Just Because! – Episode 4

Just Because! went through a bit of a lull episode this week, biding its time until the twin confrontations of its final act. The show is pretty darn good at time-biding though, and I was happy to see Ena get a lot more material this time. In a sea of sullen or anxiety-prone protagonists, Ena is by far the most energetic and active member of this crew, and sometimes it feels like her prodding is the only thing pushing any of these people together. It sure is hard to be a teenager.

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

Haruto is such a dork. Sending pictures of him with dogs to his crush

I love how the OP prioritizes Ena raising her camera, emphasizing how this show is all about capturing fleeting moments. In the context of this story, a camera is incredibly powerful

Ena brought a cat instead of a dog, lol

Haruto being terrified by the creepy dog is good content

Looks like Mio had a crush on Haruto back in middle school

It seems like she’s currently testing the waters to see if she still likes him, and it actually seems to be the case

Haruto actually asks Mio if she has a crush now

And now Ena’s poking Eita about his feelings towards Mio

The camera again

This conversation is really good. And Ena’s movements are so her. The interplay of her lumpy outfit and lively motions is great – it’s clear she’s not someone who cares about her appearance at all, so she wears this lumpy nonsense, but it restricts her naturally expressive movements in a way the animation smartly captures

Their dialogue is also good. Eita likes Mio’s awkwardness

Mio trying to act happy for Haruto is tough

Ena is incredibly straightforward, saying she likes Eita as a person

This first act focused a bit too much on walking in circles around their confessions

She still has the eraser he gave her. Now we have the context for that, too

We jump ahead to the shrine visit, where everyone has cancelled except Haruto and Hatsuki to make sure they get a date

An interesting jump

Mio’s sister Mina tags along on Mio and Eita’s own shrine trip

Mio and Eita are very similar – almost too similar

Ena interacting with her dad is nice. I like how this show explores a wide variety of distinct familial relationships

Ena sending Eita of a picture of Mio as she protests is great

The heavy silence in this sequence is remarkable

Haruto’s finally saying the stuff he wanted to

Mio discussing Haruto’s potential confession. She’s talking too much to cover her frustration, Eita’s talking too little to hide his insecurity

This episode is heavy on girls doing a lot of work on dates with very nervous guys

Ah, Eita also knows the truth about Mio’s feelings for Haruto

He claims she’s using entrance exams as an excuse not to think about her feelings

She says it has nothing to do with him

And he actually apologizes, which is very welcome

Both boys get rejected in their own ways