Just Because, an original animated series by PINE JAM will surely take you back to your days in high school. Hajime Kamoshida, the author of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou light novel series, is the creative mastermind behind the series. Kiseki Himuro, the author of Sword Art Online Progressive, is the person behind the original character designs. Furthermore, Hiroyuki Yoshii, author of Getsuyoubi no Tawawa, is the one responsible for the anime character designs. When you look at it, that’s a pretty nifty line-up there for an anime series.
In North America, Sentai Filmworks has licensed the series and they stream it in Amazon’s Anime Strike service.
Just Because: The Story In A Nutshell
Eita Izumi has finds himself in the most peculiar place for a high school student. After moving away four years ago, he ended up transferring back for the last semester. Do note that this is also his final year in high school as well. As the rest of his classmates started to pursue their futures, Izumi finds himself reconnecting with childhood friends. Basically, he’s clinging to the last dying embers of a high school life that’s already ending as it starts. He was having a hard time adjusting in his final year in high school and having to transfer back to his previous hometown just makes it harder for him.
Just Because: Is It A Weird Title For An Anime?
The first time I’ve heard of this anime project, I thought that Just Because was an odd title. It made me think that somehow, it was another of those dull anime series. However, after watching its first episode, the title slowly started to make sense. I won’t be spoiling it here, you can watch the episode for yourself. To note, episode 1 takes a meandering approach. It gave me glimpses of what every character in the main ensemble is up to. There’s nothing interesting about this honestly, although the writing does firmly establish angles to work from.
Just Because: The Overall Narrative
Just Because’s subtle narrative approach likely wouldn’t work if it wasn’t so very good at establishing its characters. Though the show’s dialogue could use a little more oomph. Furthermore, Just Because is more than capable of establishing characters through their body languages alone. The show is full of flavorful little physical gestures. With everything from their expressions to their overall posture, it helps us see clear on who these characters really are.
This character acting combines gracefully with the series’ tendency to portray rather than tell in narrative terms. We eventually start learning more about the characters’ interests and their former selves at the same moment when they actually come up in a conversation. It will feel like you’re a part of the anime itself.
Just Because, especially its first episode, offers a close to perfect platform for a satisfying character drama. A couple of cuts of animations were a bit rough, and there were a couple of lines from the characters that felt a bit awkward. Nonetheless, the series succeeded in showing a remarkable effort to say the least. From the brilliantly employed character acting to its confident narrative structure. Plus, the already likable cast will make you love the anime more.
Just Because: My Final Thoughts
I’d recommend you watch this anime if you’re the type who thinks high school is full of burden. You’ll soon discover that it’s no burden at all. It was also a kind of home for most, and the friendships and identities you’ve kindled across those years may disappear without you noticing. High school ending is a brisk winter breeze, it’s both invigorating and stiffing, a cold wind that tells you to keep those that you’ve come to love close at hand.
Learn to cherish each moment as I’d always say.