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anime review: Ano Natsu de Matteru

My friends, this is now my 2nd favorite anime of all time. If you ever want a beautiful love story, this is it. Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting in the Summer).

To kick things off, I never expected this anime to be so superb in every way. When I first saw the list winter season shows, this was never on my radar. Just by looking at the promo pics, I passed it off as another typical school, harem, romance garbage following the same tropes we’ve for more than a decade. It wasn’t until my friends mentioned that it was done by the same people who did Onegai Teacher and AnoHana, that’s when it caught my eye. When veteran writers and a great director team up, the results are fairly obvious. What’s really interesting is the two Onegai staffs reunited 10 years later for this project making it the 10th anniversary. It’s amazing how time flies so fast. Felt like only a few years ago but Onegai Teacher was my first anime outside of American TV broadcast in its entirety. It’s also my first romance anime and a good one! Sadly, all the other romance shows after Onegai Teacher was never on par and eventually turned for worse, at least for me. Most notably, animes adapted from visual novels/hentai games are the best examples of failed attempts. But thankfully, we were treated to a show that surpasses its predecessor. This is truly a blessing.

Upon watching the first episode, I can tell the creators weren’t afraid of stepping into the minefield by making the similarities so obvious to Onegai Teacher. I take that as a good thing. It’s like they’re indirectly giving a welcome back message to Onegai Teacher fans. That’s the feeling I got. For those who haven’t, Ano Natsu shows how to do romance anime right. It wasn’t til the 2nd episode that got me hooked. Mondays became highlight for me from that point on. What makes Ano Natsu better than past romance comedy animes is the plot constantly moves in every episode. There’s no sign of slowing down. Not a single episode was fillerish. It’s a story about love, friendship, overcoming difficulties, and staying true to themselves. This is what I love about this series. The entire main cast is so lovable you can really feel for them. Even Kanna who started out kinda annoying became the most sympathetic. It’s so rare for anime where you can like everyone because there’s always one or two that’s you have to hate. One of the most interesting parts is the love train; Mio > Testuro > Kanna > Kaito > Ichika. Just by looking at this equation, someone is gonna be left out. Even so, no one had a bad end because they all climbed their way out and gain something in return for the better. Each one of them torment themselves for the sake of their loved ones while at the same time supporting each other. As soon as they hit their breaking points, they become honest within themselves, misunderstandings were cleared, truths were revealed, and then their bonds becomes stronger. That is the beauty of friendship. This is truly a wonderful character driven story where they act realistically given the circumstances. How they untangled the mess is just incredibly well executed.

The ending, just wow. That final episode was so good I rewatched it more than 5 times. It was painful seeing our main couple separate. However, that whole scene was so beautifully done well. The scenery, voice acting, music, the emotions conveyed on screen, everything! Almost shed a tear. But that’s not all! The scene where Kaito and the others were watching the film reel remembering that summer they’ll never forget. At that moment I couldn’t hold in my tears any longer. I smelled a bittersweet end was about to come but that’s no longer the case as the last few seconds showed a happy end to all.

Other thoughts:

  • If there was one thing I didn’t like about the show, it would be Kaito’s constantly calling Ichika “Sempai” rather than her name, it’s a minor complaint but just to point out, Kei did the same for Mizuho by calling her “Sensei” in Onegai Teacher.
  • I did make a note about the interruption cliche being overused but that no longer matters in this show.
  • The show’s theme of “entrusting your memories to others” was kept to the very end.
  • Not only Lemon is a troll but the most supportive out of main cast.
  • I laughed so hard when Men in Black appeared. Not only Lemon was an actual agent but Tetsuro’s brother in law as well.
  • Most importantly, the voice recording left by the alien ancestor was indeed the Mizuho’s voice actress HOWEVER, this is merely just an homage to Onegai Teacher. It wouldn’t make any sense if Ano Natsu was the sequel because Mizuho never crash landed, plus she was allowed to make contacts with natives since her job was inspection.
  • The soundtrack deserves a mention. The music hits every moment where its needed to be giving more umph to the screen.
  • The ED song is still rockin.

In short, I highly recommend this title. It’s an absolute must buy for me. There’s no other love story better than this. It’s definitely the best I’ve ever experienced. Simply brilliant. I rarely give perfect ratings but…

Rating: 10/10

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Categories: Anime, review
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