Isn’t it lovely when the industry is not trying to make something new and just rehashes the same old stuff? Waiting in the summer (WITS) is an anime original, meaning it is not based on a manga. Original my butt if it’s basically nothing more than a remake/tribute of an older anime called Please Teacher (PT). Although the storylines may sound different, just looking at who made it is more than clear to see the similarities.
- A big busted female alien with glasses comes to Earth and after getting a secret identity, comes to live under the same roof with a wuss male teenager. Only difference, she is not pretending to be a teacher but a student.
- Ok, just sticking to this minor similarity is not much of a comparison. You can easily call it similar to “Boobshells in the Sky” if you stick to story details. But then you see how the character designs are pretty much the same (same character designer too). Or how the names of the characters follow a similar construction in kanji. Or some voice actors are the same.
Despite the differences, the two shows are not identical.
- WITS flavours the setting by adding an alien mascot, and the glasses the lead girl wears are not just for flavour but some sort of scouters. This offers some really cool visual effects when she uses alien technology. They even added a theme in the story so instead of having just an albino wuss who was in a coma for years and now looks younger (for real) he is now someone who tries to make a movie. There is also some Men In Black conspiracy going on later on. In this sense the premise is a bit more interesting and complicating.
- WITS is also animated by studio J.C. Staff and not by Daume, which means we get far better production values and far juicier fan service.
- The ending is terrible. PT is amongst the very few in the genre who offer a solid ending but WITS just takes the lame easy way out most others do.
And now let me tell you something it is not alike at all. Many compare it to Ano Hana just because there is an Ano in the Japanese title. GET REAL! Ok, the director and character designer are again the same but there are no ACTUAL similarities.
Enough with the comparisons; now let’s talk about the anime as a stand alone. It is… um… plain. Yet another romantic school comedy anime with a wuss protagonist and chicks who love him for that; the end. Despite being an “original” it has checked everything in the list of clichés and it doesn’t try to experiment with them later on. Random bumping on naked girls? Misunderstanding? Romance? Convenient solutions? It is all here. What is even worse is that the ending is completely lame and puts a shame to the makers who had the balls to do a proper conclusion in PT. So basically you are watching this for the same reason you would be watching any other average and throw away another romantic school comedy anime: Cheap laughs and softporn before you forget it in a few days and go look for something else to watch.
I find no value in this show, since it is not trying to show anything we haven’t seen before in a thousand other anime with similar themes. I am also not enjoying it at all since it is following the formula so tight, it feels like the nth rerun of a b-grade film. And guess what, it really is if you have seen PT or more than a dozen harems. So no, not good.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 2/2
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 1/2, Conclusion 0/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 0/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
The plot of an alien coming to Earth, integrating into a school setting, falling in love…we all know it. Tenchi Muyo exemplifies this plot but Ano Natsu de Matteru refines it to a sharp point. Don’t get me wrong, Ano Natsu has its faults, but it is an overall heart-felt and well executed experience. There are a lot of parts that are kind of stupid or are a bit too much, but if you can block out all of the crap happening on the side and all of the rather stupid plot twists (especially toward the end) and focus more so on the romance between Ichika and Kaito, then you’ll probably enjoy yourself.
Ichika is an alien from some unnamed planet who crashes into Earth, more specifically, Japan. Her crash severely injures Kaito, who is filming a movie at the time. Kaito is saved by her kissing him and putting healing nanomachines inside of him through the kiss. And after that she integrates into school life, she lives with Kaito, and she joins in on a summer of movie making magic.
The movie making part of the plot is integral, but it is pushed to the side usually to make room for the romance. This is a romance and drama heavy series, and romance and drama comes aplenty. There are two love triangles going on, one of which becomes a love rhombus at one point. The love rhombus has a single guy at the apex, Kaito. The girl who is closest to him and you probably can figure out he’s going to get with is Ichika. The other characters, especially Kanna, you just don’t care about. There’s so much crying going on and loves being admitted, yet you just don’t care about anything but the developing romance between Kaito and Ichika because it’s the only cute romance, and they are the only two characters with any substance, albeit not a lot.
There are three phases to Ano Natsu. The explanatory, unexciting first phase is the school phase. In this Ichika and Kaito live together, go to school, decide to make a movie with their friends. The second phase is the start of summer, where they make the movie and the puppy love starts to come out. The third, and dumbest, phase is the space phase, where Ichika’s sister comes to save her because the Federation has a search party and wants to take her back. I’m going to get a little deeper into this last phase because it’s a very weak set up to a decent finale.
