Ano Natsu de Matteru – 12 [END]

Nanami’s face says it all!

Well, here we are, the conclusion to Ano Natsu, one of my favorite shows of the season! I’ve had a great time watching it and I’m happy I gave it a chance. Now it’s time to learn the fate of Ichika and Kaito …

After crashing into the hidden search pod sent by the Federation, Remon’s suped-up van falls onto it’s side. Luckily, before any injuries could be sustained, Rinon manages to puff out his body creating a cushion for everyone inside. Exiting the van, Remon tells Ichika and Kaito to keep moving while she deals with the pod. A little worried (even though this IS Remon we’re talking about!) the duo head out with Rinon. The pod approaches Remon when suddenly her van trasnforms into a full fledged mech, with remote controlled rocket launchers. And yes, that really just happened.

Remon, badass as usual.

Still running from her own chasing pod, Kanna bumps into Manami who pulls up in her car. She tells Kanna that her husband told her to go there, but the chat is short lived when Kanna’s “stalker” flies overhead. Panicked, Manami drives off with the pod still chasing. On another nearby road Mio and Tetsurou continue outrunning their own chaser on their scooter. Kaito helps Ichika, who is worn out from the trek through the woods, when yet another pod attacks. This time however Emika saves the group with a small spacecraft she sent from her ship. Before escaping Rinon decides to stay behind and mounts the spacecraft.

Ichika and Kaito manage to make it to the train, which will take them all the way to their destination. Ichika begins blaming everyone’s current troubles on her own selfishness, but Kaito reminds her that they’re all doing it to fulfill her wish. He comforts her concerns and she rests her head on his shoulder. Kaito then goes on to ask if he can visit her planet once everything is worked out, and she says she wants him to see it. They reminisce over their summer memories and then exchange “I love you”-s, which prompts Kaito to whip out his camera.

They really do make a great couple.

While the pod seemingly gets an upper hand on Remon, a sudden blitz of rockets takes it down. She turns around to see the MiB lined up and ready for action. Meanwhile Tetsuro’s scooter runs out of gas leaving Mio and him open for attack. Thankfully more MiB, including Manami’s husband Satoshi, are hiding in the woods ready to take the enemy out. At the same time the rapist pod chasing Manami is also defeated by more MiB in cars.

Just your friendly neighborhood MEN IN FREAKING BLACK.

Ichika and Kaito arrive at lake (very similar to the one in Onegai Sensei’s first episode) where a diamond shaped crystal rises from the water and then shatters revealing a vision of the lake locked away in Ichika’s memory. In the vision a large tree stands with carvings etched into it’s bark, but back in the real world the tree is nothing but a stump. Without the tree to prove alien’s past presence of Earth, Ichika and Kaito become dismayed. From the sky a group of pods attack, one of which holds Kaito against the ground while another latches onto Ichika.

Ichika tries to get them to stop, to no avail, when she begins blaming herself again. Kaito once again pushes those blames aside and tells her he never wants to let her go. As she’s pulled into the pod Ichika promises to never forget the feelings she had and the time she experienced with Kaito and everyone. In tears Kaito promises that he’ll see her again as the pod flies off into the distance. Inside, Ichika breaks down. As the pod flies off a voice (what I believe is the voice of Mizuho from Onegai Sensei) thanks Ichika for finding her memories, and tells her the story of the human boy she fell in love with but was forced apart from.

 Kanna, Mio, and Tetsurou all think back to that summer, the happiness and the sadness, the fond memories and their new friend, and they all agree it’s a summer they’ll never forget.

I-I can’t handle all these tears! (╥﹏╥)

Epilogue:

In present day the group is back in school living their normal lives. Kanna teases Tetsurou about a love note she was supposed to give him, but wonders why he won’t just take Mio as his girlfriend since she’s so willing. Kaito arrives back home to find Nanami, his older sister, back from Bolivia with gifts, including a poncho meant for Ichika. To her surprise, Kaito tells her that Ichika had to leave, but he decides to still keep the poncho.

Nanami is back! <3

Back at school the group learns that Remon is transferring out because of her parents. She leaves them a bag full of reels from their film project, and when they look back up she’s gone. Outside she walks towards a limousine accompanied by a driver and looks back one last time remembering that they still have one last scene to film.

