Archives for : St. Louis Anime Store

After the Rain (Anime Review)

Title: After the Rain

Director: Ayumu Watanabe

Original work written by: Jun Mayuzuki

U. S. Distributor: Sentai

U. S. Release Date: June 30, 2020

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-


Akira Tachibana works part time at a diner while she attends high school. She used to run on the track team but after an injury and surgery, she has quit for good. She had natural talent and was one of the best. Tachibana’s friend and teammate had really admired her and has been trying to provoke her to start running again.

Tachibana’s focus is no longer at school, it is her job. What really draws her there is that she has a huge crush on Masami Kondou, the manager of the diner. She is in love with him. However, he is more than twice her age, something that would be difficult in their community. Still, she can’t let go of her feelings and goes about trying to get to know him, what is his life outside of work, what are the things he enjoys and how can she be part of that.

What does her boss think of her attention? He is resistant, nervous and a bit flattered. He doesn’t see why she could possibly like him but he is also too nice to just shut her down. Besides, her attention is encouraging him to get back to who he was before his divorce and life got in the way of his desire to write.


I really enjoyed After the Rain, but it is hard to figure out why and put it into words. I wouldn’t say it’s quite a romance, I characterize it as a more realistic slice of life than a lot of the contemporary anime that I see come over.

The series starts focused on the teen Tachibana, a story on the surface about her serious crush on her boss. As her story starts to be revealed, she is so close to being an adult that she is looking for different things than what school held for her. She’s ready to move on, but the past still has some pull on her.

As they begin to connect, the focus of the anime shifts to Kondou. In his 40’s, just working and being responsible, but with one interest, books. He really likes reading. Tachibana’s attention and conversations have sparked energy back into his world. He even connects with an old friend. For both of Tachibana and Kondou, are their friends going to hold them back or help them move forward. Can they be what is expected of them?

The animation isn’t the “cute” style, but had its own look, leaning heavily toward realism. Which created the only criticism I have for this anime. The old teammate had eyes so big that they were disturbing, and a coworker had bizarre lips. These elements were strangely out of place. At least the other characters didn’t seem to notice.

Who do I think would like it? Someone who likes romance with out all the drama or silliness. If you liked Ristorante Paradiso or Natsuyuki Rendezvous, this could be another one for you to enjoy.

I would be curious to read the manga to see how it compares and if there is more content. But I would not like to see a second season. I really like that After the Rain is a complete story in 12 episodes, just like when you read a book. It’s complete from beginning and has an ending. Not everything needs to be drawn out.

Overall Grading: A-

Non Non Biyori Vacation (Anime Review)

Title: Non Non Biyori Vacation

Director: Shinya Kawatsura

US Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

US Release Date: 06/09/20

Format: Blu-ray/ Movie/ 71 minutes

Genre: Comedy

Age Rating: TV PG

Overall Personal Rating: B+


The small farming community of Asahigaoka is the idyllic countryside. It is summer vacation from the tiny school the children attend. There is only a handful of grade school kids. All good friends, they live a slower pace of life soaking up sun and nature, exploring their place in the world. They are keeping busy hanging out with each other but when chance comes along to to visit the mall in a nearby town, the little circle of friends manipulate a chance to go along. There, to everyone’s surprise and delight, Suguru wins a free 3 day trip to Okinawa. That’s what this movie is really about.

All the students, their teacher and the candy shop owner as a second chaperone, take an airplane to the island. They are staying at a family run inn with the traditional charms of Japan. Natsumi makes good friends with the daughter who is her age. More active than life at home, the group goes swimming, kayaking and more as they try to squeeze it all in before they run out of time.


Non Non Biyori is a stand alone movie that is a companion to the series which is currently 2 seasons, but I hear another is on the way. The series it not about anything particular, just the kids doing everyday kid things and learning about life. The audio is in Japanese and has English subtitles, a bit of a bummer because it will limit the age of the audience in the US. I know a wider audience could have appreciated the franchise.

The Vacation movie has nearly the same feel as the series with a small difference. Not quite so much a relaxed sliced of life, it is a vacation event with more structure and without the luxury of time. The main focus is definitely the youthful friendships between the girls. The characters are very relatable and Renge, the youngest is really cute and easily brightens any scene.

The setting is still just as beautiful evoking the connection. The colors are bright, the countryside is lush and verdant with the same attention to Okinawa. I especially love the depiction of clouds and water. It doesn’t stop there, the same skill gives us the sound of summer as well.

I enjoyed the movie just as much as the series. If you are looking for peace and cute, this is it.

Overall Grade B +

It all kinds of relaxing fun and very cute.