There’s all this space stuff going on. There’s a Federation and these stupid bio-organic spaceship things (that look like futuristic Pokemon) that come to take Ichika back to her planet. And nobody wants her to go, especially not Kaito because he loves her and wants to be with her forever and all that cute crap. Her sister comes and they figure out that they might be able to find some proof an alien has been to the planet and that would show the Federation that Earth is not a grade F planet which means it’d be okay for Ichika to live there. There’s a long, drawn out part where the friends all branch off and try to take some of the heat off Ichika and Kaito as they find this random place in her memory where her ancestor was at. The friendship bullshit train rides for a whole episode, and is only broken up by one of the friends, the tiny and likeable Remon, using her pedo-van’s missiles and grappler arms.
This part goes pretty fast and it’s not a particularly well done section until the end. There’s a lot of stuff being thrown at you, and the idea of Earth being an F rated planet and Ichika needing to leave it because it has never had alien contact makes no sense…She’s an alien. Alien…contact! She’s made the contact! Boom! Earth is a D rated planet! We’ve gone up in the universe! Thanks Ichika, now let Kaito bang you and start populating the world with half human, half human-looking-alien babies!
Now to the very ending. This means spoilers, though that should be a given for my reviews.
The ending genuinely surprised me. Now, this had nothing to do with the idiotic Men in Black bullshit. That went beyond stupid. I mean, I’m okay with aliens and all that, but the Men in Black? Rocket launchers? Using sniper rifles to shoot at an alien thingy from two feet away? It was funny in that unexpected way, but it was pretty stupid nonetheless. Ichika gets captured and goes to space and loses out on being with her love, which is a really ballsy move for the writer. That made me genuinely care about the epilogue. Usually an anime would come up with some stupid way of getting out of that bad ending, but Ano Natsu enjoys it and might actually get some tears out of it. When the cast gets together to watch the movie that they have produced (courtesy of Remon), it is a pretty good tear-jerker. It puts the stupid stuff in and the emotional stuff in and that blend really brings the anime together. But the very, very end is where I want to commend this anime the most.
It’s not a lot, but it does have an impact, especially on me, and does work so much better because of this. Now, you have this niggling sensation for the six or seven minutes of the last episode that someway, somehow, Ichika is going to appear in some fashion and a happy ending will be achieved. But the final few seconds of the show, when it’s a future class at the high school watching Kaito’s movie, is amazingly effective in closing the anime. You hear the old footage, you get sad, but then that new clip shows up with Ichika back from space. And the series ends.
This is a perfect example of ending an anime on a good note, but not being too overt about it. It’s a lesson that some writers could take to heart. Ending a series like this, a series that has something bad happen that pulls the lovers apart, and then having a long-ass epilogue where they get back together and you feel good is not as effective as that final few seconds.
The sense of helplessness and sadness that takes place over the seven minutes between Ichika’s going back to space and that clip in the movie makes that single clip, maybe four seconds long, just that much more effective. It leaves you, the viewer, to fill in the blanks. It makes you so much more happy because you can interpret the ending however you want to and say that Ichika and Kaito are happily together, or maybe she just came back on vacation. Having a bit of a concrete answer to our questions about if she comes back is good, and allowing the viewer to fill in the rest is even better.
So anyway, let’s talk a bit about the characters. Kaito is a likeable male lead. There’s not a lot to say about him because he’s kind of your generic lead where he has very little personality beside his love of a hobby (filming) and his love for a heroine (Ichika). And Ichika is kind of the same, she’s not got a lot of character to her, but she’s got enough that you can feel good about the romance that she develops with Kaito.
Kanna is the annoying bitch who loves Kaito but Kaito doesn’t love her and she cries a lot because of that. I hated her. She wasn’t a character. She was an angsty waterfall.
Mio is moe and useless. Her love for Tetsurou is cute, I guess, but the fact she is a nudist is weird and doesn’t really provide any laughs. Especially because we see her naked with a panda bear plush before she reveals herself as a nudist. This is something that can come across as a little bit weird…I assumed she liked banging panda plushes.
Remon is badass. She’s screwing with everyone, keeping a chart of the romances so that she can manipulate them, takes over as director of the film, and is a Man in Black. Now, this last one is kind of dumb, but it still cements the fact she’s amazing. While Ichika is the alien, not a lot of mystery surrounds her. Remon is the opposite, even at the end you don’t really understand what the hell her intentions are. They’re good, but they aren’t defined at all. She’s my favorite character.
