Ano Natsu de Matteru – 06 Review

Ano Natsu de Matteru – Episode 06

What originally seemed like a standard beach interlude turned out to be a really enjoyable and fairly fast paced episode full of all the good stuff I have come to expect of AnoNatsu – great acting, animation, sound, and lots of charm. Although I still find myself wishing for a little more aliens and a little less angsty awkwardness, with this episode the plot seems to be moving forward and I can only imagine that AnoNatsu will continue to get better from here on out.

Synopsis:

The episode opens with Ichika, in the bath, pondering last week’s revelation that Kanna loves Kai. Meanwhile, Tetsuou is at home feeling gloomy, probably thinking about the same thing. Tetsuou’s sister (the cougar from Ep 04) comes home, explaining that she had planned on taking a trip to Okinawa with her friends, but that they have all cancelled. She generously gives the tickets to Tetsuou and suggests that he take his friends on a vacation.

The crew arrives in Okinawa, and a typical slice-of-life-anime beach episode unfolds. The boys get flustered at seeing the girls in bikinis, everyone plays volley ball, goes swimming, and lounges under umbrellas. Fortunately, Remon brings the group’s attention back to the movie project. While filming on the beach, two cute girls approach and ask what is going on. Much to her and everyone else’s surprise, one of the girls (Kinoshita Kaori) recognizes Kai as her childhood friend. As she gushes on excitedly to Kai, the rest of the crew is feeling awkward. With a knowing smirk, Remon asks Kai to introduce Kaori to the group, but before he can finish, Kaori interrupts to declare that Kai is her fiancé. Ichika and Kanna are stunned, Kai bumblingly tries to explain the situation, Kaori is flirtatiously declaring that she and Kai were destined to meet, and Remon is just rolling in it. Amidst the death stares from Kanna and Ichika, the other new girl (Arisawa Chiharu) makes a bee-line for Tetsuou and starts laying it on him pretty thick. Mio is quite put out by this, and Remon grabs the camera, looking like she couldn’t possibly be any more amused.

Back at the beach house, Kanna and Ichika band together and gang up on Kai. Since they are both jealous of Kaori’s relationship with Kai, they fall into an “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing, grilling him for more info and making sarcastic remarks. Outside on the porch, Tetsuou and Mio are having a nice moment feeling sympathy for Kai, and Mio is working her way up to asking Tetsuou if he is interested in Arisawa. Suddenly, the new girls show up at the house with Remon and start macking on the boys. All hell breaks loose, but Remon intervenes to explain that she has asked Kaori to guest star in their movie.

The next day, during filming, Kaori is coming on to Kai pretty hard, and Arisawa is doing the same to Tetsuou. Kanna, Ichika, and Mio are obviously pretty unhappy about this. Tetsuou and Kai are both working hard to resist their respective girls’ flirtations, and eventually Tetsuou makes a break for it and returns to the beach house claiming that he left some important tech related equipment behind. While the girls of the crew  are bemoaning their situations, they realize that the boys have disappeared along with Kaori and Arisawa. Out of jealousy and fear (fear that the boys might be off doing the wild thing with the new girls), Mio runs off to find Tetsuou, while Kanna and Ichika both go looking for Kai.

The last minutes of the episode switch back and forth between what is happening for Kai and what is going on for Tetsuou. Kaori has called Kai out to the woods and confesses to him, telling him that she still loves him from back when they were kids. Kai rejects Kaori, explaining that although he does not have a girlfriend, he is deeply in love with someone (Ichika). As Kaori is crying and Kai seems to be moving in to give her a sympathetic hug, Ichika stumbles out of the bushes looking horrified to have found the two alone together in the woods. Meanwhile, Tetsuou is back at the house, rummaging through his things, trying to decide what he should claim to have forgotten. Arisawa walks in and jumps on him. She tries to force him down on the bed and kiss him, but suddenly Mio bursts through the door, knocks Arisawa out of the way and lands on Tetsuou. Mio is mortally embarrassed (how many other people noticed that she isn’t wearing underwear?), and she and Tetsuou both turn bright red, blushing at their awkward position. The episode ends with Remon standing alone on a cliff, prophetically announcing, “Nobody is coming back.”

