Delving into relationships just a little bit, Natsu no Arashi spends an episode dealing with… nothing.
What They Say
Kaya questions Jun and asks her whether or not she should keep up this masquerade of pretending to be a boy. In the meantime, Arashi and Hajime create some make-shift baseball gear. With all his might, Hajime hurls a ball towards Arashi, who nails it right out of the park...and breaks the weather vane above the coffee house. The weather vane, we later learn is from the prewar days, which brings back a lot of memories to Arashi and Kaya...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There are two kinds of shows that can be hard to write about. Bad shows are very easy to write about because the level of awful can be fun to pick apart and look at. Good shows can be hard to write about because you want to avoid being too fanboyish over it and still be critical of the flaws it has. The hardest to write about are the ones that don’t have anything to them where they’re not good or bad but rather just there. Natsu no Arashi is a competently animated piece and it doesn’t fall into the trap of bad execution or anything, but it feels so empty and pointless and you finish an episode and it’s already forgettable.
The seventh episode of the series has left me feeling completely empty after watching it. Watching it a second time didn’t help either and I almost felt like I could feel the content of the episode slipping away just after each minute went by. The focus of the story is one about relationships, past and present, that initially gets kicked off when the weathervane on the Ark falls off and Hajime and Jun set about to fixing it. It presents the potentially intriguing idea that there may be others like Kaya and Arashi out there that have slipped through time but just haven’t made their way through the area yet, or that those there didn’t realize who or what they were. The possibility of the Ark being a nexus of sort is one that adds an interesting angle to the place and fits in with the past that we’ve seen of it.
The majority of the episode focuses on Kaya and Jun however as the two end up meeting up outside of the restaurant after Jun comes across some model friends of hers. It’s through this that we learn how Jun ended up wearing the men’s clothes as she does as she had worn an outfit for a shoot and wandered into the Ark and was assumed to be a guy. The girls that she knows are a bit vapid in a model kind of way which is disappointing since it’d be nice to avoid that stereotype sometimes. While chatting with them, Kaya comes across them and it starts an interesting meeting as Kaya is definitely perceived as a woman of classic elegance, both from her outfit and the way she carries herself. She ends up staying with Jun for awhile and the two of them get to know each other better as Kaya gets more exposure to the modern world in sometimes mildly cute and mildly fanservice oriented ways.
At this point I’m watching Natsu no Arashi purely out of inertia and because we’re past the halfway mark. With the show close to catching up to the present time we saw in the first episode, I’m hoping that there’s something of merit in here to justify the time I’ve put into it and that Kobayashi will surprise me. But with the manga still ongoing, I have very little hopes at this point. The things I’ve liked are still here, such as the character designs and some of the ideas, but this episode felt even worse than the last few because it was so… lazy. Nothing really happens here of any worth and it sums up the way I feel about the series in general. It has a certain laid back appeal, but it hasn’t presented anything that really ties it all together in a way that makes you want to see it. It’s not a horrible show but it’s simply uninteresting, which is almost worse.
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.