While Sayaka still hasn't managed to wrap her head around why time travel won't solve the problem of her out of date foodstuffs, what she doesn't realise is that her rather warped train of thought has actually opened up a genuine possibility for making life taste better, a thought suddenly pounced on by Yayoi - Why not take food that needs time to mature back to the past, giving it the time it requires so that you can enjoy it to the fullest immediately. It's a long way from using time travel to save victims of World War II, but oh well...
Thankfully, that's more or less where the light-hearted side of things ends, as episode twenty-two of Natsu no Arashi finally stops playing around with pointless filler to take us into a proper story arc which might actually be worthy of our time. This particular scenario comes about largely on account of Jun's ever-increasing curiosity about Hajime and how his relationship with Arashi is working out, a curiosity which leads to flat-out interfering as she breaks the news to Hajime that once Arashi's summer is over, she'll vanish until next year, which naturally comes as quite a shock to his system.
Thus, after dragging Arashi out on a late night "date" while still finding himself unsure of what to do, Hajime eventually confronts her about the truth of what Jun has told him, while also spilling his true feelings for Arashi despite her assertions that he won't remember her come next summer for a variety of reasons. Come the end of it all Hajime runs off in tears, and Arashi is hardly thrilled with the way things have gone, and despite their best attempts to continue as though nothing has happened there's clearly something seriously wrong between the pair - Something which goes beyond a sipmle uneasiness around one another.
If nothing else, it's simply a relief to be able to write about an episode of Natsu no Arashi without having to talk about complete nonsense and drop the dreaded "f" word (filler, that is) now and again. While this episode didn't really stand out for me in any particular way, it does at least offer the promise of a focused story arc that has at least some potential for delivering up some of the depth of character and emotion that's been sorely lacking from the second half of this series so far. I have a horrible feeling I know exactly how the remainder of this story, and indeed the series as a whole, is likely to progress, but to be honest if it can at least attempt to move me in a way recent episodes have singularly failed to even try then it'll be a big improvement. Come on SHAFT, you've got yourself a story to work with at last, don't let us down.