Rainbow Chaser will make you smile, shed a tear, and maybe crave a steamed pork bun.

In recent months, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train and Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time have reminded us of the amazing potential of feature-length theatrical anime. However, a talented team of creators with a clear vision of what they want to accomplish don7t necessarily need uninterrupted hours of our time to stir our emotions, as proven by Rainbow Finder.

Featuring character concepts by manga artist Karuho Shiina, of Kimi ni Todoke fame, and visual production collaboration from anime studios CoMix Wave Films (Your Name, Weathering with You) and Orange (Land of the Lustrous, Beastars), Rainbow Finder focuses on four teenage friends: track star Hitomi (voiced by Maaya Uchida), her sister Nanami (Haruka Fukuhara), good-natured goofball Akira (Takuya Eguchi), and cool and collected Toru (Natsuki Hanae). As this 90-second episode opens, it’s time for them to graduate from high school, but the milestone is bittersweet.

▼ Hitomi and Akira

That’s because Toru tells Hitomi that Akira isn’t going to be sticking around their hometown, but leaving to study rakugo, traditional Japanese comedy, in hopes of becoming an entertainer, and he’s moving soon. Because of that, time is running out for Hitomi to sort out whether her feeling towards Akira are just friendship, which they’ve shared since they were little kids, or something more.

As Hitomi is lost in thought underneath a cherry tree, Nanami rides up no her bike, panicked, and shouts that Akira’s train out of town is leaving at 6 o’clock.

“You’ve got to tell him! If you don’t, you’ll regret it forever!”

Hitomi sprints back into town, and manages to catch Akira and Toru as they’re coming out of a 7-Eleven (more on that later), where Akira just picked up one of the chain’s steamed pork buns as a snack and is trying to play it cool as his pal asks him if there isn’t something he needs to say to Hitomi before he gets on the train.

Out of breath from her sprint, all Hitomi can do is stutter, “Umm…umm…” But as it turns out, having known each other for so long, she and Akira don’t really have to say anything to show they care for each other, and that no matter what the future holds, the moments they’ve shared will always be special to them.

Set to heartstring-pulling vocal from singer Yama, it’s a satisfying, impressively complete emotional journey in just a minute and a half, and — what’s that? The 7-Eleven thing? Oh, right. See, Rainbow Chaser is actually a series of anime ads for 7-Eleven. The convenience store chain’s presence is admirably low-key, though, even though it also shows up in the Rainbow Chaser episodes showing how Akira and Toru became buds…

…and the one dealing with how Nanami’s relationship with her father led to her love of photography.

So far, these are the only three episodes of Rainbow Chaser, released at a pace of one a month, that have been produced, but considering how beautiful and emotionally compelling they are, hopefully there’ll be more to come.

Source: YouTube/セブン‐イレブン・ジャパン 公式チャンネル via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/セブン‐イレブン・ジャパン 公式チャンネル
Insert images: YouTube/セブン‐イレブン・ジャパン 公式チャンネル (1, 2, 3)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where a high school track runner named Hitomi, plus Nanami’s character design, are making him want to rewatch Escaflowne.