Re-check: Ano Natsu de Matteru
After all these loot posts, let’s talk anime for a change.
Winter season 2013 is upon us and the shows I was thinking of checking out have slowly started started to emerge. In all this, after checking out the first episodes of about 3 new shows, I felt a sudden craving for more.
Because I could skip the first few episodes, I was able to marathon it yesterday after work.
Turns out what I wrote back then still holds up to how I felt watching it now.
I think I’ve managed to pinpoint exactly what it is that I had against the show when watching it last time – Ano Natsu often is incredibly awkward. Well, romance shows all tend to be a bit like that but Ano Natsu manages to create some very embarrasing scenes in too few episodes. That’s one thing that really put me off when watching this.
The other thing was the pretty the vague connection to the Onegai-series, as I mentioned in my old post. I just can’t put my finger on who this show really is for. Is it for those who’ve seen Onegai Teacher/Twins or is it intended as a stand alone piece of work? The problem is, in my opinion, it manages to be neither of those things and once again, ends up feeling odd, slightly out of place and again, awkward.
To be fair, Ano Natsu de Matteru is actually a pretty decent/good romance show. After all, I rather liked it, despite some issues I’ll discuss below.
Characters are pretty decent, production quality is good and it never gets too sappy or depressing – So, all criticism aside it’s probably worth a watch.
But that’s not what I want to get at. No, more like, what is the purpose of Ano Natsu’s existence?
Here’s the problematic bit. It’s exactly not a secret that this show bother heavily from the Onegai-saga. The story about the girl who crashes her spaceship on earth and gets involved with a spectacled boy and his friends in the progress, should feel very familiar to anyone who has ever read the plot description of Onegai Teacher. The characters also feel familiar, though not everyone is represented this time. They are not really carbon copies, but they are playing a similar role. Add to that a lush, laid back rural scenery and the fact that the overall “sound” of the music score would feel right at home in both Onegai Teacher and it’s follow up. The “feel” and mood is pretty similar as well.
Not to mention all the moments of “hey, does this sound familiar to you?” *hint hint* *nudge nudge*
It doesn’t go all the way, however. At any second, I was expecting Ichika to blurt out that she’s a relative/descendant of Mizuho/Kei and Lemon to reveal that she’s actually Ichigo and hasn’t aged a bit. In fact, that was Ichigo’s “schtick”, if I remember correctly.
But the ending was pretty vague (i.e. they didn’t make it super obvious), so for an airhead like me, the connection is still pretty much up for discussion.
I guess for me, Ano Natsu doesn’t feel so much like a sequel as a semi-reboot. I do not mean a total reboot. More like, the staff wanted to tell the story again but with a new cast.
….aaaand, I’m not really sure how I feel about that.
See, I quite liked the old cast. Let’s be honest here. Onegai Teacher is far from the best romance show ever made and certainly not without it’s flaws. But something about it catches me every time.
I really liked seeing the couples form during it’s run and in my eyes, the best thing that ever happened to Onegai Teacher was Onegai Twins. I mean, yeah, the new cast was pretty good I guess (okay, I quite like them) but what I enjoyed the most was that because the setting remained the same, you sort of got like an epilogue to the original show as well. I always thought that was kinda neat.
Probably was something like that I was hoping for this time around too. I didn’t at first, I just thought Ano Natsu would have a similar feel thanks to the screenplay writer and character designer being involved was the same as in Onegai. But when the first episode turned out the way it did, the comparisons (and the expectations) were most likely inevitable.
In the end, now, I can’t help but to wonder if we ever will get any more Onegai-related releases, be it anime, manga, drama CDs or novels, or if this served as the staff’s final hurrah with this IP.
I sure know I could take another entry. 🙂
Actually, looking over at the wiki, Ano Natsu has been adapted to both manga, light novels and a book, but you know what I mean! 😉
Lastly, I’m left with a few personal gripes with Ano Natsu:
* Lemon, despite all the badassery in the end, feels rather flat as a character this time ’round. She’s mostly just played for comedic relief and plot convenience. Not that Ichigo didn’t play a similar role in Onegai Twins, but she was a tad deeper in Teacher.
* Despite being aired early 2012, no one seems to have a cell phone. Is this some kind of alternative future? Are they really teenage students? I can’t go outside the door without seeing young kids having a smarter phone than me. They’re pretty much everywhere and I have no reason to believe Japan would be any different, not even in the countryside. Except if like…the reception is really bad or something retarded like that. There were a couple of times where they all went “oh man, did you know where he/she went? I’ve gotta look for him/her!!”, and the fact that nobody seemed to start off by making a phone call just seemed…unreal. 😀
* Which brings me to the point of, that old camera is fine for filming for fun, but when making the darn movie, just use a normal camera. Waugh! D:
Allright, that’s quite enough of me ranting.