Sunday, 14 June 2009

Natsu no Arashi - Episode 11

From being threatened with a knife by Kanako to zipping back through time to World War II with a mentally and physically unstable Yayoi - This must almost be the definition of "out of the frying pan and into the fire" for young Hajime?

Anyhow, this is exactly the scenario that he faces, after accidentally connecting with Yayoi and the pair of them being sent back in time to an unknown year. This is all too much for Yayoi, who already holds so much terror from that time in her heart, and she passes out, leaving Hajime to wheel her around while going it alone. Things only get worse out in the open, as a Yayoi comes around to plead with former friends to escape their future fates (demonstrated and delivered in typically unhinged and terrifying style by Shaft's animators), before ening up face-to-face with the Kanako of that time, at a period before the pair were friends.

What follows however is a chain of events which literally changes the course of history, cementing the otherwise non-existent friendship between Yayoi and Kanako (thanks in some small part to Hajime) while also allowing Hajime to get a glimpse of the actual World War II era Arashi - Interestingly, she seems to recognise him... Could this foreshadow something from a future episode, as this era's Arashi would never otherwise have known him?

It really does seem like Natsu no Arashi is getting better by the week at the moment, and I found myself both enjoying and moved by this episode. We're so used to series where changing the course of history has catastrophic effects, and it's that which makes this show something of a breath of fresh air, presenting a world where changing history makes it a better place. A lot of respect should also be directed at Natsu no Arashi's depiction of World War II, which drills in to the psychological toll it takes more than relying on the physicality of its destruction - An interesting route to take, and one that is pulled off with aplomb here. It feels almost surprising to talk in such terms about a series that has been so frivolous during other episodes, but such is the unique nature of this show - Perhaps this juxtaposition of humour and more serious topics isn't a bad thing, but it certainly makes Natsu no Arashi hard to describe or classify.

1 comment:

Author said...

Indeed ep.11 was an outstanding episode, but now we're left with a question what's going to happen in the two remaining ones? Can SHAFT break the curse of Jin Kobayashi?