Natsu no Arashi Episode #12 (of 13) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Release Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009

As the series draws closer to the end, life seems a bit familiar until another male enters the mix…

What They Say:

“Let Your Body Ride on the Flow of Time - Master”

As Arashi starts to become more conscious, Kanako and Yayoi are must try even harder to maintain their presence and restore their energy to stay alive. However, they are fading as Arashi is gaining more energy. Kanako and Yayoi apologize for trying to take away Arashi's energy, and accept the punishments associated with such an act. However, Arashi, Kaya, Jun and Hajime join hands and find a way to divide the power they have to maintaining Kanako and Yayoi...but will it work...

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

After the heady drama of the previous episode with the issues surrounding Yayoi and Kanako, Natsu no Arashi decides to slow things down a bit as it goes into episode twelve of thirteen. The bulk of the episode is fairly laid back but it does have to work through a little resolution because Arashi is almost out of the picture here as her life energy is nearly gone. As it turns out, explained lightly before, those who live the kind of lives that Arashi, Kaya and the others do require the life force of those they have a connection with to survive. With Kanako having drawn that energy out of Arashi, she and Yayoi return it to her in order to save her, but at the expense of their own lives. Naturally, a show like this won’t let attractive women fade away, so it’s decided they’ll latch onto Hajime for their source of life. And Shades gets drawn into it too which is rather amusing to see his reaction to.

With all of that out of the way fairly quickly, Natsu no Arashi ends up playing it fairly safe and laid back. Hajime is thrilled that Arashi is back and healthy, but his happiness is short lived as someone arrives out of the blue and is all friendly with Arashi. He’s so friendly in fact, so knowing of Arashi, that he asks her out on a date. Before Hajime can even react, she’s agreed to it since he seems to know her so well and the possibility of time travel has entered all their minds. It’s cute watching Hajime doing his best to try and go after them, to keep an eye on her so he doesn’t do anything untoward, but it’s all fairly straightforward in how it plays out. It’s cute to see Arashi on her “date” as she’s actually a good bit smarter about things than you’d expect, but it’s the kind of thing that really doesn’t carry an episode all that well.

The layout of the episode is somewhat awkward as well since it’s a transitional piece of sorts. It opens by finishing out the storyline with Kanako and Yayoi and how they’re going to survive now that things have changed for them. Of course, they play it cute by bringing up the potential of them working in the restaurant and what kind of insanity that would become. The date storyline takes up the bulk of the episode, but there’s a good amount towards the end that really comes across as if this is the end of the series itself. It doesn’t exactly tie things up, but it presents the show in a way that implies a warm sendoff to the viewers who supported it. If you didn’t know that there were going to be thirteen episodes, it’d be easy to assume this is the end and move on.

In Summary:

Sadly, it’s not the end of the series. Natsu no Arashi has been a real challenge to watch from the start and even this episode is no exception. If you treat it as an epilogue piece, it’s certainly not bad but what little drama was created by the Kanako/Yayoi storyline is so minimal that you can mostly forget all of it already. In a way, it’s felt like every time this series has built up a small amount of steam, it dissipates very quickly and we’re left with a sense of emptiness. There are things I like about the show, but they’re just small quirky things that cannot sustain it for me. With this episode, I don’t have much in the way of any hope for the final episode outside of something silly and nonsensical now that the growing cast is established and we’ll see them all being silly together. In the end, I suspect Natsu no Arashi will really be an empty calories kind of show.

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