Early Impressions: Yesterday wo Utatte

yesterday wo uttate cover

Apologies for the inactivity. Life’s been a tad busier for me lately. Let’s settle down and discuss some season anime.

I actually have a little experience with this base story, as I started its parent manga source a couple years ago and got up to eleven chapters before throwing it into on-hold hell. At the time, I felt the manga had potential, but its had a sort of aimless angstyness (angstiness?) to it that made it kind of hard to read. Not to say it was boring, but it was kind of dull. Dull in a way that made it seem very gray. My mindset may not have taken to it at the time.

The feeling is only sparingly revisited watching the anime adaptation (randomly produced nearly five years after the end of the manga’s publication). It’s somewhat refreshing how immersed I was in this in only the first few scenes. Granted it’s been a while, but it seems to have a more natural pace than the manga, and instills a sense of urgency nearly immediately, focusing on the quarrels of love and time.

Two things immediately came to mind as comparisons to this anime’s writing style: Spice & Wolf and Linkin Park. Interesting combination, no? The former is due to the relationship between Rikuo and Haru, which reminds me plenty of the back-and-forth between Holo and Kraft. A younger, wittier girl who comes into the older man’s life and causes a whirlwind of interesting events to suspend their otherwise free-flowing existence. Not the same execution follows, mind you, though it worked tremendously in Spice & Wolf, so I can’t help but be fond of it here, as well.

yesterday wo uttate 1
Neither did Holo!

Linkin Park comes in because of the occasionally blatant attempts at existentialism and anxiety. Sitting in a desolate park at night on the swing, gazing at the cherry blossoms falling in every direction, you think to yourself, “Time… ticks on so fast.” How profound. I’m not making that up, by the way. It’s phrased differently, but that’s an actual scene from the anime. Occasionally a little over-the-top, the dialogue is par for the course for a drama love triangle (or pentagon?) with a lot of introspection. Not bad, necessarily; just that it can feel a little overblown, especially when it’s been done plenty before.

Nevertheless, these rare instances of pretentious dialogue are among my few major complaints from the series thus far. I also don’t think the series has really hit its groove yet, and considering this (supposedly) has 18 episodes to work with and 110+ chapters of manga material, the pace is a tad fast. Yet what keeps this series interesting remains the self-aware characters and their chemistry. I quite like Haru, who parallels Holo both in personality and name structure. Even the male lead I don’t mind, if only for filling the role of “male lead with multiple potential female partners” adequately enough. Even the blonde co-worker of his is kind of neat… maybe not, can’t remember his name.

yesterday wo uttate 2
Do you think he gives up?

For an anime adapting a manga that started in the late ’90s, the entire design is fairly pleasing. Even Haru’s hair, which looks more akin to a male-action superhero, looks reasonable in this lonely universe. Animation is not always amazing, though it picks up in specific moments (two events come to mind, including the aforementioned park scene). Even though the story itself has a grayness that can’t seem to escape my mind, the brightened hues of the characters expressions and eyes, specifically, help shape the world into a magnificent landscape. They’re both normal and exaggerated, though only in small details, which I think helps both its realistic purposes and aesthetic quota.

While this probably won’t be a weekly watch, I look forward to continued semi-marathons of this for the time being. Unless a huge dip in quality arrives, this is probably one I won’t drop, and may even enjoy considerably. Yesterday is something I knew about before this adaptation was in production, and I saw the potential in that manga, too. It’s no surprise I’m enjoying this, though to what extent will depend on where this goes. Will it go Domestic Girlfriend or The Stories of Those Around Me? Somewhere in-between? Somewhere unique? Nah, doubt that last one.

Thank you for your time. Have a great day.

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