It feels like Episode 4 of After the Rain (Koi wa Ameagari no You ni) tried to show us how pure love can be and what makes all the difference. At this point, I know that I love the series, even with the slower parts and the strange love a young girl has for a clumsy old man.
Japanese title: 漫ろ雨 (Sozoro Ame)
Episode 4 – Gentle Rain
After Akira practically pushed Tencho into going on a date with her, she starts daydreaming at school, and even scribbles hearts in her textbook and his name next to hers. Her only mistake was lending the book to her colleague at work, the cook Kase, who just happened to notice how beautiful Akira is. So when she asks him to keep her love a secret, he threatens her into a date with him. Not wanting to give Tencho problems with her feelings, she agrees and they have a pretty standard date: Cinema, coffee, and a good-bye at the station. The next day, however, was her long awaited date with Tencho, and even though the date is basically a copy-paste of the one with Kase, Akiras feelings couldn’t be more different…
Akira’s feet are emotion
It occurred to me this week that when Tencho was calling her and we see Akira’s feet reacting, they actually have been using her feet and legs all along to show us how she feels. It is so simple and amazing because subconsciously I probably tell most things through my feet as well. When I am unsettled I can’t stop shaking my leg, when I am in pain I curl my toes up, and when happy or in a good mood, I do skip or simply balance on my toes more than needed. Akira is the same, and we often get to focus on her legs. It was a cute scene and it’s a perfect way to show the feelings of a character who doesn’t get a narrating voice or inner monologues to explain their thoughts.
A pure love like Akira’s is only possible for someone falling in love for the first time. She made herself so pretty for the date, wore beautiful shoes and made her hair different. Her blush was also obvious and when she was sitting next to Tencho in the cinema, she was very excited. And then she started collecting all those things, the movie pamphlet she already had at home and even the receipts from the cafe they went to; useless stuff, which will make her remember the time she got to spend with Tencho. Isn’t she cute? Isn’t being in love for the first time beautiful? I remember when I was her age and collected useless stuff like that, just because it reminded me of a situation I had with my crush. But we don’t really do that when we grow up, do we?
This couldn’t have been made any better. Her forced date with Kase was definitely a date, even if he thought otherwise, and she showed him how much she hates being with him. She also didn’t let him pay for anything, which was amusing to me because I am the type of person to pay for myself on a date as well. When she goes on the exact same date with Tencho, at first I was a bit bored. But looking closely at Akira, who reacted so differently this time, was so much fun and a good way to show her feelings once again! It was fun!
Kase-san is not wrong…
…he’s just an ass. His way of telling Akira that her relationship with Tencho will never work out is creepy is not right. Forcing her into a date is even worse. And giving her a kiss on the cheek is the cherry on top of wrong-doings. It should be none of his business! At least, as long as Tencho is not obviously returning her feelings. So why he forces her into a date is a bit of a mystery to me. Tencho already knows about her feelings. They are not together or anything. There is nothing wrong. What if other co-workers find out she likes an old man? She is a young girl, people can chuckle about it and then say she will find someone her age soon. At least where I am from, we do not take a crush like that seriously, as long as the adult is doing the right thing. It’s as if my younger sister were telling me she is in love with her teacher. Okay, cute, haha, you’re funny, move on.
But back to Kase and him being stupid… I like that he is giving Akira a bit of pressure and tells her off. At this point, someone should, so Kase comes in handy.
Real kisses and dream kisses
I do not approve of the kiss Kase gave Akira, but I couldn’t help but smile at her reaction. What was even cuter was the short sequence when time stopped and Akira was dreaming up a kiss she could give Tencho. In all honesty, it didn’t spark any heartbeats or make me think they are a cute couple. It’s her love that I think is cute.
Tencho’s lost youth
After all my fangirling about Akira, there also was a very touching scene with Tencho. He just can’t wrap his head around the feelings a young girl like Akira could have for him. He remembers the days when he was on his first date, drinking bittersweet coffee. He gets all flustered and also longs for a similar situation, but he knows that he is not young and can’t get that time back. It’s a short scene to watch, even if you are not already married and over 40, I think just being an adult in the working life is enough to make you feel your heart squeeze a bit in pain for Tencho and maybe a bit for yourself. It’s beautiful melancholy, which fits the season.
Enjo Kousai – Compensated Dating
The moment when Akira and Tencho order their drinks at the cafe, Akira is hiding her face and blushing. We don’t know for sure because the reaction of the waitress could have many reasons, but I think Akira might want her to think the completely wrong thing because the day before, Akira came to the same place with a university student and this time she came with an old man. The waitress could think she is selling herself. In the 90s, when mobile phones were starting to become popular, Japan had an issue with girls selling themselves. Some of them would only spend time with older men and go to karaoke with them or to eat out in exchange for money or branded bags, etc. But some would also sell their bodies and go to hotels with them, doing things just to get money which they could spend with their friends next time or use to buy new clothes. The waitress taking a second look at Akira might be because she thinks she might be doing something inappropriate here, since both guys she came with were older than her. The cafe was also described to be a place for couples, which only strengthens my theory that they wanted to show how the rest of the world would see Akira when she is spending time with Tencho…
Expectations for the next episode
It was a fun ride and I want to see what Kase will do next! Apparently he didn’t consider their date to have been a proper date. I also don’t see him giving in that easily. So we will see what he is up to! I also wonder how Tencho will handle her next and if she will ever ask him on a date again. As far as we know Tencho, he probably won’t have a change of heart anytime soon and will keep treating Akira the same way as before, which is unsettlingly normal. Also, the lack of Yoshizawa is disturbing! Where is he, where is his love for Akira? He should have gone on a date with Akira instead of Kase!