The story unfolds from the beginning and the first meetings take place as Hajime arrives in the small village.
What They Say
Yasaka Hajime came to the countryside to spend his summer holiday at his grandfather's house.
After losing his way, he decided to take a break at a local coffee shop. There upon his arrival, he met Arashi, an older girl who was waitressing there, and was completely taken aback by her.
Casually, he took a seat next to another local student, Kamigano Jun, and started talking to him about how wonderful Arashi is. Unbeknownst to Hajime, a figure with a scary face hidden behind sunglasses entered.
Calling himself a private investigator, he informed them what he was looking for and then kidnapped Arashi..
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first episode of Natsu no Arashi was fairly underwhelming for me, especially considering who was behind the original manga. The second episode of the series manages to change the view a bit and puts the show on a better course for me. Not many series really try to play the game of using an episode further in as the opening one and has it work too well. The only one that really stands out in my mind as working very well was the Record of Lodoss War OVA. The first episode of Natsu no Arashi was almost enough to make me not want to bother with more of the show if that’s all it was going to be about.
Thankfully, episode two takes us back in time a bit to when Hajime has just arrived in the small village for the first time and is looking for his grandfather. The first place he ends up in is the Ark restaurant where he discovers the hauntingly beautiful Arashi. At least she’s quite stunning to this thirteen year old guy who focuses on her breasts and posterior and proclaiming it to be true love. He’s quite interested in her and ends up defending her from someone who has come to collect her and return her to her family. The diminutive Hajime breaks the mold by actively taking him on – from behind of course – in order to protect Arashi. This sets up the chain of events that has the two touching hands and forming an electric connection.
Arashi soon makes her big revelation to Hajime that she’s actually a ghost as she shows him the town as it looked from her day. He’s shocked by the news and thinks its all a dream, but she’s claiming that she’s going to stay with him at his grandfathers now because she’s going to posses him. Hajime is sort of incredulous at this but his grandfather gives in easily since it means a cute young woman will be living with him. Shifting the focus back to the private investigator and working with the restaurant itself for awhile, the remainder of the episode sets up the basic character interactions and how everyone ends up in their main roles working at the restaurant and dealing with each other. Having seen the end result in the first episode, nothing here is surprising but we do get to know the core cast a little bit better. The humor isn’t quite so spastic or out there and the pacing is a bit slower and more relaxed, allowing us to get into the groove of this quiet little village.
School Rumble fans will be very happy to see a small cameo by Tenma and Harima during one scene and that was one of the better smiles I had in this episode. And that sort of says something. The show does work better with this episode as it lays the foundations down well enough, but we’ve also got an idea of where it goes based on the first episode that we’ve already seen. And that was lacking in the humor department. I liked what I saw here as a basic premise and it has places to go, but with what we’ve seen it seems like it’s going for the obvious area. The slower pacing here works in its favor, allowing us to get to know the cast as they’re all somewhat tentative towards each other, and it has a much more natural feel to it. As a second episode though, I expected a bit more of a hook to really try and keep me interested. Natsu no Arashi hasn’t managed to demand I come back for more yet. It’s there, it has some nice mild moments, but there hasn’t been a big hook yet to make it a must watch show.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.