Just Because! – Episode 5

Just Because! offered another excellent episode this week, demonstrating the fact that even if it can’t keep up its absurd character acting for an entire season, its observations about adolescence are still piercing enough to carry the day. This episode’s post-date cooldown focus lent itself perfectly to Just Because!’s atypical dramatic priorities, resulting in a wide array of charmingly awkward moments. This show is the good stuff.

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

Eita and Haruto both waking up and realizing that, in spite of having made and failed in their big confessions, they still have to go to school with their crushes the next day

It’s an awkward realization that perfectly suits Just Because’s focus on the less glamorously dramatic details of adolescent love

Mio realizes things can’t go on in this awkward stasis, and so resolves to go apologize for snapping at Eita. But then her friend arrives and makes it awkward to confront him, and the moment passes, and now the two of them have actually agreed they’re not speaking apparently, and things only get more awkward

Haruto seems too chipper for a guy who just got rejected

Haruto attempts to keep distracting himself with his friends, but they have cram school, which only reminds him of his own seeming inadequacies. “Must be nice. The guys that can go to college have a future ahead of them”

Now that he’s failed with Hazuki, reality starts crashing in

Eita’s accusation that Mio is just “using entrance exams as an excuse” applies in reverse to Haruto – he was focusing entirely on romance, and using that to avoid thinking about his future

The show’s steadily dwindling animation is having a harder time bringing Ena to life

Mio just hiding when she sees Eita’s with Ena

How much of high school is composed of awkward conversations where you’re trying to say something other than “uh, I was hiding”

I really like how this episode has kept Haruto’s feelings contained to the margins. We see others react to him this time, from his feigned levity to hearing him slam his locker as he thinks about baseball ending, and his life seeming to be over

God, this image of his glove with “Until the last ball!” in the garbage is so tough

Eita picks up the glove and brings it home

“Haru-chan, move. I want to vacuum that spot.” “I’m trash, Granny.”

Haruto doesn’t want to be reminded of baseball, but then Eita texts him to hang out

Sanae is… Haruto’s old coach?

Ah, he’s his future boss. He was older than him on the team, and now he’s going to go work at his factory

It’s some casual adult league

Ah, this must be the company team

Hazuki’s reasons for rejecting Haruto are very reasonable: “I don’t actually know him very well, and I’ll be out of town after graduation anyway”

Ena urges Hazuki to tell Haruto her full feelings

Ena gives Hazuki the advice she herself can’t follow through on

“Why do you have this?” “You dropped it, so I picked it up.” A very kind framing from Eita of Haruto trashing his glove

Haruto catches the ball, and actually has a good time

“Adults play ball and make a fuss about it too, huh?” Learning that becoming an adult doesn’t mean just losing your personality entirely

“Good thing you’ll have a fun workplace, huh?”

Ena and Eita end up running into each other at the bus stop

Haruto’s new knowledge directly impacts his conversation with his mother, where he actually asks about her job, knowing now that not all jobs are the same

Ena asks what Eita bought, he lies and says a manga. He doesn’t want to talk about his future

This scene on the bus is so good. Eita actually can’t meet her eye

He only turns her way briefly, when she explains she’ll talk to Soma

One thought on “Just Because! – Episode 5

  1. Hey, just thought I’d let you know. You have Ena mixed up with Mio in your notes. Looking forward to your next article.

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