English: Summer Storm!
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 6, 2009 to Jun 29, 2009
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.471 (scored by 7162 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThirteen-year-old Yasaka is a boy staying at his grandfather's house during his summer vacation. One day he entered a store and met Arashi, a beautiful sixteen-year old girl working there. After trying to protect her from a man who claims to have been hired by her family to take her back by force, Yasaka ran away with her and now she stays at his grandpa's place with him. It didn't take much time for Yasaka to figure out that his new friend is far from an ordinary girl, as she possesses mysterious powers. The plot thickens when he finds a sixty-year-old picture of Arashi and another girl named Kaja, and to the surprise of all Kaja suddenly appears, and just like Arashi, her appearance hasn't changed at all since then.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Natsu no Arashi!
Sequel: Natsu no Arashi! Akinaichuu
Characters & Voice Actors
It’s a crime that this series seems to be so unappreciated and under viewed when clichéd garbage such as Maria Holic gets overhyped and legions of fanboys. I only bring up Maria Holic because it was made by the same studio, SHAFT, and I feel both have a kind of niche quality to them. However where Maria falls on its face, Natsu no Arashi! emerges as one of the best shows of 2009.
To sum up the storyline in a word it would be; quirky. From the beginning of the first episode and from just looking at the promotional art you might think this is just yet another school comedy romance. That wouldn’t be a big surprise since the author of the source material is Jin Kobayashi who is probably best known for creating School Rumble. However this notion of it being just a romance-comedy is quickly turned on its head as it takes a turn for the bizarre and supernatural. Ghosts, time travel, comedy, and romance put together makes for one of the most unusual and original shows I’ve seen.
Everything about Natsu no Arashi! feels fresh and new. I have seen quite a few series now and that is not a feeling I get all that often anymore either. Natsu is very funny, and that is one thing Jin Kobayashi understands well. Though I am not a huge fan of his work, even though I find a lot of it funny it always eventually seems to annoy me. It’s rare that I watch a comedy and don’t feel like I am watching the same joke told over and over. It is even rarer still that a comedy manages to use echii humor and for it to come across as completely tasteful and non perverted. I don't recall seeing any ones boobs or panties even once yet this series oozes sex appeal.
Time travel is the most important element of the plot. Many of the familiar paradoxes are brought up along with the consequences and ramifications of altering the past in regards to the future. Some of the technobabble gobblygook is likely to give you a headache but several of the shows more funny gags are made possible with time travelling. In particular Sayaka's believe that taking expired milk into the past before its expiration date will make it good to drink.
The only real negative in terms of the plot is that it is a bit confusing and strange at time. By the end it all makes sense but for the first half of the series your likely to be scratching your head a lot and wondering what on earth is going on. Some people aren’t going to like this and the way the series is structured, starting at the end and then flashbacking to the beginning can be a bit hit or miss. That’s the only thing I can really complain about. That and it was too short! Good news is that a second season is in the works!
Hajime and Arashi are without a doubt one of my favorite lead character duos. My first impression of Hajime was he looks just like Luffy from One Piece! Beyond the physical resemblance there is nothing else in common with him. He’s a likeable lead and makes a great narrator for the story. There isn’t a lot of back story on him but see him grow up over the course of the series. Arashi herself is just a great character. Most of the shows sex appeal is because of her. It goes to show that you can have sexy characters without gravity defying breasts and skirts so short they barely cover the hips. We learn a lot about her past and she remains and interesting character until the very end.
The rest of the supporting cast is also very good. As Arashi's best friend, Kaya is basically the complete opposite of Arashi in personality. She is very important to the main story and we get about as much character development from her as any of the other leads. Jun is the one character I would have liked to have seen more screen time and back story for. Perhaps I will get my wish in the next season. Sayaka is quite funny as the con artist owner of the Ark in which most of the cast works. The best of the shows running gags flows through her. I could go on and on about the entire cast but I can’t find one that I didn’t really love, right down to the cafe customer who futilely asks for the salt during the entire series.
The art and animation is absolutely gorgeous. SHAFT always does a fine job in this area but in Natsu I think they really outdid themselves. The backgrounds and settings are beautiful but it’s the character models which I really fell in love with. As I mentioned the show has just this sexy and a bit erotic feel to it despite not feeling like its being exploitive. I thought everything was just very tastefully done. Especially when compared to the tacky way most anime series do things.
Sound, music, acting is all tremendous. Natsu has a great cast including some personal favorites such as Yui Horie. The OP theme is really tremendous both musically and artistically with the animation. It’s one of the sexiest OPs I think I have ever seen. The incidental music and EN songs are all great as well.
Natsu no Arashi! is truly a work of art and genius. If you haven’t seen this yet then I have to ask, what are you waiting for? I’m not sure where I would rank it in regards to everything else I have seen but it’s one of the few series I can find almost no major faults with. I give it my highest possible recommendation.
Kanako: How are you today, Yayoi?
Yayoi: I’m feeling very well, Kanako.
Kanako: I see. I’m glad to hear that.
Yayoi: I saw another very interesting anime.
Kanako: What was the title of the anime you liked so much, I wonder?
Yayoi: That is… Ah, I seem to have forgotten the title.
Kanako: Will you tell me what kind of story it was?
Yayoi: Yes, I would be happy to.
It was a story that crossed time. It was a story of a girl and a boy who… But I don’t want to spoil all the fun, you should just try to watch it some time, Kanako.
Kanako: My my, is it really good?
Yayoi: Yes quite. Let me explain some points of this anime.
