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Akira & Kondo’s Love Showcases True Romance

Love isn’t easy in Jun Mayuzuki’s after the rain. Almost every character’s crush is one-sided, meaning that unrequited love runs deep in this series. While this is often a recipe for drama, angst, and heartbreak, after the rain handles the issue of unrequited love delicately and positively. The series’ presentation of unrequited love is certainly emotional in its own right, but it focuses on how each character is pushed toward development and fulfillment outside pining for unattainable romantic relationships.

after the rain follows 17-year-old Akira Tachibana who, after injuring her ankle, is forced to stop running track and instead starts a part-time job at a restaurant. Here, she falls in love with her 45-year-old boss, Mr. Kondo. Tachibana is not shy about her crush on her, expressing her feelings to Mr. Kondo on multiple occasions. Mr. Kondo respectfully and firmly turns her down, instead serving as a friend and mentor. Tachibana isn’t the only one with a one-sided crush in after the rain. It’s obvious from the outset of the series that Yoshizawa, one of Tachibana’s classmates, likes Tachibana. While many manga and anime series tend to run wild with the “web of unrequited feelings” trope, after the rain is diplomatic rather than dramatic, focusing on growth as each instance of unrequited love unravels.

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Tachibana Loves Mr. Kondo

Mr. Kondo may be twice Tachibana’s age and viewed by those around him as a clumsy, pathetic, and even smelly divorced middle-aged man, it doesn’t stop Tachibana’s infatuation for him. While the other employees at Café Restaurant Garden complain about their boss, Tachibana watches him with admiration, much like a schoolgirl crushing on the class clown. As Tachibana has the cold exterior of a typical kuudere girl, Mr. Kondo often misinterprets her enchanted glances at her as hard glares.

Even after Tachibana first confesses how she feels, he doesn’t realize that she means romantically. However, as the series continues, Tachibana’s true feelings for her become more evident, and Mr. Kondo, aware of the inappropriate nature of such a relationship, is respectfully adamant about turning her down from her while remaining professional and friendly towards her. Even at the end of the series when he’s grown more comfortable with her, he maintains his position of her, leaving Tachibana with unrequited romantic feelings.

Though Mr. Kondo could have easily taken advantage of Tachibana’s infatuation, after the rain handles the situation more delicately, allowing for a more wholesome focus. Tachibana’s determination de ella in her feelings for Mr. Kondo leads to a nurturing friendship with him in which he encourages her to push through the physical and mental limitations her injury de ella put on her running de ella and pursue her passion for the sport once again . Likewise, as Mr. Kondo is consistently faced with Tachibana’s unwavering crush on her, his appreciation of her for her feelings of her grows, giving him a sense of self-worth that pushes him out of his rut ​​and back towards his love of literature and writing. after the rain is obviously more focused on personal growth rather than romance, but audiences can’t deny that it is the determination and confidence behind unrequited love that is the catalyst for the series’ deeper themes. While blatantly unreturned feelings can certainly be disappointing, Tachibana was met with a new lease on her young life instead of angst and heartache.

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Yoshizawa Has Eyes Set on Tachibana

Before Mr. Kondo is even introduced in after the rain, Takashi Yoshizawa is introduced, as is his deep infatuation with the protagonist. Yoshizawa’s frequent blushing, fidgety body language, and interest in talking to Tachibana leave no room for doubt. He finds every opportunity to exchange contact information with her, and when that is unsuccessful, he eventually gets a job in the Café Restaurant Garden kitchen to be around her more than her. No matter how often Tachibana ignores him, he doesn’t take a hint. When Nishida asks him out, his mind stays on Tachibana. He turns Nishida down after she confesses her feelings for her, obviously because he likes Tachibana, and his feelings for her are unwavering, though unrequited.

Though Tachibana doesn’t ever outright reject him, Yoshizawa recognizes throughout the series that he’s never able to progress towards a relationship with her, yet his sheer determination prevents him from considering other options. after the rain doesn’t explicitly explore the ramifications of Yoshizawa’s unreturned crush, and the audience never finds out whether Yoshizawa gives up or moves. However, just like with Tachibana and Mr. Kondo, the presence of unrequited love doesn’t lead to dramatic pining or emphasis on heartbreak. Instead, Yoshizawa’s situation demonstrates the sheer determination the characters feel in the face of their one-sided crushes, even if such determination blinds them to other opportunities in front of them.

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Nishida Is Crushing on Yoshizawa

Nishida’s crush on Yoshizawa grows throughout the series. An aspiring hairstylist, she offers to cut Yoshizawa’s bangs after Mr. Kondo teases him. Even though the haircut she gives him looks awkward, Yoshizawa keeps returning to Nishida for haircuts. Not only does this encourage Nishida, but it pushes her to develop feelings for Yoshizawa. When she asks Tachibana what her relationship with Yoshizawa is like, ella Nishida reveals that she has a crush on him and she would like to get to know him better.

Over time, Nishida begins to knit Yoshizawa a scarf, attempt on giving it to him. When Yoshizawa notices her knitting de ella and questions her on it, she vaguely explains that it’s for her crush de ella, causing him to blush. She later works up the courage to ask him out, framing it as a “thank you” for letting her cut his hair, and though he graciously accepts, and they have fun, Yoshizawa rejects her when she gives him the scarf and presumably confesses her feelings.

Nishida’s unrequited love is perhaps the most definitive and heartbreaking as her courage is met with true defeat. Unlike Mr. Kondo’s softness of her towards Tachibana even in the midst of not reciprocating her romantic feelings of her, Nishida is left with absolutely no hope or doubt about the situation. Yoshizawa does not return her feelings from her, and she has to move on from that. Her heartbreak from her is evident by her distance from her from Café Restaurant Garden and Tachibana, but she eventually returns as spirited and bubbly as ever. While her crush on her was n’t reciprocated, it was not the end of the world for her. She was able to move forward and continue chasing her dream of her to be a hairstylist, even if she did stop cutting Yoshizawa’s bangs.

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Though it appears as if every characters’ feelings are unrequited in after the rainthe series uses the determination and disappointment that comes with one-sided crushes to explore the growth its characters must go through.

the beauty of after the rain lies within its exploration of the implications of unrequited love without any of the drama that could cheapen it. Though the characters don’t get the happily-ever-after they desire, the resulting personal growth and resilience is truly much more satisfying and poignant.

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