Welcome to our next review! Today we will be covering Ano Natsu de Matteru (or Waiting in the Summer in English). Before we begin, it should be noted a review will not be included by B-Ro, as he has not yet seen this anime. As always, beware of minor SPOILERS.
Now, without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about filmmaking and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate and revealing, as the maturing relationships between the members of the young cast take on new, and sometimes very unexpected, turns.
Ano Natsu de Matteru brings some unique things to the table, though it still comes out feeling like a general slice of life anime. The plot is not overly complex and pretty easy to follow, and enjoyable for the most part. My biggest draw to the anime is the setting is not the normal suburban/urban setting, but has a definitely more rural feel to it. Moving from there, the anime does not do much to make its plot different or stand out from other slice of life. A lot of scenes revolve around cliche settings, such as the beach, festival, test of courage, and so on, nothing excessively different. The plot also is very slow at times, which can make it a bit of drag to get through. Also, some questions raised by the series are never actually answered or expanded upon.
The main characters in this show are complex, deep, and built upon very well. Each character develops as they work through feelings of pain and loss, and are very easy to connect with. The main issue here is that the audience is not given complete closure with some of the characters, specifically Kanna. Some of the character developments also seem too quick or unrealistic, considering the series is only suppose to take course over the length of summer break.
The animation is very clear, and high quality. Again, I will note the setting here, which I enjoyed a lot. The forest, backwoods, all very reminiscent to me of my hometown.
Another very good point for the show, the soundtrack fits extremely well with the mood of each scene within the show.
The weakest point of the show in my opinion. The story does not live up very well to the sci-fi genre it attempts to play at. There is not nearly enough sci-fi elements mixed into the show, so it feels more like an add on to the show. Honestly, the show probably would have been better with a bit of rewriting and removal of the sci-fi elements. That aside, the show does also struggle with establishing an overarching tone. The opening of the series is deadly serious, but this is quickly tapered off into a more comedic mood. The show flipflops too much, at least to me, between comedy and drama, which makes the drama in the show seem more melodramatic than it should be. The show’s drama is very real, however, and may leave one on the verge of tears. Overall, the show pushes themes of enjoying youth and preserving memories, and it does a decent job at this. It is also made painfully clear the risk involved with becoming attached to friends, but this could almost be seen in a negative light. Everyone in the series ends up becoming hurt, both emotionally and physically in some cases, by their intense feelings of love for someone. Despite this, the show accomplishes what it means to in its expression of themes.
Final Score: 8.6/10
Final Score: B
Have you ever experienced a piece of art or media that hit you at just the right time? Something that coincides with what you’re currently going through in life and you can relate to on a really deep level. Well, that’s how I describe my first summer watching anime, specifically this series (as well as ones like Angel Beats and Your Lie in April). I watched it during a time of transition, new opportunities, and that magical (and sometimes hectic) period between youth and adulthood. I absolutely love Ano Natsu, even if it’s not the perfect anime. It’s almost hard for me to explain why it was so beautiful. I see it as an excellent celebration of youth with plenty of little things up its sleeves (like some really cool sci-fi stuff and a lot of really funny moments). From the excellent characters that I really related to, to its themes of celebrating youth and making something to remember youth with (I absolutely related to this as a musician), it all really spoke to me. The relationships between the five main characters are really good in my opinion (though complex), and the ending is sad in some ways, happy in others, and all around beautiful. The animation is also very beautiful and summery (as it should be). The opening and closing songs just bring a smile to my face, and the rest of the soundtrack is excellent as well. I realize this show isn’t for everyone, but I highly recommend giving it a shot. I know I will be remembering this show for a long time.
Final Comments: With a cast of characters who develop and grow with the audience and accompanied by great animation and soundtrack, Ano Natsu de Matteru has a lot of good things going for it. However, it does not stand out much as the slice of life that it is due to flaws in its story execution.
Thank you all for reading, and be sure to follow or comment if you liked what you read. We have a couple of other reviews available to read, and will be adding more in the near future for sure. Our next review will be ToraDora.