Natsu no Arashi Episode #08 (of 12) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Release Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009

Natsu no Arashi tries changing things up with a tried and true ploy of doing some body switching.

What They Say:
On their way back from buying a bunch of watermelon, Hajime and Jun decide to take a break at a nearby Shinto Shrine. They spot a vending machine but only have enough money to buy one drink.  Hajime suggests that they share it, however, Jun thinks that it would be like having an indirect kiss with him and refuses. Hajime gets the wrong idea and tries to force Jun to drink it, causing them to tumble down the stairs. They both get up without injury, but now they're in each other's bodies...

Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Natsu no Arashi has worked through a few different things so far as it’s gotten the cast into place and familiar with each other. The previous episode focused a bit on Jun and her being a her and the reasons why, which you just have a hard time believing would happen in reality for a lot of reasons. But this is anime so it happens here. Jun is still struggling with her position in the scheme of things but she’s glad that she has someone to confide in as Kaya is keeping her secret well and being receptive to the issues she’s having. With someone on her side in a sense, Jun is facing the problems fairly well at this point.

That means it’s time to throw a harder problem into the mix for poor Jun. Unsurprisingly, that involves Hajime who has been fairly quiet as of recent with what he’s been doing. A sale on watermelons has Hajime and Jun heading off to get them which is certainly a challenge as Jun is portrayed as the weak female who can’t lug a couple of them along from the stall back to the Ark restaurant. Hajime takes up the slack but he’s intent on getting Jun feeling fit and capable at some point. There’s a cute moment when the two share a drink and Jun is avoiding it well because she doesn’t want her first indirect kiss like this. But in doing so, she ends up falling down the stairs and Hajime catches her, thereby sending them sprawling and suddenly swapping bodies with each other.

I don’t know about Hajime, but if I changed bodies, I’m sure I’d notice something was missing just from how I walk. Anyway. Hilarity supposedly ensues at this point as the pair return to the restaurant but nobody believes them and they have to try and figure out how to get back to normal. And Jun needs to do this desperately before Hajime discovers that the body he’s in is actually a woman’s body. The gags are obvious as this plays out but there are cute moments to be had here, including one non-related salt movement in the background. Body switching isn’t a new trick by any means but the way the series has become so laid back it doesn’t feel like it plays out well here. And that’s without taking into account the way that most people would realize they’re in a different kind of body. But then again, maybe Hajime is that oblivious…

In Summary:
Eight episodes in and Natsu no Arashi is still kind of just there. At times it moves quickly with a lot of things going on but then it will slow down to a crawl. An exchange of stupidity in this episode highlights this as you have Kaya and Arashi arguing over taking some expired milk back in time so it would be good again. Kaya wants to scream and I echo that sentiment as I wanted to bang my head against the wall for even having to listen to the conversation. Very little about Natsu no Arashi is amusing but I do like the character designs and some of the quirky background moments of it. I want to see the guy get his salt and I’ll be upset if it doesn’t happen in the last scene of the series. I’ll even boldly state that if they make a second season and he doesn’t get salt before it, I won’t watch it. But that may be the case anyway because I can’t find the rhyme or reason for this series yet.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Natsu no Arashi