The summer of a man's boyhood memories continue. Still on the cusp between childhood and being a man, he has linked with the ghost of a young woman from the World War 2 era. She, and the ghosts of other young ladies from that time, continue adventures alongside their linked partners, learning more about each other and travelling through time via their supernatural connection. While he struggles to see his crush on her come to fruition, meanwhile his friend—a girl his age, pretending to be a boy—seeks his attention as well.
Not as good as the first season, but still worth watching.
Season 1 of Natsu no Arashi!, if I had to describe it in one sentence, was a captivating mixture of drama, romance, comedy, and some action with a quirky "retro but modern" feel. Akinaichuu manages to retain all these things to varying degrees, but unfortunately ends up falling a bit short of matching season 1.
Story: (6 - Fair)
The concept of Arashi and Hajime traveling back in time to the World War II era to save people was a big part of Season 1. However, for most of the first portion of Akinaichuu, this
concept seems to have been replaced in favor of mostly pure comedic episodes, and only late in the season do we start feeling the spirit of season 1 again. The comedy episodes, while well written and definitely in line with the witty humor of the series, are essentially stand alones and thus end up feeling almost like fillers.
However, within these fillers are a few indications (such as the concept of predetermined destiny) that build towards the final arc near the end of the series, which I found to be a great finisher that made me remember why I like Natsu no Arashi so much. If the whole season had been like that final arc, this season would have been that much better.
Art: (8 - Very Good)
Season 2 managed to keep that "old fashioned yet modern countryside" feel of the art in season 1, which is a good example of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it"
Sound: (7 - Good)
The VAs of the series voice their characters just as fittingly as they did in season 1. The opening and ending songs were good as well, with last season's opening doing a better job of that "retro yet modern" feel, but this season's ending better than last's in achieving that feel.
Character: (8 - Very Good)
All the characters are back, and don't suffer from any (unintentionally) awkward character changes. All of them get a chance to make us laugh (which they do quite well), and various relationships, like that between Jun and Hajime, are further explored in funny yet insightful ways, without neglecting the main relationship of Arashi and Hajime.
Overall: (7 - Good)
Akinaichuu managed to keep a lot of what was so entertaining about season 1, but the lack of an encompassing plot made it harder for the series to be engaging until near the final arc of the season. Nevertheless, I still had a good time laughing at the antics of the characters I've grown very fond of, and anyone that enjoyed season 1 would likely enjoy this season as well.
Even a line as simple as that was made incredibly hilarious (much to my surprise) as I was constantly made to laugh throughout the whole series. There are many slap-stick quality jokes embedded in the show but most of them were original, which I appreciated. It was definitely unique and I have never seen a show quite like it (whether comparing it as a comedy or just the plot). Although the story is fairly decent, it wasn't the best but everything else made up for it, but then again everyone's opinion differs.
Comedy, for this series, was definitely its strong point but
that wasn't the only thing that kept me watching. If it was just another high school comedy I probably wouldn't have watched it, and of course most of this is also based on the first series, which was better in my opinion. The thought of going back in time to change the present appealed to me and the thought that they used it for trivial matters made me grin.
In any case, this show was definitely worth the watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a comedy series.
If you enjoyed Natsu no Arashi!, then it'd be natural for you to be watching the second season right? DUH! I really loved the first season and I expected nothing less in the follow-up!~ Turns out I was more or less right! Anyways, here a little bit of my thoughts on this 2nd season!
*Btw, I refuse to write a short a summary of Natsu no Arashi!Akinaichuu at the start of my review. I believe I'd be wasting your time and it'd be just re-summarizing the summary provided on the "details" tab.
As with my review for Natsu no Arashi!, I fairly liked the one-shots
per episode and I thought that's what kept each episode of both seasons high refreshing and new. It made me want to keep plowing through the episodes just to see what's the next surprise! The only reason why I think it's shy of perfection is the lack of a centralized plot, therefore I believe one-shots has it's pros and cons! I'm sure y'all will enjoy Natsu no Arashi! Akinaichuu's storyline if you enjoyed the first season's.
Also explained in my review for the first season, I'm an extreme Kobayashi Jinn (the mangaka for both Natsu no Arashi! and School Rumble) buff, so I enjoy the artwork he draws. For me, I love the way he designs each individual so they stand out from each other and doesn't get too confusing!
Somehow, I thought it was an improvement from the first season! Because I pay a lot of attention to OST, this section I marked fairly high as somehow during Natsu no Arashi! Akinaichuu!, there was more OST than the first one. The OST was fairly well paired with the situations in the anime, therefore no questions on that. I was fairly pleased with the opening and ending themes which I thought was very original! Just the opening theme was slight awkward...I'll explain below!
No doubts about the character section as being a solid 10! Each character was a pleasure to watch and the versatility of each character helps override my initial impressions about how a small character list can become a good series! I've said in the first review, I really like the characters that Kobayashi Jin makes, and it is shown through each of his series that they are very unique and original! Definitely something I enjoyed about this show!
I loved Natsu no Arashi! and Natsu no Arashi! Akinaichuu! There was no question on the enjoyability of this series. My attention did not waver at all in any episodes, and trust me, it's not entirely because of Arashi or Kaya! Regardless which episode or featuring which character, Natsu no Arashi provided me a solid 5 or something hours of enjoyment that I'd never regret spending!
