Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ano Natsu de Matteru - Episode 1

Kaito Kirishima (or "Kai" to his friends) is a budding film-maker with a love of the humble film camera - a hobby which very much relates to his opening monologue querying what happens when someone dies and the importance of leaving an indelible mark on the world as a result.  Ironically, his pondering about death is well-timed, as some late night star gazing leads to a mysterious incident that looks set to end his life.

Waking up the next morning, these events and the mysterious hand which saved him from his fate seem like nothing more than a dream, so it's off to school for Kai as he discusses his summer project of making a movie with his friends.  Enter mysterious transfer student Ichika Takatsuki, a girl who is red of hair and uncertain of the everday pleasantries of life, marking her out as rather an odd one.  Given her looks, and perhaps something a little deeper, Kai is immediately drawn towards Ichika as the potential star of his as yet unplanned movie, to the fascination of some of his friends and the irritation of others.

The plot only thickens further when it turns out that Takatsuki has nowhere to stay and some decidedly heavy luggage - although Kai can only dream of inviting her to stay at his place, such dreams end up turning into reality... not a moment too soon either, as the true impact of Kai's earlier accident eventually manage to catch up with him, leading to a dangerous situation for our protagonist and a decidedly awkward one for his new guest.

Given its staff and possibilities, I had high hopes for Ano Natsu de Matteru, and although I won't say they've been dashed just one episode in I have to confess they look more than a little dented at this moment in time.  There's still plenty of room for it to improve and head in some interesting directions, but this opener was almost generic throughout and felt far from fresh and original, with early elements that feel a little like Birdy the Mighty: Decode meets AnoHana, but with a vein running through it of the utterly predictable from strange transfer students through to the male protagonist ending up with strange transfer student living in his house.  It's all been done to death before, so I only hope that Ano Natsu de Matteru can manage to do it differently somehow - I haven't completely lost faith in it yet.

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