Tetsurou is…well, he’s not bad. He’s just kind of there.
Ano Natsu de Matteru is a good romance and does a lot of things right, but there are some silly portions and a lot of side story that takes away from everything. A lot of the characters are lame and uninteresting, while a few are good and maybe memorable. The romance is cute and might stick with you for a bit. It is the kind of show that you’ll wish could focus on what’s good, and give up on all the side stuff that doesn’t matter. Because you don’t care about that, you care about seeing Ichika and Kaito develop.
Watch the original
Ok, so bad reviews aren't really my thing, but since it seems this series has been getting a lot of attention (for understandable reasons) I figured I might as well give my two cents. So first things first I guess, my expectations going in... I expected more of an AnoHana-esque series. Obviously it was unrealistic to expect another AnoHana, but just something along those lines. I wasn't expecting a complete rehashing of Please Teacher. I know that it was a reunion of most of the Onegai staff, but a good number of them also contributed on AnoHana and obviously AnoHana being much more recent, it wasn't unreasonable this think that would be the direction of Ano Natsu. But as I've said, that was not the case. So now that you have my context, we'll get into some of the knitty gritty. Granted, I liked Please Teacher a lot (you can see my review), but I was very put-off by the whole copycat vibe through the 1st half of the series primarily (but throughout the series as well). That's a big reason for the (generously) chasming score on the story. It's one thing to copy a good series, it's another to be a much lesser copy. And that's what Ano Natsu is through the 1st half, a much lesser rehashing of Please Teacher. There's no argument. Zero originality through the 1st half. The 2nd half does bring in some originality and highlights the positive aspects of the series. That is with exception of the ending. But we'll get to that later. So it doesn't seem like I'm just a total hater I will take some time to go over the positive aspects of Ano Natsu. The series retains the strong animation and solid music of its predecessor. The voice acting is admittedly superior. That was certainly a weakness in Please Teacher which is why it was one of the very rare series I preferred the Dub. The characters become an interesting comparison. Same character archetypes are used in both series. The leads are far superior in Please Teacher. However, the secondary characters are far more significant and interesting in Ano Natsu. So there's more depth in that department. My fav character had to be Tetsu. Also liked Rinon's comic relief more so than Marie's (from Please Teacher). Hated the blue-haired girl though, as well as the Please Twins version of Moreno (aka Remon). I never understood why Moreno became a total creeper in Please Twins after being a respectable secondary character in Please Teacher. But I digress. So the biggest (and only) strength Ano Natsu has story-wise is the completely ridiculous romance polygon. It almost seems like everybody loves everybody else lol. And considering all I really got out of the series was comedic value, that was indeed a strength. And this ties back in to the greater character depth. The secondary characters do provide a good bit of substance to Ano Natsu. I get the feeling that most people cared more about the secondary characters than the primary characters in this series. And here's a little note before I get to the crux of the matter here. When it comes to opinions on Ano Natsu: If you watched Please Teacher (like me) you probably didn't like the 1st half of the series and liked the 2nd. If you didn't watch Please Teacher you probably liked the 1st half and didn't like the 2nd. But one thing both parties can/ should agree on is that the ending is absolutely terrible. One of the worst endings I've ever seen. Like going into ep 10 (yes, I'm going a little further back) given a reasonable ending I probably would've given this series a 6.5-7. Hell, if it was good maybe a 7.5 (not really). But this thing just absolutely tanked, so now we're left with a generous 5. So what happened? *Spoilers, if you really care* A bunch of random nonsense with Mechas and MIB and wtf. But the "best" part... You get to the actual ending. You're telling yourself, at least there's finally gonna be some resolution now for the main pairing. And for probably the first time in the series you actually care what happens to them and want them to be together. But NO. And it's not even like the ending's sad/ touching, it just makes you angry that you wasted you life watching the 2nd half of the series. So my immediate advice is in the title, go watch Please Teacher. But to be fair I will say, if you want something with a little more of an SoL vibe rather than a romance you may enjoy Ano Natsu. The thing is, you could classify both Ano Natsu and Please Teacher as rom coms, but Please Teacher is definitely heavier in the rom aspect and Ano Natsu is more SoL to me than com. But no matter how you look at it, Ano Natsu is a well below average series in my book, 5 out of 10.
