• Titles: Adachi to Shimamura, AdaShima
  • Genre: Romance, drama, school, slice of life, yuri
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Tezuka Productions

Adachi is at that age. The age where everything is kind of difficult and annoying. It seems like everything bothers her and she doesn’t like anything anymore. Her mom is distant and gets on her nerves. School is boring and she’s bad at it anyways. That’s probably why she skips pretty much all the time. The other girls her age don’t get her. They have silly little dreams and concerns. Who needs friends anyway? Hobbies are lame and life is a drag. Yes, Adachi is at that age where she hates everything. Well, not everything. She doesn’t hate Shimamura. She doesn’t hate her at all. How could she? Shimamura is the most beautiful and nicest and most fun girl in the entire world. A person would have to be straight out of their minds to hate Shimamura. But if Adachi doesn’t hate Shimamura, then what does she feel for her?

Yuri anime holds a special place in my heart, in that they tend to be the subgenre of romance anime I consistently enjoy the most. Sadly that’s not saying all that much. There are plenty of Yuri titles that didn’t really work for me. Still, whenever I see a new Yuri show, I get that little hope that this one is going to make me all lovey-dovey and fill my world with sunshine and rainbows. I mean just look at the key visuals of Adachi and Shimamura, doesn’t that just scream sunshine and maybe a few rainbows?

rainbows to come!

Production

I thought Adachi and Shimamura looked great. It’s not an original look by any means, in fact, it looks as if it was a Kyoto Animation feature. I even had to go check but it’s not. The main difference I saw was that the characters are more…oily(?). That’s not the right word. The characters look clean just sort of shiny. I’ve seen the aesthetic in a couple of CGDCT shows, I’m not sure what the idea behind the look is.

Beyond the character designs, the backgrounds are more utilitarian but not bad by any means. There are a few really pretty sunsets and although the colour palette is very conventional, it occasionally is also quite pretty.

I think Adachi and Shimamura was more about visuals for me than sound. The music and general sound design were fine, as in they didn’t get in the way of the production ever, but I also already forgot about them completely. And I finished this show 2 days ago. I have a similar takeaway with the voice acting. All the characters sounded fine and I do think everyone did a good job, but I wouldn’t say anyone elevated the material. I think a little more chemistry between the two leads could have really brought something extra to the show. Then again Shimamura is written in a very noncommittal way so maybe more chemistry would have sounded out of place. I didn’t really hear the girls falling in love is what I’m saying but I think both actresses did sound their part otherwise.

oh the passion!

Story & Characters

Let’s just get this out of the way, Adachi and Shimamura is not one of those Yuri titles that made me like romance. It’s a super typical romance anime with all the tropes and narrative beats I usually don’t like. And I didn’t particularly like them here either. I think my big note at the end of the series was: Adachi and Shimamura is thoroughly inoffensive. And I guess that’s something!

The narrative is typical high school romance stuff. Adachi and Shimamura are both sort of aimless high school girls with no ambition and little interest in school. They are both struggling to find themselves and figure out what they want. The difference being that Shimamura is a popular well-liked girl while Adachi has a reputation as a delinquent and tends to be avoided by all. They strike up a friendship that eventually develops into romance.

And that’s it, except with all the complications you would expect. Of course, there’s some of the usual jealousy, jumping to conclusions and weird misunderstandings, mixed in with the genre-specific doubts and fears about having feelings for someone of the same gender. I should say they get over those doubts and fears very quickly. Adachi and Shimamura is pretty much a girls-only universe so everyone is a lesbian. That means they also don’t go into the social issues if that’s what you were hoping for. Personally, I like the lighter approach.

not everything needs to be super serious…

There is one thing that’s out of the ordinary: Yashiro. In many ways, she was my favourite part of the series. We never get an explanation. Yashiro is a little alien girl who is on Earth to find her partner. As far as all the characters in the story go, she is an eccentric child with an overactive imagination but we do see hints that she may really not be human. I mean she glows, why doesn’t anyone mention that? she is a little twee at times though. And seems like a fanservice character (not the sexy kind) in many ways. So I had mixed feelings but I do like the character concept.

Anyways, whatever the reason, Yashiro is a space cadet and her antics were a fun little break in the angst!

To me, Adachi and Shimamura looked very much like a cookie-cutter high school romance. One girl is much more invested and much less popular so she finds herself constantly on the short end of the power dynamic. The other girl doesn’t know what she wants so simple decisions or events get dragged on for 4 to 6 episodes. A lot of girls stare at the ceiling or sky while wondering why they exist and what it all means. That sort of stuff.

One thing I really appreciated about Adachi and Shimamura though, is that the story did not feel the need to overdramatize. let me explain that a bit. The characters themselves are dramatic and act dramatically. They are high school girls in love, it would be weird if they didn’t! But the story didn’t throw in a huge heap of trauma and horrible backstories on them. They are all pretty average normal girls you could meet anywhere. I think this aspect worked very well and helped make the characters much more relatable. Which in turn made me care about them more.

