It kind of bothers me that some offerings in anime are presented as ‘movies’, when they are an animated short subject or an untethered OVA. This one, “Hinata no Aoshigure” (“Rain in the Sunshine”) clocks in at 24 minutes (the length of many episodes), but does manage to do quite a lot. I just felt they could have taken out a few more minutes to make the poignancy better.
We are in the fourth grade (fourth grade romance? Really?) and up there, to the left, we have Hinata. He is very good at drawing and lives in a fantasy world, as he is also painfully shy. He falls in love with his classmate, Shigure (the giggly one); however, Hinata is not good at talking to people, so he keeps his feelings in his imagination and his drawings. He constructs these elaborate pictures and tries to work up the courage to tell her how he feels, but things always go wrong and it fizzles and flops. Well, more like crash and burn. Nine times out of ten, he flees in utter panic, lest something really goes wrong. Then, on the day he will do this (give her a drawing he made of them together), Shigure’s family decides to move to another town. When the day of the move comes, Hinata says to himself, “I must tell her my feelings!” and starts to chase after the train which is taking Shigure away.
It certainly has the look of a Studio Ghibli film and some of the most imaginative backgrounds I have seen in a long time. And the ending chase sequence is a marvelous flight of fancy that ties the whole offering together. It’s just that I found it a bit too brief. And the ending gives no indication as to what will happen next. As I said, just a few more minutes to show some additional heartbreak or how Shigure feels about all of this and the depth of her feelings for her (even for a fourth grader) would have made for something more complete than as episodic as it came across. More’s the pity.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (High quality art direction)
Plot 7 (Good, but could have been better)
Pacing 8 (Brisk without being rushed)
Effectiveness 8 (Good, especially with the ‘art’ sequences)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 7 (Too brief for my tastes)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I must tell her.