In the late 2010s, it seems that more yuri-genre shows are being adapted into anime. In 2018, we had Citrus, Happy Sugar Life, Asago to Kase-san, and Yagate Kimi ni Naru. To continue that trend, in 2019, Fragtime is another hour-long original animation adaptation of a two volume yuri-genre manga with some science fiction elements mixed into it.
Of course, this show had production problems, but for not the reasons you think. While show made it to theaters, after a few weeks, Tear Studio disappeared as they went bankrupt. Therefore, people who worked on the production didn’t get paid. While this original animation eventually made it onto Blu-ray and DVD. You might be wondering, was the wait worth it?
The story focuses on a normal, but shy high school girl, Moritani Misuzu. When one of her classmates ask her to join a tennis club, she becomes flustered. She uses her time stopping powers to get out of awkward situations or spy on others.
When she run away into the courtyard of the school, she sees a beautiful, black long-haired girl reading a book. Misuzu decided to peek of Haruka’s panties out of curiosity. Without realizing, Haruka moved and catches Misuzu red handed on the act. After Misuzu reveals that she has the power to stop time for three minutes. To avoid getting revealed as a pervert, Misuzu must do anything Haruka tells her to.
The theme of the story is of course coming out of the comfort zone and being yourself. It’s obvious that Misuzu is shy and have a hard time interacting with others. However, she starts to change as she gets closer to Haruka.
Eventually, Haruka notices that Misuzu is using her time stopping powers without explanation and wants her to stop. Misuzu becomes afraid that she will upset her. Given that Haruka is one of her only friends, she restrains herself from doing it.
In a sense, Misuzu starts to change as she doesn’t run away anymore when she gets into an awkward position. In a way, she tries to deal with reality instead of escaping it. Still, she uses the time stopping powers when a bunch of bullies laughed at one of her classmate’s career plan form to take it from them. This of course causes a big misunderstanding with Haruka.
At the same time, Haruka despite being the model student and wanting to get along with everyone, she can’t be her true self. She only shows her real self when she spends time with Misuzu while time stops for three minutes. This leads to some nice yuri moments with Misuzu and Haruka kissing each other when the nurse wants Haruka to go to class to name a few.
Sure, Misuzu and Haruka did some mischievous things such as putting girl’s underwear on Haruka’s ex-boyfriend to finding out everyone’s secrets, there is one notable moment that tops them all. During an exam. Misuzu decides to stop time and well, Haruka stands on the desk and starts stripping off most of her clothing. She wants Misuzu take pictures while she did it. After taking pictures of her, they became intimate with each other through kissing. Thankfully, Haruka put back on her clothing before time resumed to avoid suspicion. Still, it’s one of the notable moments in the original animation.
I must admit that Haruka is an interesting character. Although she sometimes comes off as being mean in certain moments, it’s obvious that Misuzu wants to learn more about her so she can get closer to her. When Misuzu comes over to Haruka’s place after telling her that her time stopping powers are waning, she eventually went through the drawers. She sees note cards of every classmate in her class, including Haruka which contains nothing.
It’s obvious that Haruka faces the pressure to become a role model. It shows with the effort she goes through writing notes about all her classmates so she can get along with them. She even helps others and be the top of her class.
Of course, despite her efforts, it seems that classmates are obviously jealous. This can explain the nasty message on the blackboard. Of course, this comes at the price as she suppressed her true self so people would like her. This shows the big moral of the story that one shouldn’t change themselves so others would like her. There are always going to be people who won’t like someone or get along with them because of one reason or another. Still, there are others that will accept them who they are, as long they aren’t truly terrible people.
Misuzu sympathizes with her since she never liked or hated and Haruka is the only one who came close to her. Still, she sees her as a good person despite her flaws. After all, not everyone is going to be perfect. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that they are bad people. There are still redeemable qualities in everyone, even in Haruka. Misuzu sees this since her kindness, determination, and trying to get along with people are qualities she loves about her. This is what allows Misuzu to be able to become comfortable with interacting with others instead of running away. After all, she has someone she really cares about.
Overall, Fragtime is an interesting yuri genre story by how the relationship between Misuzu and Haruka develops. The central theme of the main story is straight forward and the presentation in some of the yuri-focused scenes were great, especially that classroom scene. Still, I think it’s definitely worth a watch for all fans of yuri for the time-stopping antics and how the Misuzu and Haruka pairing develops throughout the story.