»

Weskalia's Ano Natsu de Matteru Tv Review

Ano Natsu de Matteru Ano Natsu de Matteru Screenshot The film crew. Ano Natsu de Matteru Screenshot First contact and how it should be done. Ano Natsu de Matteru Screenshot Ready for the next MIB hit? Ano Natsu de Matteru Screenshot See what happened when you let minors drink?

Ano Natsu de Matteru tv Review

Story & Characters

Male high-school student falling for gorgeous girlfriend from space... sound familiar? Everything about the scenario of Ano Natsu de Matteru will have you reminding about Please Teacher! - the similar character designs, basic premise, even parallels between each of the individual characters. But ten years have passed between the two series, the genre has changed dramatically. Luckily for all, Ano Natsu is neither romance of a teacher and a student falling for each other nor harem fest, but rather a gentle real-life up and down of young love that sports a surprising streak of social conscience and a knack for emotions that are not only entertaining, but also cute enough to be endearing.

While Kirishima Kaito taking photograph at night, he witnesses a strange phenomenon which grievously harms him. The next day, he wakes up perfectly fine, but he only has vague recollection of what happened. At school that day, he meets a beautiful redhead named Ichika, and is surprisingly smitten, even offers her residence in his house to which Ichika, equally smitten, agrees. As Kaito and his friends get to know Ichika better, they decide to include her in the amateur film project they're working on. The project seems working fine until it smacks into the romance stirs among the group of friends: Kaito is falling for Ichika, while close friend Kanna has a crush for him, the unfavorable circumstance for which arises when Kaito's best friend Tetsuro is interested in Kanna, and Kanna's friend Mio has feelings for Tetsuro. Meanwhile, Ichika is hiding the secrets appear to be related to the event Kaito witnessed before. Summer days are about to get exciting for the small film crew.

If Ano Natsu had a weakness, it would be its setting. Not because of the types of tales it inspires, but because of its obsessive fidelity. The series is obviously built on familiar cliche and plot devices that will make you think it's another silly, slapstick, fan-service heavy shonen romance. But to those who want to avoid the modern gimmicks, the honest qualities of Ano Natsu still stand out. To view it as an excuse to indulge in dating sim obsessions is to grossly over-simplify a series where setting and characterization are inextricably intertwined.

While Ano Natsu is light-hearted, and there are a few funny situations, for the most part it's not really a comedy. At its core, it is a surprisingly sweet and romantic story about two people who end up together for the wrong reasons but try to make the best of it. Although lighthearted, the story isn't all fluff. The series isn't above stark juxtapositions of the differences between normal humans and Ichika's extraterrestrial origin, which lends real substance to the social barriers that separate the two. Kaito's quirks of character manage to give life to perhaps the dullest example of masculinity, the perfect ladies' high school boy, while Ichika's strength of character quietly shines through the enforced subservience of her station.

And therein lies Ano Natsu's genius: forming intensely lovable characters beneath the restraints placed upon them by their stuffy struggling milieu. Through the course of the first episodes the group is subject to a number of trials and tribulations. The central romance grows quietly, incrementally, until one genuinely wishes for Kaito and Ichika's happiness, even as it becomes ever more obvious that the series is too mature to dabble in "love conquers all" cliche. Even Kanna manages to overcome certain aspects of her past, as well as a sticky relationship with someone she cares about; while Tetsuro is eventually called to task for becoming the voice of reason of the courtships. The real surprise, however, is miss director Remon. All wry wit and razor-sharp instincts, she steals every scene she's in. Rather than being major plot points in themselves, most of the issues brought up are used to guide the development of the relationship that Kaito and Ichika have with each other. Although the drama is there, the story fares best when focusing on the warmth of friends making a movie together and falling in love, the characters have their own affairs, but never over-exaggerate them as is common in many other trap of plastic, melodrama overreaction. That's the secret of a good teenage romance: to portray the drama just as it is, no gimmicks, no over-the-top cuteness, just the reality of youth.

