Three episodes in, it’s as fragile in its elegance as the manga is.
Stiff. Animation, story, characters; all these qualities and more can accurately be described to a major extent with that word. Basic movement is a little stutter-y, narrative is as slow and cryptically loaded as a slow-moving series can provide, and the characters lean just a little too heavily on their one convenient persona. Let’s laugh at the guy who has a thing for Tachibana! Let’s laugh at how awkward Kondo is! Let’s feel slight pity for how listless Tachibana is in life due to her injury! Stiff.
Even so, the series is one I was looking forward to as I’m also currently following its manga source material, which I would definitely consider a worthwhile read. There are things ahead that allow me to understand that (some) of the current hardiness by the series is only temporary, with time revealing the fruit that this delicate plant provides when the moment is right. Even within the first three episodes, there are little bits that, while on the surface normal, lead to more insight to seemingly one-dimensional characters. And it is these little moments, which glimmer in the sunlight like smooth seashells, which make me so respondent to this series as one of delightful introspection.
Somewhat reminiscent of my early thoughts on Violet Evergarden, Koi-You has an added boost to its intrigue through its emphasis on atmosphere and a slightly different setting. It’s not every day that an anime decides to focus on the romantic relationship between a teenager and a middle-aged man—and the teenager being the one to initiate it of all things! While still within the realm of “stiff,” there’s a slowly-building turmoil between Tachibana, Kondo, and their relationship as co-workers, lovers, and replacements for the voids in their heart. It encourages questioning of the decisions these characters make and why they make them. Hence, once again, makes this better than about half of all anime ever, but I’m into this intellectually-stimulated (2deep4u) gobbledygook.
I’d say this is my personal favorite among the series I’m currently watching, but it has a familiarity bias attached to it, as well. I can’t really say it’s better than Violet Evergarden mostly because I’m expecting Koi-You’s anime adaptation to end on an open note and who knows with the other? The waiting game is in full force to see who takes home the crown. I’ll say this, though: it’s probably not going to be the anime I write on tomorrow.