Kaya takes full on center stage this time around as her past is brought to the forefront with Jun as a witness.
What They Say
It seems as if girls always give Jun a cold shoulder or look whenever he gets close to them. Kaya provides little sympathy to Jun's plight, however she takes his hand and the next moment they are flashing back into time to 1945 (20th year in the Showa period). However, upon doing this, Jun must reveal and come face to face with a secret he's been hiding...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Natsu no Arashi moves right along into a new episode and gives it over entirely to Kaya for the most part. While she’s had a half-episode introduction and piece before to tie her into the back story with Arashi, it still focused more on Arashi than Kaya. And she’s been only minimally involved in the previous episode so it’s fitting that she get a story all to herself in order to really cement her with the growing group of core characters. Unfortunately, it involves more time tripping which is really being used in a way that to me minimizes its effectiveness both in the visuals and for the way it intersects the stories.
After Jun’s story bits in the previous episode, it’s not too much of a surprise to see him/her avoiding contact with Kaya a bit since she doesn’t want to partner up with her in the way that Hajime has with Arashi. Of course, Jun is still putting on the pretense of being a boy but Kaya has seen easily through that and has no intention of making that kind of connection either. Naturally, things don’t go that smoothly and the two have the mildest of contacts which sets off the same kind of reaction that Hajime and Arashi had the first time as well. Before they know it, the two are back in Showa 20 or so and Kaya is set to relive part of her past once again. Jun is panicked over the entire thing, especially as Kaya starts to approach things in a manner of pushing her away and thinking of making changes to the past to save someone she cares about.
A good bit of time is spent with the pair dealing with the injured Master of the restaurant that Kaya used to visit frequently during this time. She’s obviously interested and cares about the man a lot, even though in reality she’s only know him a short time during that period, but she’s burdened with the knowledge that he’s essentially a dead man. Regardless of what may or may not happen during the war, it’s now some sixty years later in real time and he’s likely not around anymore and most certainly not the man she knew then. This kind of aspect to the powers that girls have is very interesting and can offer a good amount of story material but it’s being used only minimally at best, keeping it more implied than dealing with it outright which is a bit of a shame. Still, Kaya has a stronger reaction to this aspect of things than Arashi did during her trip back with Hajime which showcases some of the nice subtle differences between the two young/old women.
If anything really caught my attention this time around, it’s the growing detail and design being used for the actual settings and locations. Perhaps it’s been there with previous episodes, but this one felt like it was starker and more richly designed with its accents and color shadings than the previous episodes. The flooring design in the restaurant for example looks very engaging in the past sequence and the use of windows and color filters through them really adds a lot of great ambience and effect. It can’t save a dull as dishwater storyline, but it can make it prettier to watch play out.
Natsu no Arashi is closing in on the halfway mark and it’s working through the basics of the characters fairly well though nothing is terribly compelling. The characters have an appealing design and I’m really liking the location pieces as the show continues on, but the core storyline just hasn’t been there to really start tying anything together. It’s a harmless show but one that left me feeling kind of off about it since the first one. That provided a little hint that there’s something else going on here, but nowhere near enough to demand I come back for more. And after five weeks of episodes of this series, I’m still finding myself feeling the same way after each episode. There are things to like here, but it’s the parts and not the sum of it that’s interesting.
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.