When it comes to anime, I am not easily pleased. I am actually going to outright admit that I am not into a very diverse set of genres in anime, and tend to stick to only a few genres which include Romance, Drama and Comedy. Sometimes I venture out of my tiny box of anime genres, but it is very rare if such a thing does happen. Another thing that I must mention, is, that unlike some people I know, it is only every once in a blue moon that I actually say that a particular anime I have seen is downright incredible. Only 22 animes out of a total of 60 that I have watched have received a 10 (meaning 'Masterpiece') on MyAnimeList. So I amazed everybody, and even myself, when I watched two animes at the same time (they were airing in Japan at the same time) and gave them both a score of 10. What baffled me more, was that one of them was a horror/thriller anime, which is not something I usually get into.
What can I say about Another? Well I have actually already said a fair deal about it in a previous post (click here if you haven't already seen it) where I had nothing but praise for the first episode. Also, in case you were wondering, my Shenmue disc 1 was replaced (hooray!). So 12 episodes later, what do I have to say about Another? Personally, I believe it is the best anime this season, hands down, and also probably one of the best series I have watched in a while. Bravo to the writer and everyone else involved with the creation of this anime for keeping me on the edge of my seat every single episode and causing me to wait impatiently for the next. A lot of anime plots are pretty linear and you can more or less guess what is going to happen with the simplest of hints, but Another gives absolutely nothing away... Watched the first episode and think you can guess what is going to happen? You are probably wrong. The character designs and artwork were simply fantastic, as well as the music. Also, Another was home to some of the goriest deaths I have seen in an anime that wasn't made by weird people. Probably the only part that let me down, if I had to name it, was I believed the ending was too squashed up at the end. They do this a lot in anime it seems. The ending was decent, no doubt, it just happened to quickly. It was one of those kind of endings that hints at something that leaves the viewer to imagine what the next part of the story will be. I won't go into plot detail as I don't want to give any spoilers away. But I definitely recommend this anime to anime fans everywhere.
Ano Natsu de Matteru (AKA Waiting In The Summer)
Let me start off by saying I absolutely despise ecchi. Throw a stick at it. Or even better, throw a brick at it. Don't let it escape alive. It has an actual plot you say? Okay, well let me investigate.
Ano Natsu de Matteru is one anime that takes some elements of ecchi and uses them in a funny way. You know, like those funny scenes in American Pie where the guy does stupid stuff and it involves something sexual and you laugh. That sort of funny. But what it doesn't do, is use those scenes in abundance, expecting them to drive the plot forward at every single opportunity. That is where Ano Natsu De Matteru really blossoms, because the plot develops in a very tidy fashion. It twists and turns here and there, but still manages to send itself in the right direction. Ano Natsu de Matteru is about a close group of friends who decide to make a movie over their summer vacation. Although that sounds simple, as the MyAnimeList synopsis puts it, 'the plot actually turns into something much more complex, intimate and revealing, as the maturing relationships between the members of the young cast take on new, and sometimes very unexpected, turns.' Oh yeah, and one of the girls they befriend at the start is an alien. The characters in this one are pretty well designed as well, and the visuals are very colourful.
A good thing about this anime was that the romance was stretched out in the last few episodes. Usually romance animes end up with the characters hooking up in like, the last episode at the last second, but Ano Natsu De Matteru really tugs at your heartstrings by treating you to some very lovely romance scenes.
The ending was very clever and rather emotional indeed (you'll see what I mean if you watch it). People who make anime need to concentrate more on their endings, because personally I think a bad ending can make or break an anime.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this anime. When you see promotional artwork you may quick to judge it as one of those ecchi/harem types, but really Ano Natsu De Matteru is much more complex than that. The creators of this anime should really give themselves a pat on the back for impressing the hell out of me with this one. Definitely check this one out if you like Romance/Comedy.
For more information:
Another on MyAnimeList
Ano Natsu de Matteru on MyAnimeList