Remon … Ichigo … we may never know!

Later that night all four friends sit back and watch the film clips, and as they do they share tears and smiles over the amazing summer they got to experience thanks to Ichika, Remon, and each other. During the credits Kaito decides to continue filming so that his memories will never be forgotten. Also, Remon gets back to work with the MiB along with Rinon, who never actually left.

Sometime in the future students of Kaito’s school talk about the film passed down from previous years, the film they shot summers ago. A short clip of the film shows Ichika wearing the poncho Nanami had bought for her but never received as she smiles to to the camera.

Thinking back to episode four, “unforgettable summer” feels perfectly accurate when it comes to describing Ano Natsu. (Even if some of us are still stuck in cruddy winter weather!) Before I ramble on about my thoughts of the show altogether though, let’s take a closer look at the finale!

Agh, this show really knows how to mess with your emotions! For the last 11 weeks I’ve been pretty hard on the destined couple of Ano Natsu, Kai and Ichika. From the early episodes the relationship felt somewhat forced (that’s what happens when you’re the largest part of every promotional art I guess), but the last couple weeks have put them in a much better light. Once their relationship was finally solidified in Okinawa their closeness began to feel more and more touching. That’s why the climax of this week’s episode was so depressingly sad! Watching as the two were literally torn from each other without even a last kiss or hug goodbye really clawed at my heartstrings. By now I’m sure you all know I can be pathetically emotional sometimes, but was I not the only one tearing up at the sight of Ichika breaking down into tears after getting one last word out to the person she loves? The very last scene (of Ichika wearing the poncho) DID make everything a bit better, since she got to see Kai again somewhere along the way.

She’s a star! (A very deadly one …)

There was little time spent on the rest of the cast this week, but they did get their moments to shine. Kanna once again showed her determination to make Kai smile, and Tetsurou/Mio had their cute moments. The most powerful part was definitely their final speech towards the end, it had such a feeling of closure behind it and the film viewing scene between the four friends that followed later on hit me pretty hard, bringing back all the good and bad moments that brought them all together.

The most awesome character this week was no doubt Remon! I guess her hints at being MiB weren’t just a joke afterall! Her scenes just proved how badass she is, and honestly in my opinion she definitely deserves the award for best character of the season. A loli who serves alcoholic beverages, drives a van like a boss, shoots missiles, and is a member of the Men in Black … yeah.

A nice touch for Onegai Sensei fans this week were the parallels to the original series. I’ve only seen the first episode as of now, but I recognized the lake scene and the voice of Mizuho. So in the end this really was like a spiritual successor of the original boy meets alien show, whether or not Ichigo is actually Remon I guess is still up for debate! I have plans to do a full on comparison of the two shows involving the themes, characters, and setting as soon as I finish. ^^

Oh, the similarities!

Overall Ano Natsu has been a VERY entertaining and emotional experience. This is rom com done right, in my opinion at least. Likable characters, some interesting supernatural themes thrown in, a lovable mascot, tons of hilarious moments, and of course romance! The second half I felt was far better then the first since the first half dealt a lot with misunderstandings. Once everything was out in the open I began to fall in love with the interactions between the characters, especially the side cast. Mio was a breakout star, and Kanna was lovable as well. It’s great when you can form a connection with the characters, it really deepens the emotional affect they can have on you. I have lots of praise for this series! As far as weaknesses go, I’d say the biggest is the main couple. As I said, it felt predetermined from the start and there was little room for anything other character having a chance. That led to the side relationships being much more entertaining because it had ACTUAL conflict.

This had to be my favorite series finale of the season (though I haven’t quite gotten to a few just yet), not just for the emotion portrayed by our leads, but for the underlying message it sent that I’m sure we can all relate to, even if your teenage years have passed. How many of us can actually say we’ve had a truly “unforgettable summer”, or unforgettable anything for that matter? I for one, can not, but what I’ve personally taken away from Ano Natsu is that experiencing an “exciting” part of my life isn’t about meeting aliens, running from giant pods, or getting drunk off of dynamite juice, it’s about being with the people you love to be with, experimenting with your emotions, going to the beach, making movies, and really, just being a teenager! I probably sound completely immature with that line of thinking, but to me Ano Natsu was always most importantly about the characters. Their relationships, and feelings, and emotions, and everything else that made them angsty teenagers living their lives day to day, and that’s why Ano Natsu could make me laugh, and smile, and get angry, and upset, all within a single episode. I can relate to that feeling of wanting “to do something”, to making every moment truly unforgettable.

