On its surface theres not much particularly special about Asagao to Kasesan. Its an incredibly pretty OVA the type that studio ZEXCS seem to specialize in. There is one big thing about it though that separates it from most of those which is that its a yuri OVA based off of a wellknown manga in the genre and not a particularly beataroundthebushy one either. The series in fact almost starts with a kiss which is part of an opening montage set to narration from Yamada our protagonist that begins with that cliche yuriism even though were both girls expertly spun into the setup of a story that begins with the first kiss. By the time the narrative proper starts Yamada and her love Kase are already dating. 880https://i.ur.com/aHdMGxJ.png 880https://i.ur.com/Yga5AuI.png These shots in the opening minutes of the OVA establish Yamada and Kases relationship letting the viewer know unambiguously where they stand. If youre not yourself gay it can be hard to underscore how important that is. Yuriespecially yuri written by mentends to treat the first kiss and the love confession as an endpoint. The payoff after chapter after chapter of teasing and will they or wont they. Kasesan has no interest in that and theres refreshingly little of the purity dynamics that still define a good chunk of straightwritten yuri. This is a romance story and one that is about a relationship already in progress. Using old yuri cliches to its own ends becomes something of a hallmark of the OVA as it progresses. Our leads are about as archetypal as they come. Yamada is short blonde bookish her love of gardening is a recurring theme very femme shy and rather innocent. Kase is on the taller side has short dark hair is the school track star definitely the more butch of the two and its implied the more experienced. It wouldve been very easy to write a story where the two are defined by their differences and it pulls them into easy misunderstandings. Kasesan largely isnt like that though for the conflicts the two have there are only a few but theyre focal points of the OVA there is no ambiguity that they both love each other wholeheartedly its such a refreshing thing to see that its forgivable when the OVA does occasionally dip into more cliched territory such as Yamada being insecure about her body when seeing Kase nude for the first time in the context of a shared bath mind you. The ending in particular will either make you bawl or grimace depending on how jaded you are. I count myself in the former category but its understandable that thatd not be true of everyone. Praise must be given to the visuals and sound in this thing too. Both are genuinely gorgeous characters have a modern look but theyre incredibly expressive especially the eyeseach character has colored highlights toward the bottom of their eyes and theyre beautiful almost making them when the characters are particularly emotional look like jewels or even jelly candies. 880https://i.ur.com/EVrelYh.png The eyes in Kasesan are wonderfully expressive. The backgrounds are gorgeous too which would be a minor point if Kasesan didnt like to cut to background shots as its characters talked giving the relatively mundane world of the OVA a slightly dreamy edge. The real crowning achievement in the visuals department though is Yamadas nightmare near the end faced with the prospect of possibly losing Kase she imagines herself underwater in a vast ocean the nagging voice in her head represented by her redheaded friend the OVAs only other real character spurring her to action in the last minutes of the film. 880https://i.ur.com/f5oW91G.png 880https://i.ur.com/isd4T8i.png The backgrounds in the OVA are wonderfully pastel and pretty and add a bit of dreaminess to the setting. The soundtrack is lovely too. It tends toward the light and airy only getting darker when it really needs to such as during the aforementioned nightmare scene but the easy highlight is actually the ending song. A sweet slightly amateurish duet between what sounds like the VAs of the main couple singing their hearts out about their love for each other paired with some clever and really charming lyrics some credit for that bit is probably due to anonymous fan translator Anonyneko but how much is hard to say. Sweet is probably the OVAs defining adjective if you had to give it one. Theres really just not enough of this. Rocksolid romance stories between girls backed up with very strong character writing and gorgeous visuals but at the end of the day the big thing is just how hard youre rooting for these two by the end of the OVAs just shy of 60 minute runtime. Kasesan ends with a postcredits scene of its two leads leaning on each others shoulders on a train while they talk about flower language and its the perfect ending to one of the best depictions of young love this reviewers ever seen in the medium. 880https://i.ur.com/96vhJpK.png And if you liked this review why not check out some of my others here on Anilist?https://anilist.co/user/planetJane/reviews
95 /100
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