Mike: I think so. If my commenter is right–that this is going to turn into serious dorama. I can see that happening, it being about the pain of separation and such–which I wouldn’t mind, if it’s done well. But so far the first episode hasn’t given me so much confidence that it is.
Ray: Like I said, it has some taste but it doesn’t quite tickle my taste buds. And yet it’s not completely flavorless. It needs a pinch of salt, some spices and maybe some cinnamon. Or maybe vinegar. It’s like a plain vanilla ice cream with little flavoring. I probably won’t follow it for long.
Ray: I mean, even Aya-chan is just playing a plain, nice girl in this one. She’s trying to do more moe stuff recently, like her character in Hyakko, but this time, she’s bland. I feel like they are using her as the trump card to draw crowds, and this is NOT the drama she should be doing.
Though here’s a funny thing: they make some deal about this being set in 1985 or 86, but there isn’t all that much period detail other than people using pay phones instead of cell phones I wonder, why the time period?
Ray: 1986. There was the currency exchange rate, and the hair of one of the guys seemed rather old fashioned. But everything else just didn’t give me a feeling of the 80s. Maybe it’s the music? I don’t know. I watched Mnemosyne (odd example, I know), and I thought, “Wow, this is more 80s and perhaps later.” But this one, for some odd reason, just doesn’t cut it. It could be that I’m not familiar with 80’s Japan, but something that feels 80’s tend to stand out in my mind (having recalled my memories back in that period over and over again to relive them).
Ray: Yeah, those. But the key term here is “kind of.” The problem is we’ve been having 80’s stuff being recycled a little bit in recent pop culture, that it can be hard to tell. Maybe I’m way off on that one? I don’t know, it just doesn’t strike me as very much, dead-on 80s.
Mike: Not really. It could be a reflection too, that in some ways life wasn’t all that different. The main thing that has really changed is computers, the internet, and cell phones, and come to think of it, a lot of slice of life anime doesn’t hinge on those things very much.
Oh I know! The art style! No matter what they try, this still looks like a post 2000’s production.
Ray: Remember the 80’s Macross or other anime that you saw? It’s vastly different from today’s stuff. This show’s style, while they can’t help it, just doesn’t look 80’s. Maybe that’s what was bugging me.
Mike:Well, in a way, maybe that’s not what the show is trying to do. Like I don’t think it’s trying to replicate the visual style of the 80s so much. It’s more like a post-2000s anime that uses the 80s as a setting.
Though actually, did you feel the OP was actually more in the style of the kind of pop songs that J-idols did then? I actually thought it sort of did.
Ray: But I don’t think that was the intended audience, so it’s probably just trying to present a simulated mood for the ’80s, but at the same time, trying to reach out to today’s people. Because to me, the so-called 80’s setting looks really just like a gimmick that probably makes young people say: “Wow, that happened in the 80s!” or “So that was what the 80’s looked like! Now I finally get what my older loser brother was talking about!”
Ray: “That girl’s dress looked too funky…” “How did they text message?” “I can’t even remember where to meet most of the time without calling on cell! How did they arrange to meet?” “Of course he’d miss her! Because they forgot to buy cell phones!!!!! Oh…there wasn’t any?” XD
Mike: This reminds me of how people were complaining about the first act of 5 Centimeters a Second, when the characters are still kids. They said, why don’t they talk on cell phones and just meet up that way? The answer was: because cell phones weren’t common then!
Mike: No kidding. It really has changed the way we communicate. Heck, I sometimes wonder now how I could live without my iPhone! And that’s just from a year ago! I think when something doesn’t exist, of course we can’t think of anything better. That’s just the way things are. And when the technological advance comes, we think, “how come I never thought of that?” And then it becomes part of our fabric of our lives.