A trip to the past unearths more of Yayoi’s story.
What They Say:
“ The World Exists for Us Two - Yayoi”
In an attempt to save Arashi after she has her powers sucked up, Hajime and the man with the sunglasses creep into Kanako's residence. However, they could not get past Kanako's watchful eye as they fell under her attacks. While avoiding Kanako's attacks and knives, Hajime comes into contact with Yayoi and both are sent back in time to the middle of the war. They touchdown on a hill on the outskirts of town, where at that time, Yayoi first met Kanako. As they approached US aircrafts, attacks commenced...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Unsurprisingly, Natsu no Arashi spends just about all of this episode in the past as Yayoi and Hajime have connected. With the setup given to us in the episode before about the relationship that Yayoi and Kanako share, this one takes us back to that time in the 40’s just before it all went badly. With so many trips into the past now and how each one is designed to explain away a good bit of the character motivations, there isn’t anything too terribly meaningful here with this one. It has a slightly more somber edge to it considering the content itself, but overall the impact has been lessened with each trip, be they sill or serious.
For Hajime and Yayoi, it’s a little different simply because Yayoi is so emotionally dead in a way with how she feels about the past. Her situation where her legs no longer work has plenty of impact since she’s long felt she can’t help do anything for Kanako, and that she must be a burden for Kanako. Ending up in the past with Hajime is very difficult for her as she sees the young and brash Kanako as well as the far more innocent version of herself in a way. Her life has taken such a strange turn since the war as has Kanako’s that there’s a resentment of sorts that you can see in her expressions and the way she talks. But when she sees that young Kanako again in a setting she hadn’t when she was the same age, it brings back so much to her. What makes it powerful, albeit it briefly, is when she realizes she’s about to lose Kanako in the past, present and future, it motivates her in a way that she thought was impossible and thus changes her worldview.
This particular story isn’t exactly a sidestep of the current plot, but rather the method through which the season finale is going to be handled as it’s bringing in the back story to it all. It’s a fairly significant excursion however since it takes up an entire episode and it mostly removes a good chunk of the cast. Kaya and Arashi do show up for awhile by providing some past-life moments where they get to perform, but that felt a bit more like it was pushing the voice actresses singing careers more than anything else. It was certainly nice and pleasant, but I find myself somewhat jaded on it even if it does fit in modestly well with the actual story at hand.
Natsu no Arashi is very mild when it comes to Arashi as its focus is on that of Hajime and Yayoi in the past. With so little time to really develop either Yayoi or Kanako, it’s not a surprise that they’ve dedicated an entire episode to fleshing out things when it comes to the pair and their relationship. It also posits some fun little moments about the cause and effect of time travel, but often this seems little more than some cute afterthoughts that are meant to get the time travel fanboys all a twitter as they talk about the logistics of it. This is an enjoyable enough episode considering what it is and its placement in the series, but it hasn’t made the next episode a must watch piece either. And that’s been the crux of the problem for the series for me since the start.
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.