Review:

Once again, viewed simply as a high-school romance, AnoNatsu is excellent. When I saw the previews for this episode last week, I was dreading the cheesy and generic “beach episode” that seems to be a requirement of every slice of life anime. AnoNatsu went above and beyond my expectations though – the typical beach scenes were limited to the first five minutes or so – but even during those few minutes, there were quite a few moments that were actually really cute and funny. My favorite part was when Mio built an incredibly elaborate sandcastle on top of Tetsuou, explaining to him that the tide coming in and surrounding the castle would be the finishing touch, totally disregarding the fact that Tetsuou would drown if that were to actually happen. Throughout this episode, the animation was great, the music and sound effects were great, the voice acting was superb, and I really enjoyed watching how the characters interacted with each other.

Despite all that, there were a few things about the episode that bugged me. First of all, I thought it was overly generous of Tetsuou’s sister to give him 6 plane tickets to Okinawa and a free stay at a pimp beach house. I mean that sort of vacation package for 6 people would cost at least a couple thousand dollars, right? Maybe her husband is really rich or something? Who knows. It just seemed like a stretch, and ended up feeling very contrived. Another thing during this episode (and throughout the show) is how Kai’s sister conveniently only happens to own really sexy clothes, so whenever Ichika needs to borrow something it ends up being a nearly see through negligee or a very skimpy bikini. Lucky Kai. Also, I thought it was a little silly how well the boys fended off the two new girls. Come on, they’re teenage boys and they had two really cute girls hanging all over them. No matter how much Kai likes Ichika and Tetsuou likes Kanna, it seemed like the boys should be at least a tiny bit flattered or turned on by the situation, and it would’ve helped give some weight to the girls’ jealousy if the boys had responded to the come-ons a least a little bit.

I suppose at this point it’s useless to mention the complete absence of all the alien stuff. Like, what happened to Kai’s honeycomb-alien-cancer??? Where did it go??? It’s really driving me nuts. And where is the spaceship??? And, for god’s sake, why doesn’t *anyone* say anything about that teletubby? For whatever reason, I just can’t let it go. Maybe I’m too hung up on some insignificant details of an otherwise extremely enjoyable show, but the truth is that it really bothers me that all that seemingly-important alien stuff has been completely dropped. Sure, Ichika has a moment where she is looking wistfully out of the window at the stars and thinking about how she will eventually have to leave. And sure, Remon uses the alien-oriented plot of the movie to troll Ichika for some unknown reason. That’s all fine and dandy, but those are situations that aren’t at all specific to alien-ness – either of those scenarios would work just fine if you substituted “foreign exchange student” for “alien”.

Putting my alien frustrations aside, this was a great episode. Introducing the two new girls worked really well, and it felt very natural and fluid. I was glad about the Tetsuou-Mio action, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with their situation. I’m pretty fond of Mio’s character – she seemed like a generic, big-breasted, and dull (aka bimbo) character at first, but she’s starting to become interesting. I like how she’s a total space cadet but she’s also pretty clued in to everyone else’s relationship dynamics. I don’t really understand why she’s always hanging out naked and why she doesn’t wear any pantsu under such a short skirt, but whatever, to each their own. I also enjoyed seeing Ichika and Kanna on the same side, teamed up against Kai. Some people may have seen this as unrealistic, but I can vouch for truth of this sort of girl behavior. Girls actually do that. It’s nothing to be proud of, but I’ve done it and I’m sure that all of my girlfriends have too at some point.

Remon was great, as always. She’s an awesome character, and I hope we get to see more of her motivations and background soon. I’ve noticed that every other episode I flip-flop on what I think about how clued in she really is – some episodes she seems to know everything about Ichika being an alien and almost acts like her entire purpose in life is to mess with Ichika’s head, but during other episodes it seems more like Remon is simply just not as naïve when it comes to relationships and she is playing with everyone, trying to get them to all hook up for her own entertainment, and that she doesn’t necessarily know anything about Ichika’s “secret”. I really, really hope that Remon gets fleshed out and developed as a character and that she becomes more than just a funny and enigmatic plot-device. Of all the characters, her story and inner workings have the potential to be the most interesting.

