The only thing in Tetsuo's mind is art. The beauty, the nature, and the quality of art. One woman watches him handle his art. Her name is Akira. She watches as he constantly tries to draw day after day, and she oversees the completion of his work at a local art exhibition. Akira apparently has become interested in Tetsuo's love for art and his work. One rainy night, Tetsuo notices that Akira left her umbrella and he decides to deliver it to her. He finds her and gives her the umbrella and doesn't use it as he claims that the umbrella isn't his. As Tetsuo leaves, Akira tells him to wait. He turns around and finds Akira bringing her lips towards his... Love has bloomed in the middle of a rainy night.
Life as an artist is stressful. Inspiration comes at random with no caution or farewell and dry spells are as common as a rainy day in the spring. But at least once in the life of an artist will they find something so fascinating, so all consuming that it sends them into a fever pitch of creativity.
Natsu no Zenjitsu is about just that - a struggling painter named Tetsuo discovering his source of inspiration in the form of a passionate love, coming to grips with what it means to be in love and using it to fuel his creative endeavors
Tetsuo is a character that some may
find difficult to enjoy. He comes off as a standoffish brat that cares about nothing aside from himself, but in reality he lacks the social skills to communicate his true desires with other people. Tetsuo is a naive college student, not yet mature enough to know what he wants out of life and not yet wise enough to understand what he truly desires is right in front of him. He is a painfully realistic character with little worldly experience and few to support his creative desires, that is until Akira enters his life, a gorgeous older woman that takes interest in his painting skills and helps to build his confidence as the story progresses.
Akira is what we would call a ride or die chick in hip circles. She stops at nothing to support Tetsuo to the point of fawning over him as if he were a puppy. Together they make for an adorable couple with great chemistry. These two are surrounded by side characters that help add nuance to the story, and others conflict that would enter spoiler territory to reveal.
Appropriate for a manga concerning art, the artwork is some of the best I've ever laid eyes on. Every single detail of a character's mannerisms and expressions are well drawn to the point where words aren't required to understand this story. Do make note of the seinen tag - this is an explicit adult romance in every sense of the word.
Yoshida Motoi same mangaka who brought us Koi Kaze - a controversial story concerning a sibling love. Natsu No Zenjitsu is considerably less dire than that story, but do be warned it does carry the a similar level of emotional weight especially towards the end. This is not a story full of glitter and sunshine, nor should it be.
Natsu No Zenjitsu is a hidden gem in the manga community that deserves a far bigger audience than it has. I'd encourage more people to give this a try and follow the journey of an artist coming to grips with who he is and what he really wants out of life.
Life isn’t easy, there are many things that get thrown at you whether you’re prepared or not. But you learn to move one and grow from each experience. Sometimes you find love in these moments life will either give you the worst, or if it works will you give you something that you should cherish forever. But life will keep throwing, and you have to keep catching or the love you have will be lost or even worse. This is what Natsu no Zenjitsu, or in english The Day Before Summer, tries to get across to its readers. It tells a story where a struggling
artist trying to make ends meet and prove to the world he can make it, and a woman who loves selfish men.
Video version of this review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkbvRdOboiQ
Natsu no Zenjitsu is written and drawn by Motoi Yoshida, she is known for her unique storytelling and art directions. As for other published works, she is known for Koi Kaze, Mizu to Gin (the sequel to this manga) and Kannou Sensei. This series was published in 2008 in Good Afternoon and spans 5 volumes over 6 years totaling 38 chapters. This is also the highest rated manga by far for her, as most other manga released are rated 6 or under on My Anime List, the only thing coming close is Koi Kaze which is around the same rating but lower and was also adapted into an anime of the same name.
Natsu no Zenjitsu is a story that has many faults, but when it’s good, it’s extremely good. And to start off and get the bad out of the way first, let’s talk about it’s pacing. Sometime I feel like this manga bores me to the point of where I want to put it down. There are a couple moments like this, and thankfully they are around 2 chapters here and there. These are usually paced really slow, or just take you out of the story all together. They also tend to focus on singular characters rather than the main characters together like how the story is usually told. It’s not that it’s a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but they do damper the experience quite a bit as these chapters are really long usually. Which, now is the perfect time to talk about another fault with the series. I think that we should have gotten a little more development for Akira. To me if we knew a little bit more about Akira’s backstory like who she was before all of this, and how she got into art, well then I think everything that comes in the second half would have been so much more emotionally powerful. As it stands, she is a strong female character so that’s not exactly a problem, but I found her interesting and what’s even more odd is she probably has the most dialogue in the series.
