The only thing that reminds me of Toradora, from chara designer Tanaka and director Nagai’s Ano Natsu de Matteru, is the ever-present Remon Yamano. Or as I sometimes call her Lemon Ichigo–she is sweet-sour and ever-refreshing. She also looks like Taiga from Toradora, shedding just a little of her blonde-ish sheen from OneTi and OneTwi.
I think in a nutshell that is the problem I have with Ano Natsu–there’s just not enough of the pin-pointed hooks that distinguished Toradora from many other light novel romance drivel for boys. Let’s get it on the record that I definitely adore the show thus far, and find it entertaining enough to watch it twice a week, once fansubbed and a second time on CR (not to mention the exercise is a good way to hammer out the nuances in the translations; there’s a fair amount of word play in the script). In terms of my time commitment I’m spending 2x more time on this show than any other this season. Well, maybe except Mouretsu Pirates.
Oh, right, my problem: the show is lacking a lot of key things that catch people’s attention. Granted at episode 6 we’re still half way in the climatic vacation arc. If you think Taiga and Yuusaku Kitamura’s confession in episode 2 of Toradora was pretty neat, remember that a couple has already got together and done it by episode 7 of OneTi. That’s the kind of things I’m looking for. (No, not the “doing it” part although I’m all about Mio dialing up her game, coincidentally. Go for it!) Of course, none of this stuff happened yet. Yet. Is it yet too late?
In a nutshell, it’s fair to say that Kuroda’s writing has improved by this much since Onegai Teacher. One could say the handling of romantic frustration in AnoNatsu is pretty slick. I’m not here to disagree with any of that. I’m just waiting on the payoff. The Minori Kushieda moment. The Ami-awakening moment. The cut of Yamada sulking in the rain. None of that has much to do with Kuroda I think.
Oh right, Nagai also worked on Honey & Clover, in case you didn’t read about it in the links earlier. So then, when will it happen? It has to, right?
I’m patient, however. I think it would be ironic to say the least that I can handle 5 episodes of Marika getting to learn the ropes of being a pirate, versus six episodes of romantic frustration build up like a bottle rocket, waiting to shoot into the skies. But I think I can only take so much of this sophomoric teasing for so long. [Nagi's vocals is excellent aural sex, by the way; fits a dirty label like I've Sounds to a tee.]
I remember Onegai Twins. There was something similar–more like a bottle rocket of awkwardness in which results in that cute, dark-hared girl with glasses taking the short end of the stick. She was a champ, I thought, but it brought only short-term relief and a messy out for that character. It’s just like Herikawa’s post-confession wet-rag status. Well, it’s more like she became a defined, determined being and I ended up cheering for them even more. Is this what pushes the buttons for me? Is this moe? At any rate, the confession was just the midway point. The problem maybe is just that.
This is the school of adolescence through hard break hearts, folks. There are already enough tigers (and cougars?) on earth that when you’re orbital bombarding bombshells, the good girls do not stand a chance.