The first season definitely had its faults. To say the relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya developed at a casual pace would be ludicrously understating matters. Also, Kurumi – the wedge between them – was a bit of a distraction at a crucial point in the story.
Still, this first episode of the second season (labeled “Episode 0”) reminded me why I watched all of the first: I really enjoy the character design. Along with the watercolor backgrounds, this series has always been a feast for the eyes. This episode still way overuses chibi-cuts, but it’s a small price to pay IMO.
This first episode was like easing into a warm bath: it was half-recap of the Kurumi triangle arc, but with new narration from Kurumi’s perspective. I’m a fan of both Aya Hirano’s and Mamiko Noto’s performances as Kurumi and Sawako, respectively. Their vocal versatility combined with the excellent facial animation really brings the characters to life.
I’m hoping this season will not be more of the same wheel-spinning and actually depict Sawako and Kazehaya actually making progress with their mutual courtship..though that may just be blind optimism. I’m not just looking for more of the same…I want to see improvement this season. Rating: 2.5