I don't really get this "overall" section...basically isn't it just the "enjoyment" section repeated? Anyways I'll try to make it sound a bit differnt ;D! LOL. Anyways, I thought this series was really amazing to watch and I thought it was definitely one of the best i've seen in a while! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a crazy fanboy, but despite the low ratings you may see, I believe (and i'm sure some others) that Natsu no Arashi! & Akinaichuu was way too underrated! It may be overshadowed by moe moe series such as Kaichou wa Maid-sama (which is actually very very good as i'm the same age as the people in the series! Hehe), but Natsu no Arashi stands its ground on it's own genres, which frankly, isn't all too popular with the otaku group of today's world. Not that i'm saying all Otakus will dislike this show, i'm just saying they will expect too much moe moe and will be disappointed by such a down-to-earth and realistic (just the character's emotions, not the supernatural stuff!) show such as Natsu no Arashi! Anyways, back to Natsu no Arashi!. Was it only me who was confused by the opening?! Is that blood that Arashi is showering in? I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on my profile page! LOL!!! Meh, in a way, I wish there'd be a 3rd season, but due to it's rather low popularity, I doubt it. If you're wondering what happens to Arashi and Hajime and everyone else, I'd suggest you read the manga, but it isn't fully scanlated into English....Being a half japanese is such a bonussss hehehe.... LOL I hope you'll enjoy Akinaichuu as much as i did!!!
Not long ago I looked at the first series of Natsu no Arashi. It was okay, suffering quite a bit from tonal problems, repeating an episode basically wholesale and some jokes that didn't work, but it also had quite a few good points and it was decent overall. So, does the second series improve on any of those aspects? Does it degrade? Let's take a look and see how it compares.
The story continues with Arashi, Hajime and everyone else working at the cafe. This series does drop the attempts at dramatic stories about their time traveling and goes completely into comedic mode. Which is what
the series should have been doing the entire time. Consequently, this one doesn't have the problem with tonal weirdness. Now we can focus entirely on the comedy. So, is it funny?
Well, the series still has comedy that's hit and miss. We've still got the “jokes” that are just references to something from pop culture without anything funny being done with them. We've got a reoccurring joke about one of the cafe's regular customers wanting salt but not being able to get any. Why is that funny? The short answer is that it's not. I have no idea why someone not being able to get salt is even supposed to be funny. It's not like he does anything weird or over the top in an effort to get some. He just asks for it and then doesn't get it. Some of the jokes don't even make sense. You've got one where the joke is that a girl accidentally puts on a wedding dress without noticing until she's done. It's funny because... no one in reality would accidentally put on something as cumbersome as a wedding dress especially when you add in all the accessories? If you got the hyper masculine dude in a wedding dress then that would at least be a funny image, but a girl wearing a wedding dress isn't funny, even if she is doing it by accident. There are quite a few jokes like that too.
There's also a problem with the romance. In the first series they had some romance with Kaja's backstory and they had the implied stuff between Yayoi and Kanako, but most of their attempts at romantic content were pretty downplayed or left as one-sided crushes. In this series, Kobayashi decided that it would be a good idea to develop romance between a girl who's been a ghost for sixty years and a thirteen year old boy. Even if you only count the summers when calculating her age, since that's apparently the only time the ghosts wander the Earth, she's still far too old for him. Why do works of media think it's a good idea to pair teenagers, young or otherwise, with supernatural beings who are far too old for them anyway? Inukami did that too. As did the infamous Twilight. Now, I will give this series some credit. It doesn't use such an extreme age difference and it does downplay the content as opposed to putting it front and centre, but it's still screwed up and it definitely leads to some uncomfortable moments.
To its credit, the series does have some really funny moments scattered throughout. And it does have more jokes that work than jokes that don't. Even if most episodes are going to have plenty of both. The secondary romance between Yayoi and Kanako is kind of cute too and it does lead to some good moments. It's almost like romance works a lot better when there isn't a disturbing age gap.
The cast remains pretty much as they were. Those characters who were pretty fleshed out are still well fleshed out, which is most of the main cast, whereas those who just followed their tropes still follow their tropes. So, it's still a pretty strong group of characters, particularly for a zany comedy work.
Most of the art problems from the first series are gone or at least minimised in this one. The wonky perspectives are still around, but they aren't nearly as prevalent. However, that doesn't mean that the art as a whole has improved. This series has its own major issue. It likes to incorporate ridiculous amounts of fan-service. The first series had a little bit but not so much that it was really a problem. With this one you get a lot. There are various shots animated so that the focus is on a girl's bosom or bum. There are also a bunch of cases of the girls being shown in states of undress because the series really needed to remind you that they have boobs. That was far more important than keeping things classy. Now, I will still give the series credit for having nicely done character designs, when they aren't throwing them into random fan-service outfits, and for doing expressions really well.
The performances remain competent. It's still nothing special nor are there any that stand out, but the actors all do well. Now, I will give this series credit for having slightly better music. Most of it is still pretty standard, but there are some pieces that are actually good and do stand out.
In the last series the ho-yay came exclusively from Yayoi and Kanako. In this one, there's an episode about a manga artist trying to get Arashi to kiss one of the other girls. It's a dumb episode, overall, but it still does have near kisses between Arashi and most of the other major girls and it nearly has one between two of the male characters. Yayoi and Kanako are also featured a lot more and they are definitely being portrayed as a couple. Even if the series never comes out and explicitly states it. So, the ho-yay factor on this one is a 5/10.
Natsu no Arashi Akinaichuu definitely improves in some regards. However, it also degrades in a variety of ways. Is it an improvement over the first? Slightly. My final rating for it is going to be a 6.3/10. It's a decent enough series. If you enjoyed the first series you'll probably like this one too. There's no real reason to watch it otherwise. Next week I'll look at Akuma no Riddle.