Rating: 8

Art

The artistic style and gimmicks remain consistent with Please Teacher!, Ano Natsu's character designs do make it look old, with characters modeled after late 90s. The thick, clumpy hairstyles do the characters a huge disservice, and it just doesn't hold the same appeal that it did ten years ago. Kaito's hair looks like it was carved from a lump of clay. But the overall look of the show is pleasing to watch, character designs are consistently nicely-drawn and attractive, whether it's Ichika's red head and busty figure, Remon's girlish charm, or Kanna and Mio's appealing cuteness, as is background art; for all of the dated styles, designer Uon Taraku's quality control never slips.

Animation is good enough, with cleverer use made of still shots here than in most anime series and attention paid even to small details like the color schemes, landscapes, and the cinematic camera angles. The summertime setting is a big part of the story, and everything about the background art reflects that - the rich greens and blues of Kaito's suburban hometown, plus a seaside interlude that is as much about the scenery as it is about swimsuits. When the time does come for sci-fi action, Ano Natsu has some very nicely-animated chase scenes and special explosions and stays very true any mecha epic.

Rating: 8

Sound

If this series is all about the ups and downs of first love, what better way to complement it than with a well-written music score? The musical score needed to be very flexible to handle all of the sudden shifts and wackiness inherent in the content. The clean OP "sign" and ED "Vidro Moyou" provide a chance to enjoy a pair of instrumental pieces, but the real catch are the touching melodies that enhance many dramatic moments when Kaito and friends confront each other (or themselves) about their feelings.

The voice acting has its own merits. By comparison, Tamura Yukari, Asumi Kana and new comers Ishihara Kaori are perfect choices for Remon, Mio and Kanna. Amongst actual performances, kudos go to Tomatsu Haruka's rendition of Ichika, as she effectively conveys the character's wide emotional range. Shimazaki Nobunaga is less impressive as Kaito but gets the job done. Ogihara Hideki's Tetsuro also has a bit of the latter problem, but more minor supporting roles are uniformly great.

Rating: 9

Presentation

One could make a surface comparison between Ano Natsu de Matteru and Please Teacher!, this series is good enough to stand on its own as an ode to growing up and falling in love. Viewers may be disappointed in the poorly explained and all-too-convenient ending. Certain things are expected to happen, but in the end something completely different happens, and while it gives a brief explanation as to how the final result occurs, it fails to explain why the expected ending does not. But with the exception of not tying up one item related to the end of the story, every other major plot item and side-item is nicely and satisfactorily wrapped up.

And ultimately, it's a blessing that something as pleasantly mature as Ano Natsu de Matteru was released at all in today's anime market. Anyone who can make it through the series' earnest points will remember the warmth, nostalgic mood of the good old days. If you are displeased with today's anime because of the same cheesy romance hell we've been experiencing for decades, do not let that dissuade you from checking this out. A modern series stays true to its homage roots like this is an entirely different animal, and a remarkably well-raised one.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 7
Characters: 9
Art: 8
Animation: 8
Voice: 9
Music: 7
Overall: 8.5

Good:
+A gentle, subtly-played romance that succeeds despite having familiar romantic formula.
+Excellent captures nostalgic essence of the good old days.
+Lots of highly entertaining MIB parodies.
Bad:
+Some flat coloring and weak character rendering.
+Unfinished ending.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.50 (very good)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Jul 27, 2012

Comments

  1. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Jul 29, 2012

    I have to say, Ano Natsu really surprised me on a lot of levels. I tried watching Please Teacher! when I was younger and I just could not get into it. There was just something about the show that rubbed me the wrong way and I ended up never finishing it. However, Ano Natsu really seemed to throw in all the elements in the right way and really tugged at my heart, but at the same time kept things light enough to where we weren't drowned in drama. Cleverly balanced with comedy, romance and drama, the show really shocked me. While there were definitely it's fare share of problems, I still liked a lot of what was done with the show.

    I think you perfectly captured the series for what it was. I was tempted to review this show, but felt that I would end up being far too biased about it. You however, perfectly captured the series highlights and faults in this review. The Review Queen rocked up my favorite show of this year, and I don't think anyone else could of done a better job with this review. Great work!

page 1 of 1 1 total item

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.