Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Waiting in the Summer. That's what this title means. It's a rather apt title, too. Since this romantic comedy/drama/sci-fi story takes place largely in the summer when a bunch of school friends whittle away the hours by shooting a movie to cement their memories of said summer.

In a way, I suppose this show was the perfect way to follow up a summer of my own where I rewatched the Tenchi Muyo series and finally viewed The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Ano Natsu de Matteru contains much of the same subject matter, but this particular show portrays romantic relationships with a straight-face. That's something that Tenchi Muyo avoided entirely (except for Tenchi in Tokyo) and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya never specifically mentioned although there were a few subtle hints. 

The sci-fi in this series is really important half the time. Sure, it's important when it comes to the romance element and to the ultimate climax of the show, but the rest of the time it just feels like one of the main characters is an alien just so one of the main characters could be an alien. It's a hijinks ploy more than anything else. However, the Men in Black references were really well played. 

So all in all it works although the sci-fi gadgets could have been better designed.

Takatsuki Ichika is our main female protagonist of the show and she is the character who is from outer space. At the beginning of the show she crash lands on earth and almost kills our main male protagonist Kirishima Kaito. But she rescues him (although he largely forgets this) and then the two of them more or less go their separate ways... until they meet again in school. 

Kaito soon develops a crush on the space girl whilst unaware that Tanigawa Kanna has a crush on him. Ishigaki Tetsuro is a close friends of Kanna and Kaito and he has feelings for Kanna even though he knows of Kanna's feelings for Kaito. However, Tetsuro actually encourages Kanna to seek a relationship with Kaito in order to be a good friend to Kanna. Kitahara Mio is a girl who has a crush on Tetsuro, but she encourages Tetsuro to pursue Kanna... 

And of course the space girl  Ichika soon develops feelings for Kaito but she's reluctant to admit it because she's from space. 

This is a freaking love hexagon, people! I mean, it does make for some interesting watching and there's lots of drama, but the drama does aggravating after a while. 

However, this show does one thing right by making Kaito confess his love for Ichika early on during the series. It's a welcome relief from all of the characters who take twenty-six episodes to grow a pair of stones to make a confession.  

At twelve episodes, this series is pretty short and it doesn't overstay its welcome. Like a date with a two dollar hooker: it's in, it's out, and then it's done. I like shows like that that are short and sweet. 

However, I didn't particularly think that Ano Natsu de Matteru was a great show. It was good. I'm sure I'd watch it again. In fact, I know I will. 

It's just not one of those great ones and there's nothing wrong with that. This show did everything it had to do to tell its story and it did it reasonably well.

Not every show can be great, though. 

A few things that took away from the show for me. 

The characters themselves didn't really distinguish themselves a lot from their anime comrades. The reason for that is twofold: It's a combination between the lack of backstory for the characters and some less than stellar animation.

This anime is also another in the long line of anime that take place in school. I knew it'd be about that to begin with so it's silly to hold that against this show, but it really just seems like every anime features middle/high school kids. Having them being, at the very least, first year college students could have been interesting, too. 

Those are really just small quibbles, though. 

It's good show. If you like anime like this then you'll probably like anime. If you don't like anime then this might not convert you. If you are a Men in Black fan then you'll appreciate the references. 

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