Ano Natsu de Matteru – 01
OP: 「sign」 by Ray
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「困ります、先輩。」 (Komarimasu, Senpai.)
“That’s Troubling, Sempai.”
I was hoping to be reminded of the Onegai Teacher/Twins in screenwriter Kuroda Yousuke and producer Ogura Mitsutoshi’s new romantic comedy, but wow, I wasn’t anticipating almost an exact copy of Teacher, right down to the alien girl. This should be interesting. It’s been so long since I’ve seen either Onegai series, so the sense of nostalgia is definitely here. In fact, it’s so prominent that I’m actually thrilled to see a rebooted version of an anime I watched nearly ten years ago and not the least bit bothered by how the premise is almost identical at first glance. While I do have to question if it was really necessary to make our red-haired glasses-girl heroine Takatasuki Ichika (Tomatsu Haruka) an alien, I do like I see so far from the series as a whole.
First-year high schooler Kirishima Kaito is voiced by a relatively new male seiyuu, Shimazaki Nobunaga, and isn’t socially inept in any way. He has friends — the studly and perceptive Ishigaki Tetsurou (Ogihara Hideki), the cute yet sometimes bashful Kitahara Mio (Asumi Kana), and the dishonest girl who clearly has a crush on him, Tanigawa Kanna (Ishihara Kaori) — and is a normal student in every way. He even has a hobby, filming, which is the driving factor of the story thus far. Throw in another main heroine, the devilish third-year Yamano Remon (Tamura Yukari), and we all the makings of a romantic comedy that I’m immediately on board with. The sci-fi twist if you will — befitting of the Onegai series screenwriter Kuroda Yousuke and original character designer Uon Taraku (adapted by Anohana’s Tanaka Masayoshi) — is that Ichika nearly killed Kaito when she landed on Earth.
It’s an interesting play on an already enjoyable series with all of the amiable characters and their goofy interactions, so I don’t see any reason to knock the series simply reusing a premise. Looking solely at Ano Natsu, the comedy has already won me over with Kaito’s embarrassing fantasies coming back to bite him, plus I can’t get enough of Kanna’s unrequited love that everyone but Kaito knows about. (Kaori’s outbursts as Kanna are reminiscent of Madoka in Rinne no Lagrange, who also won me over almost immediately.) Even if Ichika’s alien background becomes nothing more than a convenient plot device, I probably won’t mind one bit. Her character’s already provided some “good looks” and her nervousness over her secret is really fun to watch — especially when Tomatsu Haruka’s using a timid voice to play her. In connection, I just love how Kaito’s older sister Nanami’s (Hisakawa Aya) “actively” involved too, even though her screen time will probably diminish a bit in the upcoming episodes.
With all the positives to take away from a romantic comedy-stantpoint alone, I can’t help but get a little excited about this unassuming original series. Regardless of the premise, the producers have done well in reminding me of why I fell in love with this genre to begin with. The fact that Anohana director Nagai Tatsuyuki’s in charge just makes it even better. The same goes for the music composed by I’ve Sound, the opening theme composed by Orito Shinji, and the ending theme performed by former supercell vocalist Yanagi Nagi.
ED: 「ビードロ模様」 (Vidro Moyou) by やなぎなぎ (Yanagi Nagi)
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