This is a highly realistic fantasy world created by artistic drawing techniques. A noteworthy point is how it expresses snow falling as dancing. Snow in focus, snow not in focus, far snow, and near snow are carefully drawn. The scenery of the town and the forest is very beautiful. Also, the way of focus on them and the way of blur them faithfully reproduce the world that people see with the naked eye. The excellence of drawing arts drives the audience into the world of this anime.
The content is so heavy that it gets full of the head just by watching several episodes a day. However, this is a brilliant work which seems to be "I was glad to see" at the last end. I wish that your Japanese learning will gradually become expressive as same as music repeats the same melody over and over, while the chords richly and beautifully echo together as Kurata Sayuri says.
The setting is a quiet town in the north where the snow falls. High school student Yuichi Aizawa was supposed to live here due to the circumstances of his parents’ work. It is a city where he should have visited once, but Yuichi had little memory of that time.
Through exchanges with the five girls, the past gradually becomes clear. Why did Yuichi lose memory? Why did Yuichi meet these girls? When all is known, Yuichi will see “miracle”.
3. Character’s way of Speaking
･Aizawa Yuuichi (相沢 祐一, あいざわ ゆういち)
His tone is somewhat blunt compared to general men, but this is an expression that comes from familiarity. He uses polite words for superior people according to time and case. I expect you to learn to distinguish words like him since the Japanese language has honorific.
･Tsukimiya Ayu (月宮 あゆ, つきみや あゆ)
She uses “ぼく” (boku) as the first person pronoun. Her favorite phrase is “うぐぅ” (Uguu). Her words give slightly childish impression than same age girls. She is a typical “ボクっ娘” (ぼくっこ, reverse trap) in anime character, and her talking is different from the language used by real women in general. You should not imitate her way of talking. Let’s just listen.
･Minase Nayuki (水瀬 名雪, みなせ なゆき)
Her language is polite, but the tempo to speak is a little slow. We feel the impression which her speaking speed is too slow compared with the tone of a general woman, but it will be a good listening practice for you. She has a habit of attaching “xxx だよ” and “xxx もん” at the end of the talk. Since girls who speak like this exist in reality, I want you to practice to catch her talk.
･Kawasumi Mai (川澄 舞, かわすみ まい)
She is rather silent and we would receive an impression of her suppressing emotions. She is a classic “silent character” in anime. She resists using the word “好き” (すき, like) and therefore expresses “嫌いじゃない” (きらいじゃない, not dislike) instead.
･Misaka Shiori (美坂 栞, みさか しおり)
She uses a polite phrase and is quiet. Her habit is “そういうこと言う人、嫌いです” (そういうこと いうひと、きらいです, I dislike those who say that) and “そんなことする人、嫌いです” (そんなことする ひと、きらいです, I dislike those who do such things).
･Sawatari Makoto (沢渡 真琴, さわたり まこと)
Her habit is “あうー” (Auh). Her words have a slightly rough impression when compared with general women. Even if it is said to be rough, not slang, just to the level “cheeky girl”. After all, it would be better not to copy her way of talking.
4. Terms and Talking Contents
Since most of the Japanese used in the whole is mostly general, this anime is very suitable for watching Japanese learning. Let’s note that how to talk about some female characters is exaggerated for anime. Japanese used by Minase Nayuki is very correct and becomes a reference for everyday conversation. On the other hand, like Kawasumi Mai, the manner of talking of reticent characters is somewhat difficult for reference to Japanese used in everyday conversation.
The tendency of conversation has been widely used in the Japanese subculture industry in the 1990s, and still there are works that inherit the same atmosphere in Japanese animation and games. In the conversation between characters, the scenes with strong comedy elements may feel harder (a feeling of enjoying ‘Boke’ and ‘Tsukkomi’ frequently used in Japanese comedies is required). However, it is easy to understand the meaning of the script if you carefully listen to the conversation before and after.
5. Difficult Term List (You should prepare for them before watching)
･Difficult Term List which You Must Know (They come out more than twice)
|2||ぶちょう||部長||head of a club|
|3||りくじょうぶ||陸上部||track and field club|
|4||にもつもち||荷物持ち||the person who carries a luggage|
|5||いそうろう||居候||lodger who pays nothing for room and board|
|6||じごうじとく||自業自得||suffering the consequences of one’s own actions|
|7||ちこく||遅刻||lateness; late coming|
|9||てがはやい||手が早い||to be fast in forming relationships with women; to be quick to resort to violence|
･Difficult Term List which Can Be Useful (They come out once)
|10||おちかづきのしるし||お近づきの印||in token of one’s new acquaintanceship|
|11||けんそん||謙遜||modesty; humility; being humble|
|12||のうりにかすめる||脳裏にかすめる||to cross one’s mind; to occur to one; to flash into one’s head|
|13||くされえん||腐れ縁||(undesirable but) inseparable relationship|
|14||きおくそうしつ||記憶喪失||loss of memory; amnesia|
|15||りょうしょう||了承||acknowledgment; acknowledgment; understanding|
|16||ゆくえふめい||行方不明||missing; lost; unaccounted for; whereabouts unknown|
|17||ごうだつ||強奪||pillage; seizure; hijacking; plunder; extortion|
|18||よこどり||横取り||snatching; stealing; seizure; usurpation|
|19||しおらしい||しおらしい||meek; gentle; modest; sweet; charming; touching|
|20||くぎをさす||釘を刺す||to give a warning; to remind (a person) of|
|21||せんりひん||戦利品||spoils of war; booty; War trophy|
|22||あしもとがおるす||足元がお留守||watch your step|
|23||しゃこうじれい||社交辞令||polite or diplomatic way of putting things; honeyed words|
6. Beginners can Learn Japanese with This Anime
As for the overall ratio, there are a lot of plain Japanese. The difficult terms occurrence rate is very low: 0.8 terms/episode and the difficulty level of terms and conversation is also the lowest: 8th grade. Also, difficult words are used only in comedy parts and they do not come out in the main story, so it is easy to grasp the summary of the story. You must pay attention only to the way of female characters talking. However, it is also in the range that does not affect Japanese viewing. I recommend this anime to beginners.
|Difficult Terms Occurrence Rate||0.9 terms/episode||= 23 / 24|
|Difficulty Level||8th grade||= Middle School|
|Total Difficulty Score||7.2 points||= 0.9 * 8|
|Comprehensive Judgment||Very Easy||in 0 to 29.9 points|
|Recommended Japanese Learner||Beginner|