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.
In my book, Ano Natsu de Matteru has raised my standards and expectations for upcoming romantic comedy series. AnoNatsu, as most people calls it, had been fun and enjoyable since the very first episode. Sure, I’m not emotionally invested in AnoNatsu the way I did in Kimi ni Todoke, which is currently at the top of my list. I don’t relate to any of the characters in the series and sometimes I think things unfolded in a way that seems too easy for each of the characters. But hey, I like this show nonetheless.
Warning! The following paragraphs may contain spoilers.
I believe AnoNatsu has proven that romantic comedy series doesn’t need to have really messed up characters in search of a different life with a help of a potential love interest or really complicated romantic feelings and relationships to make it work. I know AnoNatsu has a web of longing and crushes at the start of the series, but it’s not complicated. The characters were very clear about their feelings and had stuck with their true longings for most part of the series. Is it right for me to say that from an audience’s perspective, each of these characters wore their hearts on their sleeves at all times? This is why it’s easy to watch it. There weren’t any big dramas. Things were kept sweet and simple in spite of multiple love triangles that were present.
In addition to that, all the characters are likeable. We have Remon, Mio, Kanna, Rinon, Remon and Remon. I’m aware some of you don’t like them but yes, even Ichika and Kaito are likeable. I’m not going to say how each of the characters added flavor to the series except for Remon. She’s like a voice of viewers, so to speak – watching how her friends progressed in their own struggles for love and helped them in her own unique way. Thanks to her, the comedic atmosphere of the series was well maintained. Laughters come very easily whenever she’s around. Heck, she’s Ichika’s worst nightmare and yet they are best of friends. Even though it wasn’t specifically indicated but I’m very sure Ichika learned of Remon’s real identity (hint: final moments of episode 12).
Besides that, some say timing of an event is important. In AnoNatsu, the execution of the story was done very well. The story gradually progressed in a way that things happened at the right time. The moments felt right. The pacing of the series was particularly good for me. It didn’t feel too slow or too fast. Everything falls into place nicely and I really like that.
There’s really nothing I’d want to change about this series except for two things. One, have a proper ending! Okay, the ending isn’t that bad. It did provide a valid conclusion to the series but I prefer not to have seen the final picture. Two, have Tetsurou officially be with either Mio or Kanna. I guess I interpreted wrongly when he asked Mio to a movie. I tell you, AnoNatsu would’ve been perfect for me if the aforementioned were included into the story.
Now, despite having nothing extra to offer in its story, the formula of adding likeable characters and funny treats did wonders for Ano Natsu de Matteru. Boy, I am glad I picked up that first episode. Fu, fu, fu….
P.S I’m sooooo adding Rinon to my favorite mascot list.