- Alt. Name
- Asagao to Kase-san,
- Morning Glory and Kase-san
- Release Date
- June 9, 2018
- 0 hr. 58 min.
Love is something everyone can relate to, whether it be platonic or sexual. Everyone has found love from someone, but when it comes to our first romantic, that’s what makes it extremely special. Though the relationship’s length varies based on multiple factors, all are magical, given that it’s a new experience. These anomalous experiences are generally excellent – and sometimes easy to do – simplistic stories to produce. Still, when done correctly and without falling into the cheesy category, that’s what makes it unique. Can a first love story be unique and entertaining while also avoiding cheesy pitfalls, so many of its counterparts have been fallen into before?
Kase-san and Morning Glories is a 2018 Yuri Romance Original Video Animation Film by underdog Japanese anime studio Zexcs. While the studio behind this series has made only a few noteworthy series, but that doesn’t mean this studio isn’t worth anything. Some potential viewers may be turned away by a Girls’ Love centered story, due to a premade assumption of what that may entail. However, there are layers to them as with any genre and don’t be turned away from new areas due to fandoms and other whatnots. I’d be extremely hard-pressed to turn away from watching any anime based on what others believe is good or bad based on what their friends would think.
As with any first love story, one should expect the narrative to be pretty basic, but at the same time, be entertaining. Shy, reserved Yui Yamada is a budding horticulturist who is solely responsible for caring for her high school’s greenery. While tending to her campus’ morning glories, Yamada has a chance encounter with the vivacious, sporty Tomoka Kase, star of the girl’s track team. Yamada and Kase could not be more different, and they have, and they have a lot to learn about one another, but as their friendship grows, their feelings begin to blossom into something more than companionship. Can these two polar opposite friends get past the various challenges that their relationship faces?
After watching Kase-san and Morning Glories a few times, one can tell that this is the nothing outside of typical. Though this may quickly be taken as a negative, it is somehow charming about this story. It’s easy flowing pacing, and timelessly relatable story can easily entice any potential viewer to be curious about what’ll happen next, even if the viewer knows what’s going to happen. Given that this story’s main positives are general, that doesn’t detach anything from within this story. It has a beautiful atmosphere around it that makes for a captivating tale that is basic and pins down the crucial moments when needed. That’s the critical aspect since many writers fail at even half of the essential elements within storytelling.
However, the negatives within this story range quite a bit, but the main problems are easily identifiable. For instance, the plot’s foundation is weirdly arranged; the story starts in the middle of the action. Though this Original Video Animated film is only an hour-long, the viewer should expect much, but they must expect something better. The film has no lead-up, absolutely nothing, and expects the viewer to be emotionally connected with the story and its characters. Which at the end of the day, the narrative is instead mediocre and entry-level writing.
Another negative within this film’s story was the lack of variety it had within itself, and that’s quite shocking given the many other Slice of Life Romance series stories have done much better with much less. The viewer shouldn’t expect to have a wonderfully unique and widely original apology every time they watch something, but they should expect something better. Challenge the viewer at times, don’t just assume that they’re going to want to watch something they’ve seen hundreds of times before. But what seems to be a positive, appears to have turned into the lower hanging fruit.
While the story was more or less bittersweet, the art style wasn’t that bad. The art style is one of its more positive areas within this OVA, but it’s a lonesome area. This artistic style is very alluring and is quite attractive, but at the same time, it’s not. Meaning it’s your stereotypical mid-2010’s high school anime design. Everything that one would like with the art style in Kase-san and Morning Glories, one could easily find in dozens if not hundreds of other series from the same time frame. It is a shame given that it possesses such beautiful lightened colors mixed with the backgrounds’ floral. Both being frailly encased with a thin black outline, making them seem more artistically real that one forgets what they’re watching.
The Animation Production side of this OVA was rather pleasantly unexpected. The long-established shots genuinely add to the untold story within this story, which was a real feast to the eyes. That being mixed with a beautiful sound system throughout the film that wasn’t overly used or what felt underused, was a blessing that the viewer wasn’t even expecting. But to add the cherry on top to this magnificent production was the lighting. It brightens the beautiful color scheme of the backgrounds and characters and is used to showcase emotion pretty well. Having all three areas working solidly together adds an extra level of potential enjoyment towards the viewer as it adds to this film’s fluffiness.
Throughout this short OVA film, the characters fall into three categories: Loving, Hating, and indifferent. If one believes these three categories are extensive, one’s enjoyment of the characters will surely fall on the story. For instance, the two main characters, Tomoka Kase and Yui Yamada are almost worldly different. This isn’t a negative since many stories throughout history have been made with the main characters being on different wavelengths. But what makes these two unique is that the viewer knows a lot more about Tomoka than Yui. So much more that it’s unrealistic to expect them to get along. Kase is the sporty one who is older, and Yui is the timid and earthy girl who takes care of the school’s flowers.
Sadly even with these shortcomings within the characters, the highlight is that they do have a decent amount of “character development” if one chooses to call it. As stated above, the viewers don’t know much about the characters, though they learn through the relationship. Still, the viewer will be given the impression that it’s more Tomoka over Yui eighty-five percent vs. fifteen. This relationship is way too one-sided and less impressive due to the characters’ problems within this story. If that’s not shocking, there are only two other characters within this film with a proper name, but they’re unimportant like the main characters.
Based on the film’s poster, I expected to have a heartwarming story with a good dose of re-experiencing one’s first love. While the narrative was lukewarm, but it was derailed due to the weird story dynamics and too generalized story. This OVA was more than what I expected in some areas, but also worthless in others, and some areas were truly critical that’ll almost hurt any romance lover. However, this short film perfectly made great use of the viewers’ wonderment potential, and it was put on thick! Don’t expect to love everything about this film but leave an open mind when viewing it because it has some better moments within its hard shell.
Overall this film was somewhat forgettable and unoriginal, which could never be an inadvertence from the viewer, but more towards the people behind Kase-san and Morning Glories. This OVA shows all signs of a half-assed attempt to make something with no heart or clear direction. If one is a fan of any of the following: Romance, Shoujo-ai, or anime in general, they best be forewarned to watch this movie with caution and don’t expect much from it other than a way to kill an hour with little brainpower. This anime is a choice example of what type of quality can go into a made for home release, regardless if it’s anime or whatnot.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.