Title: Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting In The Summer)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, Sci-FI
When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about filmmaking and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate and revealing, as the maturing relationships between the members of the young cast take on new, and sometimes very unexpected, turns.
If your looking for unique premise, then this series is not for you. This series is isn’t shy in using rehashed elements (a boring guy meets a beautiful girl who is apparently an alien and immediately fell in love with her and she lives in the guy’s house…gosh where did I see that?) but what sets it apart from being a mediocre anime is the beautiful execution and direction of the story which I found very down to earth (despite its sci-fi elements) because of the pacing and easily relatable emotions and reaction of the characters. Got to salute Nagai, Tatsuyuki from (Ano Hana and Toradora! fame) since he was able to craft a series full of cliches and transform it to one of the best romance anime out there.
The fleeting passing of youth and first love is probably the main theme of this series and probably the reason why it is so fun to watch since almost everyone could relate to the characters. Sacrificing your feelings for the sake of the person you love, having an ulterior motive why the characters did what they did or being honest to your feelings and confessing your love to a person….darn isn’t those things one aspect of youth that makes it memorable and in this series’ case what makes it relatable? Good job Nagai-san and Kuroda-san!
What I love about this series is how the romance have been resolved (which involves lots of angsts and confessions) unlike those mediocre harem shows where the romance was not resolved because of the indecisive guy. This series is mainly focused on romance but there is also a presence of comedy which is thankfully, not forced and does not ruin the serious parts of the series. My only complain I guess is that Remon is mostly the source of the comedy here. This series also adds a sci-fi mix to the romance and comedy and it surprisingly work but still the sci-fi element in this series is very predictable but unusually captivating.
Yep like the plot, the characters are not really unique since they fall the usual romance character archetypes. We have the bland male lead, the beautiful and perfect female lead (with a secret), the ‘genki’ (energetic) childhood friend, the snarky guy and the timid girl but because of the awesome execution and direction of Nagai-san its easily forgivable. We have some nicely fleshed out side characters but as for the main male and female lead, they are so perfect that they are easily forgettable. Thankfully, the side characters didn’t suffer from the same fate(?) since they have this attitude that says they are teenagers, they are brash and full of passion and will do whatever they can to win that someone close to their heart. Gosh they are so engrossing to watch since they act like real people so you could easily sympathize with them.
The animation is just above average but the direction really works wonders. The small detail like the gestures of the characters and expressions during a certain scene takes out as much emotions it can from the viewers.
Character designs are gorgeous and fits the personality of the characters. Ichika is so adorable that she could be the perfect wife out there (but too bad her character is too tad perfect that she’s quite boring). Then we have the short haired, blue haired childhood friend who is very energetic and quite tomboyish. The thin snarky guy who likes the childhood friend of the protagonist and the long haired timid girl who likes the snarky guy.
The OP song "sign" by Ray really fits the laid back atmosphere of this series and darn its very catchy and one of my favorite OP last winter season. Even the OP animation feels laid back since we see the characters filming their movie…it has this slice-of-life feel to it. The ED song "Vidro Moyou (ビードロ模様)" by Nagi Yanagi is also as catchy as the OP and it sounds relaxing with that great voice work by Nagi Yanagi. The ED animation that accompanied it is reminiscent of Ano Hana’s ED song and yes I find it quite stylish but lazy.The bgms played at certain scenes was very effective in evoking emotions (Remember that confession scene on ep 10? Lovely). I also have to commend the performance of the voice actors in this series since they were able to successfully bring out the emotions of the characters. The new VA Ishihara, Kaori have gained a fan in me with that very memorable performance as the childhood friend who loves the male lead but unfortunately she can’t have him o(╥﹏╥)o.
Nope this series isn’t ground breaking but the captivating part of it dwells on the down-to-earth story of experiencing youth and finding true love. I totally enjoyed this series since I could somehow relate to the characters. I guess this show isn’t for everyone because it has its fair share of cheesiness and others might find it overly melodramatic but come on at least give this show a chance. To those who enjoys watching romance-comedy anime and doesn’t mind seeing overused romance elements, then this show is for you!
Overall: 8.8/10 (High Priority Watch)