First Impressions – Ano Natsu de Matteru

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.

True End:

W-Wait, th-this isn’t right.

End Thoughts:

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.


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27 Responses to “First Impressions – Ano Natsu de Matteru”

  1. skylion says:

    Miu joining in? Tetsurou is pretty hot for her. I mean, you just don’t ask to see a girl in a swimsuit unless you have an ulterior motive. You can chalk it up to “idol video” but c’mon.

    This was one of three shows I’ve been looking forward to this season. Bodacious Space Babes, uh Privateers, ah…Pirates, yeah. And Bakemongatri: When Lolis Attack…uh, Nisemonogatari…being the other two.

    I’ve been reading quite the foofahrah about Ano Natsu being the spiritual successor to Onegai Teacher. The foo is very nearly on spot with it’s fahrah. But I would wait a bit longer to see if this show can make it’s own mark. I think it will, it’s already showing good signs.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I don’t know about that, Kaito is quite the ladies man. ;D (pfff, I can’t say that with a straight face. XP)

  2. FirstImpulse says:

    I gotta say the alien angle this show has kinda threw me. The character mix seems good (as long as that twintailed loli isn’t quite as mean as she seems), but its already rather obivious that Ichika’s gonna end up with Kaito. I’ll continue, but mostly to see how the side characters (Tetsurou, Miu, and Kanna! :D) fair.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Lemon is so misunderstood! XD She seems really nice actually, but who knows, she only had like a minute of screentime. *shrug*

      And hm, you never know! It might end up taking an unexpected direction. (:

  3. Samantha Zan says:

    Ano Natsu huh? This show kind of reminds me of Ano Hana mixed with Super 8.

    But anyway, I thought this was just going to be another slice of life thing, but I think the alien plot twist is really cool. My favorite part was just with that whole scene at the end with Ichika trying to save Kaito. The end of that was just lulz worthy XD.

    I think the characters are okayish, though I’m not really latched onto them too much. I feel like I’m going to really like Remon (Lemon?) though ha XD.

    I think the beginning and ending minutes with this episode were the best parts for me, cause I honestly thought everything at school wasn’t all too interesting. Though I really liked how they ended the episode X3.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Is it Remon? lulz, I was just assuming the subs were right. XD She wouldn’t be the first Lemon I’ve seen in an anime though, surprisingly.

  4. Amutofan123 says:

    I quite enjoyed this. The alien stuff was quite unexpected though; I was just thinking that this would be an ordinary slice-of-life. Well, I’m looking forward to more! 😀

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Not bad for a first episode but bleh at the creators for giving the lead the name “Kaito”. Thinking back on Phi Brain. Is it just me or are the new shows playing this season mostly showing us male leads who are always on the verge of death then rescued by a hot, powerful and inhuman girl and later on being physically and/or psychologically altered in some way? Happened with Kore Zombie Desu Ka last year and High School DxD this season.

    Other than Kaito, who’s obsessed yet neglegent with that camera, the other characters aren’t so bad. Given the right development, they can become really likeable. I’ve already taken a shine to the emotionless, devious and impish loli Lemon.

    Bonus points to Tetsurou for smooth talking the teacher into giving up information on Ichika, in excruciating detail, no less.

    Random alien girl moving into a stranger’s house to live with other girls certainly on the way. Yep, traditional sign of a harem. But Kaito’s lucky for being kissed on the first day of meeting Ichika. I’ll give it another episode before deciding to fully continue watching.

    • skylion says:

      Lemon? Emotionless. I would call her reserved. Her spin for the audience in the OP was quite joyful. Devious? One can only hope. Impish? Oh yes :: Cheshire grin::

    • Hawthorne says:

      Not just males, don’t forget Hibiki from SZS. XD I’m sort of expecting your prediction to come true, with Kanna moving in to “keep an eye on Kaito” or something. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lemon ends up in there too, she’s apparently an important character, even more so then Kanna. (If I’m right to trust MAL that is …)

      • BlackBriar says:

        Oh yeah, I forgot about Hibiki. Maybe it’s a new anime trend going on. The last trend I remember going on was pulling the weapons out of peoples’ bodies. Like Naruto’s Orochimaru, Ao no Exorcist’s Shura, Guilty Crown’s Inori and Dalian from Dantalian no Shoka.

