Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Season: Summer 2019
On the surface, Araburu Kisetsu is yet another romance/school-life themed anime that could be compared to Tsurezure Children. However, contrary to my first impression of the show, the anime is indeed quite a ‘unique’ find. What was it like growing up and falling in love? How was the journey of self-exploration and sex like for all of us? These simple yet deep questions is extensively explored within the anime, making it a seemingly relaxing yet meaningful show that depicted OUR own journey of growing up.
The story revolves a group of sexually inexperienced students of the Literature Club. They deemed sex as an immoral act, even going as far as to ban the word ‘sex’ itself. However, one after another, each member suddenly find themselves exposed to a multitude of sexual situations that they undeniably can’t escape from. This is a story about the growth of each characters as they discover their own and unique sexual orientation and preferences.
In terms of plot, Araburu Kisetsu does not follow a linear plot, but rather has episodic arcs for the relationships of each characters. Initially, the plot is quite silly, depicting the characters as silly and laid-back… until episode 10 on-ward. Surprisingly, the story takes a sudden darker turn, and in all seriousness, members of the Literature Club begin having their own relationship breakdowns.
There are no plot twists within the story, which although can be a disappointment for some, will definitely not fit in with the general theme of the anime. Overall, the plot is quite believable, allowing you as the viewer to be fully immersed into the story.
Almost all of the characters within the anime has the mentality of a teenager undergoing puberty. Sex is a incredibly strange realm for them, and they cringed at the slightest mention of the word ‘sex’ itself. Throughout the anime, all character underwent massive transformation in both understandings of themselves as well as the types of relationships there is.
The inexperienced characters within the show definitely reminded me of my middle-school self. We all must have been there at one point; where one utter of the word ‘sex’ or anything related will result in you cracking up uncomfortably. Ironically, I love this anime… because I hated how relatable the cringe is. I hated the way Araburu reminded me of my middle-school self, something in which I wanted to forget forever.
Kazusa, having suddenly developed feelings for her childhood friend Izumi, finds herself stepping into a new realm of romantic and sexual attraction when she caught him masturbating. She desperately struggled to find the meanings of her own feelings and even considering having sex with Izumi, although the word sounds incredibly embarrassing to her. As a character, Kazusa is a perfect example of the cliche and pure teenager that is over-represented within the anime.
In addition, out of all the characters, Sugawara is definitely the most unique due to her immoral, ALMOST messed up, childhood relationships. In earlier episodes, Sugawara opinion on sex can be seen as extremely mature. Unlike her cliche peers within the club, she is more open to sexual conversation, and acts way more experienced through her counseling talks with Momoka and Kazusa. Some might question why Sugawara is involved in such a toxic relationship. Unlike her outer appearance, perhaps Sugawara is just an insecure high-schooler, and her earlier relationship fulfilled her self-satisfaction; in which she feels she is truly needed.
In terms of art, I feel this is where the anime really shine. The use of bright contrasts and coloring is best-fitting for such a silly and reminiscing show. Like most of the anime inexperienced and pure characters, the bright color choices give the general vibe of happiness and relaxation. Just like growing up, we are full of happy memories; where stress and anxiety simply does not have its place. The art successfully delivered this message, prompting us to remember and appreciate our nostalgic yet concern-free past.
Overall, Araburu Kisetsu is a sweet and nostalgic show about our early exposures to love and sex. Although the plot pacing can be slow initially, its overall message is magnificently delivered. Love is complicated, and there is a such a blurry line between romantic and sexual attraction.
Can we love without sex, and vice versa? Only you can determine your own answer to this question simple yet psychological question.