Ano Natsu de Matteru 02 – Aliens, drinking games, and Lemon
January 19, 2012 Leave a comment
This weeks Ano Natsu was all about Lemon (Remon) really – while many other things happened including some wonderful jealous antics from Kanna, to the classic King Game while drunk – the show was stolen by Lemon and her pure brilliance.
It was great seeing Kanna engage in some jealous goodness this week, attempting to get her own back on Kaito for allowing Ichika to stay at his house – and holding nothing back either when we get a nice bit of underage drinking going on. I have to hand it to Lemon (Remon) – Ichigo 2.0 with added fufufu – for spiking everyone’s drinks and making things a little interesting (Cougar pose anyone?). At this point in time its hard to tell if Lemon was simply entertaining herself – perhaps a little evil, sadistic tendency – or trying to confirm her suspicions about Ichika (more likely a bit of both actually). The end result of all this drinking was a wonderful love triangle moment, and of course showcasing her mischievous personality – with lines delivered in that deadpan way that only Tamura Yukari seems capable of – makes for some great comedy. Ultimately I feel that Lemon and her mischievous personality may be the catalyst, which leads Kaito to make his choice between Ichika and Kanna. We saw this similar role for Ichigo in Onegai Teacher; she was always the one to push Herikawa forward into confessing to Kei, and I see no reason why the same could not happen here.
Obviously this high school romance involves an alien in the shape of Ichika, who crash lands on earth, fatally wounding Kaito who seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oddly, Ichika appears to be keeping Kaito alive with what can only be described as some form of intergalactic kissing technology, since every time whatever she did to him acts up, we see Ichika kissing him. Much like Onegai Teacher this seems to be simply the setup for their romantic encounter and the start of their relationship. I have no doubt that the alien technology will come up again in future episodes, much like Onegai Teacher, but I also don’t see it being the focus of the show itself. Instead Ano Natsu is shaping up to be a great romantic comedy with an alien, a mischievous Lemon, a jealous Kanna, and a strange alien computer thingy called Rinon, quite normal if you ask me.
One of the highlights of this episode was seeing Ichika floundering and utterly failing at hiding the fact that she is an alien. During the little meeting where Kaito’s sister is asking what on earth is going on we see Ichika looking like she just wants to come out and admit that she is an alien from another planet. In fact she does as much with her babbling about Quan Linkage, different planets, and something called Alta Rate that is clearly very scientific and is the reason why she was hugging Kaito while naked. With this going on its clearly only a matter of time before Kaito finds out who she is, much like Kei and Mizuho, thus further pushing forward their relationship. I would hardly be disappointed at this, I mean the show is already clear that its plot is pretty similar to Onegai Teacher, and I think a lot of my enjoyment is seeing a similar story played out with different characters. Nostalgia is an important and powerful tool, and Ano Natsu is playing on that quite heavily, and so far, pretty successfully to.
My one small issue with this episode comes in the form of Ichika’s dream – basically to see a lake surrounded by mountains and trees – seems a little flimsy to me to come half-way across the galaxy (one assumes) and by the looks of things running through a debris net from intergalactic cleaners, thus crash landing. I’m sure it will all make sense in a later episode, when they undoubtedly find the location right next to their small town in Nagano prefecture. We shall see, it is a small issue, and didn’t really take anything away from my enjoyment of the episode.
We had some wonderful tender moments in the episode between Kaito and his sister Nanami – although Nanami spent most of the time crying like the overly emotional big sister she clearly is – along with Kaito and Ichika. Seeing Ichika being so cute and nervous at the beginning was great, and it got better when Kaito took her shopping for clothes. The best part however was those pyjamas –whoever thought of brining back the almighty Mizuho Kazami negligee is clearly a genius – a classic if there ever was one. The end of the episode gave me the impressions that the romance was going to start pretty soon if it hasn’t already. We had a very tender moment between Kaito and Ichika, towards the end of the episode, furthermore there are hints of other relationships and love interests amongst the group, mostly going unsaid, potentially to come out in later episodes (I would assume that this is very likely).
Ano Natsu is also not shy about the similarities to Onegai Teacher – of which there are many – this is most obvious with the way we get Mizuho’s trademark ‘saiyuusenjikou’ (top priority) line in the preview for next week. It’s nice to see that the show acknowledges that there are numerous similarities with Onegai Teacher, but is unafraid to use them and add even more. I love Onegai Teacher so much that none of this matters, and actually shouldn’t matter anyway since the show has so far been great fun to watch.