Hi and welcome to a segment I would like to call – Just talk. You’ve seen a few of these on this blog before, where I just wrote whatever came to mind without really separating it into parts, like what I usually do. Today I will be chatting about Ano Natsu de Matteru, an Anime I love so much. It was an Anime that made me feel a lot of emotions from beginning to the end – especially at the end. So I thought today, I’d take the time to talk about it.
Let’s start with our main character, a high-school student called Kaito, who is a very keen and passionate mini-film maker. He is always carrying his trusty little camcorder and likes to film the smaller moments in life and those small, fun memories. Pair this with his sticking out hair and glasses and you’ve got a perfectly chic looking film-maker. He has some other friends, together with whom he plans to make a short film over the summer to make some fun memories. All these characters have been friends for a long time and have very typical relationships with each other. There is nothing special to add since they seem a very ordinary bunch compared to most anime friendship circles.
There isn’t really an objective to the story of this anime, it’s one of those shows where you can just back and almost observe someone else’s life. This anime is less about its actual storyline, which mainly just includes the friends sorting out their relationships, but more about the feelings it may evoke in different people as the story moves on. The turn of events that tend to unfold are usually quite surprising and while there is no overarching main plot, the show still manages to throw up some quirky situations.
What makes Ano Natsu de Matteru different from all other such shows with similar themes, is the use of the sci-fi theme and the characters. I’ll start off with the characters since in a show such as this you can ill-afford a weak casting and with a generic storyline, they are one of the few highlights you would remember the anime by. The group is comprised of four main characters, Kaito, Tetsurou, Mio and Kanna, the show really starts off when we are introduced to a fifth character, Ichika. Kanna clearly likes Kaito, however, the situation changes a bit when Ichika arrives on the scene, you can probably guess the rest. There is also another important character, Lenon, who is introduced early on as well; she attends the same school as the others. She is a quiet but strange character who has a rather mature sense of humour and is also a little mysterious as we don’t get much explanation for her.
Despite the occasional bit of friction, the group are usually functioning well. The show isn’t really split into smaller chunks of changing day-to-day activities, instead, it’s broken down into larger segments with each “chapter” having a distinct role to fulfil. In a 12-episode show where it’s difficult to really develop a story very deeply, this method of splitting the story up into larger, more meaningful chunks makes the show feel much longer and the characters are done justice. It’s not the kind of show that seems to be over before it’s even started.
Now, onto the part that I’ve mentioned a lot about but haven’t explained, the sci-fi. So far you might be wondering what’s so special about Ano Natsu de Matteru, isn’t it just another romance drama and how good can the story and characters really be? Well, the element of sci-fi is actually hinted at straight away in the show from the first episode and it slowly builds up in terms of importance. The normal situations which most dramas tend to have turned into a much more entertaining chain of events thanks to the sci-fi link. In the end, it means perhaps the most bonkers ending to an anime I have ever seen and interspersed in between more serious events, the show really does need this sci-fi element to keep viewers interested. Without this link, it really would just be another good show, but it wouldn’t give you that nostalgic, special feeling that all great anime do.
I should mention at this point that the use of the sci-fi might not be to all viewers liking. The fact that they’re mixing it in with a romantic drama might take the seriousness off the events. I can understand why some people feel that it’s out of place and in some ways a cop-out from making a seriously good middle part to the show. However, if you watch it without any reservations from the start and while just coasting along while accepting it’s not all realistic, the show seems to come to life. It gives you that little extra of magic and in the end, it helps achieve something that would otherwise be very difficult, even for a normal, full-on drama.
The art-style is very similar to that of AnoHana and other works by the same studio. It has a bright and vibrant feel to it, the colours are made a little brighter and bolder to give that summary feeling. The attention to detail is also sufficiently good enough to convey the atmosphere across. The voice acting was average but it was as one would expect. Sounds and music were again well spread out and used well, nothing spectacular here either. OP was good, however, I would like to give a special mention about the ED which was superb and complemented the series and summery overtones really well, easily in my top 5 EDs of all time.
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