometimes I feel this is one of those songs you can sing to your children to put them to bed.

Overall, perhaps newbies in the genre and anime might find this wonderful but veterans like me prefer something much more even if it is not that meaty. This one just feels like so bare bones that your dog doesn’t even want to chew and bury it. Even classic fairytales your mom read to you are much more interesting despite all the cliché tropes. Maybe if this was fleshed out as a proper length series, there would have been a better chance this could have fared better. I doubt that this would get any sort of expansion or extension, though. Even if this series didn’t really work out for me, at least love did for this girls. It might have been a few wasteful minutes for us but love made it an eternity for them. And at that time, she loved. Sono toki, kanojo wa ai suru…