However, at the end of the day, this is first and foremast a classic romantic drama. And that’s just not my genre.

normal girls you could meet anywhere as long as you routinely meet anime girls

You might like this anime if:

You like romance dramas and/or anything Yuri!

My favourite character:

This came as a surprise to me: Yashiro! I didn’t dislike anyone but I also didn’t particularly like anyone either.

Suggested drink:

a Blue Lesbian

  • Every time we see spacesuit kid – take a sip
  • Every time Shimamura is popular – take a sip
  • Every time someone mentioned how it would be if it was a manga – I see what you did there
  • Every time Adachi bolts – take a sip
  • Every time Taeko is a ditz – take a sip
  • Every time we see Shimamura’s little sister – cheer – you know what, I like her too
  • Every time one of the girls gets rando emo – take a sip (rando emo was the working title of this post just cause it’s fun to say)
  • Every time Shimamura has mommy issues – take a sip
  • Every time any of the girls skips school – tsk tsk
  • Every time someone gets a forehead kiss – take a sip
  • Every time Adahi is at her job – switch to non-alcoholic
  • Every time Shimamura holds hands with a girl – take a sip
  • Every time anyone gets super awkward – drink
  • Every time the girls share a bike – take a sip

I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.

10 thoughts

  1. I really wanted them to do more with Yashiro. She was Chekov’s loaded rifle over the mantlepiece. Was either a wasted opportunity or an unnecessary complication.

    I did a review of the show after the first couple of episodes. I do think it lost some of its original luster after that point. Still, not bad.

    1. I felt the same way. Good start and then I started to loose interest but the show wasn’t bad.

  2. I actually really liked the show. I thought the characterisation was well done. There were elements I haven’t seen in other anime before, I think, like Shimamura deciding not to dye her hair anymore, so that the ever growing brown spot serves as a visual cue of passing time (and then the school break time-skip). Also, for both of them family had a huge effect on how they interact with others. It felt grounded like few other shows, to me. And that’s a little odd to say about a show that starts with a tiny astronaut floating down a river making strange sounds…

    As a side note, after I saw that opening I actually paused the show to check up on the makers. I had this hunch, and it turned out to be correct. Adachi to Shimamura’s source material had the same writer as the source for Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. I’m really not sure how I got that from just the opening scene of the tiny astronaut floating down the river; I suppose it’s because I’ve seen concept art for A&S and thought Yashiro looked a lot like a younger version of Erio (the protagonist of Denpa Onna), and that primed me unconsciously, and then that astronout costume reminded me of another character from that show…

    The show’s are actually pretty similar, in that they have an underlying down-to-earth emotional feel, with a strange layer of magical realism on top, except Denpa Onna leans more heavily into that and has more of a slapstick feel in general. So they’re really quite different shows, with Denpa Onna being louder and more comedic, and Adachi to Shimamura being quieter and more introspective, but they do have the same genral feel to me underneath it all.

    I really like both these shows.

  3. Ah……I remember that age. IT WAS NOT FUN. I remember everyone and everything around me being high key annoying and obnoxious. And I was just waiting for anything to happen so I didn’t have to deal with it all anymore.
    Looking back on it; I’m ashamed of the way I acted. But reflecting on it helped me realize what I should do if I ever find someone going through the same problem. At the end of the day- people acting like that just want to be heard. They just want to validated as people because some times people just think of them as “whiny and moody.” They just want someone to listen to them instead of treating them like nothing’s the problem.
    And sometimes; the things that annoy you at that age CAN be legitimately aggravating. But because EVERYTHING is like that; it just feels like more of the same. That’s not at all what they need to hear at such a crucial point…….
    Other than that; I’ve only ever watched 1 Yuri anime in my entire life: “Citrus.” I haven’t looked through you’re blog long enough to know if you’ve seen it, but it’s about these 2 girls who become sisters, but circumstances lead to them falling in love and having a secret relationship. I really liked both girls- and the show as a whole. So I was kind of upset to not hear anything about a second season.
    I think the show manage to handle its…….”complex subject” we’ll call it, pretty well. A lot better than “Domestic Girlfriends.” I liked the opening a lot, too. The situations were funny but emotional; the characters felt very well rounded- it was just a pretty good watch.
    This show sounds like a good watch, too.

    1. I have not watched Citrus but I did read the manga and I quite liked it. It was fun and had all those soapy elemnts to throw in some excitment. Adachi is much less lively. It’s a pretty basic romance anime.

  4. Thanks for this look. I’ve seen this anime mentioned before, and the yuri is enticing, but if it’s more or less a plain romantic drama then I’m not interested. There has to be some other hook for me there.

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