Adachi and Shimamura follow the story of two girls in high school with the aforementioned names. Compared to the other girls, these two call themselves “delinquents”, which in this case mostly just involves the pair skipping class a lot usually to play ping pong together in an old gym room. The series looks to follow their developing romance from friends to romance and so far the first episode shows this from a more thoughtful point of view, rather than focusing on comedy. The series itself is an adaptation from a series of novels and as such, this does seem to match the more introspective nature that written novels afford their characters.
The beginning itself is very whimsical, featuring gorgeous animation of the water before we see a small astronaut floating down the river… an odd beginning to be sure. Whilst this astronaut isn’t seen much through the remainder of the episode, she is mentioned occasionally and is clearly going to be involved in the future plot. This first episode otherwise centers around the two girls, Adachi who is seen as the more serious loner girl, and Shimamura as the more happy-go-lucky one. Interestingly, the episode swaps mid-way through between their different perspectives as they both struggle to get to know each other better. The series itself feels somewhat nostalgic with the chronology of the events between how the two girls first met told out of order, and the overall tone is fairly mature and philosophical. It’s a nice change from all the comedic romance animes out there and shows that this series perhaps is going to take the development of the characters more realistically.
Rather than making it obvious straight away that their friendship is any more than just that at this point, the series looks to be aiming more for a slow burn romance with the two gradually realising their feelings for one another. Adachi isn’t used to friends in general but Shimamura is seen to be relatively popular even if privately she still sees herself as distanced from her classmates. It serves as a nice contrast however as the two consider their friendship in slightly different terms from their other classmates, and it’s clear the two are struggling to communicate their thoughts and feelings to one another.
Design-wise, the characters are very cute and the animation is pretty, though tending a little more at times too harsh cold tones or warm tones from scene to scene. The lighting used in particular is used to great effect and really helps highlight some of the emotions on show. Musically too, there are some nice classical music pieces playing over certain scenes which help invoke a certain vibe, despite the opening song being a much bouncier cuter track presumably sung by Adachi and Shimamura themselves.
Overall, this feels like a very different anime from the other romance series currently out there, and something which looks to hopefully develop into something rather special within the shojo ai genre.
Adachi and Shimamura
An offbeat romance story between two girls who like to skip class together, looks to be something of a slow burn but with great focus on the character dynamics and interactions between the cast.