A group of students begin their third year of junior high school. Akane is a hardworking but somewhat shy member of the track team. Kotaro is a quiet boy who dislikes school life but loves reading and writing. They meet accidentally at a restaurant and, after teasing from their respective families, awkwardly interact.
Akane and Kotaro are both assigned as members of the equipment preparation committee for the school sports festival. Kotaro misses several meetings, preferring to read and work on writing a novel. Hoping to connect with him and help him participate more, Akane approaches him and they exchange IDs using the chat app LINE.
There are probably a lot of people who are going to like this show for being atmospheric, depicting the realities of middle school life (simple conversations about weekend plans, announcements about upcoming events) at a slow, gentle pace. Unfortunately, I was not one of those people. To put it bluntly…I found this show quite boring.
I get what Tsuki ga Kirei was going for. I really do. Dialogue was minimal, in order to focus on small moments like the protagonists noticing each other in class for the full time. “Plot-important” discussions (if they could even be called such) were interspersed with chatting about homework. Unfortunately, for me, the result was a slow-paced show with two characters who came across as underdeveloped and bland because of how little dialogue they were given. I didn’t get what Akane and Kotaro found so interesting about one another, because neither of them were the slightest bit interesting.
Kotaro especially (what little personality he has) comes across as rather pretentious and grating. His brief inner monologue is complaining about how stupid the “hierarchical society” of school is, he skips out on assigned tasks because he’s convinced he’s writing the Great Japanese Novel, and his attempts to get to know Akane better consist of not actually talking to Akane, but rather….reading a book by novelist Osamu Dazai which has a female protagonist. Sure, he’s an accurate depiction of how insufferable some people are in middle school, but that doesn’t make him any less annoying to watch.
While it was frustrating that the “big event” of the first episode’s “plot” was merely the exchange of IDs, I did like the utilization of the messaging app LINE. LINE is massively popular in Japan, and it was fun to see it playing a big role as a source of communication in the show. (I personally use LINE for almost everything. Including complaining to Moeronpan about how boring this show was.) We also got a few shots of characters sending some of LINE’s distinctive stickers, which were drawn very cutely and I did find amusing. Sadly, however, the incorporation of LINE was the sole positive in a massive swamp of negative, so I can only give this show: