Yesterday o Utatte

Title:Yesterday o Utatte
Sing "Yesterday" For Me
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Dogakobo
Rikuo has graduated from college, but has zero ambition or direction and works in a convenience store. A strange high-school dropout, Haru, keeps coming around with her pet crow. Rikuo still has a crush on his senior Shinako, who is beginning a teaching career, and who shows up in the store one day. Rikuo's relationships with the girls, and his feelings about his life, keep changing as the story evolves, bringing in other important characters—Rikuo's co-worker, the coworker's sister, and a childhood friend of Shinako's, etc.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

12-episode TV anime that premiered on April 4, 2020.
Animated by Dogakubo.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3819#628]
(Four episodes watched):

This quickly struck me as a classy, mature show. A web of interconnected characters is established: Rikuo's old college girlfriend. Shinako, is now a teacher and has moved into the area. Another girl, Haru, has taken an interest in him (apparently based on nothing more than an episode in which he dropped something important and she picked it up for him), and it just happens that Haru used to be a student of Shinako. Something unfortunate happened which led Haru to drop out of school, and Shinako regrets it. The web is intriguing and plausible (except maybe for how Haru became attracted to Rikuo), and it definitely seems to be going somewhere. Most anime tell stories which are so simple that there's little need for the viewers to do much thinking in order to understand everything, but Yesterday seems like a complex tale which makes us curious and will reward our curiosity.

In episode two yet another character is introduced, a student of Shinako who also happens to be the brother of her former boyfriend. He seems to be attracted to her himself and regards Rikuo as a rival. Likewise, Haru sees Shinako as a rival for Rikuo's attention, even though Shinako doesn't see it that way. It gets a little confusing; is Shinako serious when she insists that she and Rikuo should be nothing more than friends, or not? My guess is that she likes to think that way, but deep down feels somewhat differently. I hope the easy to understand romantic triangle doesn't become a difficult to understand quadrangle, or pentagon, or even worse. At the end of episode one what was going on was pretty clear, but now I'm not so sure. Things continue to get complicated in episode three. I guess one problem I have is that it's hard to take Haru's attraction to Rikuo seriously, given that they met when he picked up something she had dropped and returned it to her, and apparently that was enough to trigger love at first sight for her. Would you want a girlfriend like that? The episode left me feeling that nothing had changed significantly--no shocking revelations this time around--and while it was enjoyable I was wondering what the point of it had been. For some reason, I wish this had remained a romantic triangle rather than becoming a romantic quadrangle. Almost as soon as the younger brother of Shinako's late boyfriend appeared, I got the feeling that he was diverting attention from what really mattered in this story. Maybe his motivations--he wants his brother's girlfriend for himself--were unconvincing and/or impure. Maybe he doesn't seem like a serious competitor for Rikuo, and therefore just a distraction.

Last updated Tuesday, May 26 2020. Created Monday, April 27 2020.

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