Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu – 04
「みずいろの雨」 (Mizuiro no Ame)
“Light Blue Rain”
To be fair, it wasn’t nearly as bad as episode two, but it’s still leaps and bounds behind season one. Much like any series, the first season wasn’t without its noticeable dips in quality, but the average level was never this low. As such, it’s hard to make a pitch to watch this second season unless you were a fan of the first. It’s a bit of a shame though, since the comedic nature of the show hasn’t terribly lost its touch — it’s just that the crappy visuals are actually taking away from the whole viewer experience. Every now and then, you’ll get the odd scene that looks fairly good, but you could probably count those with the fingers on one hand. Do I even need to say that I’m disappointed with SHAFT at this point?
Story-wise, it was about a routine visit to Jun’s place — or so they would have you believe. Kaya, who’s been freeloading there, invites Arashi over for some cream puffs, which causes Jun to fret about Hajime coming with her. With her secret being at risk of getting out, Jun hides everything feminine that she can before Hajime and Arashi arrive, including a very neatly arranged suitcase of underwear. However, she’s left without anything to wear since her sister Kyouko (Neya Michiko) didn’t bother doing the laundry. Scrambling through some spare clothes Kyouko had received, Jun passes on a lot of normal looking clothes and somehow puts on a wedding dress without knowing it. How that’s even possible, with wedding veil and all, I have no idea.
Luckily though, Hajime is dense as bricks and mistakes Jun as having an interest in cross-dressing when he arrives. Somehow, they all manage to keep the secret from Hajime even when Jun’s suitcase full of underwear ends up in the fridge. Arashi on the other hand, thinks it’s better if Hajime found out about Jun’s secret, but it’s easy for her to say when she’s busy stealing Kaya’s share of the cream puffs. Later on, Hajime thinks it’s a good idea searching Jun’s room for “his” secret stash, which leads to a timeslip back to Jun’s childhood and the reason why she’s hated wedding dresses ever since. (Bloody bride screaming “Give it back!”)
Not a terrible episode by any means, but I did feel like it had potential be funnier. Also, SHAFT is continually giving us the shaft production-wise, so that doesn’t help either. Seeing as Gonzo has managed to produce a couple of decent shows in the past year despite their financial situation (e.g. Saki), I just hope that SHAFT can get their act together as well.