Pocket Picks #6: Because I Can

Fall 2017 was a season that was absolutely jam-packed with fabulous shows, many of them being shows i’ll remember for a long, long time. In all the excitement of the season, I inevitably ended up missing out on quite a few shows. At the recommendation from several people, though, I went back and decided to give one of them a try…

The show in question is a Romance/Drama that aired on AnimeStrike, and by doing so went by relatively quietly as far as the popularity scales are concerned. Just Because! is a show that gives us a great, down-to-earth look into what teen romance is really like, and how that romance can be affected by choices and different states in people’s lives.

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As another school year begins drawing to a close, the third-year high school students move steadily toward the next milestone of their lives: graduation. Among them are Mio Natsume, a girl burdened with lingering feelings; Hazuki Morikawa, a member of the concert band but distant from the others; and Haruto Souma, an athlete obsessed with baseball. Meanwhile, second-year student Ena Komiya seeks to revive the photography club to its former glory, refusing to let the organization be disbanded. Though this group lacks a strong connection with one another, their lives suddenly cross paths with the arrival of a third-year transfer student.

– MAL

It’s honestly been a while since I picked up a show meaning to watch just one episode, and ended up devouring the whole thing in an evening. Just Because! did a great job drawing me in with interesting characters and character dynamics, and held my attention to the end with a nice amount of story tension, though not enough to feel stressful.

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While there are several different romances going on all at once over the course of the show, the main cast is kept concise, putting the main focus on a group of 6 students and their interactions. The amount of dialogue delivered through text messaging really helped set the mood and atmosphere of the show, and the beautiful visuals certainly didn’t hurt.

My favorite character in the series is probably Ena Komiya. In my opinion, she felt like the most realistic character, both in her actions and her motivations, and her determination and drive really touched me several times over the course of the show. Ena is a great example of what people can accomplish when they have a dream and a goal to work towards.

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The pacing of the show is somewhat on the slower side, though it never really felt boring or dragging along, and it’s easy enough to binge (I did it, after all). Honestly, i’m not sure if I actually regret missing the show during its airing season, as the act of binging it was an interesting and unique experience in its own right.

Leap250 has a great insight into the show:

Watching Just Because! made me cringe, uncomfortable, and anxious — which, in a lot of ways looking back, made me think about how I’ve felt all the same feelings during my time in high school. Just Because! is an excellent case study in depicting realism in Slice-of-Life. Kinda weird to say considering that’s what SoL/Drama is as a genre, but what sets this show apart from the others is its willingness to be awkward — so wonderfully awkward.

Anyways, guys, if you’re in the mood for a nice Romance/Drama show with some nice production value, loveable characters, and a startling degree of realism, give Just Because! a try!

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