Yayoi: Listen carefully Kanako. At first, I thought it was just another annoying anime because of the primitive style of animation which actually made the characters look goofy accompanied by the funky opening music that sounds like something from the 80’s but after watching its first episode, I was surprised that it was actually funny and with how well written the script was. Each of its scenes had relevance to what is happening and all of these were connected in which I find it very clever. It also services you with a bit of laughs while not going too off-topic with its main story. Even if it was a comedy anime, it still had its sense of focus which I really admire as most comedy anime nowadays don’t have those and thinks that it is good as long that they can make their viewers chuckle with some corny gestures and overused jokes in which most of the time are nonsensical.
Kanako: Pretty interesting. What are other things that I could expect from this anime? I wonder.
Yayoi: As I’ve mentioned, the art style was a bit of a turn-off at first because of the ancient style of art but afterwards, I’ve noticed myself already liking it. It also has similarities in animation with, say… Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. It has different styles that vary from real life pictures to old school animation. It also uses the quick flashes and eerie dark scenes that Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has. The backgrounds on the other hand are marvelously great adding up to the feel was the great use of its lightings which gives off a feeling of liveliness. But what I really liked the most was the ingenious use of different camera angles which gives viewers a feeling of excitement and alternate ways to perceive the story. This is of course by the animation studio SHAFT; and if you know them, they always try to bring on something refreshing and new.
Kanako: Yayoi, you have mentioned before about the funky music. Can you please elaborate it more for me?
Yayoi: I’ll try my best. The opening song “Atashi dake ni kakete” sounded like something from an anime that was aired around the 80’s which I find really cheesy but then after some more episodes, I found myself liking it. The ending songs on the other hand “Kirari Futari” and another two are really great as I also feel the need to restrain myself from dancing with the beat in the way Arashi does at the background. But what made me fell in love with this anime was the excellent use of the background music and the sound effects. It’s very detailed that it feels like you’re just beside them the whole time.
Kanako: Love?! Why would you fall in love with a mere anime just because of its music? Now I’m starting to hate it.
Yayoi: You should see it first before hating it, Kanako. Here, I’ll summarize some of the happenings in it. The first episode is actually the second to the last episode in which the 13th episode is the part 2 of the first episode. It is actually pretty confusing at first but as the story goes along, most of the things that are occurring will be explained while not missing out on the fun. It doesn’t give you a huge pile of info dump as to why this or that occurred with some extra-terrestrial geeky scientific explanation which the makes viewers confused at times; it is very light-hearted and just simple which makes it enjoyable. As you go further and deeper with its story, more characters are being introduced which keeps the story interesting. There were also bits of drama that made me feel nostalgic. Of course, the power of friendship is always there which could really get the viewer’s hearts easily. But I can’t consider it as perfect as still, some of the issues here were unexplained and one thing that really bugged me was that why the characters needed someone to “connect” with and travel through time. It was definitely unexplained which I hope will be given out more thought on its sequel.
Kanako: You’ve only mentioned the story but not much with its characters. Can you tell me a thing or two about them?
Yayoi: As much as I don’t want to spoil, I guess I could tell you some itty-bitty facts about them. The characters here are very unique. At first, because of the character designs, I thought that the main lead character named Hajime was the typical jerk who’d rather want to sacrifice his self for the sake of others and is a loser boy who ends up being a hero afterwards; but I was wrong. He is cool and funny to begin with, and what’s best is he’s not annoying. Most of the characters in the same genre had same male leads but end up being annoying and nonsensical afterwards. As much as I’d want to discuss the other characters namely the beautiful lady Arashi, the German exchange student Kaja, the girly-boy Jun, the con artist Sayaka, the soft tough guy Hideo, and the strange duo of Ka– and Ya–, I could only end up spoiling all of their details and I don’t want that to happen, as much is cloaked about them and will be unveiled as the story progresses. Out of all the characters, Jun was the one I’ve really liked because of the down-to-earth attitude which makes it very realistic. Unlike other comedy anime, the characters here are not monotonous. Most of them are deep and with every episode that passes by, you can see their gradual change. The characters’ idiosyncratic characteristics made them stand out from other anime with the same genre.
Kanako: Did I hear clearly? I’ve heard Ka– and Ya–. They do have beautiful names I must say.
Yayoi: I definitely agree to that. They also do have this weird segment in the anime where they review a book that the other girl have read but can’t seem to remember the title. She summarizes out the story and then she’d always remember a line from the book.
Kanako: What is it? Will you tell me?
Kanako: Amazing! If you’ve remembered the title of this anime, please tell me as I’m definitely going to watch this, Yayoi.
Yayoi: I’ll be sure to do so, Kanako. read more
Both series centre around a uniform-wearing girl with unusual powers who originates from a bygone era. Natsu no Arashi has a lot more humour and slice-of-life aspects compared to Tasogare Otome's fairly consistant drama and seriousness, but both series have a reasonable enough balance of humour and seriousness that they're still very comparable. Additionally, they both have a similar directorial style -- not all THAT surprising, given Oonuma Shin worked on both.
The main heroines look alike and Arashi is also a kind of a ghost just like yuuko
A few parallels, but the overall feel to this anime is very similar; though quite subtle.
Both series has the protagonist and a ghost girl hanging out with him doing cute things here and there.
Both series contain romance, comedy, and drama. Both the protagonist in these two series also contain similar personalities and has a complex relationship with the main protagonist.
The plot also thickens as episodes progresses as both series unravels the secrets of the ghosts in both series.
Opening Theme"Atashi dake ni Kakete (あたしだけにかけて)" by Omokage Lucky Hole
Ending Theme#1: "Kirari Futari (キラリ フタリ)" by Ryoko Shiraishi
#2: "Hito Natsu no Keiken 「ひと夏の経験」" by Ryoko Shiraishi (ep 6)
#3: "Kassai 「喝采」" by Yui Horie (ep 11)
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