Thirteen-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.
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.
Natsu no Arashi was a manga written by Kobayashi Jin, known for his work with School Rumble, and published by Square Enix. In 2009 it received a two series anime adaptation from Shaft. The same studio behind the Rec series and the sub-par Ef A Tale of Memories. But it's not all bad. They also did the work for Madoka and a bunch of stuff I've never seen and can't comment on. So, how does this one hold up? Let's look at the first series.
It's summer time and thirteen year old Yasaka Hajime is moving to a new area. When stopping by a small cafe
he meets Arashi, an attractive older girl. While working at the cafe, Arashi is accosted by a brutish looking man in sunglasses who claims that her family hired him to bring her back, a claim that leaves Arashi visibly confused. Hajime intervenes to help her and the two end up grasping hands and going back in time. Arashi tells Hajime that she's a ghost and they've just connected. She also asks him to travel back with her so that she can save people who would have died during bombing raids in the second World War. He's naturally skeptical at first, but he goes along with it because he finds her attractive. After going back in time and finding a sixty year old photograph in the present of Arashi where she looks exactly the same as she currently does, he believes her. They meet a second ghost named Kaja, who had been a good friend of Arashi's when they were both alive.
Let's start with the problems with the series. The big one is that it's tonally bizarre. You have some episodes that focus primarily on zany time travel shenanigans and others that treat things a lot more seriously. Remember when the first series of Galaxy Angel randomly had a serious episode and it made no sense? Imagine if the series had been closer to half serious episodes and half zany comedic ones. It feels disjointed, like you're watching two different shows entirely. There's also a huge problem with the serious episodes. They try to establish tension and make you worry about the safety of the main characters, even faking you out about whether or not a couple of them will survive. But the first episode in the series takes place after all of this. Gee, I wonder who will make it out okay besides everyone? The comedy is pretty hit or miss too. Some of it works well. Some of it is basically repeating an earlier episode, even using the same payoff, but this time they're wearing ridiculous outfits, some of which are really fan-servicey, that shift from scene to scene. Then there are the jokes that really don't qualify as jokes. The big one being the scenes where Yayoi and Kanako talk about the book that Yayoi read but can't remember the title of. She then proceeds to describe it and the punchline is that it's something from pop culture. This conversation gets basically repeated with a different piece of pop culture in virtually every episode. Yeah, referencing pop culture isn't funny. Parodying pop culture can be funny. Snarkily pointing out various aspects of pop culture can be funny. Just pointing out that it exists through a general description and a catch phrase isn't funny.
On a positive side, both sets of episodes are pretty decent, even when you factor in them not playing particularly well together. There are some pretty funny moments throughout the series and the more serious episodes do have some good touching moments, like the stuff between Yayoi and Kanako. I also appreciate that the series establishes rules for time travel early on and follows them throughout. The characters also have some pretty detailed discussions about time travel and they ask all of the major questions that you would expect concerning paradoxes and the ethical implications of changing the past. Which I do like, it has a certain realism that a lot of time travel narratives ignore. I also like that they use time travel for things that are actually important in addition to the petty shenanigans. Yeah, this half comedy does better on that front than the supposedly dramatic Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
I will give the series credit, most of its characters are pretty well developed and have motivations that make sense. The big exceptions being “Shades” and the cafe owner, who follow their tropes pretty strictly. Sure, the characters do believe and do some stupid things, but they're mistakes that make sense and have verisimilitude. I do appreciate that Kobayashi took the trouble to flesh them out since a lot of zany comedies just stick to basic tropes. We probably owe them being fleshed out to the series being half serious which illustrates how the mix of the two elements could have been a really good thing if not for how awkward the execution was.
The art is a bit odd. The series likes to do strange things with perspective like putting in random overhead views or showing things from a slanted angle arbitrarily. It also likes to make things chaotic in scenes that are supposed to be more intense and it's not really in a good way. They're trying to convey that someone is remembering or seeing terrible things without actually showing anything intense. It does work in the sense that you get the idea behind it, but it also kind of hurts the impact. It's like those “sex scenes” you get in some media that show a train entering a tunnel or fireworks going off or something ridiculous like that. Scenes like that can be funny, but they don't really work in a context where they're supposed to be intense. The backgrounds are kind of lazy. I will give the series credit for having character designs that are pretty good, though. I'll also give the artists credit for doing the facial expressions really well. They're just incredibly emotive.
The voice acting is decent enough. There really aren't any performances that are just amazing, (Horie Yui's probably comes the closest since she does have some strong emotional scenes) but all of them are well done. Not the best performances, but good ones. The music is pretty standard. There's nothing wrong with it but nothing that stands out about it either.
There's a bit. Yayoi and Kanako definitely come across as being more than friends. But they don't play a major role in that many episodes and the most they do is hold hands while looking lovingly into each others' eyes. So, the ho-yay factor is a 3/10 for those two.
Natsu no Arashi has quite a few highly noticeable problems. Whether its two tones that don't so much mix as sit awkwardly beside each other, some strange art direction, jokes that just fall flat or moments that should be tense being ruined by the series spoiling the result. However, both the serious and zany episodes are pretty well handled and the series has a lot of good moments. Some funny, some touching. It also has well fleshed out characters and capable voice work and the art is pretty good in spite of its odd direction at times. My final rating for the series is going to be a 6/10. It's decent. I'll take a look at the second series some other time but for next week let's look at Gakuen Heaven.
