Ano Natsu de Matteru - Review [7/10]

Like many others, I initially associated Ano Natsu de Matteru with Ano Hi Mita Hana no Name o Bokutachi wa Shinranai, because of the immediate name and character design similarities. I pegged this show as my romantic comedy fix of season since I didn't really count Amagami SS+. I've never seen Onegai Teacher, so I knew I wouldn't make any connections if there were any. Looking at the director, I felt I could expect something similar to Ano Hana or Toradora, two of his more famous works. However, I didn't go in having high expectations, because this is J.C. Staff we're talking about. Onto the spoiler-free review.

Given the genre, I didn't give it much scrutiny for this category. This was your basic country boy meets alien girl, and they fall in love schtick. The romance part of the plot unfolded very well. You have your standard misunderstandings, but not only are they cleared up, the relationship status doesn't revert back to zero. The characters, one by one, express their feelings in an orderly manner, creating a well structured love polygon. Where they stumble, however, is when the sci-fi subplot kicks in. It wasn't poorly done, but it felt a tad bit rushed and had a plot hole near the end. Nonetheless, I didn't care too much about the sci-fi aspect because the romance was done well.

The main couple, Kaito and Ichika, were very bland characters. Neither possessed any personality traits that made them particularly stand out, and the two seem to just fall in love because of circumstance. The supporting cast was much more complex. Kanna was endearing and played her role in the love polygon very well. She was just someone you couldn't help but root for. Tetsurou and Mio both had inner conflicts regarding whether they should make decisions to benefit themselves or their friends. Remon was just plain fun to watch. Other supporting characters that only showed up for an episode or two played their part well. Main couple aside, they did a very nice job with the characters.

The first thing I noticed as far as art goes is character designs. Tanaka Masayoshi's character designs are distinct and easily recognizable, notably from shows such as Ano Hana, Tora Dora, and High School of the Dead. His designs have a very smooth aesthetic feel to them. As for color, I found the palette they used to be a bit dull. Being a romance anime, there wasn't very much animation of note. Though during the small amount of sci-fi scenes, the animation was done well.

This was probably one of my favorite aspects of the show. They used some excellent scores to evoke various emotions throughout the show. The key part, however, was that their musical timing on when to play those scores was impeccable. Another song of note was definitely the ending song, Vidro Moyou by Nagi Yanagi.

I more or less had fun keeping up with this show every monday. Ano Natsu brings nothing new to the genre, but the romantic aspect of the show was well executed. Everything was well put together, aside from a bit of a stumble near the end. The show made me care about the characters, and that is good enough for me as far as romance anime goes. I found it to be a satisfying watch, but it definitely wasn't memorable. I wouldn't recommend it as a must-watch, but it's definitely better than a lot other romantic comedies out there. A solid 7/10.