Tsukigakirei – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 6th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Kotaro, a bookish, shy boy is aspiring to become a novelist. Akane, a track girl who loves to run, ends up meeting him when the two end up in the same class for the first time in their third year of middle school. The two find themselves put in charge of the sports equipment room for the upcoming sports festival. Through the LINE messenger app, the two gradually grow closer together. How will Kotaro deal with his budding feelings for Akane?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: If there’s one thing that leaps at you and grabs you about Tsukigakirei from the very start, it’s the beautiful and eye catching watercolour like animation and imagery. It lends the show a dreamy and nostalgic vibe that both calms you and pulls you in.
Tom: While Tsukigakirei is indeed beautiful and has a dreamy watercolor feel, there’s sporadically horrid CGI used to depict larger crowd scenes that are so obvious, so stilted they feel downright jarring. Thankfully these scenes are short, but they’re none the less distracting.
Linny: Tsukigakirei starts off slow as we’re made to watch two very passive people have their first contact. They’re both timid and awkward and it all plays out in a reserved manner that might drag on for some viewers. On the other hand, some viewers might find themselves reminded of their own awkward teen years and first attempts at interacting with the opposite sex and grow attached to the characters in the show in a kind of sympathetic manner.
Tom: Tsukigakirei’s story is incredibly slow and laid back. If you’re looking for something a bit faster in the romance department, Your Name would be far better option. But what Tsukigakirei does offer is a sweet tale of two socially awkward teenagers growing close to one another. The way the show plays this may be slow, but thanks to the art style and animation. it feels poignant and engaging despite the pacing.
Linny: The show summary makes it a point to mention LINE, a messenger app that’s popular in Asia as the means of communication between the two characters and believe me when I say it’s EVERYWHERE in the first episode (GIF below related) which might make some viewers feel like they’re watching a extended and subtle ad for LINE.
Tom: Both our leads, Kotaro and Akane are kinda adorable, and as Linny said perhaps might even remind you of your more awkward persona as a teen. The show doesn’t try to play the pity card and shows, particularly Akane really trying to expand from her bubble, making the two very likable, if socially awkward individuals.
Linny: Akane is definitely one of the more interesting shy girls I’ve come across in anime as Tsukigakirei does a great job of showing just how shy she is and all the sincere effort she’s putting into overcoming it, which makes the viewer want to cheer her on. The scenes of her interacting with her family helps the audience to get a more well rounded look at her and a taste of how she can be in an environment she feels comfortable in. Kotaro is shown to be a moody, philosophical type to help sell his desire to be a writer which might rub some viewers the wrong way if they interpret it as him being a snob. However, the anime quickly reminds us that he is just an awkward and nervous teenager who just wants to be seen as ‘cool’ at the end of the day through his attempt to seem mature by getting iced coffee at a restaurant in an indirect attempt to impress Akane.
Tom: Tsukigakirei is slow, but thanks to its artwork and voice acting feels like it could be a nice, soft romance for the season. With the only other offering being Armed Girls Machiavellism so far (although there are a couple other romances in the pipeline) Tsukigakirei is going to be a solid watch for anyone looking to re-experience that awkward pre-teen time as two shy individuals gradually break through their bubbles.
Linny: Tsukigakirei does a laudable job of depicting the awkward teen years and angst that comes with teen romance and interactions. It’s a slow watch, no doubt and will likely bore those who prefer a faster paced romance. But for those who just want to kick back, relax and remember or relate with the complications that come from being a teen and navigating the social scene, Tsukigakirei is one of the best shows for it.
Tsukigakirei is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com