When I think of the movies I have seen in the last couple of years, this one brought the biggest smile to my face. It left me feeling happy without any qualms or reservations.
Some spoilings ahead!
Asagao to Kase-san (English: Morning Glories and Kase-san) is a shoujo-yuri from the manga of the same name. Yui Yamada and Tomoka Kase are high school seniors. Yamada is in the gardening club and cares for the school’s flowers. By nature, she is the quiet loner.
Kase is a star athlete in track and a gregarious, popular sort. They have already confessed to each other in an ONA that was released on YouTube entitled “Your Light”. I’m linking the video below for your viewing pleasure. Think of it as a 5-minute prequel.
Theme Song “Asu e no Tobira” by Yamada Yui. Wow!
We get to see a delightful story of romance between two very relatable characters. The first volume of the manga has been skipped. We don’t get to see how they got together, how everything developed or the confession of love.
I’ve never understood why people in very close relationships often refer to each other by their last names in anime. Even in private situations. I mean, she’s asking to have sex with her friend and still using her last name.
Kase is by far the most sexually driven of the two. She wants to do “it”. Yamada thinks that by “it” Kase means perhaps some heavy kissing action. Kase has to slow down when she realizes that Yamada didn’t have a clue what she is talking about when she agreed to do “it”. This gives me 🙂 🙂 🙂 . Compare this bedroom scene with Citrus. 😦
Yamada is short and thinks of her own body as being soft and dumpy – though it is certainly not drawn that
way. OTOH, Kase is tall and her physique is superb. She never thinks twice about her body, having showered with other girls on a daily basis for years.
There is a locker room scene at a bath where Yamada vapor locks at the thought of being seen nude by Kase. Kase interprets this as Yamada dumping her. I interpret this as Yamada being acutely uncomfortable with her own body image and her anxiety over being socially nude with someone where there is sexual atraction. Two different life histories led to a considerable misunderstanding.
The figures are kind of stock anime girls and the faces are your standard kawaii/moe females. I can’t put my finger on it but Kase’s bust just seems off. (If I tried she’d probably kick my ass.) Mikawa’s (Yamada’s best friend) face and hair, remind me a lot of Hanekawa from Monogatari. Good character art but not great. Yamada’s voice doesn’t sound real but rather sounds like a voice actress speaking in falsetto. I soon forgot about it as the story whisked me along.
The background art, however, is superb. It is done in a watercolor style that suits the story well.
They aren’t perfect lovers. Numerous other misunderstandings crop up, mainly due to a touch of selfishness, communication failures, and anxiety. In the end parental expectations threaten to tear them apart. But morning glories have two meanings as flowers. One is summer love. The other is an unbreakable bond.