Ano Natsu de Matteru Episode 1 – First Impressions
Above is an example of a general reaction to the first episode of Ano Natsu de Matteru, or more specifically Onegai Teacher 2.0; actually, no, I think I’ll call this show Onegai Senpai from now on. The first time I saw this show on the anime winter 2012 season visual guide, I took one glance and quickly dismissed it as being some generic harem rom-com. However, a few weeks later I saw a PV for it and thought at the very least the animation looked decent. Doing some research, I also discovered it was directed by the same person who headed Ano Hana and Toradora. Then I actually began to think that this would be a very good show, as it seemed to elements of both those shows (and a little of Super 8) combined. But I and several other people seemed to overlook the fact that this director also directed both Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins, and that’s where opinions on this show will begin to differ.
Although the basic premise and plot of Onegai Teacher are generic as all hell, and the show has tropes out the ass, I still think it’s better than a lot of people give it credit for. It’s characters are actually pretty good, considering that it’s an anime rom-com, and the fact that I saw it about 5 years ago may also play into my approval of it. But no matter what anyone says, this is a remake of Onegai Teacher, so if you absolutely hated that show, then your feelings will probably be mutual to this one. The plot and characters seem, for the most part, beat for beat with Teacher, except that the “teacher” is more age appropriate for the male lead this time around (probably because of how touchy a subject that would be in these times). And I know it’s common for a director to have common tropes and themes in his works, but come on, surely you can think of something better than remaking a show that you’ve already made. I guess that’s one way to avoid copyright claims though.
The story this time around follows Kaito Kirishima, the child of Jinta and Menma, and I’m not just making that joke because the shows have the same director. Look at the guy; he looks exactly like a younger Jinta and has the appropriate hair color to be their child. I’m not really sure if black or white hair is the dominant trait, but it looks like his just got caught in the middle at a nice dark grey. He also inherited some of Jinta’s shut in traits (though I didn’t know that was genetic) and seems to enjoy movies, or at least I assume he does. Speaking of that, when the hell is this supposed to take place? I mean, he’s walking around with a damn Super 8 camera, and those things first came out in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but it doesn’t look anything like that time period. And assuming this does take place in modern times, this is Japan, surely they have a better camera than this to make their movie with, and what the fuck kind of high school kid in these times knows how to splice and edit film and re-sync the audio?
Well, leaving behind this show’s fantasy timeline, the plot, like Onegai Teacher, involves Kaito accidentaly encountering an alien girl and then some standard rom-com stuff happens (including a rather cringe-worthy scene at the end). I, like a lot of other people, didn’t expect the sci-fi element of this show in the slightest, because the trailers made it seem more like the directors latest works. However, I wasn’t as turned off as some other people, due to the fact that I’ve seen the show’s original version. But, even though I didn’t really mind it that much, it seemed kind of unnecessary given the fact that the synopsis makes it seem like it’s going to be a lot more similar to Ano Hana. A bunch of friends hanging out, being kids, and making a movie; doesn’t exactly seem like it needs any sci-fi.
I’m really not too sure how I feel about this show, and the fact that it’s produced by J.C. Staff doesn’t help much either. But, for J.C. Staff, the animation looks pretty good, especially consider the fact that they literally have four shows airing this season – no joke. As far as rom-coms go, I’ve seen far, far worse, but I’ve also seen better. However, considering that one of those “better” ones was directed by the same man who’s doing this, I still have some hope for this show. I’ll just go ahead and assume that that last scene was put in there by J.C. Staff against the directors will, because that seems like something they’d do. Anything to keep the ecchi alive boys.