Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu – Final Thoughts

夏のあらし!春夏冬中 Review
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Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu – Final Thoughts

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsSHAFT is always hit-or-miss when it comes to comedy anime titles. When they get a hit, they can knock the ball out of the ballpark. When they miss, it can be so bad sometimes as to have the bat fly out of their hands, sail into the stands, and whack multiple people in the crowd as it moves like a boomerang. Such is the case with Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu, the sequel of Natsu no Arashi! Fortunately, there’s more good than bad here.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsSHAFT gets things started right by having the first episode re-introduce the characters and situations. SHAFT also establishes the theme of sorts for this series — Arashi and Hajime’s relationship and Jun’s dealing with her own relationship with Hajime as well as her attempts to keep her identity as a girl hidden from him and the others.

On the Jun front, I like how the writers seem to be setting up a future relationship between Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsHajime and herself. Considering how she knows that Arashi and the other ghosts will be gone at summer’s end, she finds herself concerned about Hajime and Arashi’s relationship. She also finds herself blushing over Hajime quite often. At times, Arashi encourages Jun to have a better relationship with Hajime, maybe not so much in a romantic sense, but in other ways. Jun’s problems would be solved if she revealed her secret to Hajime, but that would kill a humor angle so that won’t happen.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsThe real highlight of the series is the development of the relationship between Hajime and Arashi. It has been clear since the previous series that Hajime loves Arashi but as Arashi revealed to Jun, her feelings back were more complicated due to her being a ghost and her existence being tied to the summer. So while she cares for Hajime, she admits that she uses him for her own purposes — the trips back to the past being chief among them.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsArashi’s feelings for Hajime begin to develop a bit more when she goes back to just prior to their “official” first meeting. However, Arashi’s feelings for Hajime are cemented when he travels back in time with Yayoi, Kanako, and Murata to encounter Arashi when she was Hajime’s age in 1940. His helping her with a group of bullies caused her to fall in love with him and once she realized that in the present (thanks to Jun and Kaja finding Arashi’s treasure — Hajime’s broken glasses), it changes how Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughtsshe reacts to him in the present and that results in some humorous events as she becomes jealous of Hajime to match his own jealousy of her.

This lone trip to 1940 is the only trip to WWII Japan as the show focused less on the drama of the past in favor of more comedy moments. However, I found it a nice contrast to the later war times when Japan was being beaten. Japan of 1940 had Japan king of the Pacific and this came across somewhat in the episode.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsOn the humor front, I didn’t find Akinai-chuu as funny as the first series. There were only two standout comedy episodes. The first was episode 4 with Hajime visiting Jun’s house for the first time and her desperate attempts to hide all evidence of her being female. The second came from the final episode where SHAFT goes back to the fruit bomb well and manage to keep things very funny and even have a fresh take on the old joke.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsWhile many of the episodes were amusing, SHAFT continued to go to the bad joke well. The first and biggest one were the “I read a book” jokes which were mainly done by Yayoi and Kanako. They were annoying enough in the first series, but they were a bit more tolerable because Kanako and Yayoi were not part of the story for a while and this was a way to keep them involved. Now, the jokes are Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughtssimply used to kill time. To try to shake things up, SHAFT shifts the jokes to focus on foods, especially when Murata would call in an order for delivery only to have Yayoi and and Kanako mess it up. Well, I didn’t laugh for any variation of these jokes because they annoyed me. It is possible that if I understood the joke references, I might have liked them, but I kinda doubt it.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsThe other worn out joke was the Salt Guy, aka: Shioya (a pun name as the Japanese word for salt is shio). For two series covering twenty-five total episodes, this guy begs for someone to give him salt and I was worn out by it. It only became mildly amusing in episode 12, when SHAFT seemed to be making fun of themselves in how they treated this joke and the fans. SHAFT does finally let the bozo get his salt in the end so if there’s a third series, I don’t want any of these old salt jokes.

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsSHAFT does some parody stuff in this series as well, as they are wont to do. I’m sure there were lots of tributes but the two most notable ones were having the entire cast of School Rumble cameo during the onsen trip in episode 2 and then the E.T. nod in episode 3. As a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I noticed Geordi’s VISOR in episode 5, which also featured several mahou shoujo characters, including Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final ThoughtsTuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. Other parody stuff is going to be deeply rooted in a knowledge of things Japanese, especially the parody album covers or even the dances Master and the others sometimes engage in for no reason.

The series continues to leave one strange plot thread out there, that of the old man “Sogoru.” He’s been there from Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughtsthe start and there’s seemingly something big going on with him, but that has never been explained. The biggest role he has was in episode 12 when “he” turns out to be a “she” and a manga-ka at that. Its all weird and I guess I should check into what little of the manga is available to me to see if there are answers.

In the end, SHAFT does its usual hit-or-miss on the comedy Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughtsbut on the whole, most things work out nicely. The natural development in Hajime’s and Arashi’s relationship is very welcome and with the door open for another series in the future, I look forward to seeing more, though I could do without certain fanservice and ecchi comedy moments. Now, if only Del Rey would license the manga. ^_^

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughts

Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Final Thoughts

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5 Responses to “Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu – Final Thoughts”

  1. Todd says:

    There are a couple of volumes of the manga that are translated online. You should check them out.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard that. I’ll need to do that…and remember to do that among all the other things I have to do. *lol*

  3. Anonymous says:

    Shaft needed filler which is why they used all of those book and food segments.

  4. scorpiowolf says:

    The best part of that whole kiss-pose sequence was at the end where Jun pulls a Shining Wizard on Hajime, for no particular reason I really enjoyed that, lol.

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Some of the wrestling moves in anime strike me as funny because of the way they are played. I think of Chisame’s move on Sousuke in FMA:Fumoffu. ^_^

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