Episode twenty of Natsu no Arashi sees the series continuing upon its recent run of what I can only politely describe as inconsequential instalments which feel rather too much like filler for my liking.
This time around the subject of the entire episode is an antique 10 million Yen cup which somehow found its may into the Hakobune cafe, but which has since been mislaid by the owner. Of course, the obvious answer to finding this expensive relic is a spot of time travel, and so we see all of the usual suspects sent back three days to recover the cup.
What follows is a distinctly low budget affair (the animation quality in particular really suffers at times) in which we don't even get to see the direct results of all the time travelling that occurs, with this episode preferring to take on an almost slice of life-esque air based around the conversations of the returning parties as their attempts to retrieve the cup become ever more complex and confused. While this series has often done some pretty cool and fun things with its time travel aspects, it didn't really entertain in quite the same way here for me, and even Sayaka's new-found ability to link and time travel with Yayoi felt a bit throw-away.
Add to that the repetitive gags which were once so funny but now seem to be increasingly overused (from pass the salt to the convoluted process of remembering things usually rolled out by Kanako and Yayoi) and you have a series which rapidly seems to be running out of ideas. It's a shame really - Natsu no Arashi has treated us to some fantastic episodes at times, and equally some pretty fun outings, but perhaps thirteen episodes was a better length for a series of this ilk, as it feels more and more like it's outstayed its welcome by the week.