  6. kluxorious says:

    This one is too cliche for me to take it seriously. It won’t take a genius to figure out how this is going to be/end and that in my book, is a bad thing.

    I like Kanna though

    • Hawthorne says:

      Maybe that’s what they want you to think. ;D (But yeah, I’m pretty much expecting a Ichika ending too …)

  7. anaaga says:

    I don’t know what to make out of the first episode. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s pretty, but something feels missing. I don’t know what it is though.
    Maybe this is just not my cup of tea

  8. lvlln says:

    The Crunchyroll stream I saw had an interlaced look to it, like watching a tube TV. I wonder if it was purposeful, given the subject matter? Of course, Kaito’s film camera doesn’t take video interlaced, but if he watches it on a tube TV… I can’t imagine how a production or technical error could’ve caused the interlacing, because there’s no way the source video isn’t progressive.

    Oh, and the actual show. Seemed interesting enough for me to keep watching. I haven’t seen Please Teacher, but I’ve heard that it’s virtually the same story. There’s a relaxed, lazy (Summer-y, obviously) feel to the show, even more than in Ano Hana, which helps set it apart from the many many other magical-girl-comes-to-live-with-protagonist shows.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Hm, really? The torrent I watched wasn’t interlaced as far as I can tell (bear in mind I’m not exactly great at catching technical stuff, but I think that’s something even I would notice), but that sounds like an interesting thing for Crunchyroll to do. I’m curious now. Dx

  9. skylion says:

    I’ve commented on the review, but I have some general feelings about this one.

    That first scene really grabbed me. The composition, the pacing, the sound and the colour selection really grounded it in reality. That was a very brutal cause and effect look at a shockwave. Yet, our character of Kai-kun was just barely in that moment. It felt like he was just an observer. Even though something very shocking and profound happened to him. That sequence should have grounded him in the reality as much as it did us. But it didn’t.

    IOW, he seems out of synch. Even when he is focusing with his camera, his thoughts are barely of that moment. In some of the conversations, his parts in them are a few paces behind. He’s playing keep up.

    He’s giving us his thoughts, but what the hell isn’t he saying?

    I am probably going to be guilty of reading to much into it, but I’m going with this impression for the next episode.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Good observation, though you could say the reason he’s sometimes catching up is because he seems like the type of guy constantly lost in thought, just look at how easily he goes in and out of “Kaito-Fantasy Mode” without even realizing it.

  10. Foshizzel says:

    goooood stuff! I liked this first episode, I had no idea it was going to have aliens!? I remember bits and parts of that other show similar to this…I didn’t like it to much but I always loved these types of character designs. I still laugh when I think about the HoTD designs! That always feels weird when you think of Toradora, Ano hana and now Ano Natsu….

    Redhair girl is my favorite so far…this might be a season of hot redheads! LOLOL But that lemon girl…interesting maybe she is into girls? But she was the 2nd cool girl xD

    • Hawthorne says:

      I was actually surprised when I found out the HotD designs were done by the same guy who did the AnoHana and Toradora designs. He’s one of my favorite character designers, and I love what he’s done for Ano Natsu now. Lemon actually reminds me a lot of Taiga for some reason. >_<

  11. Kyokai says:

    Wasn’t expecting the alien angle but at least it has piqued my interest. Will judge in next two episodes. ^^

  12. Hime says:

    Well, AnoHana made me fall in love with this art style. It’s just so cute. Also, megane.

  13. […] their post on Whatever Reason nor their post on Another; I’m going to link to METANORN for their post on Ano Natsu de Matteru. Which is quite similar to another, in that they both contain ‘ano’, just like […]

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