I will spit it out right away. This is not only one of the most anticipated anime of 2020 after it was announced but it is one of the most personally relatable stories I have ever seen. Find out what I mean as we take a look at Adachi and Shimamura.
Note: This review is by someone who has not read the source material. For a review by someone who has check out Rory’s.
Alternate Title: Adachi to Shimamura (Japanese)
Genres: Slice of Life, Romance, Yuri
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Adachi and Shimamura, two young women who attend the same high school, are inseparable friends. Whether playing table tennis, chatting about favorite TV shows, or just relaxing together, they’re happy to share their days. When Adachi’s friendship turns into romantic attraction, the relationship begins to change, one day at a time.
So what did I mean when I described this show as one of the most personally relatable? Simple. Adachi is a very reclusive girl. Apart from Shimamura she is very socially distant from almost everyone else, even her family (The little we got to see of them). So much of what Adachi from her personality, behavior around Shimamura’s own family and acquaintances and the way she feels about her crush hit close to home. At times it was scary how how much of her high school life and love mirrored my own. Obviously it was not 100% identical (I did not skip classes often nor was I a fortuneteller magnet) but a lot of what she went through I did too. As soon as I knew who I liked 90% of my thoughts were about her. I hardly ever approached other classmates or students unless they befriended me and apart from my closest friends I did not say much to their other friends. I was the quiet one in most gatherings…and still am. My point Adachi is my spirit animal in so many ways. For the longest time I thought it would be very difficult to find an anime character I could relate to in more ways than being the quiet one. I found her in this already iconic lesbian protagonist.
As for Shimamura, because of a past event she too is socially distant. Not the same as Adachi but she also did not get along well with others. In her case it was her fear of getting close to anyone. Sure she could have a conversation and hang out with people she could trust but to truly call them buddies/pals and the like was something else entirely. Of our two heroines she had the most personal luggage to the point some would see her as overthinking things way too much. Like Adachi however, there are people who relate with Shimamura too. The fear of befriending others and having thoughts like “Will it last?” “Can I be a good friend to them?” “Will we get bored of each other?” and many more cautious thoughts.
What about viewers who had a less socially awkward high school life than our heroines and a certain other side-couple? Heading into this show I had a feeling it would be a “slow burn” romance based on the plot summary and word of mouth. It was, but like OshiBudo it was the best kind of “slow burn”, meaning a very entertaining and compelling one to watch. The similar yet contrasting personalities of our main heroines make for a very interesting dynamic and viewing experience seeing their “Gay teenager complexity” story unfold. With Adachi it is the struggle of her growing romantic feelings for Shimamura along with her desire not to socialize with anyone other than Shimamura. Shimamura meanwhile has a fear of getting close to anyone due to a past experience leading her to overthink socialization…except when it came to Adachi. When it came to her blue haired comrade her feelings became more jumbled as Adachi conveyed her confusion through her actions.
The show switches between Adachi and Shimamura’s perspective which is pretty cool as viewers get to hear what both girls thought about a recent meeting or what they were doing before or after meeting.
An unexpected surprise was how sexy the show turned out to be. Not only our main heroines but other lovely ladies got to show off their blessed figures. It gave the undisputed Fall 2020 queens of sexy thighs, Assault Lily Bouquet, a run for their money on sexiness. This is the perfect segue to discuss the presentation. In short, beautiful. The animation is superb, with nice screen expanding (forgot what it was called) at the beginning of each episode or during important scenes to dream/mental sequences that fit the girls’ thoughts at that point. It reminded me of the superb animation in Bloom Into You. Same can be said about the soundtrack. It is melodious and relaxing like most of the show. Despite tons of dramatic inner monologues between our heroines the show is surprisingly chill to watch, super intense romantic moments notwithstanding, mostly from Adachi. The OP and ED are lovely.
I talked up a storm about AdaShima but what about the rest of the cast? Besides gorgeous adult women there are two side-couples worth mentioning. First up are Hino and Nagafuji. Do not let their amusing introduction fool readers. Give them time and they will show everyone something special, proving yet again that for some reason yuri anime or shows featuring lesbians usually means the side-lesbian or side-couple usually are on par or surpass the main couple in awesomeness. Fortunately on this show both the main and side-couples are awesome. Speaking of side-characters…
Although this little astronaut’s ultimate purpose on the show is debatable her presence is welcome and she has her fans. Her true calling is revealed later on. No. She is not space cupid, not necessarily.
Overall Adachi and Shimamura is destined to become another yuri classic. Unfortunately like BiY/YagaKimi it had a “lure” season finale, meaning the long agonizing hope for an animated continuation. Other than that it is highly recommended to most yuri fans. It lived up to the hype and then some.