Anime of Tomorrow
Ano Natsu de Matteru Ep. 1
Initial impression – an interesting story that deserves a closer look
Winter 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Waiting in the Summer) (more info)
Ano Natsu has a bit of a cliché boy-meets-girl anime. But I like how it keeps things lighthearted and doesn’t attempt to ruin the awkward, teenage atmosphere by putting up some sort of serious facade—or more detrimentally, forced comedy. It’s pretty clear that Takatsuki is an alien and she saved Kaito’s life during some kind of accident, but is there more to their relationship than that? As “alien arrives on Earth” character backgrounds go, Takatsuki isn’t some inept, unhousebroken bimbo that’s relying on protagonist Kaito to keep her out of trouble. She has a believable level of wonder, curiosity and simple lack of knowledge that might be expected of a new visitor who possesses basic knowledge of the fundamentals, but not any of the specifics. It has an attractive art style that strongly references Ano Hana and it’s no coincidence that the two anime have similar titles because Ano Natsu and Ano Hana both have the same director and character designer. It unfortunately doesn’t escape some of the staples of the harem anime genre with a cast of several other girls vying for Kaito’s attention and the obligatory ladies-man sidekick. All in all there seems to be enough freshness to warrant giving Ano Natsu a chance to prove it can set itself apart from the crowd.