Ano Natsu de Matteru EP 04 – Sempai Was Amazing

Simply walking away and acting like it never happened isn’t a terrible way of escaping that awkward moment when you find out that someone likes you. It may not be a permanent solution to the problem at hand, but it’s probably the best choice when your both living under the same roof. From an external point of view, I found it surprisingly amusing to watch Ichika just board the train leaving Kaito behind, simply because it prevented me from having to watch guy A and girl B aimlessly wander about. As much as the focus was directed at Kaito and Ichika, however, I really began to feel for Kanna when Tetsuro and Remon both begin to calculate her into the equation as “girl C”, while the before-mentioned two remain completely unaware of her involvement. They’re obviously both so caught up in their love uncertainties and secret keeping that that they haven’t bothered to pay any mind to Kanna’s feelings. It made the feeling of sympathy even greater to see her put on a such a melancholy face when putting Ichika’s happiness before her own, something that might have originated from Mio.

I can’t blame Mio or Tetsuro for putting their love ambitions on the back burner to boost those of Kaito and Kanna seeing as they’re all friends, but I almost feel a sense of anxiety that they should be taking some time to attend to their own situation—in a group of two boys and three girls, at least one will inevitably be left empty-handed and heartbroken. Taking a quick look at the relationship “chain” that was established last time (Mio -> Tetsurou -> Kanna -> Kaito -> Ichika), Mio and Ichika straddle the extremes, leaving the two boys within that and Kanna in the Middle. It’s interesting that Kaito’s worrisome fantasies of being openly rejected by Ichika briefly referenced the idea of him being a “third wheel”, but in a less-than-fortunate twist it is actually Kanna who adopts that description.

Taking this into account, I can foresee a few possible scenarios that could arise by series end. One concludes with Ichika leaving Earth—which she has already half-heartedly hinted at—and Kaito/Teturo are left to reciprocate the love of their respective lovers. Another, and probably the most likely considering who fills the lead role, is where Ichika remains on Earth to be with Kaito while the other three are left to progress and adapt. The scenario would likely diverge from this point, resulting in two possible resolutions. With Kaito out of the immediate picture, Tetsuro would be the deciding factor by either swooping in as the supportive friend and take Kanna, or holding back long enough for Mio to muster the courage to do make a move on Tetsuro. If nothing and the trio is brought to a stalemate, then I believe it would be Mio who would ultimately suppress her feelings as she is definitely aware of how strong Tetsuro’s love is for Kanna, thus I would suspect Mio is the most likely victim. But seeing as how new elements of complexity are consistently being introduced each time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole group suffering from the repercussions of Kaito’s decision.

Putting conjecture aside, Ano Natsu has an apparent talent for turning even times of emotional agitation into comedic sequences involving meddlesome seniors and promiscuous older sisters. It was pretty obvious from the beginning that Minami-san was simply an acquaintance of sorts to Kaito looking for someone to mess with—though my first impression was that she had literally driven in from a much sexier anime series—she sure did a decent job at getting Ichika all riled up and forcing her to confront her true feelings. Granted, it hasn’t properly sunk in yet, and probably won’t until Kaito’s anxiety to know builds to the point of direct confrontation or vice versa, considering that their reactions are fairly identical. From the ending sequence, it appears that we have only scratched the surface of this particular romantic comedy and that the question at hand is now, what happened “that summer”?.