And Yet the Town Moves

And Yet the Town Moves

And Yet the Town Moves anime series cover art
And Yet the Town Moves

Series Overview

And Yet the Town Moves (Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru / それでも町は廻っている) is a slice of life, comedy anime. The series is about the daily life of Hotori Arashiyama, a high school girl who works at a maid cafe.

Seaside Cafe doesn’t get many customers, even after adopting maid uniforms. The majority of the time, the cafe is empty other than for the employees and their friends. I’m honestly not sure how it stays in business with how few customers it gets. But, I guess it helps that Hotori works for free.

At least, I assume Hotori works for free. The reason she’s working at Seaside is to pay off a debt to the owner. So, I’d imagine that any pay she would get goes toward paying off the debt instead.

Hotori Arashiyama wearing a maid outfit and holding a guitar from the anime series And Yet the Town Moves
Hotori Arashiyama wearing a maid outfit and holding a guitar

As is the case for many slice of life series, it’s hard to say what SoreMachi is really about. There’s no overarching plot. Each episode is split into multiple chapters. And the chapters and episodes aren’t necessarily in chronological order.

Despite what you might think, it’s not about a maid cafe. That’s the setting for a lot of the series. But, it’s not what it’s about.

If I had to point to one thing, I’d say SoreMachi is about how everyone thinks they’re the main character. And I don’t mean the characters think they’re the main character of the series. I mean that everyone (us) views themselves as the main character.

There are many instances of characters in this series thinking that they’re special. But, it always turns out not to be the case. One example is the chain of crushes. Tattsun likes Sanada, who likes Hitori, who likes Moriaki-sensei. They each think their one-sided love is special.

Main Characters

Hotori Arashiyama is the protagonist of the series. She loves detective novels and she wants to be a detective when she’s older. But, she’s also not very smart and struggles with math in particular. Though, that doesn’t stop her from thinking she has a special connection to her math teacher.

Toshiko “Tattsun” Tatsuno is Hotori’s best friend who joins her in working at Seaside Cafe. However, she didn’t start working there because Hotori does. Instead, it was because she found out that her crush, Sanada frequents the cafe. Unfortunately for Tattsun, Sanada only goes there to spend time with Hotori.

Speaking of Sanada, his full name is Hiroyuki Sanada. There’s nothing particularly special about him. And I wouldn’t exactly consider him to be one of the main characters. But, he’s a major recurring character. He’s also Hotori’s childhood friend, which is how you know he’s going to be friend-zoned forever.

Toshiko "Tattsun" Tatsuno from the anime series And Yet the Town Moves
Toshiko “Tattsun” Tatsuno

Futaba Kon is possibly my favorite character of SoreMachi. I like Hotori, too. But, Kon is the ideal maid. Her skirt is short and she’s verbally abusive. What more could you ask for? She’s also an upperclassman and a member of the school’s ping-pong club.

Uki Isohata is the owner of Seaside Cafe. She’s a widow who treats Hotori as her grandchild, even though the two of them aren’t related. Uki is also voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, which I never would have guessed. In case you aren’t aware, he voices Reigan from Mob Psycho 100 and Meme from Monogatari.

The final character worth mentioning is Natsuhiko Moriaki, Hotori’s math teacher. Hotori drives Moriaki-sensei crazy with her stupidity and tardiness. And yet, he does seem to actually try to get her to learn. He does things like connecting math to detective mysteries, which he knows she likes.

The Shaft “Vibe”

Before watching SoreMachi, I never would have guessed Shaft was the studio behind it. But, as I watched it, the Shaft “vibe” became pretty obvious. If you’ve seen enough Shaft anime, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Obviously, a lot of the Shaft “vibe” comes from director Akiyuki Shinbou. There’s the iconic Shaft head tilt. But, there are also things like how a lot of Shaft anime use backlighting. Watch any Shaft anime and you’ll notice many scenes of characters in front of large windows.

In SoreMachi, this is most often done using the windows at the front of the Seaside Cafe. Characters will be in front of the windows with the golden light of the setting sun shining through. It looks good, sets the mood, and works with the often abstract backgrounds of Shaft anime.

Futaba Kon wearing a maid outfit and playing the bass from the anime series And Yet the Town Moves
Futaba Kon wearing a maid outfit and playing the bass

Not every part of the Shaft “vibe” comes from Shinbou, though. Well, at least, I assume not. Part of it has to do with the art itself, which I’m not sure he has all that much to do with. And by art, I don’t only mean the way the characters and backgrounds look.

Yamamura also did character design for Fireworks, Fate/Extra: Last Encore, and Pretty Boy Detective Club. And he worked on plenty of other anime for which Akio Watanabe did character design. So, it’s no wonder a lot of Shaft anime have similar character designs.

And, finally, there’s the way things are drawn. Some Shaft anime are more stylized than others. But, they tend to have similar shading going on — especially when it comes to facial shading.

When you put all this stuff together, what you get is the Shaft “vibe.” It’s easy to spot a Shaft anime.

Conclusion

As a whole, I give And Yet the Town Moves an 8/10. It’s a very good anime and the comedy is good, as well. One of my favorite bits came in the last episode. Hotori accidentally goes to the wrong (Egyptian) afterlife. And then when she’s taken to the Japanese afterlife, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare.

Both the OP and ED for this series are also pretty good. I prefer the ED, though, because it has maid Kon in it.

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