In the first episode of the yuri romantic comedy Sasameki Koto, we’re introduced right away to high school best friends Kazama and Murasame. Kazama is an open and out of the closet lesbian (though she only likes ‘cute girls’ because a girl has to have standards) while Murasama is quietly in the closet. In this episode, Kazama reveals to her friends that she has a crush on the library TA that she works with after school but is too afraid to admit her feelings to her. Meanwhile, Murasume is dealing with her feelings for Kazama which lead to jealousy and loneliness as she watches her friend crush on another girl.
Good and the Bad
I went into Sasameki Koto knowing only one thing: yuri romantic comedy. What I found soon afterwards is easily one of the best premieres of the season. Wonderful exactly because of its ability to not bowl you over with its presentation, right away it’s really easy to feel at ease with this series. The characters and writing are all so easy going that it’s easy to forget about the melodrama that is seeping in during every scene.
The primary thing that concerned me about this being a romantic comedy was what the tone of the humor was going to be. The last thing I was interested in seeing was a series of ‘look, wacky lesbians!’ jokes and so it was really nice to see that the humor is much more subtle. Sasameki Koto isn’t afraid to use the girls sexuality for their jokes but it’s never played up for cheap laughs.
Even when it’s not trying to be funny though, Sasameki Koto has an incredible gentle feel to it thanks to many quiet moments. Showing no fear in letting its audience draw their own conclusions, there are multiple scenes where absolutely no dialogue is used. Usually focusing on Murasame, it was so nice to see the series frame her loneliness and let the design convey the emotion rather than just using a lazy, obvious exposition monologue.
The animation created by AIC retains a really soft feel that matches the story and characters. The color palette is light but it’s never blindingly bright. Am I the only one seeing lots of similarities in character design between this series and others such as Aoi Hana and Azumanga Daioh though?
Playing into each scene, the music throughout the episode is made up of a number of nice string and piano themes. Just like everything else in this episode though, the music tends to be very quiet and not overpowering. What I particularly enjoyed about the score composed by Shigeomi Hasumi is that it never felt like it was trying to lead the audience towards something. When Kazama let a one liner go, the music didn’t suddenly perk up to make the audience laugh and it didn’t push me towards being more sympathetic late in the episode. It was there to fill the background and it did so perfectly.
For not knowing what to expect when I started, Sasameki Koto did a great job of giving me an answer. An entertaining premiere, this is one that I would push towards anyone who wants something light hearted with a side of substance. The story and feeling behind this series feels stronger than with most series I’ve watched this season and already makes me want to see more. If you wanted to watch Aoi Hana but found it too dry or hard to approach, this feels like it could be a nice alternative.