Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WO Examines: Waiting in the Summer

Ano Natsu de Matteru
It's really not your typical romantic comedy, or at least, that's what I was lead to believe when I uncovered this anime a few weeks ago, and started watching it.

In fact, most of what I thought going into this anime, was more than a little obscured by the premise.

Okay, where to start?

Kaito Kirishima is an amateur filmmaker that just so happens to film an interesting event that causes him to seemingly die. Though upon waking the next morning, everything seems fine, and he is back in his house.

Things take an interesting turn when red-head girl Ichika transfers into his school the following day, and he and his friends decide to make a movie as part of their summer project. The snag is that Ichika is talked into starring in the film, and the delicate balance of friendship, and unspoken attractions takes a nose-dive.

With Kaito's attentions placed solely on the new girl, and his friend Kanna longing for Kaito, and his friend Tetsuro harboring hidden attraction and feelings for Kanna, the idea of a love-quadrangle quickly emerges, though not to the typical beat of the usual romantic dramas, or comedies.

It seems that the final square peg in a round hole, comes when Ichika is discovered to be an alien... and this is where the show get's really interesting.

There is a good chance, that if you aren't hooked, or a return viewer by this point, the whole alien girl thing will put you off slightly; but if you are good an hooked, then this will most likely add some zest to an otherwise hum-drum anime series.

Now, it has been pointed out that there are strong similarities between Waiting in the Summer and Please teacher!, and sure enough, there are. But that was then, and this is certainly now. There is a huge gap of anime that has come and gone in the decades between, and lots of ground has been covered.

The ideas of this show are focused solely on young love, not really ecchi love, or even the usual plot gags that litter up the screen with a bunch of characters vying for a spot next to the lead boy. This is more or less a show that focuses on the pairing of the couple, and not the over-used harem aspect. Certainly not the angled approach of which girl is best, or which path is right. This is a straight up linear love story, and while I can see many variables in the side characters, this is more or less a throwback to good romantic storytelling.

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