Ano Natsu de Matteru 07 – Mio’s Secret, Cosplaying Kanna, and True Feelings
February 23, 2012 2 Comments
This weeks Ano Natsu de Matteru treated us to the beautiful spectacle of not one, but two confessions that changed the dynamics of the group considerably. Kaori’s sudden feelings for Kaito were also called into question and eventually cleared up. Kaori was rejected by her boyfriend in Tokyo and went on a trip with Chiharu to Okinawa, it was an attempt by her to forget about everything that has happened and heal her heart. Her meeting with Kaito after all these years was purely a coincidence, but in him, someone she clearly had a bit of a crush on, she say someone for a rebound.
This episode was very well executed and demonstrated how to write a brilliant, witty, but also deeply emotional script for a romantic comedy. Seeing that classic scene that has appeared in so many romances, where Ichika stumbles on Kaito and Kaori apparently sharing an intimate moment (Kaori crying), only to run away was great. However, having the writers then surprise us by having Kaori be the better person by realising that she shouldn’t be interfering with Kaito’s and Ichika’s relationship was a wonderful twist. We even had Chiharu, after all that hard work – chasing Tetsurou around for what appears to be hours – decide to be quiet and leave Tetsurou and Mio alone to their thoughts and emotions. Kaori and Chiharu were essentially here as catalysts for the main casts relationships, and they did their job perfectly. If anything they were too good at it, and I confess to feeling a little sorry, especially for Kaori – she has clearly been hurt a lot by the breakup – who did the right thing, but hurt herself a little in doing so.
One of the major developments in this episode was between Mio and Tetsurou, their relationship is now pretty solid in many respects, even if they aren’t quite fully together just yet. Seeing Mio so utterly determined not to let Chiharu have her way with Tetsurou was great to see. It was however, topped by her sudden confession that she was actually a nudist – apparently her family is the same, and until she went to school, she thought it was natural – which was clearly eating away at her for quite some time. What was fascinating however was that the producers, far from bringing out loads of nudist jokes, actually managed to put a sentimental spin on the entire thing that made you feel sorry for Mio. It is clear that while Mio may be a nudist, she is still a fairly normal high school girl, and feared that she would be ostracised by everyone if they discovered her ‘secret’. But seeing Chiharu go after Tetsurou in such an aggressive manner appears to have been just the catalyst she needed, not only to talk to him about her problems, but also to finally confess her feelings for Tetsurou. Seeing his expressions during the episode after this confession also suggests that Tetsurou views Mio as more of a girl than he may have before. His embarrassment when Mio finally takes off that sweater to reveal her bikini underneath was priceless, and pushes forward the possibility that Mio and Tetsurou will end up together.
As for Kaito and Ichika, it was nice to see Ichika finally admit her feelings for Kaito, and let herself fall in love without worrying about anything else. Seeing Ichika get flustered when Kaori asks her if she is in love with Kaito is great, but in this case there is a certain element that shows she is in love and knows it, but is unwilling to admit to anyone, least of all herself. That battle of emotions finally comes to a head when Ichika gives him a sign that it is ok to approach her as a romantic partner – seeing them hold hands was a sweet moment, having it set against an Okinawan sunset simply sealed the deal. What was most surprising however was that Kaito even took the initiative, now he knows that both he and Ichika share mutual feelings of love. That he goes for a kiss so early on in the romance was a great move by the shows producers. We far too often see protagonists in romance anime only take the initiative within the last couple of episodes, and more often than not the final episode of the series. This seems to be taking a leaf out of Onegai Teacher’s book, where the romance between Kei and Mizuho properly started during the middle part of the series, with other events providing the drama.
This left us with Kanna and Remon – who apparently had a great time filming a completely sloshed Kanna, even going so far as to make her dress up in various cosplay outfits. Seeing her in a maid uniform with nekomimi was brilliant, made even better by her use of ‘nyaa’, a stroke of genius. This does however; bring us to a tricky place within this series. With the relationship between Ichika and Kaito finally established, along with Mio’s confession, and Tetsurou’s acknowledgement that she is a beautiful girl appears to leave Kanna out in the cold. This doesn’t surprise me in the least, since Kanna has been the least proactive character in the series so far, seemingly content with the way things are, and perhaps misleadingly believing that Kaito will one day notice her feelings for him. A trip to Okinawa would seem like the perfect opportunity to announce her feelings for Kaito (rather than have Tetsurou do it), however she seems incapable of doing so. All the while, Ichika has finally realised and acknowledged her feelings for Kaito, and Mio confessed, they have acted first. It does appear that Remon saw this coming saw this coming a mile away, and essentially did Kanna a favour by getting her incredibly drunk on the might Dynamite Drink. Kanna would have been utterly heartbroken if she had truly realised what she was witnessing when stumbling in on Kaito and Ichika. Although, having said that, Remon still didn’t miss an opportunity for a bit of covert filming, she must have enough footage by now to make 10 films at least.
The confessions in this episode are only the beginning however, and I feel that they will only serve to complicate the emotions within the group as the series progresses. If nothing else, having Tetsurou finally aware of Mio’s feelings, along with Ichika and Kaito now understanding each other will potentially make day-to-day interaction amongst the group more problematic. Next wek promises to be very entertaining with the ‘festival episode’ and what appears to be Kanna finally taking the initiative and going on the attack at last. We also have the issue of Rinon, who appeared to be quite scared, along with a shot at the end of Ichika’s ship flying off into space (probably to do with the malfunction last episode). It seems clear that along with the change in the group dynamics, things are going to get significantly more complicated for Ichika in relation to her reasons for being on Earth, along with whether or not it is even legal. If anything, Rinon’s reaction, along with seeing her ship disappear into space may be a precursor of things to come, along with potentially the overall finale of the series itself, we shall see. As a final note, this weeks narration was provided by Ichika instead of Kaito, which is another little nod to Onegai Teacher where the narration was shared by Kei and Mizuho.