What’s it about? Komura Kaede is a shy and good-natured kid who has a crush on his seat mate, Mie Ai. He doesn’t have the courage to talk to her until one day he notices Ai constantly forgets to bring her glasses and ends up helping her get through her school days.
I’m not gonna lie. When I first heard about the premise, I thought it was a bit silly. I mean how long can they keep the gag of “Ai forgetting her glasses” going? I’m someone who literally can’t see without their glasses and basically, I have to put my face in front of a wall or somebody’s nose to see anything. In short, it’s downright dangerous to function without eyewear for long. I was relieved when she ended up getting contact lenses by the end of the episode, but I suspect she’ll lose those too by the next episode for the sake of comedic gags.
To be honest, I think this could’ve been a simple and straightforward rom-com meant to be enjoyed for its target audience, but the animation choices really sucked out whatever charm the original source material might’ve had. I normally appreciate whenever animators want to explore stylized animation, but there really wasn’t any need for the camera to zoom around frenetically to different angles and perspectives. It didn’t add anything to the story and frankly the shifting camera work reminded me of the awkward tutorial scenes I often see in video games. I’m not sure why most of the background characters look like poorly done CG models practicing their walk-cycles, but damn did these creative decisions test my patience throughout the premiere.
Thankfully, the camera does settle down and allows some of the decent aspects of the visuals to shine through such as conveying the warm colors of spring and Ai’s beautiful eyes. Granted, she can’t compete with the eye designs of Oshi no Ko; even so, at least it’s worth mentioning. Aside from that, there isn’t a lot to say about the plot since for the most part it’s a standard high school rom-com with “quirky” leads. The problem is that there isn’t anything particularly interesting about Kaede, except that he’s a nice boy who’s willing to help out his classmate.
As for Ai, she doesn’t have much of a personality to speak of. I know her circumstances aren’t supposed to be realistic and that normally would be fine, it’s just I’m having a hard time finding anything cute about the situations that Ai finds herself in due to her blindness. I’m also concerned with how the “forgetting her glasses” gimmick will lead to her and Kaede to end up in “compromising” positions to create unnecessary misunderstandings for the sake of comedy. It’s already led to Kaede accidentally looking up at Ai’s skirt while helping her tie her shoes, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Ai’s blindness is used to continuously violate Kaede’s personal boundaries.
I just finished binging Skip and Loafer and that left me with a happy feeling. It’s seriously a cute show, so go check that out. As for this premiere, folks, I’ll have to give this show a hard pass.