That probably came out really distorted … I had so many things on my mind after watching this episode, and for some reason I had such difficulty getting them all down coherently! Anyway, it’s been a great ride blogging this series, one of my first for Meta, and I’m happy to have met all you commenters out there! Thanks for making the show a blast to blog and hopefully I’ll see you around next season!

Until next time!~

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32 Responses to “Ano Natsu de Matteru – 12 [END]”

  1. Banana Furikake says:

    Quick thing I wanted to note Mizuho’s voice was transmitted over all channels from Inglobe- per Ichika’s sister. That means the proof was just transmitted and therefore fulfilled the Remon loophole.

    Remon: It is possible that “aliens” have visited before… ep. 11 15:06
    Kaito: If there’s proof- then then earth wouldn’t be classified as F ep. 11- 16:05

    • Hawthorne says:

      Ah I see! That’s good to know! I feel better now about what happened, even if it still resulted in their separation … D:

  2. xRichard says:

    I was hooked at the beginning for the “tragedy elements” implied by Kai’s injuries not healing that well. I thought the story was going to be with someone’s life at risk at some point. But this was completely set aside as episodes advanced and both MCs’ story developed in a both simple and “safe” way. To me, it was more interesting to see what was going on with their NTR’d friends (who didn’t get much of a conclusion to their lives in the end) than the main couple.

    So that’s why I think the overall story may be this show weakness. I’m also not much of a fan of Pure-Love stories.

    I had some other problems with the story development but it’d be rude to be nitpicking about a show that did everything else so good.

    For example, I really liked those scenes that were seen from the lens of the camera, they were different and played naturally. I also liked the attention to detail like the sound made when their glasses touched brought back good memories :). And how Ichika flirted with Kai that was just too human and made me jealous. I think this is called EXECUTION.

    This anime makes me realize that we are living in 2012 and modern anime looks and sounds fucking great. One more example of this would be “Another”.

    Ano Natsu displayed a exemplary execution and that’s what I will remember the most about the show.

    PD: Same city, same world, same timeline, same MIB. There’s no debate to me, Ichigo = Lemon. Why not? ^_^

    • Hawthorne says:

      I honestly thought more would come of that as well. In the beginning I felt like they were implying Kai had caught some kind of supernatural disease that Ichika needed to have a constant watch over, but I guess it was more of a one time (or actually two time) thing. XD

      Ah that *clink* from megane love. <3 Ahaha I liked that little detail as well! I really enjoyed the use of the camera, they could have done a lot of over-the-top stuff with it, but they kept the camera scenes mellow and, as you said, natural and I like that.

      Another had the always awesome PA Works behind the production so no wonder that looked so amazing! :D JC Staff did a great job animating Ano Natsu as far as I can tell (I'm not exactly the most reliable critic of animation though XD), they did a nice job choosing the OP song too, it's still stuck in my head …

      Sure, why not! They're both named after fruit, I think that's enough of a tell! XD

      • Joojoobees says:

        I’m glad they got away from the “supernatural disease”, since that would have made it TOO much like Onegai Teacher.

  3. Clampy says:

    Ano Natsu truly surpasses its predecessor.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I’m still only 1 episode into Onegai Sensei, but so far I like what I see. I do agree though, Ano Natsu had a much stronger opening than Onegai Sensei.

  4. AsteriskCGY says:

    Course what threw me off was the whole MiB bit. That was totally out of left field.

    Now what would cinch it is if there’s a cameo of J and K in that last scene.

    • anaaga says:

      Now what would cinch it is if there’s a cameo of J and K in that last scene.

      THIS. THIS. I WANT TO SEE

    • BlackBriar says:

      I’d love to see that. It would be more than welcomed. My jaw would drop if they also brought the alien dog with them.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I … I probably would have died in my chair if that had happened. XD (MAN THEY SHOULD OF DID THAT.)

  5. Bob from Accounting says:

    Awe yeah Remon. She’s in ur MiB, breaking ur intergalactic security.

