Monday, 26 March 2012

Ano Natsu de Matteru - Episode 12 (Completed)

The gang thing they've tracked down the area which might hold the secret of the memories of Ichika and her kind - now the race is on to find it before our heroine is captured and returned home.

With drones aplenty on the look out for Ichika, it's up to the others to do their best to distract them using the surprisingly proficient technology at their disposal, and of course you have to look no further than Remon for the most destructive technology of the lot - her back story is explained in hilarious fashion come the end of this final episode.  Anyhow, all this hard work pays off, allowing Kaito and Ichika to make it to the train which takes them to their destination - lo and behold, it's exactly the place from Ichika's dreams.

The bigger question at this point is, of course, whether they can find proof that aliens have visited the Earth before, and they soon seem to find just this, only to have their hopes dashed at the sole evidence of a previous love affair much like Kaito and Ichika's proves to have been destroyed.  This means that it's time to get the hankies out as our two lovers are torn from each others arms, making for a bittersweet end to a summer that was more eventful than anyone could have anticipated.  Is this really the end of the story though?  Perhaps not, as Kaito's movie takes on a life of its own at his old school, complete with a final scene that suggests there was another, unseen chapter to this rather beautiful love story.

Although I was expecting a 100% conclusive happy ending from the show's finale, this was if anything an even better way to end the series, as a bittersweet tale of love and loss, but more importantly of everything that each character had gained from their summer experiences - sometimes life is hard, but those hardships serve as experiences which underpin the personalities and lives of each and everyone of us.  Of course, this episode couldn't resist finishing with a final little sweetener, but even this isn't something I can complain about, fitting neatly as it did into the narrative without feeling too forced.  Thus, this made for a great little ending to a series that has ended up as my favourite of the winter season - since the disappointment of its first episode it's done nothing but grab me by the collar and force me to love it with its blend of comedy, romance and great characters - I've laughed, I've laughed some more and I've cried a fair bit too, which suggests that it got its tone pretty much spot on after those early mis-steps.  It can't rival Toradora in terms of my favourite anime romantic comedy of all time, but Ano Natsu de Matteru is still well up there and a great, great series to watch that I can only heartily recommend for any fans of the genre.

No comments: