June 07, 2012

Onegai Angst

Pixy just said nice things about Ano Natsu de Matteru, and I remembered seeing some pictures from it, which featured rather nice looking girls. So a plundering I go.

I downloaded rips of the first three BDs, all that are out. The first one is still downloading, but the second and third finished pretty fast. So I scanned through eps 3-6.

The yield rate was pretty good. I ended up with 47 grabs out of just those four episodes, though I'll probably end up tossing about half of those.

But as for the show? Ye Gods, it's got more angst than anything this side of Hatsukoi Limited. I ended up hitting the Wikipedia page for the show, just to get some idea of what was going on. Our hero, Kaito, is a dork.

If a girl in anime wears glasses, it means she's a volcano of passion waiting to go off. If a guy wears glasses, it means he's a dork. Kaito wears glasses, so Kaito is a dork. He's a camera otaku, and completely clueless about girls. He spends an unreasonably large amount of time looking at the world, and the girls, through a view finder. Naturally, he's also a babe magnet. At least three girls in the show are sweet on him, that I saw, and there are hints of even more.

The magical girlfriend is Ichika. She's gorgeous, has long red hair, has a killer figure, and she too wears glasses. See "volcano of passion" above. Unfortunately, it's more like a volcano of angst.

She crashed her spaceship on Kaito and killed him. Not to worry; galactic technology can solve that little problem. Good thing, too, because she eventually has to resurrect him a second time.

So, let's see. As best I can recreate the love polygon: Ichika loves Kaito. Kaito is coming around. Kanna loves Kaito. Kaito has her in the friend zone, so she's another volcano of angst. Tetsurou loves Kanna, but he knows she's sweet on Kaito, so he's waiting patiently. Mio loves Tetsurou, and I'm not just sure what she's waiting for.

Oh, and Mio hates clothes. When she's home, she doesn't wear any. Not a stitch.

Remon? I think she loves chaos. She seems to be evil. She's the oldest. She's the shortest and the least developed. She may be nursing a major league envy streak, and makes up for it by arranging for everyone else to have embarassing encounters, which she films.

And then there were the two strange girls in Okinawa, one of who loves Kaito and the other of whom starts chasing Tetsurou. Plus Tetsurou's older sister, who is separated from her husband, is a cougar and seems to be chasing Kaito.

At least that's what I put together. All of which leads to humor, it says here. At least it leads to a lot of tears. I remember Ichika crying at least three times, Kanna at least twice, and one of the Okinawa girls one time. And that's just in the four episodes I looked at.

So I got a lot of pictures from it, but the girls nearly always look miserable. They hardly ever smile, and that's why I'll be tossing so many of them.

Gad, I hate shows like this.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:12 PM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
Post contains 546 words, total size 3 kb.

1 What bothers me is that the whole "alien girl with spaceship" didn't seem to matter. It was just there so they could play with it through misundertandings, but it didn't matter to the plot at all. Such as it was. 

What finally blew me out was that in combination with the conversation on the train platform between Ichika and Kaito. It was deftly done and funny... but it's been done before so many times.  And yes, Remon was annoying.

Posted by: ubu at June 07, 2012 10:36 PM (GfCSm)

2 I'm going through it with sound off and no subtitles, so I don't know what they're saying. All I can judge by is what they do -- and what they mostly do is cry and/or look miserable.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 07, 2012 10:38 PM (+rSRq)


And if we're going to have a magical girlfriend from space, I'd prefer she be more like Eris -- smart, resourceful, cheerful, and with not a trace of angst. (Except in the episode about the assistaroids.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 07, 2012 10:41 PM (+rSRq)

4 I wonder if this is another candidate for the list of resurrected servant/heroes. http://mauser.mee.nu/undead_soldiers

Posted by: Mauser at June 07, 2012 11:20 PM (cZPoz)

5 Some quick points about Ano Natsu:

Missing the first episode kind of mixes up the situation, as most of the world building happens there.  So that's a little important.

As for the series, it's Kuroda's 3rd attempt at the specific story and its the best of the bunch.  It's a romantic comedy/drama told through sci-fi elements.  The catch is, this time around, the characters are a lot better.  It really helped that Nagai was directing it.  He's just got a very good feel for the genre.

While Kaito does like filming with the camera and has glasses, he's not really a "dork".  It's pretty smooth with people and, amazingly enough for an anime, extremely direct.  His & Ichika's storyline is actually pretty straight forward.  Most of the drama is built around the other 3 friends.  Everyone is trying to sort things out and that's where most of the drama exists.  You do get some really good character moments and payoff for the watch, though.

Oh, and Remon is downright awesome.  It's fully explained later on, in hilarious fashion.  You really won't expect it.

