I watched Just Because. Here are my thoughts:
Overall this anime has an unmistakably amateurish and low-budget feel to it. Despite its flaws though, this story plucks at my heartstrings. In a lot of ways, Just Because is a fairly standard-fare highschool romance story. However, I found that the character dynamics and interactions feel very real. The story genuinely feels like something that could happen in real life. The writing is very down to earth and involves ordinary people and ordinary events. It feels very organic and wholesome. The story in this feels like soil between my fingers – it is so authentic, lifelike and down to earth. I found Just Because very immersive because it felt like a genuine depiction of real life. This is not something that can be said for most anime, romance in particular.
I had this show on my mind a lot. Long after each episode ended it would still be creeping into my mind. Despite it being a slow-paced show with mundane events, I finished it in under 5 days (very rare for me, particularly for a 'low-intensity' anime like this). I always eagerly looked forward to watching the next episode and did not want to watch anything else until I had completed this anime; I was quite captivated by it.
This anime has a unique atmosphere to it. It is consistently very calm and soothing – almost hypnotic. Despite there being interpersonal conflict, nobody ever really yells or fights, or even interrupts. Most characters' emotions are conveyed gracefully. The dialogue is nearly always slow and calm. This might sound like a trivial observation, but these qualities are relatively rare for anime. It's also worth noting there is basically zero comedic relief in this, which in ~90% of cases is a good thing for anime, in my opinion.
Although I've praised aspects of the writing above, one of my main criticisms of this show is that the characters are fairly bland, especially the MC(Izumi). Pretty much the entire cast is bland and underdeveloped, with the possible exception of Komiya. I'm not sure this could have been avoided given the size of the cast and the 12-episode runtime, but it is a weak aspect in any case. Of all the characters, I empathized with Komiya by far the most. Another criticism I have is that the plot does seem to rely excessively on coincidences to make thPost too long. Click here to view the full text.