Ano Natsu de Matteru: Season Review

Kaito Kirishima, first year high school student and aspiring filmmaker, witnesses a strange occurrence one night while filming with his video camera. After being saved by a mysterious being, he wakes up back at his house like the entire thing was a dream. Or was it? The next day a beautiful red headed girl named Ichika Takatsuki transfers into his school and joins his group of friends as they work on an amateur film project. As the group becomes closer together romance gets in the way of their friendship and causes drama in each of their lives. To make matters worse, Ichika is hiding from Kaito the reason why she showed up in his life after that mysterious night.
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Ano Natsu has an interesting cast of characters, each with notable traits and relatable backgrounds. From the jealously prone Kanna, the smooth talker Tetsurou, shy and timid Mio, and the mischievous Remon. It was interesting to see that the romance aspect of this anime wasn’t just centered around 3 characters like many shows I’ve seen in the past. Its more of a love polygon where everyone is falling for the wrong person, and along the way there is bound to be some rejection. There is even a cute little mascot character named Rinon who does little for the plot, but provides some light humor.
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Many fans have pointed out that Ano Natsu is similar to Please Teacher! in many aspects. Same character designer and screenwriter, and it has the same plot idea (a girl from space moves into a school boy’s life and causes his entire life to change forever). Even though I haven’t seen Please Teacher! I can clearly see the similarities between the characters from both shows, but don’t let that discourage you from watching this anime. Its more then just a story about people falling for each-other, as it focuses on the ups and downs of young love. Ano Natsu may feel like a reboot of Please Teacher! but it certainly has its own charms that set it apart from its predecessor.

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The artwork and visual effects are refreshing, and everything from the scenery to the characters is brightly colored and beautiful. Everything from the greenery and the sky is vivid and eye catching. Its nice that character designer Taraku Uon made sure the animation wasn’t chocked full of CGI, which has become overused and takes the natural feeling out of animation. The series also has excellent camera angles that provide extra emotion for each scene, and like many romance titles there is fanservice, but isn’t in your face and shoved into every other scene.

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Each episode is opened and closed by a pair of opening and ending songs that complement each other nicely. They give off a very simple and futuristic mood without sticking to the stereotypical sugary and hyper J-pop trope. The theme of friendship and space plays a neat and colorful mix in the ending cinematics as well. Music wise the soundtrack sets the mood for dramatic moments, but it would have helped if there were tracks to fit the other emotions and not just the dramatic and feelings of sentiment.

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All in all, its the simple things that make Ano Natsu de Matteru a fun and enjoyable watch. Although it could have gone without the sci-fi aspect at times, which seemed out of place even though it was part of the story, it added some action and drama when the theme was utilized to its fullest.  I give it an 8.5/10.  

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