Posted by: sqa at June 08, 2012 12:56 AM (tmPk0)

6 Should have put a warning label on that review for you, Steven; I know I have a much higher tolerance for angst than you do. (I think I've said this before, but do not watch Full Moon wo Sagashite!!)

If you scanned up to ep 6, you got the first beach episode, so that's good, but you stopped before the angst starts getting resolved.  Ish.  Resolvedish.  But if you weren't attached to the characters by then there's probably not that much point in persisting.

sqa: Of course, just knowing how awesome Lemon is, is kind of a spoiler in itself. As of course is Mio's shameful secret.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 08, 2012 01:20 AM (PiXy!)

7 As for the love directed-acyclic-graph: Yes, A loves B loves C loves D loves E (and F loves D and G loves B, but that's largely irrelevant), and each one is aware of the relationships to their right (A->B->C->D->E) but not to their left.

I didn't mind that in the end because, while the tears may flow like summer rain, it's not an idiot plot, that is, the angst wouldn't all go away if people would just talk to each other.  By the end of the show all the little secrets are out in the open and things are better for that, but that's not enough to make it a cliche happy ending, because there are conflicts that can't be resolved that easily.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 08, 2012 01:44 AM (PiXy!)

8 I do wonder, though:  with some shows ( anime or otherwise ), are you supposed to be *laughing* at the people crying onscreen?  Because that's the only way I could see them as comedies.

Me, if I hate a character enough that literal tear-wringing misfortune would be nice, I find "not watching that character anymore" to be so much nicer.  Otherwise, I don't gain enjoyment out of watching people suffer.

Posted by: metaphysician at June 08, 2012 05:58 AM (3GCAl)


The Greeks had a word for it: catharsis. You're supposed to identify with the character, feel what she feels, suffer and cry with her, and once the story is over you feel renewed.

If you don't like that (and I don't) then DO NOT watch "Princess Nine"!!!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 08, 2012 06:29 AM (+rSRq)

10 Yes, catharsis indeed.  I can enjoy angst-filled melodramas if (a) the characters we're supposed to identify with are neither stupid nor unreasonably obnoxious, and (b) the ending brings resolution to the story without forcing it.  I do get that sense at the end of a good example (say, Haibane Renmei) of having been put through the emotional spin cycle and come out clean and new.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 08, 2012 07:06 AM (PiXy!)

11 I don't mind watching characters go through hardship and pain, as long as they persevere in the end.  In fact, my favorite stories involve massive amounts of danger/pain and the appropriate levels of angst, which serve to pay off the victorious ending and make it all the sweeter.  Sort of goes along with your rules of villainy, I suppose.

Embarrassment and misunderstandings, though, I cannot stand.  Most '80s comedies seemed to be built on people constantly getting into embarrassing situations that they didn't deserve.  I can barely even stand to be in the same room when one is on TV.

About the only exception would be the John Cusack '80s "trilogy", but that's because a) they're awesome, and b) the "heroic wimp" saves the day and gets the girl in the end.

Posted by: BigD at June 08, 2012 09:52 AM (qLkdZ)

12 Now that I think about it, I believe the final straw was Ichika's stated reason for traveling to Japan/Earth:  She was looking for a certain tree. I sounded very "chasing-my-dream-esque"and my reaction was "what the hell kind of parents let their teenager take off to faraway planets to look for a tree?   Don't say it isn't dangerous -- if it wasn't, she wouldn't have crashed!"  That was my last episode.

Posted by: ubu at June 08, 2012 10:24 AM (r3aaK)

13 I just realized:
New heuristic.  "Any show with a primary character named Ichika is going to involve too much stupidity or angst to watch."  ;-)

Take that, Infinite Stratos de Matteru!

Posted by: ubu at June 08, 2012 10:28 AM (r3aaK)


Ichika heuristic: Uta~kata turned angsty, but I thought it was a good show.

Posted by: Mikeski at June 08, 2012 12:13 PM (1bPWv)

15 I won't spoil anything, but the points about Ichika are all actually addressed in a logical manner.  This was a veteran writer & director, it's actually a very well thought out world story.  And it's not just characters being "stupid", either. 

Further, this is one of the series you have to see to the very end.  Everything, minus 1 relationship, gets resolved or explained.  And the world story resolution will leave you in amazement.

But, if you don't like dramas, at all, then obviously this series isn't going to be for you.  This plays with cliches more than falls into them (though the Beach episodes were a little overplayed), but you're not going to get anyone with clinically significant mental problems.  This lets the drama feel natural and not insulting. 

Posted by: sqa at June 08, 2012 03:58 PM (tmPk0)

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