“Ano Natsu de Matteru” (or “Waiting in the Summer”) is a different approach to the ‘fish out of water’ tale. It almost succeeds, but the last two episodes get hard to take.
Kaito Kirishima (number 4 from left) is a movie maniac, constantly lugging around an 8mm camera from his grandfather (Film? We are talking actual film?). One night, while filming something, he sees a blue light and thinks he was injured. The next day, Ichika Takatsuki (the redhead), shows up in his class. He discovers that she has no place to live and offers her room at his house, as Kaito’s sister will be gone for three months (like, all summer?)
We learn that Ichika is a space alien, bent on trying to find something on this planet, aided by Rinon (that odd creature at the far right).
The others in the entourage are, left to right:
Mio Kitahara. She has feelings for Tetsuro, but wants to help him along in his quest.
Tetsuro Ishigaki. He has feelings for Kanna, but knows how she feels about Kaito, so he keeps it all hidden
Kanna Tanigawa. She has had a crush on Kaito for some time, but, despite being outgoing, has never really confessed it to him.
Remon Yamano. This one is generally cold towards people, but harbors a secret that is revealed in the last two episodes.
The series covers the double arc of the relationship between Kaito and Ichika and how the others come to terms with their own feelings and emotions. This is held together by the thread that they are going to shoot this amateur film over the summer about a space alien that lands on earth. (It’s kind of like the film Haruhi Suzumiya made, but this one has the distinction of being better all around.)
Again, another really good-looking show, as a lot was invested in character design. Although some aspects seem forced (Mio is a nudist and isn’t afraid to show it) and the last two episodes involve the latest, in show placement, for a mid-course correction, there is a gentle feeling about the show, as people are trying to understand what love and heartache is all about. It doesn’t feel glued-on or imposed, and that we are letting things go as they are meant to go.
The show comes to an end, but it has a dangler for a potential second season. If that happens, fine; if not, you have a completed package.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Solid artwork, both foreground and background)
Plot 7 (Gets strained at time)
Pacing 8 (Very deliberate)
Effectiveness 7 (Can get repetitive)
Conclusion 8 (It reaches a ‘save point’, but it can count as an end)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Wedding Peach”)
Overall 8 (The weirdness of the last two episodes)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Ready, annnnnnnd………..action!