「雨にオネガイ」 (Ame ni Onegai)
“A Wish on the Rain”
I can’t help but think that the way this episode was told was sub-optimal, but the feelings it delivered were really nice. That’s why when I finished this episode and leaned back, I was quite satisfied, and it was only when I started thinking about what I was going to write that I was reminded of the flaws. That just goes to show you that yes, thinking too much probably is unhealthy sometimes. Whoops.
First of all, the narrative stuff. The way this episode’s story was told felt a little abrupt and scattered over all. From the very beginning they just barreled straight into the plot, forgoing the pre-OP scenes in favor of showing us Natsumi angry at Yuka inside of a minute of actual screen time. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t remember them having agreed to enter the singing competition (did that happen? Someone check for me, I’m not near my hard drives), but I feel like that could have used some build up.
After that, we were treated to the girls wandering around the town in pairs, going about little side tasks that had little bearing on the whole Natsumi and Yuka squabbling thing. Now, I realize this is slice-of-life, but there was just enough plot-like substance here to make me want them to focus on it, so when we instead took a detour to Yuka’s house so she could pick her clothes up (and run for her
life freedom), it seemed rather pointless. I’m fine with slice-of-life faffing about, but I guess maybe it needs to be full slice-of-life (i.e. no plot at all) or have a tighter connection to the plot. Maybe?
Those criticisms aside, the feelings this episode evoked were really, really nice. I enjoy this series most when it acts like a friendship anime (with some occasional yuri baiting, just to keep us guessing), so when Saki and Natsumi started talking about the water balloon fights the four of them used to have when they were kids, I found it to be very heartwarming. Yuka is a frivilous and silly girl, and definitely the one of the four who has the most growing up to do, but she’s still a good person and a good friend. The same is true for Natsumi, even though she always seems to be quarreling with her friends, and of course the other two as well. Hearing all of them talk about their past together, and all wanting to mess with the laws of nature to create a memory together was sweet. We all should be lucky to have such good friends (especially the reliable ones like Saki and Rin, heh). Warm fuzzies all around!
There was also the music. Though I’m no Moomba, and I rarely pay attention to soundtracks (at least consciously), I definitely notice the insert songs, and I enjoyed how the ED was replaced with the four girl’s contest performance. It was a nice upbeat, energetic song that seemed to celebrate the girl’s friendship. That, combined with the fireworks, the four ribbons they were wearing, and the teru teru bouzu really served to punctuate how inseparable these four are.
Next episode, it looks like we’re getting something that may or may not involve swimsuits, and some kind of trip / beach situation. And this kid. We’ve either got a seriously pettanko tomboy on the way, or another boy. What did I say about boys in my yuri anime, Sunrise? No no, wait, this is a friendship anime. Keep it together, Stilts. They might find out…
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The storytelling could use some work, but the sentiment was good, & Sphere still sings well. Oh&also, #ZettaiRyouiki!! :3 #NatsuiroKiseki
- Natsumi’s right Saki, you look way more “sexy” than “cute” in that outfit. That’s what you get when you equip the ultimate Zettai Ryouiki and do that pose, praise be to our goddess Rin-sama (the Fate one) for the bounty she has given us, amen.
- I liked it when Rin and Yuka thought Rin’s mama knew about the rock. Not gunna lie, for a second there I thought she did too, and we were going to see some serious drama start-up. I kind of wish it had, but ah well.
- Sometimes the sci-fi part of my brain just won’t shut up, even when I’m watching a fantasy show. When the girls were talking about stopping the rain, I kept thinking unhelpful things like “Do you know what a change like that would do to area weather patterns? How about plants, animals, or the local water supply? Well I don’t either! Unintended consequences can be deadly, ladies!!” I know, I know…I should really just relax.
Full-length images: 22.
ED2: 「南風ロマンチック」 (Minami Kaze Romantic) by Sphere