So that’s that. This episode was truly a pleasure to watch. AnoNatsu is doing a wonderful job at being a romance anime, and no matter what the creators choose to do with the alien stuff, it’s still an all around great show. The best part about this episode is that it seemed to advance the plot (and the love polygons) quite a bit – I can only assume that from this point onwards, the show will start to move a little faster. Remon even said so – that this is the point of no return. 😉

What about you guys? Do you want to see more alien stuff or are you just fine with things as they are? What do you think will happen next week? Comment away!

Episode Rating: 8.0/10

About kelfio

Keepin' it real down in the sweet sunny south.

Posted on February 16, 2012, in Anime, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Seems like the alien stuff has been largely forgotten in the past several episodes, all for the sake of a more generic setting.

    ’tis a pity — the creators didn’t have the courage to continue down that path, for that requires originality. They settled for less with typical harem hijinks.

    Whenever art blatantly compromises itself for reasons of spectacle, i.e., “comfort food” it is no longer art.

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    • @zammael dont you think the show is fine right now without the alien stuff?i mean the romance and the slice of life stuff without alien is more better and have very nice moments

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      • Not at all. Why watch something you’ve already seen 20 times before? Comfort food? Please. Mediocrity is strictly for the mediocre.

        Dropped.

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    • I agree with you that AnoNatsu is “comfort food” anime. It’s like a big bowl of mashed potatoes, with lots and lots of *cheese*.

      That being said, I think AnoNatsu is doing a great job at being comfort food. There’s nothing at all original happening, but the rehashing of those “typical harem hijinks” is being done well enough.

      I do wish that the alien stuff had been worked into the story more – if that had been successfully woven throughout this typical romance, AnoNatsu could be something really special.

      It’s officially at the half-way point now, and I suppose there’s still a possibility that the alien stuff will come back. But after 4-ish episodes of not mentioning it, I can only imagine that it would feel strained and rushed to bring it up at this point. Oh well.

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    • Don’t you dare use the word “art”.

      Art tackles difficult topics, and celebrated for it. Topics like love, relationships, death, suicide, war, genocide, sexuality, hatred – they’ve become critically acclaimed worldwide, and rightfully so. They dared to explore humanity’s best and darkest sides; the true and ugly realities of the human condition. They venture into uncomfortable territory, and find the truth hidden from within. This is the stuff art is made of. There is nothing that disqualifies Ano Natsu from exploring this harsh territory, the territory known as “love”.

      To drop it on the idea that it’s unoriginal? Spare me. “Originality” is dead. Why do you think so many anime series flopped through trying to reach that? The key is “execution”, which Ano Natsu has down brilliantly. “Execution” is what determines how good a series is to begin with regardless of the usage of worn-out ideas. That’s what separates a good series like Ano Natsu, to truly mediocre series like Bodacious Space Pirates. No pity found there. The “alien” aspect is as – if not more than – overused as romcom stories anyways.

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      • People and their “art”.

        I’m sorry if I offend anyone’s ideas about what art is and isn’t…. But here’s the thing. Art isn’t just really unique stand-out amazing stuff – there’s lots of generic crap floating around in museums (and scattered throughout the history of culture) that is not only art, but “high art”. Does art compromise itself? YES! All the time! Composers have patrons, writers have editors, painters have gallery sales reps, sculptors have censors, singers have record company executives…. Artists are forever compromising their “visions” in order to make their work profitable and acceptable to the community at large. And it’s not only the artists – the distribution chain and publicity machine for art forces much work to be compromised. It’s a bold statement, but I’ll say that there are probably very few artists that refuse compromise and also ever make it out of the realm obscurity.

