*Crying, flipping desks, bawling eyes out*
As you may all know, Ano Natsu has been receiving fairly mixed reviews. While I can obviously point out some bad parts, but in general, I do believe that the good aspects of the show heavily outweigh the negatives.
However, before I can delve into my review, I’ll give you guys the usual episodic summary first.
Beginning from where the penultimate episode left off, the finale begins with the group getting saved from the car crash thanks to Rinnon deploying himself as a gigantic airbag. Then,while Ichika and Kaito run off, Remon takes the initiative to fight off the “I Lost Track of Which Number This is” rescue bot that they had hit.
As they escape through the forest to get to a local train station, Ichika and Kaito encounter yet another rescue bot and while all seems doomed, Emika somehow sent a robot from her ship (in space) to aid Ichika & Co. which arrives just in time to disable the rescue bot. However, not before long, the robot gets up, but this time, Rinnon decides to pilot Emika’s robot, thus fending off another rescue b0t.
Thanks to Rinnon, Ichika and Kaito are able to board the train to get to their destination. On the way there, they have the “lovers-chitchat”, which albeit very adorable, it seemed somewhat unnecessary (actually, later on, it just made sentiments even harsher, so it was of purpose).
Just before the cute couple arrive at their destination, the show goes back to cover what is going on with the rest of the friends. Remon, whose robot seems to have failed and has been teared to shreds, is suddenly saved by a barrage of rockets, which is shown to be fired from a group of…dun dun dun dun…MIB!
On the Tetsuro X Mio front, their motorcycle just seems to run out of gas, but luckily, they’re saved by “Satoshi” and his group of MIB. Yes, that Satoshi, as in Tetsuro’s brother-in-law. Also, on Kanna’s end of things, she runs into Manami, who seems to have been ordered by Satoshi to a certain location, which is none other than a rendezvous to Kanna (which, of course, both are unaware of).
So with the group safe and sound, Ichika and Kaito arrives at the destination, just in time. Once they arrive, a strange glowing-diamond floats out of the water and it “links up” with Ichika’s mind. At first, Ichika wonders why Kaito is in her mind too, but then the explanation is because “she gave him her cells to save him from dying”. During their “vision”, they seemingly travel back in time, and notice that the tree behind them had some carving in Ichika’s native language, but as they come back to real-time, that “tree”, is nothing but a rotted stump.
So with that, and a lack of evidence of previous alien-human relation, the rescue bot(s) appear out of nowhere, jump on the couple and seize Ichika to take her home.
Obviously, before Ichika gets taken away, the lovers exchange their “OH I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER”-esque lines. Okay, okay I made it sound really lame and unromantic, but this scene, in actuality, totally made me cry, especially since it just hit me on how heavy the vows they exchanged on the train were.
So while Ichika is being deported, some sort of “genetic information lock” is…well…”un-locked”, and they learn about the previous alien-human encounter, and they all find out that the conditions were almost exactly the same as Kaito X Ichika.
After the letdown, the time skips to a couple of weeks later, when summer break has ended.
At school, we can see Kaito has turned back into what he was like at the start of the series, calm & collected. When Kaito returns home after school, Kaito finds out his sister has returned from Bolivia. From there, his sister picked up a Bolivian native garment for Ichika, only to learn that she has “left”.
The next day, Kaito & Co. learns that Remon is about to transfer “away”, but before Remon leaves, she hands Kaito the tape discs of their film that they “almost completed”. The group is about to inquire more from Remon, but before they know it, she disappears.
That same afternoon, the group heads over to Kaito’s house to watch the film…and lots of crying ensues. I certainly cried, so shouldn’t you? Anyways, the “incomplete movie” contains scenes of the “actual film”, Kaito’s awkward first confession, the Kaito X Kanna date, and more Ichika X Kaito dokidoki moments.
After that sentimental scene, Ano Natsu seems to skip forward to a bit later, when Kaito & Co. have already graduated. During a school event, the “movie club” is showing the “movie” that was left behind by the previous movie club (no doubt, Kaito & Co.)…and when the camera zooms into the film, it shows Ichika wearing the native garment that Kaito’s sister brought back from Bolivia and saying that her ship crashed again. Thus, it shows that Ichika has finally returned to Earth, became reunited with Kaito & Co, and they finally completed their movie after all.
Wow, nothing short of wow. Anyways, same deal as with always, going to divide this up into sections and ratings out of 10.
My god. I would like to say this is a great story, but that would be just an understatement. As much as I know there are a lot of people who thought this show was not good, and vice versa, I have to simply say I’m in love with this show. No, I’m not joining the bandwagon of Ano Natsu fans, but I have my own legitimate reasons. As for the plot, it was unbelievably real, especially to me. In some events, this was remarkably similar to something I had previously experienced, albeit she was not a crash-landed alien. Other than the ultimate love-story plot, Ano Natsu had surprised me at multiple times such as Satoshi being in the MIB, Remon not being of Kaito’s generation, and Tetsuro’s feelings for Kanna etc. With that, it kept the show very interesting to watch with all the necessary plot twists and what not. Certainly a show I’d recommend to other people for its story. Solid, and a well-deserved 9/10.
To start off, I was fairly amazed at the character progression. Each character improved themselves over the series, and for example: Kaito being able to speak about his feelings, Tetsuro having the guts to get things off his chest, Mio being more open and talkative, Kanna being more supportive of Ichika, and Ichika becoming more aware of other’s feelings. While it’s not a lot, but it’s quite a noticeable growth, so definitely kudos to the writer. Also, as I said before, several plot twists were caused by such said developments, thus, the character development was directly proportional to the show’s course and making the growth seem relevant. In addition, some of the character growths were completely unexpected, such as Mio being much more aggressive towards Tetsuro and Ichika X Kaito developing into the cutest couple ever. While it wasn’t totally “SPECTACULAR” with the character developments, it was certainly worth noting. I would give it a higher mark, but due to some minor development issues (just some small details that I didn’t like), I’m going to give it a 8.5/10.
The OP/ED were just damn solid. The tunes from both songs somehow just gave me a “spacey” vibe, while sounding just purely decadent. As for the BGM, I don’t really recall hearing any notable parts, so that’s something detracting from the perfect OP/ED. As for the animations, they were fairly well done, and especially the OP. The way they made the OP was just simply wonderful, something akin to watching an “old film”. While the ED wasn’t as cool as the OP, it still had some good animations, and it accompanied the music perfectly: light, soft, and soothing. If it weren’t for the dearth of awesome BGM, this would’ve scored perfect in this category. Sadly, just a 8/10; not a mark I’d like to give, especially considering how much I loved the OP/ED songs.
Without a doubt, Ano Natsu de Matteru will be near the top of my lists. Though I didn’t give it a full “10/10” in the categories, it’s certainly a personal favourite that I can treasure, especially since it hits real close to home with all the scenes. To be honest, I think I find Ano Natsu’s plot to be one of the best ones I’ve watched in a long time. Anyways, Ano Natsu is definitely a show I’d recommend to any of my friends (including those who don’t watch anime), because the love story is so real that I doubt any self-conscious teenager would fail to recognize. Undeniably one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while.