All of my expectations from last week were crushed in this week’s episode of After the Rain. While I did read the manga, there seem to be some differences in the anime and many things I didn’t quite remember clearly. However, I am 90% sure they did change a certain scene. Or maybe there are two scenes that are similar? Anyway, I will wait and see what happens. I still like what we got this week, so let’s take a look at it.
Japanese Title: 愁雨 (Shuuu)
Episode 9 – Rain of Sorrow
Akira and Haruka enjoy some time at the festival and Akira isn’t even bothered by the younger siblings of Haruka tagging along. When she meets Tencho at the festival, her day seems perfect. That is until she has this big fight with Haruka about not talking to her like they used to. Haruka storms off and Akira has to learn how to deal with Haruka being angry with her…
Tencho, on the other hand, went to meet the mysterious Chihiro, who talks to him about their youth and dreams. He learns a lot from Chihiro and they have a great time together. In the end, Tencho even gets to pass some of the new knowledge on to Akira, who opens up to him about her problems.
Fights with Friends
Wow, that was surprisingly refreshing. Though, I have to say that I am really confused with Haruka and her blushing and behavior. Is it normal to behave like a puppy in love with your BFF around that age? I don’t really know, because I remember I did want to share a house with my BFF and that I enjoyed spending time with her, but I wouldn’t quite react that way if I found out that she liked someone. Well, my BFF never liked a 45-year old guy, but I clearly remember a time when my friend told me she was in love with a cartoon character… And that was never an issue, I just got all giddy and asked her what she liked about him and looked at him with new eyes, wondering what it was that made him look cool to her. Those wondering, the character she liked was Seiya Kou from Sailor Moon. At this point in life, I totally get why she liked him. Anyway, back to Akira and Haruka… I think they really have only one problem: no time to meet. Before, they got to spend so much time practicing, but now they hardly have time to see each other and that makes them feel the distance between them. It’s just that they are being portrayed too different. Haruka as someone who might even be in love with her friend while Akira doesn’t seem to think she can fight for their friendship. She sees it all as over. It will be great to see how they mend their relationship! I really hope they have a heart-to-heart talk and bond over this experience.
Akira in a Beautiful Yukata
No, I will not fangirl about how beautiful Akira was once again and how beautiful her yukata was and that she is such a classic beauty… My poor heart can hardly take it… However, I want to talk about the lack of reaction from Tencho! Couldn’t we at least get to hear him think how beautiful she looked? Or have Yuto ask his dad if she wasn’t pretty today or something? I was so sad that he didn’t react at all. Especially because I did expect a lot more because I had read the manga and the story there was quite different to what we got in this episode… I looked forward to it so much, so maybe there is another summer festival where the things happen the same as in the manga? Anybody else who read the manga recently and can enlighten me?
Yeah, so I made a stupid assumption that Chihiro is a woman because the name sounds more female than anything else. Turns out it is a guy (at least he has long hair) and on top of that, he is a mega cool guy! The amazing thing is that they draw a parallel here between Tencho and Akira. They are both failing at the things they love to do, while other people (who also happen to be their best friends) manage to chase their dreams. We found out that Tencho actually gave up his dream so he could marry his girlfriend, just to end up getting a divorce. Love before work. Chihiro did chase his dreams and is now where Tencho would like to be. While he thinks his time is over to brood over his lost dream, Akira is right where Tencho was back then. She could still try running, but instead, she distances herself from everybody and falls head over heels in love with someone she can look up to… It is a beautiful story. It also gives me hope that they can help each other with their dreams. Akira is very optimistic and admiring when it comes to Tencho, so maybe she can give him some motivation. Tencho, on the other hand, can clearly see all the potential she still holds and might be able to help her get back on her feet. Totally a win-win situation and I could see that happening in the next three episodes.
In Japan, there are still many situations where females stop working once they get married or once they are pregnant. The man has all the responsibility to keep everybody fed, dressed, and warm. It is a stressful and not very realistic situation and that’s why many women end up working part-time after they have children. Whether it’s good or bad I won’t comment on, but that’s how it is. So when Tencho decided to get married, he probably had to choose between chasing a dream and feeding the woman he loves and the children they might have by finding a job. He did what many Japanese men do and just found himself a job with steady income. It is a sad reality and while it is also a very common situation in the rest of the world, it is less easy to understand that the society here still pressures everybody into certain roles so much that it is totally understandable and even more so relatable that Tencho did what he did when he was young. He gave in to the standards of his society and is confronted with that decision now. When he looks back on his life, he regrets it a bit, especially since one of his friends made it big and has a book released.
Expectations for the next episode
All I was waiting for in the last episode still holds true for this one! All my expectations were betrayed, and while I loved the part with Chihiro and the unveiling of new information, there are still more things I am waiting for. I want some more romantic tension between Akira and Tencho because I want to see him fall a bit for her before they start working on making their relationship a healthy one. I mean, seriously, which old guy wouldn’t be flattered by the feelings of a young, beautiful girl like Akira. They would be tempted to act on it, but it would be wrong, so I want to see more temptation for Tencho and see him hold back. I also expect to see Yoshizawa and Yui back soon, because there is no way they can’t show us what is going on with them. Oh, and maybe Tencho will help Akira get over the thing with Haruka… And of course Haruka and Akira will have to make up, but that might not be in the next episode.