Aliens … in my rom-com?
|Wooh! First tag with Hawthorn~ I’m excited for this show for one reason and one reason alone – Tatsuyaki Nagai is directing it. He directed Ano Hana and Toradora, both of which were shows that I absolutely adored. So, I have high hopes for this!|
|Director of AnoHana and Toradora? Why wouldn’t you want to watch this … I mean, besides the obvious reason that you might not have liked either of those … in which case I do not understand. Anyway, I’m looking forward to blogging this after all the hype I was reading, plus I get to team up with Zabo for the first time, woo~|
Ano Natsu starts the way you’d expect it to start; average high school guy contemplating the mysteries of life, but perhaps our lead is a little unique. Why, you might wonder? Well, he has a video camera, which he uses to capture the special everyday moments of life … oh, and did I mention he also has a bloody confrontation with aliens?
Kore wa Alien Desu Ka?
Kaito wakes up the next morning in his room totally oblivious to what happened the night before, except for the faint memory of the glowing hand that saved his life. His sister, Nanami, takes care of him in place of his deceased parents. (Not one, but two dead parents! What is this blasphemy!?) After learning his sister will be leaving on a trip he heads to school and on the way gets his first glimpse of the strange red headed girl on a train.
At school we meet Kanna, the “childhood friend”-type character who clearly has a thing for Kaito, airheaded Mio, and comical-best-friend Tetsurou. They decide they want to do something special over their summer break, and that’s when Kaito once again (very creepily) sees the red-headed meganekko. Tetsurou teases Kanna a bit, but it’s her blushes that might hint towards a bit of affection towards Kaito, after all, what’s a good romance without a triangle?
Ichika, the red-head, is a new transfer student, an obvious target for teenaged boys, apparently. Thankfully, Lemon, the oddly uniformed girl, makes a new friend by scaring the teenaged boys off. They share a normal lunch tog- NORMAL!? No, because creepy is staring at Ichika again, but this time he’s convinced by his friends to ask her if she wants to make a movie. (I swear, the proposition is totally innocent.) She quickly agrees, and Lemon decides she’s tagging along.
At the pool Kaito and Tetsurou discuss the movie. Lemon is creating the script and Kanna and Mio both decide they want to help however possible. Kaito has a bit of a fantasy but is quickly snapped out of it by his friends. That’s when it happens … the hickey. (dundundun) Kaito has a flashback to the alien incident, which is probably involved in the otherworldly hickey. Afterwards Tetsurou once again teases Kanna, albeit with a little more seriousness, it’s almost as if he’s sorry for possibly helping to add a hindrance in her path.
“I-It’s not like I want to abduct him!”
Kaito heads home after school and on the way finds Ichika fishing in a river, but he makes sure to inform her that there aren’t even any fish IN the river to begin with. He more formally introduces himself without Tetsurou to tease him. Walking home he has another fantasy about Ichika moving in with him because she has nowhere else to go. This time, however, it turns out be real, and Ichika really has her luggage with her and is ready to move in. He reluctantly lets her stay, as Nanami will be away in Bolivia for a while. Little does he know, Nanami, with Kanna, are on their way home.
There’s a much easier way to remove a hickey, it’s called a turtle neck sweater.
Kaito suddenly passes out after having another flashback to the alien incident. Ichika, just out of the bath, comes to his rescue. She notices the “hickey” has now covered his entire neck, so she calls Yno, the plant-mascot-thing to initiate some kind of alien healing process. A strange orb forms around the two, and according to Ichika it’s working.
Nanami and Kanna walk in on Ichika, who is now half naked and kissing Kaito, and then … surprise breast pillow and misunderstandings! Nice work finding a creative way to introduce the new houseguest, Kaito …
I guess it’s just too bad he wasn’t conscious.
W-Wait, th-this isn’t right.
I don’t even know what that was. That was just…awesome. I expected Ano Natsu to just be another one of your typical slice of life shows, the usual “he-said, she-said,” love-triangle with a couple of tear-jerkers here and there. That’s not to say that this isn’t a slice of life sort of show, but it’s the first I’ve seen of its’ type. This show was the perfect mix of hilarious, what with Kaito’s not-so-inner musings, and quirky madness, accentuated by the ample fanservice. For starters, the heroine of the series isn’t even from the same damn planet. It’s also got a rather unique premise, what with the film making. It should provide for some interesting scenarios, that’s for sure.
This show had Tatsuyaki Nagai, the director, all over it. First off, the art style is reminiscent of Ano Hana, so much so that I found myself mistaking Kaito for Jinta several times throughout. Unlike Ano Hana, however, this show has a different ratio of girls to guys which should result in some amusing drama. Another one of Tatsuyaki’s trademark themes is that of family loss. In Toradora, Ryuuji’s father was MIA, whereas in Ano Hana, Jinta’s mom had died. In Ano Natsu, we don’t see any of Kaito’s parents. Though it’s rather sad, this sort of parent situation results in independent-spirited characters, which are nice to see.
Continuing on this note, we’ve got an engaging cast of characters here. Kaito, our protagonist, is very…unique. From his questionable fashion sense to his borderline-creepy photography habits, he’s a rather refreshing change from the leads that we’ve been seeing for a while. From what we’ve seen of Kaito so far, he doesn’t seem to be emotionally burdened at all, though I’m curious to find out what happened to his parents. His group of friends are all pretty cool as well, each one of them coming across as individuals with depth and personality. So really, from the premise of the show to the characters, Ano Natsu is shaping up to be an unanticipated hit for the season.
Well that was unexpected. I mean, it had that feeling of ‘been there, done that’ for most of the episode, but Ano Natsu has definitely gotten me interested. I heard rumors of, eh … alien-involvement, but I wasn’t expecting it’d to be so obvious. I was expecting something more along the lines of Denpa Onna, but nope, real aliens and no futon-moe. I just finished Toradora a couple weeks ago, so I’ve been hoping for a new romantic comedy to come along, and I could sense the similarities, in a good way of course.
What stood out for me the most in AnoNatsu was the subtlety in the characters (I just used subtlety in a sentence, take that word of the day calendar), they’re all very realistic, if you put aside the fact that one’s an alien … They’re not over-the-top or obnoxious, but they have enough quirks to make them fun to watch. To be honest when I saw Ichika in the promo-art I was expecting Beauty by the Lake pt. 2, but there’s actually something refreshing about her personality, I guess I could say the same about the others in the cast as well, it reminded me a lot of Toradora/AnoHana in the way that the characters were introduced and then worked into Kaito’s life. SPEAKING OF KAITO, ergh. I like the contemplative side of him, but he seems like such a creep with that video camera, his character design is awesome though. I can’t help but feel bad for him and Nanami, I wasn’t expecting both of his parents to be deceased, but I’m sure it’ll bring out some interesting qualities in his personality.
For me this was one of the better first episodes of the season, and the OP is one of favorites. I love the premise so far, and being a fan of love triangles I look forward to the eventual confrontations between Kanna, Kaito, and Ichika, and who knows, maybe Miu and Lemon will join in the love polygon. I’m not sure if the show will take a more comical angle, or maybe serious. To be honest, I’m hoping for a melodrama that’ll make me cry tears of happiness and desperation and … yeah … I’m just gonna’ go over there and ship KaiNa.
Preview: The few quick shots didn’t really indicate anything, but I’m sure next week we’ll be seeing more alien goodness.