Natsu no Arashi! – 04

夏のあらし! Episode 04
(Summer Storm)
Natsu no Arashi! – 04

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Natsu no Arashi! - 04Hajime is all happy about the secret that he and Arashi share regarding what she is, but he’s dismayed when Arashi happily tells Jun that she’s a ghost and can time travel. After a discussion of movies at Ark, it is revealed that the film making group is doing a film at the Oukurayama Women’s High School, which Hajime recalls is the school Arashi said she was attending when they went to World War II Japan.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04Since there is rumors of ghosts at this old, abandoned school, Arashi convinces Hajime and Jun to come with her. She takes them to the library, where she pulls a photo from an old book. It shows her and a German girl from the 40’s. Jun still doesn’t want to accept that Arashi is a ghost but Hajime is excited for actual proof. Jun and Hajime take the photo to a local photo guy, who recognizes it immediately as he took it when he was a young man in the 40’s. Jun is still not convinced that Arashi is a ghost though.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04Arashi has agreed to appear in the movie, though Master tries to get in as the star. The movie team also hire Jun and Hajime for their film, which is set in World War II Japan. After Jun and Hajime finish their scene, Arashi is set for her scene. Everyone is stunned by her beauty and grace as she stands at the top of the school’s staircase.

Jun sees this and since it is the same spot where Arashi and Natsu no Arashi! - 04the girl were photoed, Jun believes that Arashi wasn’t acting but simply doing what she’d done 60-years earlier. Arashi misses her friend Kaja and after Hajime suggests they go look for her, Arashi is upset with herself for missing the obvious. Arashi figures that Kaja is a grandmother now but to everyone’s surprise, Kaja walks in, looking as she did in the photo.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04After talking a bit, Kaja expresses disappointment at learning Arashi lost the diary Kaja gave her. So Arashi takes Hajime back to the past where they retrieve the diary, where Kaja has left the message for Arashi to meet at Ark. Returning to the present, Hajime realizes why Arashi lost the diary in the past.

Thoughts/Review:

Natsu no Arashi! - 04Since the beginning, there was something in the back of my mind regarding this anime that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It had to do with the style the anime is being done in and was like a lone, blinking alarm light on a display panel. As I watched this episode today, I looked at that alarm light more closely in my mind’s eye and thought, “SHAFT!” I generally don’t pay attention to who produces what unless I get annoyed and then I look them up.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04In this case, I had to confirm that what the blinking light in my mind’s eye was telling me was in fact reality. Sure enough, I look this up and discover SHAFT is in charge of the production. No wonder from a stylistic perspective, things are so strange. No wonder from a humor perspective, this series has been very funny to “meh” on the comedy front. No wonder the animation is so terrible at times (done in the name of “style” you understand). So many things are clear to me now with the simple revelation of who produced this anime. That’s not to say SHAFT is a bad company, but I do think they try to be a little too clever by half at times, which is why they sometimes fail in the comedy front and in the general presentation of a story.

Now onto the episode.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04With the introduction of Kaja (“Kaya” as it continues to be done in the Crunchyroll translation), we get a bit more plot laid out without any real explanation of what is going on. Considering that Kaja and Arashi come from the World War II era, I rather like the idea of Kaja being a German national living in Japan. Germany and Japan were considered part of the “Axis” powers at that time, so it makes a certain poetic sense for a German girl and a Japanese girl to be friends from that time. I’m not so sure there were too many German’s living in Japan during World War II, but maybe the anime will have a logical Natsu no Arashi! - 04reason for her being in Japan at all.

So plot-wise, we have both Arashi and Kaja doing what? Its still too early to say, but I do find it strange that both girls would be alive and have these powers. What’s so special about Ark? What “mission” might be keeping them alive? Who hired the detective to get Arashi? Who’s the other guy (Sogoru) reporting to? Will Motsu from Negima!? show up? ^_~

Natsu no Arashi! - 04Since SHAFT decided to play an episode out of order and reveal everyone’s powers and that everyone knows everything at Ark, I feel it lessens the impact of Jun’s discovery and acceptance of Arashi being a ghost. The moment Arashi blurted it out to Jun, I thought, “OK, so now we are going to see Jun come to accept that truth” because with episode 1, we already know that Jun does accept this and even travels with Kaja. I’m still at a loss to know why SHAFT did things this way, but oh well.

Natsu no Arashi! - 04The joke segments with the detective having his water, gas, and cell phone cut off due to not paying the bills after the speeding ticket didn’t make me laugh, nor did his attempts to use wasabi, soy sauce, etc. as a food substitute. I don’t know if these jokes are in the manga (possibly as a 4-koma extra) but it didn’t work this time. It did work for me last episode though. I think it is a SHAFT thing.

Still, I like this episode even if it appears I might not be so keen on it. It is just that there was nothing on the positive side that was really great, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching the episode.

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