A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ano Natsu de Matteru – Episode 1

Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting That Summer) was one of the shows I put on the waitlist for this season.  It was billed as an “adolescent romantic comedy”, by the same people who did some show I’d never heard of.  So I figured I’d wait and see what people were saying about it before deciding whether to watch it.  And they’re saying positive things!  (Unlike the other waitlisted show, Another, that people seem pretty lukewarm about.) So let’s watch episode 1 of Ano Natsu de Matteru and see if it lives up to the hype.

…thirty minutes pass…

There have been better sister's-underwear-stealing scenes already this season.

Sometimes people tell me I need to work on being more positive, and seeing the glass as 5% full instead of 95% empty, so I’ll say this: the show certainly delivers on its “adolescent” promise.  The protagonist (pictured above) is adolescent as hell.  I mean, just look at him! That’s the hair of a growing boy who has yet to awaken to the mysteries of “combs”.  And he spends his days daydreaming about girls, and about becoming a cool bigshot movie director, but shies away from actually taking decisive action towards achieving either dream until events push him forward.  His character is adolescence embodied.

Unfortunately, the show doesn’t do nearly so well on the “romantic” or “comedy” parts.  It seems like a fairly standard romantic drama setup.  I mean, you have the twist that one of the girls is an alien who feels guilty about crushing him with her spaceship or whatever, but in the end, you have the girls, and the behaviors, and nothing about the situation breaks formula.  If you want me to be invested in your romance, something about it needs to excite me, whether it’s the setting like in Spice and Wolf, the character designs like in Kimikiss, or the characters crossdressing like in OtoBoku.  The female lead being an alien who does not understand our earth customs is an interesting quirk, but it’s not enough to carry a romance on its own.

And comedy, what can you say about comedy?  You laugh or you don’t.  I didn’t.  They took scenes that had lots of comic potential, like rooting around in your sister’s underwear drawer (pictured above), and just let them fall flat.  There were a couple scenes I briefly smiled at, like the alien’s coffee-themed lunch, but none of the gags even reached the level of an appreciative snort.

So all in all, this summer turned out not to be worth waiting for.  Not gonna keep watching.


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