Last year, one of the titles that my friends recommended to me was a slice-o’-life series that focused on a wish that granted an age-switcheroo between a girl and a woman. I didn’t really know what to make of that description, but it seemed interesting enough to check out anyway. The show held my interest long enough to watch all the way through, but I feel a bit apathetic about the whole thing. Asatte no Houkou was a nice short series about relationships and misunderstandings, but there was nothing too special or unique in its execution despite the “unusual” premise.
I still was impressed by some of the things the series did/attempted to do throughout its run. I liked seeing Karada, the girl, and Shouko, the woman, react to and quickly/begrudgingly (especially in Shouko’s case) accept their changes. They both had maturity in that situation, yet Shouko seemed more realistic in my opinion.
We all knew that Karada was very mature for a person her age, though I thought her wish to be immature. How many of us as kids didn’t want to grow up a little faster then they were? Yet it makes more sense in Karada’s case because of the situation she was in as an adoptive sister to pharmacist Hiro, though her “not wanting to be a bother to her brother” rationale was kinda sappy to me. It was interesting how she ended up causing problems for Hiro and Shouko anyway attempting to follow her rationale though. And episode 8 did an excellent job at showing what led Karada to making her decision in both cases. It helps that the song “Kasa” by Suara was used in a way to make the execution impressive (though the ED is still the song I prefer overall :P).
We never really know until the end of Asatte no Houkou about what Shouko’s real wish was, but to me it made more sense. I feel like because I’m going to be an adult age-wise soon, I know a little bit about how Shouko felt when making her wish. Realizing that I’ve never experienced certain things as a child in order to do well and losing things I had back then in the process of growing up, I understand Shouko’s nostalgia for what could have been based on the brief snatches of her history with Hiro we see. It’s also why her wish seems less immature than Karada’s, and why it’s nice to see Shouko trying to accustom to her new situation as adult in mind/heart, child in body).
If there was one thing that bugged me about Asatte no Houkou, it was in the pacing near the end. While it was good that all problems were solved and relationships forged/strengthened, everything felt too rushed. As a result, nice coincidences occurred and it seemed that reactions were far too short. The conclusions that some characters found didn’t work too well. For example Hiro’s resolution at the end was all well and good (and cliché :P), but I didn’t see enough character development out of him to really have him justify that position. If anything, one statement from Shouko was probably the impetus for it, and that felt like too little, too late for me.
It felt like the show should not have ended with episode 12, which made everything seemtacked on, forced, and more cheesy than it should have been in wrapping it up, as rushed endings are wont to do. Annoyingly, our good old friend Deus Ex Machina also reigned supreme in tying up everything up. Nevertheless, Asatte no Houkou was entertaining, and it does make me wonder when I’ll have my Summer of Change. I can always dream. :3