    Yeah, this show turned out great, and not just because of Remon (she’s one of the biggest factors, though). It was funny, it was cute, it was romanic and all the characters were human and likeable. There’s not really anything creative about it, but it did the right things and it did them well. It may have been cliched, but it played those cliches out of a clear love for the genre, rather than cynicism. You can always tell the difference,.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Without Remon … I think my opinion would have been slightly less biased. XD

      You put that last thought perfectly, I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was very cliched, I mean, there was very little in the way of uniqueness (the most unique aspects imo probably being Remon and Mio), but like you said, everything just felt right. Very few, if any, times did I ever feel the need to point out annoying cliches or tropes or anything like that, the characters were strong enough to pull a lot of it off and there was enough humor and entertainment to make it a non-issue. ^^

  6. Reaper says:

    Ah what a rollercoaster ride! (and the fun kind!)
    Damn, I think we all knew Lemon-senpai would be with the MIB but Manami’s husband (Satoshi) was her accomplice (which proved to be a very nice surprise (and Manami was none the wiser :D )

    Now the big question with this (apart from the potential copyright laws of the whole MIB surprise) is whether Ano Hana and Ano Natsu are as great as each other (since I think it was the same director?) I think both are spectacular series but they’re both great in different ways; Ano Hana was about overcoming suffering/grief/loss whilst Ano Natsu was more of the brighter side of life, coming out of the shell and realising its greatness, with the dash of love of course ;D Too bad it was so short but in this case, it’s probably a strength because the quality would have suffered if they dragged it out for too long. Quality over quantity usually works better (unless all the episodes are awesome)

    Ah, what will follow the next Ano?

    • xRichard says:

      The “Ano” name is just a coincidence.

    • Hawthorne says:

      No wonder Manami kept leaving him with all those secrets he’s been keeping. XD

      That’s right, same director! I agree that they’re both amazing in their own ways. If I had to pick one over the other I’d say Ano Hana only because I felt more connected to the entire cast, not just a few, but what I did enjoy more in Ano Natsu were the relationships.

      Good point by the way, I prefer quality over quantity as well, if a show can get its message across in 12 episodes, there’s no need to stretch it out with boring filler. Episodes should be FULLY enjoyable, not just bits and pieces, in my opinion.

      I’LL TAKE ANYTHING! XD I just want more shows from this guy.

  7. tatsuya says:

    \(^▽^*) NICE ENDING (*^▽^)/

  8. anaaga says:

    I totally didn’t expect Satoshi to be a MIB. Like WHUUTTT gurl yo husband has been kicking the aliens’ asses!

    AnoNatsu was entertaining with the playful interactions of the characters and the unexpected events the fans would never have guess. It was also smart enough to make the fans guess who the official shippings are.

    (YOOOO, TETSUROU x MIO YOOOOO)

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t such an emotional roller coaster for me since I didn’t feel attached with the characters at all. I have so little information on the characters. It’s as if I’m looking at bunch of strangers in a dramatic anime since I barely know the characters.

    • xRichard says:

      There only so much you can do in 12 Episodes.

      Remember Angel Beats.

      • anaaga says:

        In Angel Beats, half of the main cast’s stories were told because it’s a relevant factor in that anime. Since I know their stories, I was able to understand and relate with the characters more. Except that Tenshi.

        The characters’ stories are unnecessarily in AnoNatsu since it focuses more on the relationship development between the characters. Unfortunately, that’s the main reason why I wasn’t able to relate to them

    • Hawthorne says:

      I feel like that’s something he definitely should have told her … I mean, that’s a pretty big deal I’d think. -_-

      Playing guess that ship was one of my favorite parts! So glad Tetsurou and Mio ended up together!<3

      Aw well at least you gave the show a shot and it sounds like you enjoyed it despite that! ^^ I do agree though that more background on the characters wouldn't have hurt. Some characters were graced with more development than others

  9. BlackBriar says:

    This is one of the best animes of the season. Ano Natsu de Matteru was so much fun to watch not only for the story, but the characters and animation. The winning part of the show was the love triangle and confession settings among the characters. Especially with Kanna, her dilemma was always pulling my strings.

