Eita is returning to a town he hasn't lived in for years. He's drifted from everyone he knew, so he's like a familiar stranger. Unexpectedly many of the connections began to pick up where they left off. He resurrects his friendship with Soma easily, even if unintentionally. Where things get murky is with Mio. He had a crush on her years ago, but she had her eyes set on Soma. It doesn't seem like anything has progressed during his time away either. Will Mio finally confess to Soma? Eita put that aside years ago, however he's finding it difficult to distance himself when he's around them all the time. Has he really let go of his feelings from then?
Just Because is another tale of two romances kind of anime, where one works well and the other flounders, although it's not clear how poorly the second one fairs until the end. Oh god, the ending. But it's not bad at all, and I'd say Just Because has some well done characters, and features that might make it worth picking up, but quite possibly very boring to many. It's a very grounded romance with a moderate pace but not a whole lost going on with developments (or just enough to keep it going if you want to think of it that way).
Romance #1: Soma and Eita reconnect as friends, where Eita learns Soma has a thing for Morikawa - a member of the band. Morikawa caught his eye when playing at a baseball game, and he remembered her trumpet playing, as if she were cheering him on. It's quirky, but works wonderfully in an anime-ish kind of way. Soma is a bit extroverted, which contrasts with Morikawa's reserved nature. She doesn't reject him since she has no reason to, yet has no reason to be interested in him since he's really not her type. Her younger bothers join them on a date and it turns out they adore Soma. Over time she begins to appreciate things about Soma hidden beneath his exterior. I won't get into more details, but this relationship evolves in a great story between the two. Good stuff.
Romance #2: I guess you could say Eita is the main character, and therefore Mio being the primary love interest. At first Eita seems to be over Mio, but then he's not quite so sure. This leaves him in a bind because he knows Mio's interest in Soma - or at least she was years ago. Now this kind of works because Mio is a bit mysterious as to what her feelings are, which gets less and less clear as things go on. I won't get into spoilers here, but looking back on it; being mysterious is about all she has going for her. I liked how they were so hard core into studying for university exams. Many shows gloss over that, but Just Because portrays that incredible pressure on students quite well.
Also thrown into this is a super energetic extroverted girl in the photography club who becomes... Eita's staker or something. At first I didn't like her, but as her story evolves it's pretty interesting. It's a side show in some respects, but adds quite a bit to the anime as a whole.
Just Because is worth picking up if the first romance sounds interesting to you. The second is an astounding dud. Oh, the ending. It's very... Japanese, whimsical and left me pounding my head against the desk. Overall I think it's fair anime. It's held back by some things which don't work, but also has a few very good points; something which I can't say about many shows these days.
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