Hiromi Takashima’s first manga, Kase san, and Morning Glories, were among my favorites. This was the first of a manga series that focused on the romantic relationship between two girls in high school: shy, timid “girly girl”, Yamada and tomboyish, star athlete Kase. Instead of wasting readers’ time with the “will they or won’tthey” waffle that ends in a sentimental confession, we decided to take a different approach. This is an absolute breath of fresh, clean air that eliminates so many clichés.

The focus is still on the character relationships and their development (or blossoming) over time. Yamada’s school hobby is gardening, which serves as a symbol for her growing relationship with Kase. Kase also has feelings towards Yamada. This is a smart swerve that avoids unrequited feelings due to the fact one person was totally unaware, which has become a standard dramedy trope.

It is basically a collection of short stories that follow the format of the Manga. Yamada, Kase, and their precious cinnamon roll friends are seen in each episode engaging in wholesome and pleasant everyday activities, such as hanging out with classmates or going on a school trip to Okinawa. The segments are all heartwarming and filled with moments of intimacy between the girls. One can’t but feel on pins-and-needles when a dispute threatens to split the two girls apart. And one feels a great sense of relief once they overcome the conflict through undying love.

Kase-san and Morning Glories streaming online

Kase’san and the Morning Glories clocks in at about one hour. The story is not overly long, nor too short to make it forgettable. It’s a great soundtrack, by rionos. The ending credits song Asu e No Tobira by Ayane Takahashi and Minami is also beautiful.

The feature is simply stunning on a technical basis. Background art is charming and has an impression of a watercolor painting. This is complimented by the soft, expressive designs for characters as well as the slick animation.

Sentai Filmworks has created a dub that is one of the best they have done to date. Bryn Apprill, Morgan Berry, and David Wald all delivered outstanding performances. The script, written by Marissa Lenti, was also a great help.

Kase’san and Morning Gloriesis an excellent addition for any romantic drama or yuri fans. This hour-long OVA is so good that you can’t help but hope it leads to a TV show someday. This is a wonderful standalone that serves as a stronger companion piece to Hiromi Tasashima’s original manga.

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