        And “art” has to deal with heavy and controversial issues? Hell no it doesn’t! I personally don’t prefer art that has such a blatant agenda. Lots of awesome art simply conveys a mood and leaves it at that. Have you ever seen the painting, “Flaming June”? Or read T.S. Eliot’s short little ditty that goes, “Daffodils/yellow sunlight fills/the cool secluded room/…”. There’s nothing inherently “difficult” about either of those things, and they’re both art. Lots of my favorite “art” isn’t original or controversial or full of allusions or heavy themes, and that’s fine.

        I suppose the question comes down to: What *is* art exactly? I’ve always thought that art is just creative self-expression using the medium of your choice. Art is a big thing, and there’s all kinds of it out there. That’s what makes it so great, really. You can’t say that one thing is art and another thing isn’t simply based on whether or not you like it – like, is Beethoven art but Snoop Dogg or J-Pop are not? Is the Mona Lisa art and the scribblings of a pre-school kid in art class not? Is the script of AnoNatsu somehow less “art” than a novel by Dostoyevsky? Nope. You can’t make those sorts of judgments on art. Lots of art aficionados would probably laugh at the otaku who tries to justify anime as being an art form, but we here all know that it’s art and we love it.

        Pretty much, it’s all “art”. Whether it’s compromised, contrived, shallow, terrible, amazing, life-altering, commercialized, pop-y, old, new, bland, or even if it just plain sucks all around, it’s “art”. And none of it is “good” or “bad”, it’s simply a question of whether or not *you* like it. Does elicit a visceral emotional response from you? Does it set your brain on fire? Do you keep on thinking about it afterwards? Does it make you remember the important things? Does it make you feel less alone and more connected to your fellow humans? Does it inspire you to see your surroundings differently? Does it give you the urge to go out and create or express? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then chances are that you’ve found a piece of art that you really like.

        So, is AnoNatsu art? Yes, of course it is! So, do *you* like it or not? 😉

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      • @ kelfio

        You’re misunderstanding what I meant. I never said art “has” to deal with controversial issues, but art is capable of doing so. That’s why its called art. It’ alright if you don;t see it that way, but I think the world’s better for it.

        Of course I understand that art means different things for most people! Obviously art doesn’t have to be big or difficult to understand. If art was only that, it be pretty stupid. I actually prefer art to be understandable by everyone anyways. The role of art is not to be incredibly deep and meaningful, but to find truth from within the themes it expresses; “True art” doesn’t have to be complex. Take this: compare a six-year-old’s drawing of a happy family compared to the Mono Lisa – I would prefer that former, since it expresses the child’s feelings of a happy family and it deals with the idea of family, which anyone can understand regardless of their current family affairs. That to me is true art.

        I’m probably being pretentious by declaring what art is. Even then, there’s no denying that anime has the potential of being an artistic medium. Maybe you’re right and everything can be considered art, “good” or “bad”. But if that’s the case, what is art then? I have to disagree – calling every piece of media “art” renders the term meaningless, stale, and stagnant. “True art” holds purpose more than just being entertainment, and that’s how we’re able to distinguish from what is art and what isn’t.

        Look, we’ve all been watching anime for a long time. No one wants every anime to be a Clannad: After Story or a Steins;Gate. But we would really like to see more Toradora’s, Haruhi’s, Angel Beats’s, FMA’s, and even more PMMM’s. We would also like to see more Durarara!!’s too. That’s why we explore anime. Art is found through exploration. Better anime is made by better understanding the medium we make them in.

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      • Not sure if serious…

        A little research on the creator of Ano Natsu de Matteru should correct your hilariously specious claims.

        Originality isn’t necessarily dead – for post-modernism isn’t the last word – all you need is to recognize the cliches/tropes of the genre and move in new unexplored terrain.

        Ano is mostly cliched recycling of the creator’s previous works — which always is a vice in my book. So is mediocrity and if such works easily satisfy the likes of you, then more’s the pity.

