Natsu no Arashi – First Impressions

Natsu no Arashi is another romantic comedy from the creator of School Rumble, Jin Kobayashi. Unlike School Rumble, however, Natsu no Arashi takes place during the summer at a cafe in a small seaside town and includes ghosts and time travel. Yep, you read right, ghosts and time travel, but keep in mind that this is a comedy.

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The story focuses on 13-year-old Hajime Yasaka who is staying with his grandfather for summer vacation. Hajime then meets a pretty 16-year-old called Sayoko Arashiyama or just plain Arashi. When Hajime and Arashi hold hands they are able to travel through time due to Arashi being a ghost and having supernatural powers. This of course allows for some pretty entertaining series of events.

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Kaya and Jun can also travel through time.

The first episode was exactly what you would expect from a Jin Kobayashi work. Hajime creates these “strawberry bombs” which contain a deadly mixture of spices and wasabi and whatnot and places one on a strawberry shortcake. Originally intending to serve the shortcake to a certain target, he ends up serving the wrong one, meaning that Kaya (not really sure who she is) has saved the one with the bomb. The strange thing is that she hasn’t eaten it and it seems to be missing, so she goes back in time (she’s a ghost too) with Jun’s help (a part-time worker) to find out who took her strawberry shortcake. Hajime and Arashi follow her back to the past to try to prevent her from taking it because of the bomb, but it’s already gone. As you can imagine, more time travelling back and forth happens, and the hilarious thing is that you can’t be near yourself in the current time or else you’ll cease to exist, so it’s like a giant time maze. I won’t tell you what happens since it’ll ruin the comedy factor, but you can watch it for free here.

The Strawberry Bomb!

The Strawberry Bomb!

In the first two episodes there were also appearances by a giant Reimu head and Harima and Tenma from School Rumble. Personally I would have liked another Harima-like character, but I guess you can’t get everything you want.

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Overall I thought the comedy factor in Natsu no Arashi was great, as expected from Jin Kobayashi, but everything else seems lacking. There hasn’t been a real plot introduced yet and considering this is a 13 episode anime, there probably won’t be a very deep plot. This might just be as well considering how terrible the School Rumble ending was. The animation for Natsu no Arashi is also sub-standard with characters that look like they’re from the 80’s and lots of reused background images. Natsu no Arashi is certainly worth the watch for the laughs, but if you’re looking for something more, then it might be better to look elsewhere.

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