Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Photo Kano and Yahari Ore no Seishun wa Love Come ni Machigatteiru

I mentioned in our Spring Preview Betting Session that I was worried about both of these shows, as they had first-time directors handling big-budget tv productions, something that is usually a recipe for trouble. Yes, Shishiou Igarashi notwithstanding.   Still, I went into both with an open mind, as I enjoy nothing more than a pleasant surprise.

Photo Kano ended up being a legitimately interesting show featuring photography. I say “featuring” rather than “about” because it didn’t get into much detail, but the show made a number of choices that showed off a strong sense of photographic instinct. The montages featuring scenery showed camera angles with a lot of thought behind them, and the various lens flare effects were obviously an intentional photographic motif. Likewise, when the male lead had a chance to actually take pictures, he was taking interesting, dynamic shots; a fountain in the sunlight, a gymnast practicing alone, a girl taking a recording on the roof, etc. I think the decision to focus on detailed still frames is a decision that sits well with the show, and it gets me excited. As does the idea of competing photography clubs; if their conflicts end up being even tangentially artistic, it could be chained with the aforementioned direction and go pretty deep down.

While generally very engrossing, Photo Kano came with one huge negative; it had its head in the gutter for a good portion of the episode, especially in some of the scenes that peeked into the male lead’s head. Also, the guys in the Photography Club were openly experts on risque photos, and it feels kind of awkward to watch that be glorified. Still, I was impressed enough by the direction that I feel this show deserves a minimum of 3 episodes to ensure I don’t miss anything remotely resembling To Heart’s glorious still-frame poetry.

On the other side of the audio-visual spectrum, Love Come’s first episode essentially relied on its writing for a 12-minute run of the characters doing nothing but sitting and talking. Which would’ve still been fine, if only the script was more than speeches delivered out of thesauruses and too fast, a common problem with lower-end light novel adaptations. It’s hard to believe this being animated will add anything that couldn’t be found in an audio drama with the same VAs. I don’t really see much exceptional promise in this show, so it’s a drop.

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