After the Rain was a show I looked forward to every week when it came out.
Synopsis: Due to a foot injury, Akira Tachibana is unable to continue track at her high school. On a rainy day, Tachibana enters Garden Cafe and meets Masami Kondou, the 45 year old manager of the cafe. This story is about Tachibana’s romantic feelings towards Kondou and it explores the themes of friendships and new beginnings.
This anime is not problematic!!! While the premise may seem inappropriate because of the big age gap, Tachibana confesses her feelings early on in the show. Spoiler, but the relationship they have in the start of the series doesn’t really progress. I’m talking about the anime only. Instead, the anime shifts and explores both Tachibana’s friendship with her friend from the track team and Kondou’s friendship with his old-time friend who is a successful writer.
There’s also the theme of loss, because of Tachibana’s injury and her loss of not being able to run anymore. Running was important to her because it was a part of her identity. Kondou also experienced loss because his goal of publishing a book never became fruitful. There’s also the theme of new beginnings, which I found uplifting.
If you enjoy writing or reading novels, then this anime may especially appeal to you because there are references to Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. I wonder if Akira Tachibana’s name was deliberately chosen because of the director and screen writer. In fact, After the Rain is one of Kurosawa’s films. It’s cool that this anime shares the same title as the 1999 film.
Imagery: The animation is gorgeous! The colours are so pretty and there are lovely shots of the rain and hydrangea flowers. Tachibana’s eyes are so beautiful to look at. The last episode amazed me with its beautiful imagery.
Music: Aimer sings the ending song! Her song, Ref:rain, is so good. There’s also a lot of calming but beautiful instrumental music.
If you decide to watch this anime, do not go in expecting Tachibana and Kondou to become a couple. Instead, enjoy the beautiful imagery, music and themes on friendships, loss and new beginnings.