Sunday, 21 June 2009

Natsu no Arashi - Episode 12

With Yayoi able to walk again and Kanako overjoyed as a result, surely we've reached more or less the natural conclusion of Natsu no Arashi by this point? Well, not quite, for there are still two more episodes to go including this twelfth instalment of the series.

Of course, with Yayoi and Kanako back in the present, the top priority is to save Arashi from fading away entirely, which the pair do, but seemingly at the cost of their own ethereal lives. Despite being prepared to make that sacrifice, the power of Arashi and Kaya and their respective "contractees" means that they have power to spare, leaving us with a happy situation where all of the show's ghosts can remain alive and kicking. But how can Kanako and Yayoi repay all the kindness and help that has been bestowed upon them? By working as maids in the cafe of course!

From here, we drift off on threads of love and jealousy - Firstly, in an entirely fictional form as Jun's friend (and fellow model) Youko drops in to the cafe, posing as Jun's girlfriend in the process and thus causing Hajime to unleash his wrath upon Jun for "cheating on" Kaya. However, Hajime than faces some similar problems of his own, as Arashi bumps into a guy who swears he recognises her and invites her out on a date - A state of affairs which Hajime is none too pleased about, but all's well that ends well, leaving us with a happy ever after scenario come the end of the episode.

Realistically, and right down to the "fin" in the closing titles, this both looks and feels like the final episode of Natsu no Arashi proper, leaving the final episode to be a "bonus" instalment of sorts no doubt. It's certainly been an interesting ride as anime series go - It has to be said that it's been a pretty hit and miss show at times, but generally speaking its concepts, characters and aesthetic have all grown on me since those early episodes where I was none too impressed by what I was seeing, bringing me to the point where I genuinely found myself looking forward to new episodes each week. As an overall body of work Natsu no Arashi is no classic, but on an individual basis it's provided both some fantastic episodes, as well as some stunning scenes within those episodes. I'll reserve my final judgment for the complete end of the series, but my overall feelings at this point are more positive than negative.

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