During the final summer in a lazy seaside town, a group of longtime friends look forward to the future and the next step to their relationships. Bright and cheerful girl Touko Funami is an aspiring artist and apprentice at her father’s glasswork shop and wants to make their last summer memorable. When a new transfer student, Kakeru Okikura, comes into town, the group is unprepared for the changes he brings to their dynamic, especially to Touko. As hidden feelings bubble to the surface, a hidden connection between Kakeru and Touko is discovered; they can both see ‘fragments’ of the future.
Director Junji Nishimura helms this at times sweet and at times dramatic adaptation of the manga and light novel series. Noticeably slower paced than I was expecting, it does reflect the lazier days of summer but loses quite a bit of momentum with the tendency to jump around to various characters and their own unique relationships. While this isn’t bad as a coming of age sort of series, the difference in interest stems primarily through the varying levels of investment of the group of friends.
Perhaps most compelling is the thread of step-siblings Yuki and Yanagi who find their growing feelings, Yuki for Touko and Yanagi for Yuki. Compelling enough for a standalone premise, it is bittersweet and highly reminiscent of many teenage youth dramas and perhaps even more compelling than the main thread of Touko and Kakeru. There is also a C-line with two other friends, Hiro and Sachi, that plays up the well tread idea of an ill girl and the giving boyfriend. It’s predictable and chaste and is weaker considering the other plots at play.
The animation is terrific, with highly detailed backgrounds and scenery with clean and attractive character designs. It’s a good looking show which is more than appropos for the content and subject matter, but does end up a bit forgettable as it is nothing most anime fans haven’t seen dozens of times before.
This recent anime series takes a slow paced approach that at times frustrates with the teasing of resolution and the puzzling elements of philosophical introspection towards the series’ end. It is a solid series that will win fans but isn’t memorable enough to really warrant multiple viewings or even a second revisit.