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    • I don’t fall for mediocrity. I’ve watch hundreds of anime and barely a handful make my favourites. Stuff like Clannad: After Story, Steins;Gate, Toradora, Haruhi, Angel Beats, FMA, PMMM, Durarara!! are among the best – Ano Natsu (so far) has the potential of easily ranking among them.

      Why?

      “Execution”.

      “Execution” is everything. It doesn’t matter if the director recycled elements from Toradora and AnoHana, just as long as it’s executed properly. Steins;Gate is a story of time travel (generic and cliche), but it’s execution is so masterful that it’s easily the equal to the best anime out there (Cowboy Bebop and/or FMA).

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  2. I think you’ll see a tiny bit more on the alien side in the next episode. Arisawa falling on Rinon did start something on the ship. There should be some consequences.

    About the ship… I think it can be miniaturised. In the second episode, we saw Ichika trying to repair it using her trunk. Actually, since Rinon’s seat in the ship and in the trunk are the same, i think the trunk is the ship.

    Overall, that was a great episode. I thought Kaori and Arisawa’s introduction seemed random but it went pretty well. Both of them were really proactive, which was a nice change of pace. I look forward to see the next episode.

    Is it just me or Remon last words seemed really ominous?

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    • I’ve also thought about the possibility that the ship is somehow able to nano-size and fit into the suitcase. That would explain a little more about why the suitcase was so heavy…. But at this point, I’m not sure if any of that will be dealt with. It seems like AnoNatsu is more focused on the romance than on the sci-fi.

      Do you think that Arisawa falling on Rinon activated something on the ship? It’s possible, but I wasn’t sure about that part – it very well could have just been a cute way to animate Rinon’s reaction to being pinned under Arisawa’s nether regions.

      And yes, I do think Remon’s words were kind of ominous. It seemed to me like she was saying that everything had reached a turning point. Considering that it’s likely enough that she knows that Ichika is an alien, it does seem like the tuning point (or whatever it is that she is talking about) will go beyond just the romance/relationships and hopefully include some alien oriented plot progression.

      I’ve got a feeling that things will start speeding up from here on out. 🙂

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      • Even if the sci-fi stuffs are not the main point here, i think it will logically be a signifant part of the story. There’s a few points that have to be adressed anyway : Kaito’s disease (which is linked to the ship malfunction) and why Ichika’s here.

        If the next episode adresses Ichika’s feeling, to keep things interesting, troubles are bound to happen. Kanna’s not even on Kaito’s radar even after Tetsuro revealed her feelings. He didn’t think even one second about her when he talked to Kaori. If she, somehow, has enough guts to go confess, I think Kaito’s answer won’t be different than the one he gave to Kaori. Plus, in my opinion, she’s more tied to Tetsuro’s story than Kaito’s. So, in the end, the story will have to depend on the fact she’s an alien.

        Yes, i think Arisawa’s falling on Rinon dit activate something. Actually, the screen was kinda similar when the ship did an emergency landing in episode 2. If Rinon is some kinf of biological IA thingy, it could be logical to think his suffering (the poor thing is strugling pinned under this ass) will have consequences on the ship.

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  3. @kelfio i actully dont want to see the alien stuff since the show is more better without this i fine with how the things are now and in one of your reviews you said you want some sad and sireous moments is this episode gave you some of this moments?i mean with kaori cry and more scences?

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    • I think AnoNatsu is doing a fine job with the romance and the emotional moments, and like I’ve said, I think the acting and the characters are great.

      My issue with the alien stuff is simply that I think they shouldn’t have introduced it into the show at all if they were just going to drop it. I mean, in Ep 01 and 02, the alien thing was a pretty big deal. Kai had a crazy alien cancer on his neck, and at the very beginning when the space ship crashed, it really looked like Kai had been seriously injured or killed.

      All I’m saying is that I think the show needs to somehow deal with all that and either work it in or explain it instead of just forgetting about it. 🙂

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  4. @kelfio well after seen the subbed episode 7 i think they almost finished with all the romance stuff and soon will go to wrap the alien stuff with kaito problem and all that

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  5. Ano natsu remembered me to Ano-Hana. Is it the art?

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