Just Because! – Episodes 1-2

The first two episodes of Just Because! were straight-up phenomenal, and I’m very excited to be writing about the show. As per usual for a first post, I focused this writeup more on sketching the overall style and goals of the show, rather than prioritizing an examination of the actual narrative events, and I’m pretty happy with the results. I hope you enjoy the piece!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode two notes below.

“Natsume goes here”

God, I love this show’s character acting. The batter revving himself up with this dash around the school. This show understands all the goofy visual quirks that define us all and bring us to life

Haruto Soma is the batter, Eita Izumi’s the pitcher

Natsume greets Izumi with a friendly snark that seems to imply there’s no baggage there, but not in a natural way – like she’s brushing over something. Izumi is far more guarded

Morikawa is Soma’s crush

Their cold breath both facilitates the atmosphere and emphasizes their fatigue

Quiet frustrations and moments in between. We get to see them after they leave a big scene, in the moments after a strange declaration, as they travel home and think about the day. These are normally the moments that are excised from a propulsive narrative, but here, their sum arrives at something greater. These moments in between tell their own stories, and give this show a life unlike most others

After all of this and the previous episode’s actions, when asked how school was, Izumi simply says “it was okay.” We get the real texture of what kind of “okay” it was

Morikawa is forced to bring her little brothers

The younger brothers get so believably excited when Soma actually expresses interest in their sea creature knowledge

A whole lot of “what the heck are they doing.” It’s very charming

The humor of this kid’s actions is so natural

“It’s high! I’m scared!” “No! Pick me up again!”

“Could you turn this down in that situation yesterday?” The dialogue can be really excellent

The music for this scene in front of the jellyfish is very good

And their awkward dance around truly reconnecting is both painful and charming

Haruto is so bashful when it comes to friendship/relationship stuff

Aw, they’re all so awkward, using LINE to communicate

“This is extremely high school”

The emphasis on cameras echoes the show’s fascination with fleeting things