Natsu no Arashi (summer storm) is not like your average drama/slice of life series.
It started the series by some complicated things like time travel and no character introduction at all, somehow this will give 2 kind of impression for the viewer :
1. This is a "boring" anime.
2. This is interesting, must watch the other eps.
And if you choose the 2nd option (recommended by me), you will eventually enjoy the series.
There story revolves around some boy named "Yasaka Hajime" spending his summer time in his grandfather house. There he met with a sixteen years old girl name "Arashiyama Sayoko" who claimed to be
a ghost. From here on the adventure between hajime who knows nothing about the world (world war, etc) and arashi who try to help the people by traveling through time begin.
The art of Natsu no Arashi is a little different from another shaft work :), it present you with a bit old style drawing of character (but the cute eyes remained) and enjoyable environment, yeah it's summer afterall.
The seiyuu was very great, I always know that Shiraishi youko(hayate the combat butler seiyuu) was a great seiyuu. The way she say "hajime-chan" is great!
Great! The opening give you this "past" feeling :p you will know when you hear it.There are also some great insert song too.
The character cast was very good!
The main male protagonist give you a good male impression at making decision and also the ice breaker at some moment, the main female protagonist is a caring person and easy going. There are also another character that goes with complete different personalities with the main character. Cross-dressing character also exist in this anime. These character cast make this anime lively.
This is an definitely an exciting anime, as it cover some slice of life/drama about world war and peaceful time, and also some scientific comedy about time travel.
And you'll eventually realized that the character draw you to love them even more.
"No matter how many years pass, the warmth of summer never changes.
So, when this season comes around, I remember the summer of my thirteenth year my day as younger boy, when i know nothing at all
Even now, it remained unchanged within me."
Another phenomenal story penned by Jin Kobayashi, the mangaka for the famed School Rumble. To be honest, I didn't know about Natsu no Arashi due to it's low popularity until I ran out of recent anime to watch! LOL. Of course, seeing how much I've enjoyed from watching School Rumble, I thought Kobayashi's new series would not disappoint, despite the rather low ratings given. Turns out, I was right! As some people would say, "don't judge a book by it's cover", the same thing sorta applies here. Don't just look at its 7.something rating score, but actually try watching/reading the series, each series will have
different tastes for different people. Anyways, I'm sure you're here for the review, not me blabbing about it.
Soz, when I first started watching this series, I was able to be absorbed in on the main plot, but I felt that the stories where more or less one shots per episode or 2. It's easy to tell that this style of story-planning belongs to Jin Kobayashi, but this one was easily more well-planned out than School Rumble was. I was amazed how absorbed by the plot and I stayed up till about 4 AM to finish the series. I also noticed how this type of genre/story only attracts a very specific group of viewers, but ignoring the obvious genre, I thought Natsu No Arashi was a pretty refreshing series to watch and the story was definitely superb.
Art, is something that varies between people. Luckily for me and School Rumble buffs, the art has remained more or less the same. A major difference I noticed between School Rumble's art and Natsu no Arashi's art was that Jin Kobayashi drew the eyes of the characters a bit differently. Not that it affects the viewer's opinion a lot, just a little not. Outstanding art and graphics, nothing to complain about here :D
I actually found the OP and the EDs pretty good. I don't know if anyone noticed but they change the lyrics of the OP every episode. They say like "on my 8th Summer" to reference the 8th episode and that changes per episode Also, they say something different about the joys of summer every time in the OP. As for the ED, I found the dancing Arashi to be a great candidate for the next Ipod CM! ROFL. The ending's music wasn't too shabby and was in fact, quite catchy. The thing that bothered me the most about sound was the lack of OST present during the series. Either i was too absorbed by Arashi's looks or there just really wasn't much music?
As with School Rumble, the characters were pretty versatile and i found the Master/ Arashi / and Kaja have very good personalities between the 3 of them, and it provides variety in the show. Also, Hajime and Jun had also very supplementary characteristics leading to hilarious clashes between the two. Overall, I thought the characters were much more appealing than most of the other shows i've watched recently. Definitely a plus for this show.
Personally, as long as the art, character, and story is good, my enjoyment is almost always high. It's impossible to not enjoy such a great series as Natsu no Arashi. With many funny moments in the series, lots of crush-like romance, and several parodies of School Rumble such as Tenma Tsukamoto/ Eri Sawachika on a milk carton or Harima and Tenma spotted on a date or a character drawn very similar to Yakumo Tsukamoto. Personally, I thought because Jin Kobayashi realized Yakumo's success in School Rumble, he made Arashi's attributes very a like to Yakumo such as the hair and eyes.
Well, if you could see my expression at the moment, you could tell it's an obvious ten. Natsu no Arashi is definitely one of the top anime that was released during it's time. I don't think I've ever seen an anime with such genres been as appealing as Natsu no Arashi was. I certainly hope there will be a sequel to the Natsu no Arashi Akinaichuu, but I doubt it. Although so underrated, Natsu no Arashi will always be one of the very best show's I've ever watched. Definitely will be rewatching some time soon! I hope you'll will enjoy it as much as I did!
Tropes are everywhere in anime. Perhaps no medium is more dependent on them than this one we love so much, so here are a few thoughts on this seemingly overwhelming subject to serve as a doorway to the complex world of anime tropes.