But moving onto what’s so great about this is just simply how emotional and in depth it is on a lot of topic and ideas. They don’t exactly get developed at a breakneck speed, even for 38 chapters, but once these elements are developed these parts of the series are the absolute best parts and are so satisfying to see. Let’s take for example, and being spoiler free, Tetsuo’s weird code of honor where he doesn’t want women in his life because he feels like it lessens his art. By the end of the series we this character with this idea he has get completely flipped on its and not exactly proven untrue, but develops with it as he becomes more of a man. It’s quite an interesting development that is integral to not only this character, but the whole series. It has extreme ramifications with what’s to come later. And not only this, but for the most part, this series has very good pacing. Most everything flows very well and before you know it you’re 10 chapters in. Not only that, but the series loves to leave you with a hook, so if you’re reading this late… well you may end up staying awake a little bit longer than intended. At least that’s what happened to me.
For the Characterizations, I feel this series knocks this out of the park and back. Every character down to secondary characters are developed and have meaning in the story.
First off we have, Tetsuo. He’s the definition of a poor college student, and a man that has his beliefs. To put it simply the show portrays him as a young man making mistakes and being stupid as he tries to figure out what exactly he means to Akira and she means to him.
Speaking of Akira, she’s a woman older than Tetsuo, but feels a deep love for him. She’s always there for him like a mother, but also wants to be more than just another woman to Tetsuo. She yearns to be loved by someone, and she fears that she’ll be alone forever even though she is made out to be this kind and caring beautiful woman who has it all.
As for the secondary characters, they are of the utmost importance to this story. Some would say integral as without them, there wouldn’t be a story to tell. They are also developed quite well, even though they don’t share much panel time like Akira and Tetsuo does. This is because of course the story is still about Akira and Tetsuo’s love for each other, but these characters are here for a reason, and it can’t be understated not only their importance, but also how well they are written.
I’m going to level with you guys right now, this isn’t an erotic manga, but it might as well be in the erotic manga section. This manga has so many sex scenes with graphic detail, including splooge that you will be wondering if you accidentally started reading something different by accident. So yeah, there is boobs, yeah there is butts, and yeah there is splooge, but don’t be fooled. These panels are incredibly drawn as well with it’s normal, not sexy time panels. It’s such an unique style that I would compare to some kind of scratch style blended with detailed drawing. It’s much like another manga I reviewed by the name of Molester Man, but I think much more detailed even though there is that scratch style. I think the character designs are amazing too, I think Akira’s by far will be the one that stands out the most to everyone. And this is because she’s the character who shows the most emotion out of everyone. From a crying face you can’t tell is cute or sad, to an angry emotional face or even just a very emoji style adorable face anime is known for.
Natsu no Zenjitsu is a very heavy and real romance manga. If you don’t like realism in your romance, then steer clear and never look back. This series will have your heart hurting, and your head spinning by the end of it. It’s a manga that isn’t afraid to do something different, which is important here. I can forgive its faults to a certain degree because it’s so different and refreshing. While it isn’t supposed to be bubbly or even fun to read at times, it still tells a story that should be told more than it really is. Love is really hard, and if there is one thing this manga gets across, it's that love is one of the hardest things to maintain.
A wonderfully composed work of art written by Yoshida Motoi. Natsu no Zenjitsu conveys something genuine and pure that transcends this literary genre we call manga and places itself at the level of realism, depicting real life in full form. Essentially this title is a portrayal of two adults, intertwined in an enigmatic romance that's handled with composure and maturity.
When I speak of maturity, I'm not referring to school girl romances you guys think maybe "mature". No, I'm talking about a series dealing with adults and real problems, justified and consented sexual encounters, debacles solved through intellect, and magnificent artistry to boot. Natsu no Zenjitsu
isn't some Shoujo tripe series, read for horrendously cliche' romantic stimuli.
