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.
You see all those reviews with high scores and high ratings, and then wonder why I gave Natsu no Zenjitsu a 2? Because I loved it, binged the whole thing in an hour only to read the last chapter and flipping off my laptop in anger. Yes, the ending totally kills it.
I don't know if you guys like tragic stuff and what not, but I hate them. Our brilliant stupid MC Tetsuo is a genius artist. He is shy of girls, until he meets Akira. Akira is the beautiful, slightly older and caring woman, and they fall in love. But do they really?
Akira loves her,
but Tetsuo is kind of oblivious and is secretly in love with his best friends's gf. How low can a man get more than that. So he dumps Akira, gets nothing and the manga ends. Such a beautiful ending, I wanted to hang the mangaka after reading it.
There are good parts about the manga, yes. The art is great. It's bold and catchy. The character development is really good and the enjoyment is top notch until the last chapter. I swear, if it ended on a positive note, I'd have given Natsu no Zenjitsu a 10. It was just so good. But you can't have everything in life, and not everything which starts well ends well, so...
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.
There is some controversy over the ending of this manga. I will not reveal what that controversy is for the sake of spoilers, but do know that the conclusion is extremely well written and not pulled out of thin air. There is a reason for every major decision in this manga. Sometimes we as readers are quick to criticize an outcome that is not desired, even if it fits the narrative and characters perfectly.
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. There's lots of sex, appropriately so in order to properly convey the extent of a loving adult romance.
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 somewhat of 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.
There's a lot to like about this manga, but there's also something that I really hate. What I liked was the relationship between Tetsuo and Akira. It had a very strange chemistry that worked really well, with Tetsuo being incredibly awkward and often selfish, but Akira making up for that with kindness and understanding essentially. It was incredibly nice, so even though after it developed it was just them living their lives while being together without much development, it was enjoyable to read through. However, in the end it decides that it wants to take things in another direction, and throws in Hanami, who throws their relationship
into chaos. I felt that such an arc that tests their relationship wasn't really necessary at all, and while it was written pretty well, I think that the way it was ultimately handled was downright awful. The story never felt like it was really about character development, as Tetsuo and Akira never really grew over the course of the manga. There were some subtle things that I thing were attempted to be emphasized upon towards the end, but overall it really felt like it wasn't the focus. Rather, the relationship between the two is what really matters. Hence, the way that it ultimately ended, with their relationship abruptly changing and not really any explanation of the aftermath, made the ending feel completely hollow. It definitely does hit a very strong sad emotional note and is consistent with the overall plot, but just being able to do that doesn't make it a good ending. Rather, having such an ending begs the question, what was the point of the plot, what was it trying to show? A relationship that was interesting, but in the end left the main character exactly the same as they were before, gaining nothing? That, while perfectly realistic, just doesn't make for a very good story in my opinion. The art had some really good shots of characters, especially Akira, but in general I don't like the criss cross style of shading that it was using, especially for the backgrounds.
tl;dr: An interesting story focusing on the relationship between two flawed characters that has a very unsatisfying ending.
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.
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.