Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence: Could this be another wholesome anime by Doga Kobo?

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Alas, my most anticipated Summer anime has released a new PV, and that’s none other than Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence. I’ve been waiting for a 2nd PV for so long, and I’m delighted that it’s finally out! The anime has also announced an early preview of the first episode on July 8th, and the official premiere is on July 12th. The synopsis is as follows:

Dwelling in the small outskirts of a peaceful town, Lawrence works as a local pastor for the townsfolk. When in need, he is responsible for guiding people to the church to visit the “Saint”—a symbol of good morals who heeds each parishioner’s struggles and grants them sincere advice. Cecilia, a kind young girl, is tasked to fulfill this role; however, this tiresome job quickly exhausts her. That, paired with her hidden somnolent nature, often causes her to laze around the church. This leaves Lawrence to care for the church all by himself. While Cecilia sleeps in anticipation for her next visitor, Lawrence caters to her needs alongside performing the church’s numerous responsibilities.

Slowly but surely, they begin to form a comfortable and trusting friendship with one another. Lawrence accepting Cecilia’s lax nature elates her while she grows accustomed to Lawrence’s overly-doting nature. However, as the adoring and absent-minded saint’s feelings for the dense and overly protective pastor progress past friendship, how will he respond?

Why am I so excited for Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence? First, as a person who’s been reading the manga, I can guarantee that it’s very cute and wholesome. I love the relationship between Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence and seeing how their romantic feelings for each other grow as the manga progresses. Second, the anime is being produced by my favourite studio Doga Kobo, which happens to be producing the hit anime Oshi no Ko this spring season. I’ve always loved the moe art style of Doga Kobo animes and it’s not different with Saint Cecilia as she looks so adorably cute! Third, I’ve always been drawn to anime that have a religious feel to it as it’s fascinating to see how Japanese view Christianity. It’s also interesting to see how churches are portrayed in anime and I like how they always seem to be portrayed as beautiful premises.

From the 2nd PV, I can already see that the character designs are brilliant, except for Pastor Lawrence. I’m impressed and love how most of the characters have their own colour set. For example, Cecilia has green hair and eyes while Haizelita has blue eyes and hair. The only disappointment I have is that Pastor Lawrence looks like your generic male anime character when he’s much more handsome looking in the manga. Will that come to irritate me further down the series? I certainly hope that isn’t the case!

So, what expectations do I have of this series? First, I do expect the story to be immensely comforting and wholesome as the relationship between Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence starts to blossom. Second, I am certain that the anime will have plenty of hilarious moments in them, especially with Saint Cecilia and her lazy nature, as well as the moments between her and Pastor Lawrence. Speaking of Cecilia’s lazy nature, I wonder how Lawrence will handle her as both of them need to be at their best behaviour whenever the townsfolk visit the church. We also can’t forget about Pastor Abel and Haizelita as they have an interesting tutor-student relationship. It’ll probably be similarly as funny as Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence’s relationship, albeit in a different way. However, I also sense the anime will also have a couple of serious moments, especially since it has a religious element to it.

However, I have 2 concerns about Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence. The first is whether it’ll be able to retain its audiences since it’s a slice of life/romcom anime. It can get slow in some episodes and periods as it is a slice of life series. The question for the anime is whether it’ll be able to overcome the boring parts of the series with something that strikes the audience. Will its studio Doga Kobo be able to find a way to retain the audience? That is the unknown factor of the show.

My second concern is that it is an under-the-radar anime next season. I don’t see many people aiming to watch this when it releases, nor do I hear them being interested in watching the series. Will Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence be able to delight its audiences so much that it becomes more popular through word of mouth? I certainly hope so as it pains me to see a good anime being left in the dust compared to the more popular series.

However, as a manga reader and a fan of the studio Doga Kobo, I am confident that Saint Cecilia and Pastor Lawrence will be an amazing romcon and slice of life series next season! I for one, can’t wait to see the first episode on 12th July!

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