Monday, 20 February 2012

Ano Natsu de Matteru - Episode 7

One of the staple parts of the winter anime season so far has been Ano Natsu de Matteru's weekly "wait, you can't leave us hanging there!" moments, and last week's instalment served us up another doozy - Mio interrupting Arisawa's fervent pursuit of Tetsurou in shameful fashion while Ichika stumbles across Kaori's confession to Kaito without really getting the full gist of the situation.

By the time the gang reassemble to recommence filming, none of these issues have been directly resolved (unless you count Mio putting some pants on), meaning that once again Remon gets to oversee a recording session that is electric with tension far beyond mere acting at her contrived movie script.  It's clear that something has to give, and it seems as though most of the parties involved in proceedings are determined to push things forward no matter what.

Thus, the show's various romantic permutations continue to be juggled for all except poor Kanna, who is left behind in their chalet with nothing but Remon, cosplay and lots of beer to keep her company.  Meanwhile, Tetsurou goes on the run from Arisawa again before finding himself helped by Mio - a development which turns into an almost literal tug of love scenario before mention of Mio's perversions leads to the poor girl pouring out her life story... and a confession to Tetsurou.  Who knows where that relationship is headed next.  Meanwhile, Kaori's message to meet Kaito in town is pre-empted by Ichika meeting her first, getting the full low-down on the situation she ran into during last week's cliff-hanger and finding her path to Kaito clear if she so wishes.  Even Kaito himself seems emboldened by recent events into making his feelings clear, even if his big moment is interrupted once again.  He might want to hurry, as there's an impression that all involved may be living on borrowed time right now.

Sure, it's packed to the rafters with youthful, romantic melodrama to an almost insane degree, but Ano Natsu de Matteru continues to work wonders with its characters and content - almost every sentence is rich with meaning and possibility, and it's genuinely hard not to be swept up in the moment over and over again this episode from Mio's breathless confession through to Arisawa's tears, and from Kaito and Ichika's growing closeness to poor Kanna's distance from the rest.  It really is utterly, utterly compelling, mostly on account of its likeable characters - you want to cheer them all on, and I can see there being plenty more smiles and tears to come if the series carries on in this wonderful vein.  Between you and me, I think this might just be my favourite show of the season now - a far cry from its uninspired and disappointing first episode.

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