Natsu no Arashi Manga Volume 01 Review

夏のあらし!
Natsu no Arashi Manga Volume 01 (Tankoubon)

–> Purchase Volume 1 from YesAsia!

SPOILERS!

Natsu no Arashi Manga Volume 01Being a fan of KOBAYASHI Jin-sensei’s School Rumble, hearing that an anime version of one of his other manga titles, Natsu no Arashi, would be created, I watched said anime despite it being a Shaft title.  I’ve been really wanting to read the original Natsu no Arashi manga, but at present, there’s no way to read it all with my current abilities. 🙁 Nevertheless, I did have an opportunity to buy read volume 1 and thought I’d write a post about it. ^_^

The story, in brief, has junior high boy YASAKA Hajime come to his grandfather’s house in a small, Japanese town for the summer where he ends up at a local coffee shop (Hakobune), run by a con artist named Sayaka (referred to as “Master” since she runs the place) where a beautiful, traditional-looking girl named Arashi works. Also there is another person Hajime’s age named Jun. A bounty hunter named Murata is looking for Arashi and Hajime stands up to him, whereby Arashi discovers she has a “connection” with Hajime and thus can time-travel to World War II Japan with him.

Hajime and Jun get conned into working the cafe with Arashi as Hajime gets Jun to help him figure out what is going on with Arashi, especially after a small film company uses her for their film to shoot a scene at her old school, whereby she produces an old photograph of herself and a girl named Kaja, whom had been her best friend. Hajime can’t believe she’s a ghost but when they actually meet the old photographer who took the picture, Hajime decides Arashi has to be a time traveler.

When Kaja shows up in the present, not having aged a day from the photo either, Arashi lets Hajime know that she is a time traveler but only with him since they have a connection. To prove it, she goes to the 1940’s to her school to retrieve the diary that Kaja had lent to Arashi, but which had become lost back then. Arashi finds it on her desk and returns to the present with it, thus revealing how the diary had become lost in the first place.

Having seen the anime already, I already know many of the secrets and such that the manga will provide. However, one thing that has already stood out to me is that in the anime, Arashi and Jun did a lot of time traveling from the start whereas in the manga, this plot element is introduced in the first chapter, then pushed aside until the sixth chapter.

Another thing that stood out to me is that the manga seems to imply that Arashi and Kaja aren’t ghosts but rather have become unstuck in time. They exist and do not age, but are otherwise human.  I seem to recall the anime not making an assertion on whether they were ghosts or not, but seeming to imply that they were. I could be mistaken though since it has been a while since I watched the anime.

The main plot regarding Arashi and Kaja suddenly acquiring this time traveling power 60-years earlier during World War II makes me really long to be able to read the entire manga series.  After all, the anime didn’t really resolve anything, if I recall correctly, and I’m curious to see where Kobayashi-sensei was going with all this.  Unfortunately, I only have access to volume 2 and the fan community is not exactly clamoring for this manga to be translated nor licensed.

So, volume 1 has a nice introduction to some of the major players (two more coming later) and the plot elements, but mostly concentrates on allowing the characters to become known to the readers.  I liked what I read and really wish the manga were licensed in the U.S.

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2 Responses to “Natsu no Arashi Manga Volume 01 Review”

  1. Zohar says:

    I love KOBAYASHI Jin’s SR!
    I have read the whole story of Natsu no Arashi and in my humble opinion the manga is a masterpiece. Although not so funny as SR, the manga is romantic and very serious in the aspect of the war. The anime is bad and too far away from the main story line. Hope my comment won’t spoil…

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I have the tankoubons and have looked through them. The war stuff does look pretty intense and thus it saddens me that (1) no U.S. company has licensed it and (2) no scanlations exist much beyond volume 2.

    The anime had its moments. There was stuff I really hated in the anime, but there was stuff that made me laugh my butt off. I do remember an episode dealing with some of the war aspects, which I liked.

    Anyway, I hope to be able to read the whole manga someday.

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