Oh all of the series I've started watching for this Spring anime season, Natsu no Arashi seemed the most likely to be dropped based solely upon its first episode, which simply didn't impress me in any way, shape or form. Thank goodness then that episode two of the series acts rather more like a proper opener, succeeding to at least some degree of drawing me into the picture that it paints.
While episode one was some seemingly random episode thrown in at the beginning of the series for no real reason that I can fathom, episode two actually takes the time to introduce us to the major characters. For starters, we see Arashi arrive looking for work at the cafe at which she now works in the midst of a storm, before Hajime gets his proper introduction as a lost kid on his way to see his grandfather who enters said cafe and somehow ends up connected to (and "possessed by") Arashi, learning at least a little about her ghostly being. The owner of the cafe also gets her situation seemingly spelt out, so that we at least know what we're watching now, and thankfully it isn't all about jumping through time after strawberries this time.
While I'm still far from convinced by the show's animation and artwork, it is at least beginning to show some of those typical shaft glimmers to keep my interest from time to time, while also very briefly tipping its hat to Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei at one point and even bringing Tenma Tsukamoto and Harima from School Rumble into the cafe for a scene - If you get a kick out of this kind of thing, then that's another tick on the "reasons why episode two is better" check sheet for Natsu no Arashi.
Now that we have a story in place I have renewed hope that this series might not be such a dead loss after all - Yes, Hajime still gets on my nerves a bit, but with the background information that this episode provides I can at least see some potential storytelling diamonds shining from the rough start that this series provided. Whether those diamonds can be picked out by the show is another matter of course, but for now my patience has been refreshed so I'm willing to wait and see where Natsu no Arashi can take us next.