With most of the characters being explored, it’s time for Jun to get detailed a bit more with some very embarrassing moments.
What They Say
Sixty years ago, Kaya and Arashi were friends. She, like Arashi, has the ability to travel in time, coming to the present day. Hajime watches on as they are delighted and overflowing with excitement upon meeting again, in the same coffee house and waitress. However Jun's shenanegans puts Hajime in somewhat of a foul mood...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the slow build up to the present continues, we’ve gotten to know a few of the core cast of characters and how they came together. Hajime’s arrival in the town and how he met Arashi is basically the catalyst that got things going. His ending up in the restaurant is another as is the introducing in the last episode of Kaya from Arashi’s past. Add in that Arashi is a time traveling “ghost” and it’s a nice enough hook. This episode doesn’t deal with anything big but it does center on one of the other apparent core cast of characters and gives them some screen time so we can start to learn their secret.
And what a poorly kept secret it is, though we’ll honor the gender usage as intended. Jun and everyone else is settling into their workaday routine now that Kaya is there and it’s all sorts of simple stuff. The group dynamic is slowly coming into play but the show doesn’t focus too much on Kaya even though she’s the real newcomer here. She gets a few nice moments as her boss teaches her proper “service” when returning change to a customer which is amusing, but it points out the old fashioned nature that Kaya has. Little moments like this are nice, as is the way the customers react, but it’s also nothing that can carry a show by itself. They’re good accent moments and they help to integrate Kaya into the show a bit more since her introduction is over.
Jun is the least dealt with of the cast and this episode doesn’t deal with him all that much in detail either, but they do monkey with him. After an accident with a bug, he has to get showered and cleaned up because of what Hajime does to him. That gives us an amusing teasing shower scene which really does paint the image of what Jun really is, not that anyone else can tell. Unfortunately for Jun, his attempts at hiding his real gender are being tested when his boss continually loans him sexier and sexier outfits since she doesn’t have any spares. Wearing what Arashi and Kaya wear at first isn’t a bad thing, but it only gets progressively worse when it reaches the maid level kind of stuff. It’s cute and silly, especially as everyone else gets in on it and you’ve suddenly got a maid café, but it never really goes more than that. Jun doesn’t get any background or real exposition here but it’s light fluffy episode after the last couple of semi-serious ones.
I really don’t know what to make of this show yet other than it’s a very laid back piece of work after Kobayashi’s School Rumble series. There’s certainly appeal in doing something like that after you have something as fast paced as that series was. Unfortunately, Natsu no Arashi is just plodding along and almost feels like they could get the same amount accomplished in half the time with relatively the same pacing. There really just doesn’t feel like there’s all that much here, just an empty show. There are some little hints about something bigger going on for an overall storyline, but it’s being teased out so slowly and minimally that it’s hard to really stay interested. The characters are nice enough but that’s about all that can really be said about it. I had no expectations going into the series, and I wasn’t even aware of its creator at the time, but they’re not doing anything to really keep me coming back week after week.
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.