This is very much contemporary, everything from the art style to the fonts used on the cover, are you saying its old school because the linework looks hand drawn rather than digital? I’m fairly certain this literally just got released.
The style is as modern as it gets, but I understand their confusion considering how the notorious usage of chalk patterns for shading on the characters as opposed to reserving them for backgrounds, combined with the rather low noise-reduction/anti-aliasing on the inking, gives this a "rough" vibe that could make someone think of old-school works.
Don't get me wrong though, those details add a nice flufy vibe that makes me love the art.
The characterizations were so stark. I know these types, but they were so deftly executed it felt like I was learning about them for the first time. The confession sequence was really good, too. Saying nothing about anything, while spilling everything. Then, holding her, just staring in silence. No wonder short hair was literally weak-kneed after! I really do like those clever bits of writing the most.
In every repetition of the pattern, closeness and distance take on new meanings, contextualized anew by Takamine and Sakura's experiences with each other, their memories and expectations, and also made more meaningful for us as we grow to know them better. And this itself ties into Sakura's gushing about the brilliance of books with subtle foreshadowing that take on new meanings, new secret signals with each read, and sequels to them that hint at shared universes and larger patterns without ever spelling them out, because magic shines best in ambiguity. Every aspect of the tale perfectly coheres, every element deployed in perfect concert, creating constellations of emotion that fascinate effortlessly, a naturalism polished so well as to become a dense, organic cosmos of its own- I adore the girl who seems to have a quiet eye of her own on Takamine, surrounded by knowing friends (one of whom seems quite similar to Haru of Haru to Midori fame, making Sakura's subtly-shared-universe comment even neater). All in all, a brilliant oneshot from a master of the craft. I hope we can see more of Fukaumi's work in the future.
This, I adore the way this one-shot handles the dichotomy between boring moments that go on in repeat versus those unique experiences that Takamine is looking for.
For starters, the characters meet during their daily trip home out of simple coincidence. It was their routine that resulted in that meeting, and even after becoming friends their interactions are built upon the fact that said routine is supposed to continue, since the obligations of school won't disappear together wih the need to travel through public transportation from one day to another.
This means a lot when you take into account that Takamine and Sakura's train schedules align only thanks to the fact that the former quit volleyball, were she still part of the volleyball club she would be leaving school too late to commute together with Sakura, which paints a suprisingly optimistic picture of the way external pressure from society influenced her decision to quit in the first place.
In this context we are presented with Takamine's ordeal: Her environment won't allow her to interact or engage with it due to an apparent lack of emotions, but she's internalized these criticisms to such point that even when she's alone she won't try to do anything without "liking it". A perfect example of this mindset is how Takamine doesn't bother to read her book at first and instead merely flips through its pages, not because she thinks it's boring, rather, her conversation with Sakura reveals she did that because she sincerely believed the book would be unable to make her feel what she was looking for.
What I'm trying to get at here is that is that this cute romance plot is paradoxically kickstarted by two elements straight out of a Kafkian nightmare, a medium that forces the character to go back and forth everyday between her home and a stage where she is unable to fit in without anything ever changing (the train), and a source of attempted self-comfort that only serves to remind this character of how incomplete her integration into society will always be (the book). But then it's all subverted through the power of perspective.
Sakura convinces Takamine to give "Night View" a chance, and despite both the book and the train being the same, she starts to appreciate them anyway thanks to the way Sakura's presence motivates her to keep trying things despite initially giving up on herself, thus turning the routine of commuting back home she used to find dull into something she looks forward to through her own personal change (literally having her hold a book named "Yearning" for this scene was going a bit too far, but I appreciate the visual metaphor nonetheless).
All in all, the story has very sweet theme of how even if the world around you backs you into a corner and it seems like your only choice left is to let indistinguishable days pass and blend into each other, there's always hope you will find a reason to look forward to 'tomorrow' in the end, as shown by the characters' simple promise to see each other again the next day.
This means a lot when you take into account that Takamine and Sakura's train schedules align only thanks to the fact that the former quit volleyball, were she still part of the volleyball club she would be leaving school too late to commute together with Sakura
It's a decent one-shot, but there are a lot of things that could have been elaborated on if this were a series, such as Takamine's injury. There's also plenty of room for the couple to grow, and it would have been great if they had enough time for a slow-burn romance.
the notorious usage of chalk patterns for shading on the characters as opposed to reserving them for backgrounds, combined with the rather low noise-reduction/anti-aliasing on the inking, gives this a "rough" vibe that could make someone think of old-school works.
Also the story is very class S. From the moment those other girls teased their friend "so you've been admiring this mysterious tall beauty from afar huh?" I thought: when are we assumed to be, Shōwa era?
very nice feeling in this, getting off the train unintentionally and experiencing something you never would have before, that is overlooked every day even. right place right time but with a significant yet unrelated reason, I like that. and she even thanks her for it, so sweet