This episode proves once again why I love the director. This guy is talented, and he knows how to use cliches and subtle moments of atmosphere changes to create a really powerful mood for the viewer and give us characters that are so damn hard to hate, you’re basically rooting for them all. This could have been a typical episode when the main character stumbles on his feelings for the main romantic interest, but instead i have to praise Kaito for going the next step with his relationship towards Ichika and his character is one of the rare times in a romance series that doesn’t involve being a total wimp or being overly macho. Indeed, my complaint with Kaito is that he feels almost too perfect to be true but I find that more of a compliment than a complaint. Without Tatsuyuki Nagai’s directing this would just be generic J.C. Staff anime #2525.
So basically, we’ve established most of the couples already: Kaito will be with Ichika (minus one point for Kanna fans) and Tetsuro’s no-response answer to Mio’s declaration gives us our second couple. As for Kanna, she’s most likely going to remain as the third wheel in this series, as Remon’s troll-ishness (?) puts her in her own category to talk about. I’m glad we’re done with those two girls as they have been the weakest link in the series: to me, they felt more like plot devices to speed up the relationship building between the friends. That’s probably my only complaint i’ve had with this series: each episode has been very rewarding and nothing feels like a wasted opportunity or moment. I honestly have to put this series in the top 3 with Chihayafuru and Natsume Yuujinchou for this month’s monthly summary. It really has established itself as a solid romantic series that really knows how to build its characters and use the most subtle changes to make a lasting impact and create that sense that you really understand these characters almost as if we the viewer are part of the show itself.
Anyways, this was a really nice end to the two-parter vacation episode: there was no beating around the bush, we’ve got our love interests established, we have our outer-galactic problems to face and Remon is still being a troll. Yeah, i can honestly say that Ano Natsu has really used its 12 episode limitation quite well – as stated before, no episode has felt unnecessary or crammed with too much information. This series meticulously pays attention to every small detail it can find.
P.S: I really want the full version of the ED. Can’t stop listening to it and Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari. It comes out on February 29th..