Ano Taiga de Matteru

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.


7 responses to “Ano Taiga de Matteru

  • Fencedude

    While NatsuMachi (or AnoNatsu, why is AnoNatsu considered acceptable when BokuTomo wasn’t? Curious) is being consistently fantastic, I find I lack much enthusiasm for Kanna. As I said on a comment on another blog, I don’t feel that she’s “all that and a bag of chips”. She’s a good character, and I feel for her situation…but she is by far the character I’d be the least upset about coming out of this heartbroken. I vaguely seem to remember not really getting what everyone thought was so great about Herikawa either, but then again, I didn’t like Mizuho much either. I don’t even know what got me through OneTi back in the day, come to think of it.

    ANYWAY, while comparisons to Toradora are interesting, I think they can only go so far, due to several fundamental differences in how the characters are broken down, and how the stories are being told. And NatsuMachi is no Toradora, but I don’t think there will ever be another Toradora, just like how there will never be another Clannad After Story.

    I want to see more of Mio’s adventures in nudism and no-pan.

  • omo

    I think another way to say what I’ve been trying to say is that NatsuMachi is a romantic comedy driven by the relationship drama. Toradora is fundamentally a character development piece that uses romance to develop its characters. Both are ultimately coming-of-age stories but it seems we’re more concerned about how the relationships are developing in NatsuMachi versus what people really are in the end. This is why we had Ami at all in Toradora and I don’t think we can have that in NatsuMachi, just because of the way the narrative works. We were invested in seeing how Minorin and Ami and Taiga turn their lives around as much as who will eventually hook up with who (more like, man, we know how it’ll ship so do it already). In NatsuMachi it’s kind of the same thing minus the characters themselves grounded in some isolated, independent sense of their existence.

    (I went with Ano Natsu out of habit. Oneti/Onetwi sets a pattern and this is a homage of sorts.)

    I don’t really care about Toradora or Clannad After Story, by the way. Definitely once you remove certain characters (Taiga, Fuuko). More importantly, it’s about what do those shows do better (or worse) than others. Or in this case, Onegai Teacher and Twins. For one, I think Mio, surprisingly, might turn out to be the Herikawa-like in this story. We’ll see how it plays out.

  • Fencedude

    I almost feel like I should rewatch OneTi, because I quite frankly remember almost nothing about Herikawa, past that she existed. I probably won’t, but oh well.

    I do agree about how Toradora and NatsuMachi are approaching the same general thing from opposite directions, and that if the romance had been the central point of Toradora, then Ami would have been almost completely pointless, since she was never really a legit contender for Ryuuji, and not even remotely interested in Yuusaku.

  • Smithy

    Actually I don’t mind them taking longer to set things up and throwing in some propellant with the two new girls in this Okinawa vacation arc “Ano Natsu de Matteru” seems to have a more intricate pattern of romantic links and budding (or is it lusting) relationships compared to “Onegai Teacher”.
    Even after I re-watched “Onegai Teacher” a few weeks ago that show seems less complex with its relationships, after all it had 1 love triangle & 1 couple. “Ano Natsu de Matteru” increases it ever so slightly by apparently having everyone in the main gang interested in one of their group.

  • omo

    The only real difference is the Tetsuro-Kanna link. That was missing in OneTi.

    Actually that was something that I enjoyed about OneTi. A simple romantic triangle is not a per se bad thing. Ships simple, ships clean! Also I think that afforded more attention and time on Herikawa and Kei and Mizuho all the more.

    For a story that has a strong hook on the “babe” element, Natsumachi can stand to spend more time on Ichika and Kaito. I think the exchanges the two had in episodes 3 and 4 are still the highlight so far.

  • 髑髏-jp

    I think that Ao and Kaito relationship will become closer.
    As it is now, Ao is the odd one out yet.
    Toradora was in a perfect love square.
    Ao=Kanna’s hair color is blue, so *aoiro*

  • omo

    We haven’t gotten to that watershed moment between Kanna and kaito so I think they will get closer too, at least for now.

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