The larger storyline suddenly makes a forward appearance in the series after much time travel dialogue is displayed.
What They Say:
At the Ark Coffee Shop, the owner makes a special request to everyone. She asks them to travel back into time and bring back non-expired mackerel sushi so that she can eat it. Kaya strongly opposes to such a ridiculous request, while Jun states that if you have the ability to go back you can essentially do anything. This causes a huge debate on the ethics of time travel and changing history and if they were to jump back to an altered reality...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Natsu no Arashi has been plainly laying some of the groundwork for its larger storyline for awhile, but it’s done it in such a small manner that it felt like a tagged on piece that you knew would be important but couldn’t really care about. With a few bare snippets given per episode, if that and often just as the front end teaser, it’s easy to forget about these moments in the larger context and just go for the silliness that’s present and laugh if you find it funny. With the humor falling flat for me and the teases not being much of anything, I have to admit I was glad to see this episode where a couple of things actually happen.
The first half of the episode, past the teaser at least, revolves around something familiar which is fairly annoying. The previous episode had a piece where Kaya and Arashi were trying to be convinced by the owner to go back and time with some expired milk so it wouldn’t be expired anymore. It was an exercise in pure stupidity and I felt just like Kaya did except I had the option to turn the pain off. If that wasn’t bad enough, they try to do it again here by dealing with some mackerel that’s expired and she’s trying to convince them to go back in time six months. Of course, it wasn’t even on the supermarket shelves then, it leads to other issues and you can’t believe the cast is having this argument. It suddenly turns into a big piece where Hajime of all people starts explaining the ideas of how time travel works and whether they’re really traveling through time or shifting to different worlds/realities where the changes they make have taken place. It’s an intriguing idea if the cast members themselves weren’t such uninteresting blooming idiots.
The idea of the other realities and the impact on people is given some time here as the episode plays on as both Arashi and Hajime wonder if saving Sankichi in the past from his death means that his descendants suddenly popped up into the present now and how that affected things. There’s an encounter with one of them, of course, and it pushes the idea that they may have done the right thing but they do wonder what other affects it might have. There’s not too much time spent on this beyond some heartwarming moments as the woman who has been sending the private investigator to acquire Arashi steps into the series fully as she gives up on the investigator doing his job. Confronting Arashi after teasing her lightly in the Ark restaurant, Arashi’s life suddenly seems a lot more complex as the woman threatens Arashi, overpowers her and whips out a crossbow to keep Hajime at bay. It’s not exactly intriguing, but it’s the first sign of anything significant and different happening in the series so far that it almost – almost – makes me want to check out another episode of my own free will.
Natsu no Arashi is moving into the home stretch, though it can only go so far since the manga is still ongoing. The background storyline that’s been slowly winding its way through the series is taking center stage here but it continues to be coy in what’s really going on. As talked about with previous episodes, there’s been little here that’s really kept me entertained and providing some actual meat to the story now doesn’t really entice me much either. Something about Natsu no Arashi simply doesn’t click for me and almost pushes me away from it at times, which is saying a lot considering some of the trash I’ve seen over the years. It’s a competent show, but the execution and actual story has just been bland to say the least.
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.