In retrospect, Natsu no Zenjitsu is a calming and thought provoking Slice of Life serialization; that doesn't necessarily intend to stress some excessive plot on it's readers. However it does pose something elegant and beautiful that I think everyone can relate to and enjoy. The premise of this title deals with a young artistic who lacks inspiration in his life, one day he find his muse; that being an older women named Akira.
The older women/younger male relational dynamic is handled magnificently throughout the course of this series. There's a definite difference in the level of maturity between the male and female lead; so in that regard, I find it most interesting in the way these characters grow as a couple.
A problem I find with the anime and manga mediums is their lackluster performance in depicting realistic romantic encounters that a male reader would enjoy. The shounen demographic is filled with romcom series containing 'moe' harem members and inept male protagonists with seemingly no redeeming qualities who somehow manage to attract teenage girls at a rate which would make Justin Bieber jealous. Of course the seinen demographic is a better place to look but 'ecchi' is often the order of the day with a fixation on sex often resulting in there being no actual story. As a result I wasn't really expecting a whole lot
when I started reading 'Natsu no Zenjitsu', but after the first chapter the series had already broken a number of my preconceived prejudices about romance in manga. NNZ is a skillfully written and nicely drawn series which realistically depicts the ups and downs of a somewhat unconventional adult relationship. Although by no means perfect, this series really excels in its creation of realistic characters who have believable insecurities about their relationships.
Written and drawn by mangaka Yoshida Motoi (author of the deservedly infamous and highly controversial 'Koi Kaze', but don't let this put you off) NNZ narrates the relationship of Tetsuo, an introverted art major in his early twenties and the older gallery employee and art writer Akira. The story is primarily introspective with a strong focus in depicting the thoughts and feelings of Tetsuo and Akira. It is however the story's treatment of the challenges that a relationship between a young man and an older more experienced women can bring which really stand out. Yoshida convincingly and maturely deals with the tension and insecurities each partner feels at the gap in their age. As Akira falls more deeply in love with Tetsuo her anxiety over whether a relationship with a much younger man can really lead anywhere in the long term becomes much more pronounced. Equally the romantically inexperienced Tetsuo can't help but worry that he isn't living up to Akira's expectations. The differences in the way each of the main characters think and the concerns they have show the marked differences in their ages and levels of maturity, which isn't immediately evident through the art. By focusing on the characters and their struggles so strongly the manga maintains interest and makes the reader care about the relationship at a more than superficial level. The pacing of the manga isn't particularly well balanced however. After an initial blitzkrieg at the beginning the romance plot is placed on the back burner with only a cursory treatment for a number of chapters. However this drop in action on the romance front is largely offset by the switch in focus to the development of Tetsuo's character, as the struggle of a young artist serves as a secondary plot driver. Tetsuo's love for art and frustration over his abilities and inspiration define his character and make for an interesting slice of life drama. The story contains a number of useful insights into the difficulty of making a living through art. Another positive is the way the manga develops the supporting characters. Each of the supporting characters are quite interesting and play an important role in the story and the lives of the main characters. The supporting characters are also quite diverse and work well to illuminate the personalities of the mains.
The art is wonderfully drawn, with the character designs particularly well done. Although lacking in detail in long shots the art captures character expression well and compliments the dialogue. All the characters are diversely drawn with real differences in body shape and facial features. I didn't think that the designs for Tetsuo and Akira highlighted their difference in age strongly enough, but this isn't a problem as the age difference is demonstrated more through the way the characters act then the way they look. The background art is nicely drawn however often sparse as the manga makes greater use of many small panels with close ups of the characters over that of large scenery rich panels.
This is a seinen manga series and as such does contain a number of 'H' scenes (despite the absence of an ecchi tag on MAL). Although not excessive they are also by no means limited to one or two occasions either. Unlike other seinen series there frequency does no overshadow the story but complements it quite well, helping the reader appreciate the adult nature of their relationship as well as the difference in the maturity of the characters. In other words the series is a romance drama with some 'H' scenes rather than a 'H' series with some drama. That said the scenes are often explicit and have a tendency to grow progressively more daring as the series progresses. As a result the series is not appropriate for younger readers (although me saying so has probably encouraged more than dissuaded you).
Overall this series is quite enjoyable with strong, interesting characters and nice drawings. I would particularly recommend this series to older guys with an interest in romance, university life and art. So if your looking for a seinen romance which has a bit more depth than this series is worth checking out.