Sunday, 6 December 2009

Natsu no Arashi - Episode 23

After dragging us along with a variety of largely pointless filler episodes, the last instalment of Natsu no Arashi finally pointed us in the direction of a proper story arc, with Hajime confessing his love and summarily being rejected by Arashi - A state of affairs which left the pair unable to "connect" any more and thus unable to time travel.

Come this latest episode, it doesn't take long for the rest of the girls to fathom out exactly what has happened, especially once Jun reveals her part in proceedings, and this leads to a confrontation with Hajime to tell him to pull himself together and be more of a man - Not that Arashi exactly took the whole situation well either.

Given this potential impasse, everyone tries to come up with a plan to get Hajime and Arashi to reconcile, which leads to Hajime taking a trip back to the pre-World War II (for Japan, at least) era to meet an Arashi who is closer to his age. This leads to what is actually a pretty entertaining jaunt, as Hajime gets caught up in Arashi's attempt to save a friend of hers from some particularly vicious bullies in a fight that she seems to stand no chance of winning, thus giving Hajime a perfect opportunity to step in and save the day. Arashi's memory of that time, and the mysterious boy who saved her, was clearly something that had lived with her (well, I say "lived", she is a ghost after all) for a long time, but finally it all becomes clear, and the pair's friendship is reunited if nothing else. Hurrah!

While I could probably sit here and pick holes in elements of this episode's plot, I'm not going to - Natsu no Arashi isn't exactly "hard" science fiction or anything, so I can't complain about it taking some liberties with time travel or anything or get too bogged down in technicalities, especially when it delivers an episode that was actually pretty fun to watch. The obvious highlight of this instalment visually was SHAFT's stylised fight sequences between Hajime and the bullies - In a sense it was a bit all over the place, yet it worked perfectly at conveying the scene in that odd kins of way that they're so good at. Overall though, after complaining for so long that this series of Natsu no Arashi hasn't put its time travel motif to any good use, this episode finally put its money where its mouth is and delivered on that front; it may not have made for a classic episode but it was a rather good one, particularly in relief against the rest of this particular series so far.

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