In Episode 10 of After the Rain, we get more into the problems and inner conflicts of the two main characters. Akira and Tencho seem to be a bit more willing to face their struggles in this episode. With this, the finale has been opened and in the last two episodes, it’s possible that they will be able to solve their problems and go into to a healthy relationship with each other. I have to say that I liked how calm this episode was, but that we might need to watch it twice to fully understand the heavy and beautiful words Tencho is using to explain his feelings, and unknowingly, also Akira’s.
Japanese Title: 白雨 (Hakuu)
Episode 10 – Sudden Rain
Akira, the love-sick puppy, is admiring the moon, which was one of the last cute moments she shared with Tencho. Her mother catches her and after some teasing, Akira has to throw out the paper. One paper catches her eye, as it announces a second-hand book fair in the city and the next thing we know is Akira meeting Tencho there. She asks him to recommend her some books – as a friend. After some time – she found old postcards, she was mistaken for Tencho’s daughter, lost and found Tencho among the books – the two of them head home. During the next day at work, Akira asks Tencho about a book she found at the fair that came with a surprising present…
To make Tencho go somewhere he likes together with Akira was very cunning and also very smart. He probably was really happy he got to go to the book fair and she could get to know him so much because he let his guard down. We also get a cute connection to the previous episode, where he stood in front of a closed bookstore. He found the bookstore at the market and got an explanation by the owner on why it was closed. The owner is also the person who mistakes Akira for Tencho’s daughter, which is a nice tie-in to one of the reasons they can’t be together, societal judgment. It was also cute how desperate Akira mentioned that they were friends. Apparently, she still has her hopes up to end up dating Tencho… So, so cute.
If we didn’t guess it yet, now we know that Akira actually could start running again, if she worked hard for it. However, she doesn’t and at this point, we can only make assumptions. Would she have to stop working if she started rehab and running so that she couldn’t see Tencho anymore? Or does she think it is a waste of time, because she will graduate from school soon anyway and then she won’t pursue a career as a runner or she thinks she wouldn’t make it as a runner with an injury like that anyway, so she’d rather give up now than have her dreams crushed later? Whatever the reason is, I do hope we will find out at the end of the series, because that might be the biggest mystery the series has to offer.
Tencho and his beautiful words. It is impossible to not understand how Akira can like him. When they find a bookmark in the used book Akira bought, I thought it would be something about the clover and how it is a symbol of luck. I like the swallow and her symbol even better than the clover. I think this scene might be very important because it shows so much about them and their problems. We also see once again their connection. Tencho is bitter about so many things in his life because of literature. When he goes through his old notes and thinks about writing again, he finds a picture of his son and ex-wife at the school entrance ceremony. Alone, without him, which is a big issue, because he talks about how he wasn’t there when he should have been. It seems like he ruined both things, his career and his private life because he didn’t dedicate himself completely to either. Now that he gave up writing, he harbors that deep regret which he isn’t accepting. He sees himself as a swallow that can’t fly because he failed to become a writer when he was younger. That’s how he gives his advise to Akira. He tells her that it’s fine to not be able to fly after trying, but if you are just too lazy or scared to try, you will forever look toward the dream you had and regret not trying harder. Akira wouldn’t be herself if she didn’t think thoroughly about his words.
Also, she returns the favor. She tells him, subtly, that she sees how he hasn’t really given up on ‘flying’ and that if he truly gave up, he would not be sitting here and loving all these books. She gave that advice with deep and beautiful words. She also encourages him to write more because she would love to read his writings. As someone who writes, I can only tell you that having someone tell you that they like what you write is a beautiful thing and the biggest motivation one can have.
Expectations for the next episode
This week there wasn’t anything to say about Japanese culture, which makes this review a bit short even though it was a beautiful and great episode. I don’t know what to expect next week. There is so much that could happen. Secretly, I am still waiting for Yoshizawa and Yui to come in for a second and tell us where they are standing. I also think Kase has been awfully quiet, but I don’t really want him to come back or anything. This episode also marks the point where I put the manga reading on hold for the sake of having fun watching the anime, so I am really excited to see what the last two episodes have in store for us!