Story & Animation
Now, I know that giving this anime a '10' may be extreme, but I would never do it without reason. Ano Natsu de Matteru is simply one of my favorite animes, EVER. At its core, Ano Natsu de Matteru is a romance, but with a much more unique take on the genre. Not to mention, it holds a place in my heart for the best intro in any anime. There's never a moment where you aren't mesmerized by the simply beautiful animation and art style, and the into is no exception. The colors are vibrant and warm, reflecting the warmness of the summer in which the story takes place. The animation is fluid and discernibly modern, as expected from such a recent anime. The character design displays the artists' intentions and visions, to create believable, average (but attractive) students, who want nothing more than to create a summer film. Their designs aren't flashy or overly exaggerated, so they fit perfectly in the story. The film scenes are fun to watch, because it offers a new perspective from behind a cheap film filter.
The filmography theme gives a refreshing feel to the romance genre, but the story also touches upon an unexpected topic, aliens. Don't be discouraged though; it fits perfectly within the premise of the story. Not only does it make the anime more interesting, because, honestly, it would have been much more bland without its outerwordly aspect, but it also perfectly creates an imaginative, and a complex conflict. What if aliens were real? What if an alien saved you from certain demise? What if you fell in love with said alien? The only thing I hate about Ano Natsu de Matteru is that it is only a 12-episode anime. Some 12-episode animes are notoriously known for not being able to wrap up a story wholly and not being able to delve into more character development, but this anime did just that. 'Ano' is one of the few exceptions, each character will change; no one will be left shorthanded in development. Because of its setting taking place within the summer, it's obvious that it will have to end at some point. So, that's why I hated it, because after you finish, you feel as if summer itself had just passed. So to sum it up, the story and animation deserve the '10/10'.
Characters & Sound
The protagonist, Kaito Kirishima, is a down-to-earth and slightly awkward teenage student. His enthusiasm for filmography is probably the dividing factor from other average, cliché'd male protagonists. His occasional fantasies are hilarious and slightly perverted, as any teenager would probably be at that age. Kaito is the first main role for his voice actor, Nobunaga Shimazaki, and I must say, well done Mr. Shimazaki. You provided Kaito an emotional and quirky voice, which reflects quite a bit about your work ethic and excitement on the project. But back to the characters. Since it is a romance, Kaito's love interest is Ichika Takatsuki, a strange third-year student who has just transferred to his school. Several times in the pilot, Kaito seems to notice her from somewhere, but he can't seem to figure it out (although it's quite easy for us to predict her whereabouts/origins.). As the story progresses, the two develop a strong bond with one another and they play off of each other so perfectly. I personally love their chemistry; Ichika being shy and awkward, but underneath she's as fiery as her hair color, and Kaito being very clueless and socially awkward, but he's comforting and accepting. The other characters do well to compliment the two, but they hold their own unique quirks and personalities as well. They are all gathered to create a recreational summer film. The sly Remon Yamano is a third year student who becomes Ichika's first friend and she is undoubtedly the leader of the group. Kanna Tanigawa is the most headstrong of the group. She secretly holds feelings for Kaito and is very jealous of Kaito's and Ichika's relationship. Tesurou Ishigaki is the carefree, ladies man, and overall funny guy of the group. He offers Kaito helpful advice at times, and he seems to encourage Tanigawa's feelings for Kaito. Mio Kitahara is the beautiful and shy friend of Tanigawa, and she offers comic relief with her inability to sleep without being naked. Each character compliments each other and provides us with a believable group of friends, who've gathered for a common interest: creating a fun summer film.
The sound in the anime is amazing, each scene is provided with a fitting soundtrack, usually reflecting the current mood of the scene. Did I mention I love the intro? The introduction song gives me goosebumps everytime, as it sounds as upbeat and emotional as the story itself.
To sum up this section, the characters are well developed and complimented with their individual voice actors/actresses, and the soundtrack is delightful.
Watch this anime. I HIGHLY recommend it. Actually, I DEMAND you to watch it.
Ano Natsu de Matteru captured my heart, hopefully it'll capture yours.
Dafaq? this whole anime doesnt make fucking sense.
Appereantly whenever someone confesses you just /ignore them and go on with your fuckin life as if nothing happened. story is pretty dead obvious from the beginning and they won't even give an answer as how the other characters actually ended up.
Barely feel like writing a good review about it because why not be as ignorant as the whole cast?
only reason this actually got a 5 is because tetsuro was an amazing character. really. thats all.