    After last week’s episode, I began to think to myself how this could end. This kind of ending was better than a 100% conclusive happy ending from the show’s finale, this was if anything an even better way to end the series, as a bittersweet tale of love and loss, but more importantly of everything that each character had gained from their summer experiences – sometimes life is hard, but those hardships serve as experiences which underpin the personalities and lives of each and everyone of us. Of course, this episode couldn’t resist finishing with a final little sweetener, but even this isn’t something I can complain about, fitting neatly as it did into the narrative without feeling too forced. Thus, this made for a great little ending to a series that has ended up as one of my favorites of the winter season.

    So Lemon is part of MIB. I’m hardly surprised of that fact given how she seemed to know everything about Ichika before everyone else. Maybe she was an agent in training since she claims that Ichika was the first alien that she’s ever met. After all, if you work for an organization that specializes in aliens, it would stand to reason that you would have probably met a few. Not to mention her tricked out van that acted like a mini Transformer. And I wonder if this series is canon with the actual MIB movies because the Japanese branch base looks exactly like the one from the movies.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Don’t remind me of Kanna, the lack of progression for her in the last episode made me sad! DX I completely agree with you on all of that though, the show handled the love triangle really well, and there were very flaws even worth mentioning!

      I’ve been debating with myself which ending I’d prefer, but since this was the one we were given I figured I should take it for what it is, a very satisfying conclusion. I’m the type of person who likes closure in a series, so that last little clip of Ichika in the poncho felt like a perfect way to be conclusive while also leaving a lot to the imagination. ^^ This is easily one of my favorites as well.

      I didn’t think of that! Lemon being an agent in training would make a lot of sense, she must have had a lot of training though with all those techniques she pulled off. XD A new MiB film is on the way, if they introduce a new soft spoken Japanese teen with a mischievious personality, I think we’ll know who inspired them!

  10. Foshizzel says:

    Buhahahaha Lemon! YOU FREAKING ROCK <3 <3 That whole MIB thing ahahah

    I admit I did tear up a bit when Ichika had to leave…oh my god! SO FREAKING SAD T______T but hey! At least she came back in the end right? Hooray cheesy endings! I figured something like that would happen.

    Kanna and Mio I love you two <3 <3 <3

    • Hawthorne says:

      Why didn’t I see that coming!? Ergh, Lemon is a troll right up until the end! XD

      All that crying from the characters can have that affect. So sad, especially with all those random glowing lights. D: The cheesy ending made it all better though!

      Such great characters, I won’t soon forget them. ^^

  11. skylion says:

    Ano Natsu. Highly anticipated, and it didn’t let me down for a single instant. Not one single instant. I love every single thing about this show. They didn’t reinvent the wheel….You know what. They did. They took a great risk with this show, we got so caught up in it we didn’t notice that. This is a show where the storytellers met us so much more than halfway. Any other day, this would have been a mess of slaughtered tropes. But it was the right day. I hope to see so much more from this team. More Toradora perhaps? I would love to see them tackle the struggles and triumphs of Taiga and Ryuuji’s relationship.

    • xRichard says:

      They took a great risk with this show

      How?. I would believe you if we were talking about School Days or Yosuga no Sora.

      But what is exactly the high risk bet that Ano Natsu did?

      • skylion says:

        All stories are made of/from tropes. When abused, it becomes cliche. Stories can make the most of what they have, and at first blush Ano Natsu could have stumbled out of the gate the first episode. This is mainly because it had so many things that could have devolved to cliche. Ichika herself could have been so badly handled as a character and the series could have dived. Remon could have become just a nuisance if her trolling/manipulation hadn’t been as well paced. These are just my opinions, of course…

  12. Rakuen says:

    I’ve watched very few romantic comedies, and now I feel like I’ll be spoiled for them for all of time. It had strong and likeable characters, well written and genuinely moving dialogue, and an overall theme we can all relate to. I don’t know what I could watch that would top this for me. This was a show I picked up on a lark, and I’m so glad I did.

    I heard once that if you do something, but you don’t remember it, then you may as well have never done it at all. What benefit is it, really? This show, especially the ending, really hit that concept hard. I don’t have the greatest memory for that sort of thing, but I’ve been making a more conscious effort to do it. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting Ano Natsu any time soon. It was time well spent.

    Thanks for covering this Hawthorne. You did good.

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