Just Because! – Episode 6

Just Because! pulled off a nicely focused episode this week, essentially using Haruto as the central pillar to contrast Mio and Hazuki’s experiences of young love. While Mio is coming to realize a long-held crush might not be the strongest basis for a relationship, Hazuki is starting to believe that not really knowing Haruto isn’t necessarily enough of a reason not to date him. Both of their experiences felt valid and well-articulated here, continuing Just Because!’s sturdy trend of incredibly well-observed adolescent romance.

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

I like how in this show, no particular couple feels particularly “destined.” All of them have different rapports, and emotions can go many ways

Ena is too observant for her own good. She notices Eita taking sample tests from Mio’s college prep book

Ena and Eita have a great rapport, and it’s clear at this point that Eita actually enjoys having her around. The two are balanced far better than Eita and Mio

“I don’t know what she wants to meet me for, and I’m scared of making things clear.” Way too true

That fear of having things become clear in a negative way, and the preference of staying in an uncomfortable but inconclusive ambiguity

I also like how the show once again emphasizes that nothing you do at school is private – Eita and Haruto getting together is noticed by basically everyone

The show’s able to recycle some backgrounds here, mercifully

But yeah, any new backgrounds feel totally out of place with the characters. The show’s composite has gone down the tubes

I love the music throughout this sequence. These murmuring piano melodies add a ton of emotional weight

This baseball match was Eita trying to work up his own courage. But he failed in the match

“What is this feeling?” Looks like Ena might have a crush on Eita

Haruto’s play prompts Hazuki to pick up her trumpet again

Mio’s big declaration is… giving Haruto an eraser

I like her sequence of expressions as she realizes how validating this conversation is

Hazuki gets more out of that declaration than Haruto does

I also love this conflict – “I waited three days to send a reply, and now that itself makes it even more awkward to send one”

Having learned about Mio’s feelings, Hazuki is now avoiding Haruto

This adolescent sense of “Mio has dibs” or “my feelings aren’t as strong as hers”

Ena now feels awkward around Eita

Oh no, she’s just purposefully ignoring him to try and get his attention, lol

All of Mio’s friends knew about her feelings for Haruto

We’re getting a lot of shots focused on Mio’s pigtailed friend

Just finally connecting with Haruto seems to be enough for Mio. Feelings that have lasted for years like this essentially become their own self-propagating fuel, divorced from the original source of those feelings

Meanwhile, Hazuki’s newfound feelings are expressed through her trumpet play

Hah, Hazuki is doing the exact same thing Haruto was doing – “I thought I’d reply once I could play perfectly”

Yoriko brings Haruto over because she’s a good friend

This scene of Hazuki playing for Haruto is lovely

“I haven’t been rejected yet?!?” Oh my god Haruto

And now she sees Ena and Eita riding a bike together. Mio’s losing all her chances at love